Puffballs are distinguished from other mushroom groups by the fact that they lack many of the features or characteristics that other common mushrooms possess. A puffball has no stem. It has no cap. And no external gills. All of the spores are produced inside of the fruiting body. The most common way in which they release their spores is through impact; the external force of rain or falling debris landing upon them or of animals stepping on or brushing against them, thereby compressing and/or breaking the peridium; the protective layer that encloses the spore mass inside the fungus. When that happens, as the name puffball implies, the spores are ejected in a large puff. [Read more…] about In Pursuit of Giant Puffballs
I was talking with a friend of mine recently and asked his young grandson if he liked the flowers in my garden. His response was, “Plants make me sneeze,” to which I lightheartedly replied, “Me too.” [Read more…] about Plants That Make You Sneeze
In March, when Governor Cuomo signed the New York State on PAUSE executive order, which mandated that all non-essential businesses in New York State had to close, farmer’s markets were exempted as essential retail businesses and, as such, allowed to open or remain open.
But, as concerns about the spread of COVID-19 grew, farmers market growers, gardeners, and managers, like other small business operators, found themselves rushing to come up with innovative contingency plans to modify their operations and employ solutions that would protect their livelihoods, as well as the health and well-being of their customers, market workers, and the community at large. [Read more…] about Farmers Markets: An Alternative to a Food System in Flux
America’s meatpacking plants endure some of the highest rates of workplace injury of any U.S. job sector. COVID-19 has introduced yet another occupational hazard.
These crowded facilities have become frighteningly successful vectors for COVID-19 contagion. [Read more…] about Rethinking Meat From Farm to Table
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are probably the most recognized of all broadleaf ‘weeds.’
Many people consider them a curse; a plant that can establish quickly, by seed, in a well-kept lawn and become extremely difficult to eradicate. [Read more…] about Dandelions: You Can Eat Them, Here’s How
Grow-it-yourself food. During this time of pandemic it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Especially if you are, like me, extremely apprehensive about the possibility of becoming exposed to Covid-19 while grocery shopping. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to avoid going out in public, while securing nutritious food, than growing your own. [Read more…] about Victory Gardens: An Old Idea New Again
I came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a turbulent time in American history; marked by the rise of the antiwar movement (Vietnam, nuclear weapons) and the expansion of movements promoting equality for groups of marginalized people including woman, African Americans, Native Americans, and the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning) community.
Many also consider the 60s and 70s to be the beginning of the modern American environmental movement; which is often portrayed as having started with the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s best-selling book, Silent Spring (thirty-one weeks on the New York Times best-seller list). The book described how the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides threatened both animals and human beings. [Read more…] about Earth Day 50: A Recent History Of Environmentalism
As I start to write this, it’s raining and 50°F outside. Several days of above freezing nighttime temperatures are in the forecast, as well. It appears that the maple sugaring season is quickly coming to an end. Most of the producers that I’ve talked with are saying it’s been an average to good season. [Read more…] about Covid-19 Impacting Maple Sugaring Season