The Little Country That Tries To Be Shangri-La

The Little Country That Tries To Be Shangri-LaThe idea that we can't feed ourselves with sustainable means is scoffed at by many. Without oil, pesticides, and GMOs we will certainly starve we are told by an establishment that sometimes seems without conscience.

A Brief History Of Telling Time

A Brief History Of Telling TimeWe live in a world where time is all important. Nanoseconds mark the difference between success or failure to make an electronic transaction and where we are continuously reminded of “the time”: of being early or late, of having missed an appointment or arriving “before time”. In today’s world, time now governs our life.

How Your Garden Could Help Stop City Flooding

urban gardening1 5 14Urban flooding represents the most common yet severe environmental threat to cities and towns worldwide. Future changes in rainfall extremes are likely to increase this threat, even in areas that could become drier.

A Lesson in Love and Acceptance from Morris the Cat

Morris the CatAbout six months after Morris first ap­peared at Lauren’s door, he started to appear at my door instead. All my life I’d had a cat phobia. Cats terrified me so much that I had recurrent nightmares about a cat jumping from a tall staircase and landing on the back of my neck.

Meet Your Hidden Housemates: Cockroaches, Oooh

The rather handsome Speckled Cockroach from north-east Africa has spread across the world with human assistance. Anthony O'TooleCockroaches are a very ancient group of insects. They have been around virtually unchanged in general appearance since the Carboniferous period, more than 300 million years ago. Technically speaking they are in the Order Blattodea (the same level of classification as, for instance, all butterflies and moths).

How Serious Is Inbreeding In Show Dogs?

How Serious Is Inbreeding In Show Dogs?A German shepherd with a sloping back that was awarded best of breed brought the dog show Crufts in for this year’s annual bout of criticism. Viewers took to social media to accuse the owner of animal cruelty by suggesting that its unusual shape meant the dog must suffer health problems brought on by inbreeding – something the owner denied.

Why Dog Breeds Aren't Considered Separate Species

Great Dane, meet Chihuahua. You have lots in common. Ellen Levy Finch, CC BY-SA

Dog owners might disagree, but as far as evolutionary biologists are concerned, all dogs are just dogs. It may seem odd that Canis (lupus) familiaris extends from rabbit-sized Chihuahuas to Great Danes which can be almost the size of a small pony, whereas seemingly much smaller differences place many animals into separate species or sub-species.

Organic Farming Techniques Are Closing Gap On Conventional Yields

Organic Farming Techniques Are Closing Gap On Conventional Yields

Some farmers have turned to less chemically-intensive techniques to reduce the negative impact of agriculture, such as organic farming, which has been shown to outperform conventional farming by many standards of environmental sustainability. The question is whether we can meet the demand for food, which is predicted to rise substantially in the next 50 years.

Are Energy Star Ratings A Good Idea For Homes?

Are Energy Star Ratings A Good Idea For Homes?Homebuyers respond well to green features such as solar panels, rather than stats and figures. If you’ve ever bought a home you’ll know the feeling of deciphering real estate advertising spin. But those advertisements traditionally don’t tell you about how much

How Did Moscow's Stray Dogs Learn To Navigate The Metro?

How Did Moscow's Stray Dogs Learn To Navigate The Metro?For most of us, commuting is a task to be endured. Busy, noisy and often cramped, the world’s underground transport systems are places that we humans tolerate as a matter of necessity. But not so for Moscow’s “metro dogs”.

Dogs Really Can Tell How Their Owners Are Feeling

Dogs Really Can Tell How Their Owners Are FeelingCan dogs tell when we are happy, sad or angry? As a dog owner, I feel confident not only that I can tell what kind of emotional state my pets are in, but also that they respond to my emotions. Yet as a hard-headed scientist, I try to take a more rational and pragmatic view. These personal observations seem more likely to result from my desire for a good relationship with my dogs.

Spare A Thought For Our Furry Friends This Christmas

Spare A Thought For Our Furry Friends This ChristmasChristmas is typically a time for celebrating and spending time with loved ones. But while we party, give lavish presents, and visit our families, we can sometimes overlook how some very important family members — our pets — might be affected.

Why Cats Are Fussy Eaters But Dogs Will Consume Almost Anything

dog drinking teaWhy Cats Are Fussy Eaters But Dogs Will Consume Almost AnythingAnyone who’s watched a cat throwing up after munching on grass knows that our feline friends aren’t natural plant eaters. So you might be surprised to discover that these carnivorous animals share some important genes that are more typically associated with herbivores. And this might help explain why cats aren’t always easy to please when it comes to food.

