Podcast: Meet Ellen Moyer, author, TED talk presenter, who talks about her new book, Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves: How to THRIVE While Creating a Sustainable World. I invited Ellen back to discuss the socio-economic implications of sustainability or not. What are the costs of eating meat and the long-term implications for our planet? What happens on pig farms that destroys property values in some states? Ellen offers intriguing insights on the short and long-term implications of some of the choices we make today specifically with regards to our food system. Ellen’s vast experience creating green environments offers all of us great creative solutions which we can act upon today. Some simple, some inspiring. And please comment, share and like. Thanks!
About my guest: Environmental engineer Ellen Moyer, Ph.D., wrote this book, her third, to empower and inspire readers to accelerate our urgently needed global transformation. She has more than three decades of experience in assessing and cleaning up contaminated soil and groundwater and designing “green” systems and solutions. Moyer holds a BA in anthropology, an MS in environmental engineering, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering. She is a registered professional engineer, a US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. www.ellenmoyerphd.com.
Planting by the Moon? Romantic, Scientific? A Folk Tale?
It seems it’s all of the above and more. The Old Farmers Almanac gave gardening advice based on the moon phases for each month and region. They continue to do so. They relate many tales of local gardeners relying on the moon phases who grew larger turnips and harvested an abundance of beans. Yet has science caught up to the folklore? Some sources, such as the Rudolph Steiner biodynamic method, follow moon phases and claim abundant results.
The idea is the full moon correlates to gravitational pull upward. Tissues swell, growth expands upward. By the same principle, after the new moon occurs, planting bulbs, perennials, roots seems to produce a positive outcome too. Some scientists will give the gravitational pull effect a nod and others will consider the lunar gravitational pull as something to objectify.
Ute York, in her book “Living by the Moon”, says:
“The old-time gardeners say, “With the waxing of the moon, the earth exhales. ” When the sap in the plants rises, the force first goes into the growth above ground. Thus, you should do all activities with plants that bear fruit above ground during a waxing moon. With the waning of the moon, the earth inhales. Then, the sap primarily goes down toward the roots. Thus, the waning moon is a good time for pruning, multiplying, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and controlling parasites and weeds”
We know trees inhale and exhale but the earth too? Does it matter? We’ve been planting for eons. Some get it right, maybe have “green thumbs”, some of us are not so good at gardening. Biodynamic farming communities seem to thrive, combining good soil practices with moon phase, astrological understanding. My podcast guest this week, Agneta Borstein, professional astrologer, teacher and Shamanic practitioner would agree. A native of Sweeden, now living here in CT, plants by the moon and wouldn’t do it any other way.
My grandfather was an immigrant. He came here from Lithuania in the early 1900’s. He had a green thumb and though I don’t know for sure I suspect he planted by the moon. Older cultures seem to know this, have this wisdom.
Do you or your family plant by the phases of the moon? What wisdom did you learn from older family members? If yes, I would enjoy your stories. Send us a comment. Please like and share. Thanks, and enjoy.
Description: Today’s podcast approaches holism from a different perspective, namely astrology. Astrology is embedded in our human experience. If we follow Astrology’s history in our development as a species, we see that every time and place has found its own way of “talking with the planets.” Meet Agneta Borstein, professional astrologer, teacher and shamanic practitioner who takes on a journey with Taurus, the moon, and eclipses and relates it to our everyday life connecting the dots to our holistic nature.
About My Guest: Agneta Borstein, is a professional astrologer, workshop facilitator, teacher, author, and shamanic practitioner who combines her thirty years of healing with a distinct and personal approach. Born in Sweden, Agneta incorporated her BA in business with metaphysics and operated an alternative bookstore for twenty-one years. She maintains her private practices in West Hartford and Avon, CT, has spoken at numerous conferences, is the current president of the Astrological Society of CT, Inc. She is the Producer and host of the astrological Nutmeg TV show “From the Sky to Earth”, and is the author of The Moon’s Nodes, Understanding the Dynamic Ties that Bind.
