Guerilla Gardening May Save Our Pollinators

I have to admit I did not know what guerilla gardening was until yesterday. According to Wikipedia, “Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property. It encompasses a diverse range of people and motivations, ranging from gardeners who spill over their legal boundaries to gardeners with political influences who seek to provoke change by using guerrilla gardening as a form of protest or direct action. The land that is guerrilla gardened is usually abandoned or perceived to be neglected by its legal owner. That land is used by guerrilla gardeners to raise plants, frequently focusing on food crops or plants intended for aesthetic purposes.”

Yesterday I met a woman that has a different purpose – she guerilla gardens for pollinators. Our pollinators have suffered from loss of habitat, pesticide use, invasive plants and animals, and diseases. Many of our pollinators are federally listed as threatened or endangered species. And we have lost over Continue reading “Guerilla Gardening May Save Our Pollinators”

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Oregon is Putting the Skids on Children Learning About Wildlife

I am a nature lover through and through. And that connection came from spending all of my childhood out in nature catching snakes, tadpoles and whatever else crawled by, as well as sitting quietly in the fields and woods just down the street from my house. Now, I spend my days restoring habitat for the wildlife I have grown to love. But when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) new regulations take effect, children will no longer get to explore nature first hand.

ODFW officials are working on new regulations that will fine Oregonians for capturing native wildlife and those fines are steep. Under the proposed regulations, you will only be allowed to Continue reading “Oregon is Putting the Skids on Children Learning About Wildlife”

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Planting Milkweed in Oregon for Monarchs

For the first time I saw a monarch at my farm in McMinnville this past summer. And I either saw it on five separate days or I saw up to five of them. And while it is one of the most familiar North American butterflies, and is considered an important pollinator, it is a rare sight indeed for the North Willamette Valley.

The Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus is famous for its annual migrations, from eastern North America to the mountains of central Mexico, and from western North America including Oregon to the coast of California. When they reach their destination they rest for the cool winter months in large aggregations containing millions of individuals. Monarch larvae feed on milkweeds of the family Asclepiadaceae, from which they sequester glycosides that make them unpalatable to birds and other predators.

Estimates are that the monarch population has declined by 90% in the last 25 years due to habitat loss. That is why in June 2015, President Obama Continue reading “Planting Milkweed in Oregon for Monarchs”

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Creating A Wildlife Corridor

As we build more housing developments and shopping centers we cut up the existing landscape and create pockets of animal habitat that are often too small to sustain healthy populations for very long. This habitat fragmentation is one of the number one threats to wildlife because it isolates populations of animals causing inbreeding and often cuts off those species that need to travel to breeding sites. A wildlife corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures such as roads and parking lots.

These wildlife corridors provide cover that allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity that often occurs with isolated populations. Birds, bees and butterflies are not as dependent on wildlife corridors because they can fly over the impediments, but mammals, reptiles and amphibians benefit greatly by Continue reading “Creating A Wildlife Corridor”

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Ghost Pepper Salsa Recipe

This year I decided to grow 11 varieties of peppers including ghost peppers. I turned the bountiful harvest into ghost pepper salsa by modifying a recipe I had.

Ingredients

8 lbs fresh tomatoes (Any variety will work)
1½ cups chopped fresh Anaheim chile peppers seeds and all
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
2 ghost peppers, chopped, seeds and all
2 cups chopped onions
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
½ cup white vinegar
6 oz tomato paste
5 or 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
½ Tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tsps salt

Preparation

Wash your tomatoes and remove the stems with a knife. Continue reading “Ghost Pepper Salsa Recipe”

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