September is National Mushroom Month!

September is National Mushroom Month and we’re starting it with a TED talk by mycologist Paul Stamets who lists 6 ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu viruses.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: 2014 National Honey Bee Day

Theme: Sustainable Gardening Begins with Honey Bees

Last Saturday was National Honey Bee Day. I know we already had Pollinator Week and Moth Week but this day is solely for honey bees – and aren’t we glad because honey bees are the ONLY insects that make honey. So next time you stir honey into your tea – thank a little bee.

Bee laden with pollen (photo courtesy Honey Bee Haven)
Bee laden with pollen (photo courtesy Honey Bee Haven)

Bees are hard workers that have to visit 4.5 million flowers to collect enough nectar to make 16 oz. of honey. They travel 112,000 miles to do this. It truly is amazing! But bees need help. There aren’t as many flowers as there used to be.

 

Plant flowers for bees (photo from Pinterest, photo credit not known)
Plant flowers for bees (photo from Pinterest, photo credit not known)

Bees are such amazing creatures. What can you do to help draw attention to their plight? Get involved! Here’s a short list. Visit these organizations that support honey bees and other pollinators.

National Honey Bee Day:

National Honey Bee Day(logo courtesy of National Honey Bee Day)(logo courtesy of National Honey Bee Day)(logo courtesy of National Honey Bee Day)
National Honey Bee Day (logo courtesy of National Honey Bee Day)

 

Honey Bee Haven (logo courtesy Honey Bee Haven)
Honey Bee Haven (logo courtesy Honey Bee Haven)

 

Pollinator Partnership planting guide (Courtesy Pollinator Partnership)
Pollinator Partnership planting guide (Courtesy Pollinator Partnership)

 

Center for Honey Bee Research (Logo courtesy Center for Honey Bee Research)
Center for Honey Bee Research (Logo courtesy Center for Honey Bee Research)

 

Xerces Society (Logo courtesy Xerces Society)
Xerces Society (Logo courtesy Xerces Society)

 

Long live the Queen Bee! (photo courtesy Center for Honey Bee Research)
Long live the Queen Bee! (photo courtesy Center for Honey Bee Research)

 

For more information, you can also visit the EPA site to read the most recent update on the Colony Collapse Disorder. If I’ve over looked any group, please contact me below and let me know.  Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (Cornell Extension ’95) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC)

 UPDATE 8/25/2014

Dear Readers, I need to make a correction to my post as I’ve just learned that I may have spoken (or quoted) incorrectly when I said that honey bees are the ONLY insect to make honey. I had an interesting conversation with Amie Newsome, one of my county agents, who was telling me that bumble bees also make a “honey” – not quite the same in all resects as the honey bees.) In the bumble bee life cycle the workers die in the fall and only the queen survives by hibernating through the winter – so they don’t need to store honey to eat over the cold months. She will start a new underground colony again in the spring. The bumble bees collect nectar to feed their new hatchling bumble bees – but only a few ounces or enough for a few days. Bumble bee colonies are also smaller than bee hives with only 50 to 400 bumble bees per colony while honey bees may have as many as 40,000 so they have correspondingly larger stores of honey. For more information on the differences between honey bees and bumble bees, here’s a fun site for kids called BioKids from the University of Michigan and another site which focuses on bumble bees called Bumble Bee Conservation Trust.

 

 

Turn Your Zucchini or Summer Squash Into “Pasta”

Zucchini Spaghetti 2
Julienne slicer

 

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Standard vegetable peeler

 

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Large holed grater or microplane

 

CWG-Zucchini-Pasta-bf
Wide vegetable peeler

 

zucchini
Serve uncooked as a salad….

 

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… lightly sauteed and seasoned…

 

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…or topped with your favorite pasta sauce.

 

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Use your imagination!

 

Posted by Sylvia Hacker, Dona Ana Co. New Mexico EMG