How Do Hummingbirds Draw In Nectar?

How Do Hummingbirds Draw In Nectar?Hummingbirds live life at incomprehensible speeds. Their flight acrobatics are amazing, maneuvering more like insects than birds as they flit around, flying upside down and even backwards. They’re a blur as they race between flowers. When they do pause to visit a flower momentarily, they’re licking 15 to 20 times a second to extract their nectar fuel.

When Is It Ethical To Euthanize Your Pet?

When Is It Ethical To Euthanize Your Pet?In the 1960s, I knew people who, before going on vacation, would take their dogs to a shelter to be euthanized. They reasoned that it was cheaper to have a dog euthanized – and buy a new one upon returning – than pay a kennel fee.

Preserving and Foraging: Depending on Nature for Food

Depending on Nature for Food: Preserving and ForagingLife, for foragers, can be more secure for the simple fact that they understand crop failures happen. Thus, we learn not to depend wholly on one type of food. The lovely thing about foraging is that there are always alternatives. In nature, there are usually plenty of options, and all of them are free.

What Horses Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Learning About Ourselves by Communicating with HorsesNews of my communications with the horses had spread in the small Costa Rican community. The horsemen, the veterinarian, and the cabin retreat employees were all aware of it. Some had reacted with apprehension, suspicious of my abilities, while others were afraid that I might be reading their minds, too.

Helping Plants Fight Off Pathogens By Enhancing Their Immune Systems

Helping Plants Fight Off Pathogens By Enhancing Their Immune SystemsMost people have never heard of Norman Borlaug. He is, thus far, the only agricultural scientist ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. His work in the development of high-yielding and disease-resistant cereal crops saved more than one billion (yes, billion) people from starvation.

Beyond Compost: 5 Ways to Get Your Soil Ready

The key to gardening is dirt. If you can grow good dirt now, you can grow good vegetables this spring. And you don’t have to run to the garden store to load up on boxes and bags of stuff to do it if you start early and think of it as a year-round project.The key to gardening is dirt. If you can grow good dirt now, you can grow good vegetables this spring. And you don’t have to run to the garden store to load up on boxes and bags of stuff to do it if you start early and think of it as a year-round project.

The Wonder of Worms In The Garden

The Wonder of Worms In The GardenThe key characteristic of the loving landscape is healthy, living soils which foster plant and animal health without artificial inputs. Compost, mulch and worms form the holy trinity of organic soil health.

Urban Farming Is Booming, But What Does It Really Yield?

Urban Farming Is Booming, But What Does It Really Yield?Midway through spring, the nearly bare planting beds of Carolyn Leadley’s Rising Pheasant Farms, in the Poletown neighborhood of Detroit, barely foreshadow the cornucopian abundance to come. It will be many months before Leadley is selling produce from this one-fifth-acre plot.

Back to the Garden: Mulch, Mulch, and More Mulch

Back to the Garden: Mulch, Mulch, and More MulchBoth compost and mulch foster the life of the soil, and both are important components of the loving landscape. Sometimes they are confused for one another, but they are quite different animals.  Compost, which we talked about last week, is more nutrient rich than mulch. It’s full of life, and inoculates soil with that life.

Little City on the Prairie Steps It Up

small townA Latino family strolls leisurely through the park, immersed in conversation. Coming up fast behind is a blonde woman in designer exercise gear and earplugs, intent on maintaining her power-walking pace. Bringing up the rear is a young man with his Husky, both of them staring up at a patch of sun that has appeared from behind the clouds.

Just What Does The Loving Landscape Look Like?

Just What Does The Loving Landscape Look Like?So, let’s say we want to play nice with the rest of nature. Let’s say we want public parks, yards and gardens which exist for more than show, spaces which support a diversity of life, steward our resources wisely and are a joy to the eye. We’ve got to change the existing lifeless paradigm of lawn and hedge and disposable annual flowers.

How To Stick Together With Birds Of A Feather

How To Stick Together With Birds Of A FeatherSurprisingly, the diversity of birds in suburban areas can be greater than in forested areas, according to the new book Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife (Yale University Press, 2014).

Can Planting Flowers Help Bees Fight Parasites?

