I have been hearing the word hope a lot recently. I was so moved by Deepak Chopra’s World Government Summit speech “Hope in the Face of Uncertainty”, that I posted it here on my blog. Shortly after, I came across Caroline Myss’s talk on Hope. “The one thing that makes the unendurable durable is the grace of hope.”
Doug Tallamy, my podcast guest this week, has a new book out. First, I was thrilled that he was able to return to my show as his wisdom, knowledge and experience are needed in the world today. He’s well known in Master Gardener circles as the insect expert. But more than that he reminds us that so many insects are endangered and when they go every critter up the food chain suffers. And we are experiencing some of that today. Doug and I danced around the feeling of gloom and doom. The stats aren’t that positive. We sought to bring hope into the discussion.
His message and research is: our ownership of land, all that surrounds our home, can be put to better use for wildlife. Remember not only are our pollinators suffering but soil decomposers are missing too. So what can we do?
- Look at your lawn. what part can you let go of? Two feet of wildflowers instead of lawn makes a huge difference in your yard and your neighbourhood. If you can take more lawn away, go for it!
- Compost table scraps if you can.
- Plant more…more flowers to attract butterflies, moths, insects that help feed other critters. Nurseries are getting ready to open here in the NE and their spring stock arrives daily. They are a great resource for any questions you might have concerning which flowers/plants could work best for you.
- Don’t forget the trees. One oak tree supports so much wildlife. Can you look into the Arbor Day Foundation? For a small donation, they can send you saplings or buy trees of your choice for your geographic region. Consider buying some for your town.
Speaking for myself, how can I keep hope alive that somehow we are taking actions that will make a difference in the long run?
One garden at the same time can make a difference. Today, look at your yard differently and if you own a business look at the property differently. What can you do to make a difference today? February and March, here in the NE we tend to drool over catalogues and dream of spring. We simply can’t wait to get back into the dirt. Add more wildflowers. They are so easy to manage. Look for a way to plant a tree. Remember, dwarfs, work in small areas.
” You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” (Michelle Obama)
For the sake of our planet and all her species and realms Go. Seize. The. Day. Judith
Description: Doug Tallamy is back! An author and educator, Entomologist, and Wildlife Ecologist. Doug teaches at the University of Delaware. His new book, Nature’s Best Hope, was released in February 2020. No one likes the doom and gloom yet we are facing some very serious ecological issues. Nature has solutions and if we pay attention today, improve our own yards with sustainable plants and growth we can make a difference.
About My Guest: Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 89 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 36 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug is also a regular columnist for Garden Design magazine. Doug is a Lifetime Honorary Director of Wild Ones and has won the Garden Club of America, Margaret Douglas Medal, for Conservation, the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, and the 2018 AHS 2018 B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.
Native Plant Finder on the National Wildlife Federation Website.
Transcript: #74 #74 Doug Tallamy
Dear Family and Friends,
Its been a while since I posted any podcast interviews or blogs. The past six months have been challenging. I recently lost my mother, 94 yrs, at the end of October. As her primary caretaker, I chose to be with her during her decline and then to say good-bye to her with family and friends. The holidays and the new year quickly followed.
Today I’m excited to tell you that I am resuming my podcast series Holistic Nature of Us. I enjoy interviewing and have spoken with so many folks across our country and Canada dedicated to finding solutions to the problems we face today. They have truly inspired me to keep going, to find more voices that support our holistic nature and the world around us.
I’ve got a great line-up that begins next week.
Agneta Borstein, a professional astrologer, returns. She offers her insights and wisdom for 2020 and begins my new season.
One of my favorite podcast guests Doug Tallamy, who also happens to be one of my most listened to podcast interviews, returns. He talks about his new book, Nature Best Hope just released this month and available on Amazon.
Where are we at environmentally? What’s happening in bogs, our wetlands? How does sound vibration heal us?
A theme I keep hearing over and over is one of Hope. How can we take action today so we grow hope for a sustainable future? I hope you will tune in again, and take some small action in your daily life to make a difference. Pick an area that speaks to you and do one thing to support it. One of my elders said this: “pick a local organization to get involved in, go to the meetings, participate and contribute. Pick one global organization to support even if it’s just a few dollars here and there.” (Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf)
Every action we take makes a difference.
We hope you will keep your comments coming. Are these interviews helpful? What topics would be important to explore? What organizations would you like to hear from?
I can only thank you from my heart for all your support, comments and kindnesses. Wishing all of you a prosperous, healthy, 2020.
While we wait for the rain to stop here in the NE, spring flowers brighten up our landscapes. The grass is an ‘Emerald City’ green. Bulbs rise, flower, come and go as we place seeds in the ground for early crops. Clovers will be coming up soon though I kinda take the little white clover blossoms for granted.
Botanical name: Trifolium repens
Common names: white clover, shamrock
Parts used: whole plant, Peterson’s field guides to medicinal plants states the entire plant can be used.
Uses: teas, washes for sores, ulcers, very popular in Europe. This plant was brought to our country with the early settlers during the 1600-1700’s. It’s short, a perennial and flowers from April to September with shamrock type leaves. As you can imagine, looking for four-leafed clover was and is considered a sign of good luck. In Europe, flower tea was used for rheumatism and gout. In North America, the Native Americans used the leaf tea for colds, coughs, and fevers.