Transcript: Transcript Agneta Borstein
What’s the buzz here? Who loves bugs? I don’t think there are too many hands up? What do you think of first when someone talks about bugs? Are they just pests, like ants in the cupboard, mosquitos at night that drive us inside or a hairy spider in the potato bin? Who are the helpers?
Some admittedly have good reputations, like the butterfly and moth species. We set up Monarch and butterfly gardens. We’re concerned about losing our honey bees and become alarmed when we are informed that they are still dying off. And some don’t, like spiders and other creepy crawlers critters. Yet most of our bugs are beneficial.
But, did you know there are so many more bees, a few thousand native to the USA? More are specialists bees which means they live, eat, shelter, then die by one plant. If we take that one plant away, through housing development, parking lots and urban construction we take them away too. Well, we do. And these bugs, insects are disappearing at an alarming rate. We just need a little bit of education to understand who helps what.
My podcast guest this week, Doug Tallamy, author, and lecturer, 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. As a ‘bug’ expert he stresses over and over how important our yards are, our property. With some effort, 4.4. we can create biodiverse landscapes that support these at-risk species which strengthen and supports all
1. Sustainability: focus on your yards; front and back. This particular site has several ideas for varied regions. Pinterest has many boards that share beautiful ideas for front yard gardening.
2. Biodiversity: add more plants to your yard. Remove a portion of lawn ( which destroys the integrity of our watersheds) and try something new and different. 90% flowering plants rely on pollinators for food. Add more native flowering plants and you support local pollinator populations. The problem we face today is that we have changed our lawns and gardens into more sterile spaces where our native insects and pollinators cannot thrive. They simply have not had enough time to evolve to the newcomers in the neighborhood.
3. We continue to lose carbon from tillage practices. Adding plants in and around garden beds, vegetable beds supports an amazing underground system: fungi, microbial insects, and critters that lend support to each other, a hidden network of communication beneath our feet. And it’s on the rise.( Tillage and plowing practices are the major causes of soil erosion around the world. Can we do this too in home gardens? Yes. We placed leaf and compost material on our beds last fall. Today we are gently removing some of it and planting our seeds manually without the use of tilling.
4. We know moths come around at night, attracted to light? Did you know when outdoor sensor lights are left on all night they actually harm moths? I didn’t know this. The solution? Put these security lights on sensors.
Thanks to the Master Gardener Program, (state university run, in most states) and research such as Doug Tallamy’s, I have developed a new respect for bugs. They are invaluable to the structure and complexity of our ecosystem strength. Destroying them will cost us in the long run.
Earth Day reminds us how important our Earth is, on all levels and how invaluable all species are to sustaining strong healthy environments. What are you doing for Earth Day? What one new suggestion can you incorporate into your property? I would love to hear your ideas. Send a short story or two and we’ll repost them, pass them around, share ideas and innovation.
So, what’s the buzz for Earth Day? Don’t forget to value bugs. They need us to maintain habitat, decrease lawn and add more natural scapes. With understanding and respect for their contributions, we can be sustainable for future generations.
The book Ecospasm, by Robert Radin, my podcast guest this week, takes science from today’s knowledge base and plays it forward. He uses the science of GMO seeds, systemic pesticide use and explores possible consequences for our future food supply through fiction. If you missed the podcast on 3/6 you missed a rich discussion concerning unintended consequences.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a series of blogs to understand the details of our big agriculture system and its use of GMO seed and the use of systemic pesticides. It seemed confusing to me. John and Ocean Robbins conducted a GMO summit in 2014. I thought the speakers, the research available astounding. The more I learn about soil and soil health, watch reports about health concerns, these articles still seem relevant. (You can access these articles right here on my blog page. The category list has GMO and you will find several articles, speakers, scientists, farmers etc. with valuable contributions.)
Ecospasm, a sci-fi environmental thriller, plays it forward, a science-based idea of what could happen based on the choices we make for product development. Maybe as the author suggests, we should try to play it forward. What are the consequences for future generations? Sustainability means we are using enough regenerative practices in farming to ensure our future generations have enough and can do the same and so on.
