Gardening for Life

Gardening for Life

(Source: Wild Ones / Habitat Gardening in Central New York handout:
https://www.hgcny.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Tallamy-Gardening-for-Life.pdf)

By Douglas Tallamy

Chances are, you have never thought of your garden – indeed, of all of the space on your land – as a wildlife preserve that represents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the United States. That is exactly the role our suburban landscapes are now playing, and will play even more critically in the near future. If this is news to you, it’s not your fault.


We were taught from childhood that gardens are for beauty; they are a chance to express our artistic talents, to have fun with, and relax in. And, whether we like it or not, the way we landscape our properties is taken by our neighbors as a statement of our wealth and social status.

No one has taught us that we have forced the plants and animals that evolved in North America (our nation’s biodiversity) to depend more and more on human-dominated landscapes for their continued existence. We have always thought that biodiversity was happy somewhere out there – “in nature” – in our local woodlot, or perhaps our national parks, or best of all “in the rain forest.”

We have heard nothing about the rate at which species are disappearing from our neighborhoods, towns, counties, and states. We have never been taught how vital biodiversity is for our own well-being. Read entire handout here: https://www.hgcny.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Tallamy-Gardening-for-Life.pdf read more...

Food System Reform and It's Relevance to Our Health

Check out these interesting studies.

The Power of the Plate from Rodale Institute, covering the intertwined roles of agriculture and healthcare

https://rodaleinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/Rodale-Institute-The-Power-of-the-Plate-The-Case-for-Regenerative-Organic-Agriculture-in-Improving-Human-Health.pdf

Follow this link to Rodale Institute's site to learn out more about the relationship between recovering from Covid-19 and reforming our food system:

https://rodaleinstitute.org/blog/to-recover-from-covid-19-we-must-change-our-food-system/ read more...

New Research Further Proves Native Plants Offer More Bugs for Birds

According to this research study native trees, especially oaks, host the bulk of the Carolina Chickadee’s insect-intensive diet.

"It's a basic idea, but it makes a whole lot of sense: Native plants are better for native birds than introduced flora. More specifically, because these trees and shrubs have evolved with the local wildlife, they harbor more insects or yield more berries and fruit than non-native plants, providing greater amounts of food for certain critters. This seemingly obvious idea has been buttressed by years of research by Doug Tallamy, whose published work has shown that these plants host many more caterpillars, and that yards with more native vegetation host more native-bird species." Read the entire article on the Audubon website: https://www.audubon.org/news/new-research-further-proves-native-plants-offer-more-bugs-birds

Find your bird friendly plants here:https://www.audubon.org/native-plants read more...

NEW Lawn to Meadows Facebook Page!

A message from SUNY ESF Restoration Science Center:

"Hello all! Welcome to the Skaneateles Lawn to Meadows Group and thank you for joining. We started this group to facilitate discussion around meadows in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed. The Restoration Science Center at SUNY ESF has helped implement meadows on properties within the Skaneateles Lake Watershed and encourages more landowners to consider doing the same, if appropriate on their land. Please feel free to ask questions and most importantly, engage in a conversation about your property. Post a photo of an area you'd like to consider for a meadow. Stay tuned for more posts discussing the benefits of meadows and resources available to you."

Check out the page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1251213408662668/ read more...

Finding Plants that Feed Friendly Insects

Read Amara Dunn's blogpost here:

https://blogs.cornell.edu/biocontrolbytes/2021/02/09/finding-plants-that-feed-friendly-insects/

"... if one of your goals for your 2021 garden is to provide good habitat for beneficial insects that eat pest insects (natural enemies of pests), here’s some advice…

Look for pollen and nectar producers
Flowers that provide plenty of pollen and nectar make great habitat for natural enemies. This is because some natural enemies also eat pollen or nectar (or both). For example, this adult hover fly feeds on the pollen and nectar produced by this bachelor’s button..." read more...

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