Jethro Kloss, an American icon in the world of herbalism, lived from 1863 to 1946 and practiced herbal medicine. He used white clover blossoms in a tea to cleanse the system, especially if ulcers, boils or other skin ailments were present. He also noted that poultices, tea washes applied externally, helped heal sores, ulcers too.
White clover has been used for many years as a ground cover. It is useful as a ground cover for its nitrogen-fixing properties. There are nodules on the roots that literally grab nonusable nitrogen from the air and with the help of bacteria convert it into a plant usable form which is important for plant growth and provides protein source for foraging animals.
Benefits of White Clover: (from the University of Hawaii cooperative extension service pdf.)
1. Excellent for attracting beneficial insects, for reduced- or non-chemical pest management, for controlling erosion, suppressing weeds once established,
2. …and as a source of organic nitrogen good for quick growth and establishment,
3. …for bearing equipment traffic
4. …tolerates low fertility soils
5…. fair shade tolerance suitable for higher elevations
6. …good forage for animal grazing systems;
7. …high production, nutritional quality, and palatability
8. For use in plantation and orchard cropping systems including macadamia and coffee, in vineyards, and as a living mulch in vegetable cropping systems.”
In doing research for this article I came across a blog: insteading.com they use white clover as a living mulch, planting it in the garden to keep down weeds; eventually, it becomes mulch, retains moisture, attracts pollinators, and improves the soil. When I visited Michael Judd’s property, (author of Edible Landscapes), I saw his use of crops like mint growing in many places. He explained to us that he was not worried about keeping them harnessed. He cut them down periodically during the growing season and they became mulch there and then. It seems Insteading supports the same practices.
Last but not least, white clovers attract pollinators. White clover honey is one of the most popular honey here in the US, light in color and milder in taste.
Teas are easy: gather flowers, leaves at peak growing times, dry, store in glass jars. These plant parts can be combined with other herbs for tea making. A few white clover blossoms along with red clovers can be added to ice teas too creating pleasing summertime drinks.
White clover flowers dried, then ground into flour can be added to bread recipes. Southern forager shares a bread recipe made from dehydrated and dried, ground white clover blossom flour. I have found forager sites have great uses and recipes for meadow plants.
I hope you look at white clovers in lawns, gardens, and paths a bit differently. This little plant often mowed and ignored provides a host of uses. Do you have a favorite recipe? Please share…I’d like that.
Description: This week we follow a different path into nature. Katherine is a writer and her book, A Book of Noticing: Collections and Connections on the Trail, takes us into the woods, down trails sharing with us her keen observations. Then she traverses into the research end to support what she has found with more accuracy. Katherine suggests we take more time on our hikes, meander more. Nature is full of surprises. Walking slowly, with more mindfulness and focus on one aspect in the stillness can bring many surprises. Join us for an enlightening discussion about observing nature and the art of nature writing.
About my Guest: Katherine Hauswirth writes about nature and contemplation. Her blog, First Person Naturalist, reflects on experiencing nature and she has been published in The Christian Science Monitor, Orion online, Whole Life Times, Connecticut Woodlands, and Spirituality & Health. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Trail Wood in Connecticut in 2015 and at Acadia National Park in 2017. Katherine won first prize in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition last year. Her book with Homebound Publications, The Book of Noticing: Collections and Connections on the Trail, received Honorable Mention for General Nonfiction from the American Society of Journalists and Authors in 2018.
Transcript: #49 Katherine Hauswirth
Please note: Katherine refers to the concepts I outlined in the introduction, where I explain the qualities of the four directions based on my spin of the wheel To listen to the Introduction go to: https://wp.me/pahVd2-17k
The end of the year approaches. Family and friends gather, we have some time off. What are your thoughts and dreams for 2019? Vision boards help us manifest that which we are wanting. With purposeful action and goal setting our dreams can come true. What’s your favorite goal setting tool?
Following our dreams brings us into our heart space, our soul. What is your passion? Do you have the courage to follow that inner prompting, take steps to bring those dreams into the world? Not always easy, yet fulfilling in unimaginable ways. And we have so many great and fun tools to assist in this journey. My guest this week, Deb Sodergren, encourages us to sit mindfully with our goals, aims, desires and create an action plan. Taking thoughtful steps, accepting disciplined effort all help your dream manifest. To have a dream come true is simply awesome!
Robert Ohotto’s book, Transforming Fate into Destiny, is a must for the journey and for understanding the difference between fate and destiny. Do you let life control you? Or do you follow a deep sense of knowing that which makes your heart sing? Not easy questions but Robert’s insightful expertise helps us understand the difference between fate and destiny. Understanding that which we want to create, taking appropriate steps to manifest those dreams can take us to unexpected places so we can live our destined life. Consider looking at your life differently.
Last, but not least, here’s a day planner for the year with prompts and inspiration. Have fun with it.
Disclaimer: I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn small ( as in teeny) fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites. Thank you so much for supporting these efforts to pass on worthwhile and invaluable resources. And as I said before I love books. It’s a pleasure to share with you my favorites, books and other ideas especially for the gift-giving time of year. Enjoy. Judith