Can Planting Flowers Help Bees Fight Parasites?A growing body of research suggests some animals may derive medicinal benefit from plant chemistry, and perhaps even seek out these chemicals when sick. Could naturally occurring plant chemicals in flowers be part of a solution to the worrying declines of wild and managed bees?

Equine Encounters: Hearing The Horses Whisper

Equine Encounters: Hearing The Horses WhisperI share the treasure I have received in communicating with horses so that other people may better understand their inner world, and the ways it can help us understand our own. And for those who ride or own horses, I tell this story as another way for you to learn to trust what you hear when your horse needs to speak.

The Miracles Created by Nature (and Goats)

The Miracles Created by Nature (and Goats)The Posey homestead probably wouldn't strike most Americans as a vision of paradise. We lived on dunes dotted with creosote and mesquite bushes, cactus and yucca. Mostly, the land was bare sand. We had seven or eight inches of total precipitation a year...

The Western System of Feng Shui Color Theory

The Western System of Feng Shui Color Theory

The way people react to colors is due to a mix of physiological, sociological and spiritual factors. What works in one society does not always work in another. Likewise, the knowledge that has come out of the mystery schools often needs to be adjusted to apply to modern tastes.

Using Feng Shui to EnhanceThe Harmony and Vitality of Your Home

Using Feng Shui to EnhanceThe Harmony and Vitality of Your Home

Feng Shui focuses on enhancing the harmony and vitality of your environment. Surrounding yourself with things that lift your spirits and deepen your love for life is a primary goal. Surround yourself with only those items that pass the "I love this!" test. Ch'i is always enhanced by your joy, inspiration, and creativity.

Feng Shui Can Counteract Negativity In City Living

Feng Shui Creates Harmony In City Living

In Hong Kong the majority of businesses and families with economic clout consult Feng Shui experts before buying land or beginning construction on their homes or buildings. A real estate advertisement mentions of the quality of Feng Shui present in the design and the shape of the building...

Can Dogs & Cats Live Together Peacefully & Happily?

Can Dogs & Cats Live Together Peacefully & Happily?

It can take time for dogs and cats who have never met to acclimate to each other, but many dogs and cats can coexist peacefully and happily together, and great friendships can develop between them. Here are some guidelines to follow to make this possible in your...

The First Step of Foraging: Know What Grows Where

The First Step of Foraging: Know What Grows WhereWhen foraging, as with gardening, it is important to know what is available where one lives. The best way to forage is to simply get outside, slow down and walk around, listening and looking. This is really the only way to get to know an area, but when driving anywhere, we will...

New Wiki Will Help You Grow a Better Garden

New Wiki Will Help You Grow a Better Garden

Have you ever tried to grow your favorite summer vegetable or garden herb and something went wrong? Maybe it was poor planting, a disease, or a pesky insect. Maybe you need to troubleshoot problems or want definitive answers to questions like when to plant for your area or exactly when to fertilize.

When Your Pets Behave Outside Their Nature

When Your Pets Behave Outside Their Nature

When a dog behaves unnaturally in response to any neurotic, chaotic, or disruptive energy taken on from humans, he tends to look confused because he has nowhere to put the energy that is reverberating within him. He doesn’t really know why he is acting out, nor does his behavior make the least bit of sense to him.

A Pledge that Promises to Keep Seeds Free For All to Use

Photo courtesy USDA

For years, many of us have kept an eye out for organic and pesticide free vendors at our local farmers markets. Thanks to a new movement hitting the American food scene, we may soon be looking for another important environmental marker: open source seeds. At least, that is the goal of...

Liberotter Plays Hey You Get Off My Keyboard

Liberotter Plays Hey You Get Off My Keyboard

A group of the National Zoo's Asian Small-Clawed Otters recently performed a genre (and species) shattering song: a discordant, eight-pawed keyboard jam that will guarantee a loyal fan base at the Smithsonian, if not a Carnegie Hall spotlight.

Your Dog Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself

Your Dog Does Talk & Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself

So often I hear people mutter, “If only my dog could talk. Then I would know what it really wants. I would know what to do!” All the while I am thinking — they are communicating with you. They are communicating with you more than you communicate with yourself. That is the problem.

Beginning Foraging: Eating from the Wild and the Suburbs

Beginning Foraging: Eating from the Wild and the Suburbs

Once we decided to really make foraging a part of our life rather than just some summer-day hobby, like picking trail nibbles when on a hike, we became keenly aware of how little we really knew. We realized that there will always be more to learn about local plants and...

