gardening and urban agriculture

Research funding boost to help new University Bee Lab facility in battle against waning honeybee population

Bee Squad team member Chris Kulhanek carries a frame from a hive at the rooftop apiary at Urban Ventures in south Minneapolis on Monday afternoon. Recent state allocations will partially fund the construction of a new University Bee Lab on the St. Paul campus. (Photo by Chelsea Gortmaker)

Midsummer sunrays beamed on Monday as University of Minnesota researchers let a swarm of buzzing honeybees loose, allowing them to forage nearby fields before returning to the experiment’s site on the St. Paul campus.

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Corcoran GROWS Hammer-Swinging Pancake Brunch

Last summer, a few neighbors and I made several rain barrels. My rain barrel has been sitting in my garage for a year. That, of course, is procrastination. This happens to many people with good intentions of saving water and utilizing rainwater. And often, like myself, they do put environmental issues high on the priority list but still have trouble getting the tools, help, and motivation to make it work. In my case, I didn't want to put out my rain barrel partly because I needed a stand for it.

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Lyndale Food Share starts July 16th!

On Wednesday, July 16th, volunteers from the Environment Committee will begin distributing fresh vegetables grown in Lyndale to community members at the Lyndale Community Dinner. The Lyndale Community Dinner takes places every Wednesday from 6 to 7 pm at Zion Lutheran Church (128 W 33rd).

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E-DEMOCRACY | Wildlife marauders in St. Paul

Photo by Nina Stawski, Some rights reserved, published under Creative Commons license.

Gail O'Hare posted at 7:00pm, Jun 28:

Over the past two nights, lilies along the side of our house have been savaged by something. What's going on? This has NEVER happened before, and those treasured lilies have bloomed there for at least 15 years. Neither rabbits nor deer ever touched them. There does seem to be a multitude of aggressive chipmunks (a contradiction in terms? uh-uh) that actually climbed tulips to bite off the flowers earlier this spring. But whatever is doing this makes the first bite about a foot off the ground and then munches leaves and buds clean off the fallen stalks.

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Victory Neighborhood Garden Tour

08/03/2014 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Join us for our sixth annual Victory Neighborhood Garden Tour on Sunday, August 3.

Composting – As close as your own backyard

Now that it is finally June it is probably safe to assume that it will not snow again for at least 4-5 months. Which means it’s time to plant trees, flowers and get to work on the garden. A great way to help “your garden grow” is to compost. According to the EPA composting helps “keep food scraps and yard waste out of landfills to significantly reduce the creation and release of dangerous greenhouse gasses”. Composting “improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants.” It’s easy, fun and better for the environment because you don’t have to use chemical fertilizers. Backyard composting recycles “organic materials back into the soil.” Food scraps and yard waste combine with the “billions of living organisms in healthy soil (to) transform dead plants into new plant growth.”

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Plant a flower, save a bee

It isn’t just about sweet, sweet honey. Honeybees have been in the news a lot because of decline. But pollinators of all kinds are affected by habitat loss, pesticide use and disease. Pollinators include butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, honeybees (as European as the settlers who brought them to the Americas) as well as native bees, about 4000 species.

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Lyndale neighborhood gardens: Where are they, and how can you get involved?

The Lyndale Garden Tour starts at the Blaisdell Rain Garden

The Lyndale neighborhood is very fortunate to have space for people to garden. The Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) owns four garden lots and has another area we are hoping to turn into another community garden.

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Local food production reaching capacity

A case study of the cooperative food system in the Twin Cities and surrounding area shows enormous strength for local foods, but it also reveals that local food production, marketing and retailing may have reached current local capacity.

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