Thursday, March 12, 2015

Vermont Gardening: Edible Landscaping for People & Pollinators

        Pollinator and gardening Resource listing

The Farm Between John & Nancy's web site. Note: their Resource page is full of good resources and presentations. 
Enhancing Pollinator Populations in working Landscape for the complete slide presentation. (for invertebrate conservation) Includes Monarch Butterfly info. Milkweed-butterfly alliance.  Protection and Promotion of Pollinators and their ecosystems.

World's pollinators in rapid decline. Birdwatch Magazine
Wild Flowers and Vermont's Food System by Taylor Ricketts, UVM 
Getting Started with Wild Pollinators by Vermont Land Trust
Go Native. by Vermont Invasives
Gardening with Native Plants.   Nature Conservancy
Vermont Atlas of Life  Vermont Center of EcoStudies
Rearing Insect Pollinators. Seed Savers Exchange
Wildflowers Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Id native plants by state.
US Wildflowers Thumbnail list (with photos) and index.
Bee Decline Linked to Combination of Stressors.
Dancing Bee Gardens - Info on Honey. Raw honey, properties of honey, healing with...
Are Chickadee Nests the Key to an Effective Bumble Bee Nest Box?
Flower Friendly Farms Boost Bee Populations.
USDA Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory 
Managing Alternate Pollinators (PDF handbook)
Five facts about bumble bees, and how to help them. 
Value of endangered bumblebees weighed in Vermont. 
Four Facts about Native Bees in Your Backyard
Six fast facts about pollinating bats
Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination.  First half is a talk, then an excellent video of pollinators doing their thing. 
Climate change puts squeeze on bumblebees. 
VT Bumblebees in trouble.

Heirloom vs Open-pollinated vs Hybrid
12 reasons why you should grow heirloom seeds. 

 Babcock Nature Preserve (Eden Vt) BioBlitz

Mason Bees: (docile, excellent pollinator, and a native Vermont bee)
A VT keeper of Native Bees
Want to save the bees? Popular Science article
Nests for Native Bees. From
Can you pick the bees out of this insect lineup? NY Times article
Pollinator Friendly Lawns
Solitary Mason Bees Growing a Greener World. (Video)
Mason bees Micro Documentary. (Video)
Handbook for beekeepers. (170 pages)
Why bees are disappearing  (TED Talk - video)
How to build a mason bee block Audubon - Bring on the Bees
How to construct a wood mason bee house. Penn State Extension
Crown Bees bee company.  Web site has lots of Mason bee info and items for sale. They even buy mason bees. And if you sign up for their newsletter you get periodic timely info. on caring for your mason bees and other mason bee tips.
Managing Alternate Pollinators (PDF handbook) Mason bees - pg 54
The Little World. Video that follows a female Mason Bee through her life as she raises a new generation. 
Solitary Bees

Save the Monarchs - What you can do to help US Fish & Wildlife Service


Gardening and Soil Remediation

     One teaspoonful of soil contains 4,000,000,000 bacteria, 144,000,000 actinomycetes, algae and other microorganisms. Soil, unlike dirt, is a living, breathing ecosystem vital for sustaining all life on Earth.

     The microflora in soils are the most abundant group of organisms on Earth. A teaspoon of soil contains up to a billion bacteria, several meters of fungal filaments, and thousands of protozoa and nematodes.                                                
A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

5 top secrets of successful garders Washington Post In-Depth Seed Starting
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Agrihoods: Taking Farm-to-Table living Mainstream
The Gardens at Grand Island State Park & Sophie Quest  
Compost with only mulched leaves. Funny and instructional talk.
Permaculture  (7) methods for backyard gardening.
Improving Water Quality Through No-Till and Cover Crop Practices. ~Across the Fence video.
 Farmers Put Down the Plow for More Productive Soil. ~NYTimes
 Building SoilVermont for Evolution
 Growing w/o diggingHow to grow an organic vegetable garden without digging. ~Huff Post
The One Straw Revolution  Masanobu Fukuoka (You Tube Video)
 Permaculture Forum and Wiki ~Permies web site
Make salad, not war with invaders. Dandelions ~Burlington Free Press 
The Joy of Dirt. How getting dirty outdoors benefits kids. ~National Wildlife Foundation
Common Roots Celebrating the Soul and Soil of Community. South Burlington, Vermont.
Urban Micro Farm Urban permaculture 4,000 sq foot - 6,000 lbs food a year. 
More on Urban Micro Farm. 
Urban Homestead website
Companion Planting (what plants do well together). Growing
Companion Planting Guide. (what plants do well together.) Uncle Luke's Feed Store.
Growing Elderberry and Aronia (Black Chokeberry)
Human Alteration of theGlobal Nitrogen Cycle:Causes and Consequences
Roys (NRCS) Soil Health Page 
Cornell University Home Gardening  
Cornell Garden-based Resources
Elmore Roots - Large plant and tree selection
Kiss the Ground

Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife
WNRCD TREE SALE (Winooski Conservation District) 
They take order in Feb - pick up (bare root trees, berry plants etc on a set day in April) Very reasonable prices.

No Mow
Why prairies matter and lawns don't
Digging Deep Reveals the Intricate World of Roots
Redefining curb appeal. Homeowners are recognizing the value of replacing front lawns with native plants.
The Benefits of a clover lawn.  Wild Birds Unlimited
Good Time to Eat Your Weedies (Burlington Free Press)
Five ways of making your lawn better. 

No Mow slogans by Bernie: 
No Mow, Let it Grow.
"Grass is a pain in the xxx, seed flowers and clover, pass on grass.
Grass is a configuration of the past, be hip, plant flowers and clover. 
Grass is always hungry, feed it clover instead of chemicals.
Clover is lover with a C.
Dandelions are hardy lions and their flowers are dandy.
Mow no more, plant wild flowers and clover, and mowing will be over.
Manicured lawns are sterile as the sands of the Sahara; Open an oasis -plant wildflowers.

Natural mosquito control

Making Mosquitoes Buzz Off -- Naturally

Remember, many weeds are friends of humankind.  However if you feel you need to remove some plants from a given area please use the least harmful elements to our environment in order to meet your objective. 
Weed-Be-Gone Recipe


  • 1 Gallon Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Epson Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Dish Soap
  • Mix and spray in the morning, after the dew has evaporated. Walk away. Go back after dinner and the weeds are gone.  

From Round-Up Troubles by George Harvey, printed in the Green Energy Times, June 2015.  


Natural World
1. Natural History Dictionary The Natural History Dictionary is a collaborative project based in Burlington, VT. Entries in this dictionary will help users figure out what the presence of a plant, fungus, animal, rock, natural phenomenon, or human artifcat in an area indicates about that place in particular. ...our dictionary includes contextual information to help you understand why you find things where you find them and why you don’t where you don’tSecondly, the dictionary will help you interpret the adaptive and ecological meaning of key features of plants, rocks, animals, etc

2. Crows Path:Wild Burlington Blog Connecting people with the natural world with direct engagement of the senses. 

3. E-Butterfly. Report and share your butterfly observations, photographs, and collections to promote scientific discovery.

4. Encyclopedia of Life     
Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth - of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria - is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere. Imagine what it would mean if this information could be gathered together and made available to everyone – anywhere – at a moment’s notice.
Our Vision: Global access to knowledge about life on Earth.
Our Mission: To increase awareness and understanding of living nature through an Encyclopedia of Life that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource.

 5. Vermont Conservation stories.

Learn about who the pollinators are, why they are in trouble, and how planting certain shrubs and trees on your property can help them.
     Photo shows farm before orchards, fruit and other trees, and pollinator sanctuary were planted.

John and Nancy Hayden from The Farm Between, an organic nursery and fruit farm in Jeffersonville, VT , gave a presentation (Edible Landscaping for People and Pollinatorsabout planting cold hardy fruits and other plants in our gardens that nurture the bees and us.  (Presentation at South Burlington Library on March 12, 2015.

Thank You Sophie Quest of SB for refreshments and organizing the event.) 

Below are a just a very few of the slides shown during the talk. The full presentation can be viewed on their web site. See link at the bottom of this posting. 

            Around 275 species (of bees) in Vermont.

              Observed pollination dates at the farm. Red bars are cash crops.

                     Low-bush blueberry plants fall under the Wild Blueberries category.