In Partnership with the Earth: Biodynamic Gardening

In Partnership with the Earth: 
Biodynamic GardeningBiodynamic farming offers us a way to both cherish the Earth and attend to the process of growing foods and raising animals properly. According to activist and CSA owner and educator Allan Balliett, biodynamic farming is “a spiritual approach to growing.” Biodynamic farmers “try to take into account all of the forces that affect plant growth and their nutritional value.”

You Have the Power to Heal Your Pet

You Have the Power to Heal Your Pet

We love our animals, and when they're sick, we want to take extra special care of them. The good news is that you don't have to be a veterinarian to heal a pet. You have the power to influence your pet's healing...

Making Quality Compost: Ensure Your Garden is Nutritious

Making Quality Compost: Ensure Your Garden is Nutritious

The major lack in most home-garden compost is nitrogen. This deficiency almost always happens because the decomposition process doesn't go far enough. So when this pseudo-compost is mixed into soil, it does not release an abundance of plant nutrients...

Clutter & Storage: Does Your "Stuff" Support Your Soul's Expression?

Clutter in Storage: Does Your "Stuff" Support Your Soul's Expression?

Everything we bring into our lives, we will eventually have to get rid of. As our awareness grows, we see that everything we surround ourselves with and spend our energy on has a direct effect on our soul. Everything. So unless you really need something or you are very clear its presence supports your soul’s expression...

Growing Some Conflict When You're Gardening?

Growing Some Conflict in the Garden?

Conflict in a garden is all too easy to generate. I remember planting a couple of Bauhinia galpinii shrubs in a garden bed near one of our car ports. When, after five years, it proved difficult to find the entrance to the car port...

The Garden as a Metaphor for Life

The Garden as a Metaphor for Life

I know a fair bit about a lot in the garden, most of it practical, but my great fascination is with the metaphysical aspect, that forever-unfolding energy of life expressing in the garden. For me, a garden is a place to connect with Nature, life, and living...

A Blind Dog With His Own Seeing Eye Dog?

A Blind Dog with his own Seeing Eye Dog?

A dog is not only man's best friend, a dog can also be a dog's best friend. And such is the case with the Husky Isaac who happens to be blind, and his best buddy, the little dog Isabella, who has taken it upon herself to be his seeing eye dog.

One Man Transforms 1360 Acres into a Lush Forest

One Man Turns 1360 acres in a forest

The Power of One: One man in India transformed 1,360-acres (approx. 2 square miles) of barren sand into a lush jungle which harbors not only birds, butterflies, and miscellaneous flora, also provides a home for rhinos, tigers and elephants.

Turn Your Home into a Temple for Your Soul

Turn Your Home into a Temple for Your Soul

Every time I enter my home, I feel as if I am walking into a sacred temple, a place where my body, mind, and soul can rest from the busy day. I have consciously organized my SoulSpace so that it makes me feel cared for and supported. It allows me to...

Sweet Basil: Things You Need to Know About This Herb

Sweet Basil - Everything You Need To Know

Sweet basil’s many herbal uses include culinary, landscaping, medicinal, and spiritual, and the essential oil can be found in fragrances and insect repellents. Cultivated largely as a culinary herb and often associated with Italian cuisine, basil is excellent in tomato-based dishes. It is also used cooked or raw in...

Growing Community with Community Gardens

Growing Community with Community Gardens by Peter Ladner

One of my first awakenings to the myriad benefits of community gardens was when the community police officer in a troubled neighborhood in Vancouver helped get one started. She wanted a project for the homeless people hanging around the neighborhood. They embraced it eagerly...

Preventing Arthritis In Your Pet

Preventing Arthritis in Your Pet by Shawn Messonnier, DVM

I’m often asked if there is anything that can be done to prevent arthritis in dogs and cats. Here are my tips to “prevent,” “minimize the chance of,” or “delay the onset of” arthritis in your dog or cat.

What Diet is Best: Pet with Arthritis

It is important to consider how diet can affect the pet with arthritis. Let’s take a look at pet foods first, then we’ll talk about obesity and how controlling this major health problem can help the pet with arthritis walk more comfortably.

How to Live with More Than One Dog

Living with more than one dog can be a rewarding experience. Dogs love the company of other dogs. Knowing how to prevent problems and teaching dogs how to share resources so they do not bully each other, or pester you, is pivotal to having a harmonious...

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