Bring butterflies and hummingbirds home with a single plant

Bring butterflies and hummingbirds home with a single plant

by Fox Lifestyle By Marianne Lipanovich (Earth Design Inc/Houzz)  (Van Zelst Inc/Houzz)  (Gardening With Confidence/Houzz) The humble scarlet beebalm (Monarda didyma) has a lot to recommend it, especially in eastern North America, where it originated. This easy-care perennial not only attracts bees to your garden, but butterflies and hummingbirds also find it irresistible. It’s a welcome addition to a perennial garden, a naturalistic garden or an herb garden. If that’s not enough, its fragrant leaves have long been used for tea, and its flowers can be added to a bouquet or brought into the kitchen to use in everything from salad to dessert. Related: melania-trump-is-moving-to-the-white-house RELATED: Store Flowers on a Kitchen Shelf for Easy Access Related: ptsd-what-it-is-and-how-to-spot-it Jacob Cline’ beebalm Botanical name: Monarda didyma Common names: Scarlet beebalm, Oswego tea, red bergamot, bee balm Origin: Native to eastern North America Where will it grow: Hardy to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius (USDA zones 3 to 9; find your zone) Water requirement: Regular to ample water; can handle some drought when mature Light requirement: Full sun; afternoon shade in the hottest summer climates Mature size: 1 foot to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide Benefits and tolerances: Flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; fragrant leaves and edible flowers that make good bouquets; deer resistant Seasonal interest: Summer flowers; possible repeat bloom in fall When to plant: Sow seeds or set out plants in early spring. Distinguishing traits. Clumps of leaves 2 to 4 feet tall are topped by showy clusters of flower-bedecked stems. The 3-inch-long tubular flowers have a somewhat shaggy appearance in shades of pink, red, white, blue and lavender. The fragrant leaves are dark green. The leaves are said...
USDA Agriculture ALERT on FRADULENT Organic Labeling

USDA Agriculture ALERT on FRADULENT Organic Labeling

The USDA Agriculture Marketing Service National Organic Program is alerting the organic trade about the presence of fraudulent organic certificates. Companies listed: Renagrotec SPR de RI, Rand Express Purity Ltd., JEM Enterprises, Betterbell Company Ltd., Bickerton Trade Ltd., Saffire Blue Inc., Green India Herbs, Erin’s Faces. Fines can be up to $10,000 for each violation. Please note that some of these providers of misleading information are of foreign origin....
Trump, China reach preliminary trade agreements on beef, poultry

Trump, China reach preliminary trade agreements on beef, poultry

By Damian Paletta and Simon Denyer Cattle await their fate at the 84 Auction in Eighty-Four, Pa., on Feb. 6. (Jeff Swensen for The Washington Post) The Trump administration has reached new deals with China to ease market access for a variety of industries, including beef and financial services, as the White House makes progress on trying to soften economic barriers between the two sides. The 10-part agreement, announced by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, comes as part of an ongoing negotiation between the two countries following a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month. “We have some very big news,” Ross told reporters Thursday. “U.S.-China relationships are now hitting a new high, especially in trade. We’re announcing, jointly with the Chinese, the initial results of the 100-day action plan of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.” But experts were less impressed. “China has made a few modest concessions that cost it very little, in areas strategically picked to maximize the political benefit to Trump,” said Arthur Kroeber, managing director of Gavekal Dragonomics, an economic research firm in Beijing. “But the substantive impact on US-China trade and investment flows is pretty minimal.” The new arrangements include an agreement from China to allow imports of U.S. beef, on certain conditions, by July 16. The United States has pressured China for years to allow beef imports, but the process has been constantly delayed. “It’s at least a $2.5 billion market that’s being opened up for U.S. beef,” Ross said. Similarly, Washington has agreed to advance a new rule that would allow China to export cooked poultry to the United...
Horses Being Slaughtered for Human Consumption