GMO’S: The Science and The Myths: Part 7
Today I would like to share reports and information coming from farmers. These are real-time farmers working the land and livestock, producing crops and meat the rest of buy and eat. What have they observed with the advent of genetically modified seed crops? Bt corn was the first to be introduced in our food supply of which a huge portion went to livestock feed.
In the GMO summit, I heard Howard Vlieger share his research and observations when GMO’s were first introduced to farmers around 1994. Howard serves on the board of directors for the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) and The Food Freedom Foundation.
Farmers began to notice when Bt corn in the feed was introduced to livestock, the livestock shunned the GMO feed over the non- GMO feed. Also, he states that in a non-scientific manner where livestock and wild animals were given the choice between the two feeds, they consistently walked away from GMO feed.
Howard along with Judy Carmen and colleagues conducted the first scientific study involving feeding GMO grain to some hogs and non-GMO grain to other hogs for their entire lifespan. Here’s what they found in GMO feed hogs:
- Their uteri were larger
- They weighed 25% more than non- GMO fed hogs
- Had severe stomach inflammation: in fact in young males, it was 4x as high.
- This study confirmed that GMO feed is related to digestive and inflammation problems
In the soil we see other problems with the use of GMO crops and pesticide spraying:
- They extract minerals, chelate them which decreases the amount left for plants uptake.
- Last year Iowa experienced a severe drought. Droughts decrease soil microbial activity and decrease soil aggregates which basically loosens the soil structure.
- The GMO fields, in the same area experiencing two days of heavy rains, suffered terrible erosion. The non-GMO farmed fields did not. They held up well with two days of intense rains.
Are the crops we grow healthier with the use of roundup ready seed and systemic pesticides sprayed on these crops? Mr. Vlieger states that contrary to what these chemical companies would have farmers believe, they are not. They are more susceptible to funguses and therefore the use of fungicides on crops has increased. These products have created a generation of superweeds and now Monsanto, Dow, for example, are looking for other more potent pesticides. They are seeking approval for application to the farms with superweeds. and they want it ASAP.
Also, the FDA keeps raising the allowable limit of glyphosate to meet Monsanto’s demand.
Finally, glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic in 2010. Remember in a previous post I mentioned that glyphosate is not given by itself but with adjuvants to help drive it into the cell? Ampicillin is one of the adjuvants. Today it has been estimated that 880 million pounds of this antibiotic have been put on the ground. Wildlife, livestock, our pets, and humans are ingesting small amounts of the pesticide, with the adjuvants such as an antibiotic, now found to be present in our food and water supply. The photo to the right shows an aerial view of an extensive Iowa farming area.
Dr. Seneff in her interview during the summit series mentioned that butchers are finding the livers of cows so badly deformed they are not offering beef livers in our supermarkets. And their intestines are so thin they cannot use them to stuff sausages. Check out sausage ingredients. I did. I am seeing on the ingredients label: “in a natural lamb casing” Did you know that that very casing comes from NON- GMO fed sheep in New Zealand?
Howard Vlieger is from Iowa and is a part of the Council for Healthy Food Systems.
Farmers have first-hand knowledge of these problems. I hope you will join me in supporting our local farmers’ efforts to create biologically and organically healthy farms and livestock. Check out your state’s farmers organizations and find out what they are doing to grow safe food. Remember farmers markets are great for our communities but some farmers who come to these markets do use roundup ready seed and spray pesticides. I ask questions if I do not see any organic signs by a vendors booth. I hope you will too.
Description:” Genetic engineering of plants goes awry, corrupts the food supply and invades the human genome, threatening the extinction of the human species, mother’s grieve over infants who are dying from mysterious illnesses, never- seen- before by medical science. An unusual love story. Famine and human Cannibalism appear imminent.”
His story begins: “Plants have stopped producing nutrients, the food supply is collapsing. A small group of scientists led by plant geneticist Dr. Bill Harrison race the clock to rejuvenate the world’s dying food chain.” Intrigued? I hope so …join us exploring a different twist to a serious possibility.
About the Author: Robert Radin: B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. M.S. and Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from The George Washington University. Ten years experience in U.S. Government research laboratories, including Naval Research Laboratory. Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biophysics and Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute.
Podcast Transcript:Transcript Robert Radin