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Gleanings from Headline News – October 2021

Take Notes Now for a Healthier Garden Next Year

Reflecting on your garden successes and mistakes from the past year can help you grow healthier and more enjoyable gardens in the future. Take notes now while this season is fresh in your mind. Read more at The University of Minnesota Extension.

What Does Organic Mean?

COVID-19 stimulated a huge uptick in gardening interest, exhibited by the massive demand for seeds of every type. Many people are confronting the term “organic” in a new way, as they strive to fit garden techniques into their worldviews and philosophies. The term “organic” has been tagged with so many intents and variations over the years that its meaning has become a little murky. Read more at Mother Earth News.

Plant Hope for the Future

We are in prime tree-planting season, and even modest urban gardens will have room for a fresh tree. Look to the future and plant small trees, which will be better adapted to their new homes. Read more at The Washington Post.

Growing Wildflowers Isn’t Difficult. And It’s Urgent.

In a shifting climate, with environmental diversity at risk, it’s never been more important to propagate native plants. Gardeners can nurture the next generation by collecting seeds of milkweeds, asters, Joe Pye weed and others, and propagate more of their favorite wildflowers. Read more at The New York Times.

Landscapes for a Living World

As we become more aware of the impact human activities can have on our world’s environment, landscape professionals are increasingly inspired to create beautiful designs that coexist well with their surrounding ecosystems. One result is a growing use of native species in landscape design, plus gardens specifically made to attract and sustain birds, insect pollinators, and other local wildlife. Watch the video at Boston Design Week.

Can The Wealthy and Well-Connected Play an Outsized Role in Climate Action?

In climate debates, fingers often point to the extravagant energy use and consumption by the world’s wealthy. Yes, there are conspicuous consumers, but researchers have identified five example-setting behaviors that individuals of high socioeconomic status could adopt to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more at Anthropocene Magazine.

How Adding Rock Dust to Soil Could Help Get Carbon into the Ground

Researchers find that when pulverized rock is applied to agricultural fields, the soil pulls far more carbon from the air and crop yields increase. More studies are underway, but some scientists say this method shows significant benefits for farmers and the climate. Read more at Yale Environment 360.

Biden Restores the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

President Joe Biden restored more than 2 million acres to Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The move hints at a new, collaborative land-management process between tribal nations and the federal government. Read more at Sierra Club Magazine.

Google Bans Ads With False Claims About Climate Change

Google said it would no longer display advertisements on YouTube videos and other content that promote inaccurate claims about climate change. The decision means that it will no longer permit websites to earn advertising money via Google for content that “contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.” Read more at The New York Times.

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Found in Massachusetts

Spotted lanternflies are highly invasive and incredibly troublesome insects that can decimate crops and cause damage to native trees and shrubs. They’ve wreaked havoc in parts of the Northeast, forcing local quarantines in some cases. Read more at The Boston Globe.

Bumblebee Has Vanished from Eight States!

The American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus) – once abundant and found lazily floating around throughout the United States in grasslands, open prairies, and some urban areas– now faces a rapidly declining population. Researchers can trace the bee’s plummeting population numbers back to multiple threats, including pesticides, habitat loss, climate change, diseases and competition from non-native honeybees. Read more at The Smithsonian Magazine.

Ozone Pollution: An Insidious and Growing Threat to Biodiversity

Ground-level ozone has long been known to pose a threat to human health. Now, scientists increasingly understand how this pollutant damages plants and trees, setting off a cascade of impacts that harms everything from soil microbes to insects to wildlife. Read more at Yale Environment 360.

Philadelphia Chefs Combat Hunger Through Gardening

Restaurateur Ben Miller has transformed 30 abandoned plots of land in Southwest Philly into vegetable gardens to feed the community. The gardens also grows produce for The People’s Kitchen, where chefs like Miller and his wife Cristina Martinez prepare meals to combat hunger in underserved communities across the city. Read more at Axios Philadelphia.

We Need to Stop Treating Soil Like Dirt

Hidden under our feet is a miniature landscape made up of tunnels, caves and decaying matter. Soil is where a quarter of the species on our planet are believed to live, and in this dark, quiet, damp world, death feeds life. Read more at The Guardian.