Horses Being Slaughtered for Human Consumption

I was unaware that horses were being slaughtered as a delicacy for human consumption until I met Carrie Gobernatz, an editor at HorseBack Magazine. She has been on a mission to save animals of all sorts for a major part of her life. Other than taking verbal action to fight these slaughter farms, she also started a company, Amazing Graces Gourmet Fudge, from which a portion of proceeds goes toward helping rescue animals all over the world. As an animal lover, I find this practice abhorrent. It amazes me that this practice is “regulated” to supposedly make this more humane and acceptable. Of course, as with any other “regulated” controversial issues, there are violations that are ignored. Do I have a weak coddled American mind that loves dogs and cats; who can stand and watch a chipmunk come out of a hole and think it is cute? Have I been sheltered from the other parts of the world such as places like China that eat dogs in a celebratory manner? I met a man the other day and we engaged in conversation. He told me a bit about his life story and mentioned he had over a dozen horses that he had to sell due to a life changing event. He told me about showing his horses and their accomplishments. I thought he must be proud of them and was a lover of horses. Feeling comfortable, I brought up the topic of how amazing I thought Carrie was for taking on big business of the slaughtering of horses and I was met with a look of disgust. “Well, they can stop us here, but we just ship them to...
Let Us Have Tree-metery’s

Let Us Have Tree-metery’s

Four months ago my father passed away.  This ended my 59 years of feeling immortal. This event woke me up to realize that someday, I too will be the one my family will be faced with decisions of what to do with me. The common practice in Judaism is to be buried, in the ground… preferably at a cemetery. Cremation is against the religious law even though it is becoming more popular in society, partly for financial reasons. I am not a proponent of taking up space in a stone marker farm when my body can be used for more useful things. I ruled out being a decoration on a coffee table for two major reasons. One, not knowing which part of me my two sons would want, and the other not wanting to be the center of attention at parties. With that idea being ruled out, I did some research. I came across an interesting concept was done in the UK. Capsula Mundi, a company in the United Kingdom that asks a simple question with multiple choice answers on their homepage. “Which Tree Would You Like to Become?…Cherry, Oak, Birch, Olive, Eucalyptus” Their concept is to place the deceased body in a fetal position and place it in an egg-shaped container under a young tree. The body decomposes and becomes fertilizer. The tree grows gaining life from your body. Which in turn, gives life to other living creatures. Also, for those that aren’t familiar with another benefit of trees, they are part of the process in creating the air we breathe. Isn’t that a grand idea? I contacted them....
Natural ways to eliminate weeds

Natural ways to eliminate weeds

In spring, gardens burst into life. Weeds do too, and they can be the bane of a gardener’s existence. Rather than waging an all-out war, our efforts to manage weeds can be more effective when we understand the roles they play in our ecosystem. Understanding Weeds Loosely defined, a weed is any unwanted plant that grows in our gardens. Weeds can belong to any branch of the plant family, whether grasses or trees, annuals or perennials. They range from native species to introduced invasive plants to intentionally planted flowers and vegetables that got out of hand. The same plant can be desirable in one location and a “weed” in another. Anyone who’s planted mint or bamboo without using a container will experience the phenomenon of a classic garden plant spreading to become what could well be considered a weed. Weeds vary by geographic location, and include kudzu in the American Southeast and dandelions just about everywhere. What they share is their incredible resilience. They often spread by several means: seeds, roots and runners. They’re survivors. Although most gardeners consider weeds to be unsightly, these scrappy plants can have beneficial properties. Many weeds, like the dandelions shown here, are edible. Be sure to correctly identify weeds before eating them; understand safe preparation, including which parts of the plant are edible; and confirm that they grew in uncontaminated soil free from herbicides, pesticides and heavy metals. Some weeds can also provide important food sources to garden pollinators. Clover is a favorite nectar source of bees. Bronze fennel and Queen Anne’s lace attract predatory wasps and flies, as well as ladybugs, which...