I recently received my August/September edition of the National Wildlife Federation, and spotted a great idea. It seems that lawns can provide good habitat for native bees as long as they are not mowed too often. Cutting back on grass mowing gives clover and dandelions a chance to grow, which provides nutrients for the bees. While you are at it, skip the weed and insect killer. Having a pristine lawn may “look” good, but it does absolutely no good for the environment or your wallet. Insecticide kills all insects indiscriminately, both the good and the bad. And while I admit that spiders have a face that only a mother could love, they eat the bad bugs, so they do our nasty work for us.
Speaking of ugly, creepy things, most snakes that you find in your yard or garden are harmless. Garter snakes eat grasshoppers and slugs (yea!). Rat snakes, kingsnakes and corn snakes like to snack on rodents. Toads are also not going to win any beauty contests anytime soon, but they are great for controlling the insect population. Again, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Cutting back on water usage is another easy way to help. Maintaining a lawn uses a lot of water, not to mention the water we use for washing, cooking, laundry, housework, etc. The average person uses between 80-100 gallons of water a day, compared to the 13 gallons of water a day that the UN says we need. Compare that to some of the people in the dry regions of Africa who only have access to five gallons of water a day, and odds are that water is not clean. Flushing the toilet takes up the largest share. This problem has been addressed by Royal Farms convenience stores. Having stores in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia puts emphasis on their effect on the Chesapeake Bay, so in their restrooms, you flush up for “light” waste, and down for the other stuff.
Just one more thing for now. The rising temperatures and erratic rain patterns are making the Mathania chili difficult to grow. These chilis are an important crop for Heifer families living in the area of Rajasthan, India. If you like hot, spicy foods, you are in luck. It is easy to order online. I looked online, and found several sites that sell it. Amazon has it for $6.99. To make traditional Indian chutney, take two dried Mathania chilis, 5 cloves of garlic, salt and enough water to make a paste. Enjoy!
Till the next time,
“If you love it enough, anything will talk with you.” George Washington Carver