Friday, September 28, 2018

Solutions Journalism & Permaculture

I set up Lorne Publishing as a venue where I could explore my varied interests and share information I found helpful. My quest is to become an informed and engaged person.

A course I encountered on one of my frequent travels around the Internet, Solutions Journalism, has enabled me to focus on that quest in a manner that seeks solutions rather than reiterations of the problems existing throughout the world.

The vast majority of what I have posted here, previously, is related to gardening, especially the vital role that pollinators and pollination perform in plant growth.

I have produced an eBook on gardening. I am working on a booklet on sunflowers.

Once this booklet is complete, I will combine the knowledge gained during my permaculture courses with the permaculture design skills I have developed over the years. In addition to what I am learning through the Solutions Journalism course, permaculture education and experience will give me the foundation to move forward in my quest.

I will be producing a series of solutions-oriented articles which will be published here.

Join me, ask questions, suggest topics, challenge me. Have a great day.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Native Pollinators- North America

There are approximately 4,000 bees/pollinators native to North America when planning your garden, consider them. Visit here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Planting for Pollinators

When you plan your next garden include plants pollinators will appreciate, for example.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Bee City Canada: Save the Pollinators

Bee City mission: "Bee City Canada’s mission is to inspire cities, towns, First Nations, schools, businesses and other organizations to take action to protect pollinators."

For more information, visit here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


This is a first in a series of posts about pollination and pollinators.

"Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. The goal of every living organism, including plants, is to create offspring for the next generation. One of the ways that plants can produce offspring is by making seeds."

White Pumpkin First Harvest

Yesterday I harvested the first of four pumpkins growing in the no-till garden. It is the largest and will save seeds from it. Also may make a pie.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bee at Work

Pollinators play a major role in our food supply, without them our food choices would be severely limited. I also expect our economy would suffer, more on that later.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sign of Fall- Photo

How to Select a Tree

If you love songbirds and their summer morning chorus then consider planting trees and shrubs to attract them and keep them.
Now if there was a situation when it was important to follow the right plant, right place rule it is when you are choosing a tree or trees for your property. Pick the wrong tree and you may find its roots assaulting the foundation of your home. Pick the right tree and you will enjoy its many benefits for many years.
Remember that a tree’s root system can cover an area 2-3 times as wide as the crown. Also, be sure you know how tall the tree will grow, you do not want a 50-foot tree in your 10x10 backyard.
It is not only individual properties that benefit from trees. A busy shopping district that has a tree canopy is a much more pleasant place to walk, stop and shop than one where the sun beats down mercilessly upon your head

Shade is vital to protect us from the sun and schoolyards need shade. A few well-placed trees can turn a hot unpleasant space into a shady playground or a place t sit and read and what would a park be without a few trees.
Trees create homes for more than birds and many urban children has seen their first wildlife thanks to the trees planted nearby.
Trees act as a windbreak and can help cool your home in summer and heat it in winter. Trees can also act as a noise barrier and reduce the traffic sound from that major street that is all too near your backyard.
When you go out to purchase a tree it is important to buy one that fits in with your overall design and how you use your yard. Are you looking for a shade tree under which you can enjoy summer picnics?
Are you looking for a tree that will drop its leaves in fall after a display of vibrant colour, thus providing you with mulch and compost material? Or do you want an evergreen/
What is the maximum height and width of the tree? You will need to know about the tree’s root system how deep do the roots go and how far do they spread?
Ask yourself this is the tree’s primary function in the yard. Are you seeking more privacy, additional shade, food, or visual appeal?
What else do you plant to grow? Trees provide shade and this will determine what else you plant and where you will place it. Trees are a long-term investment. Do your homework before making the commitment.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Forcing Bulbs Indoors

The gardening season here in Central Ontario is winding down. Soon, it will be time to turn your gardening skills indoors.

You do not have to wait until Spring to enjoy your favourite bulbs; there is no need to wait for those splashes of colour to break the monotony of the winter yard. You can grow your favourites indoors all Winter long.
The way you achieve this indoor bloom is by using a method that is called forcing and it is not as painful as it sounds. Your indoor garden will work best when you select bulbs that are hardy, this way you will be able to have colour throughout the seasons,
The following are the hardy bulbs that are most commonly forced:
- crocuses (Crocus species),
- daffodils (Narcissus species),
- hyacinths (Hyacinthus species)
- tulips (Tulipa species).
You can also force:
- Dutch iris (I. x hollandica)
- netted iris (Iris reticulata),
- snowdrop (Galanthus species)
- grape hyacinth (Muscari species),\
- winter aconite (Eranthis species)
- star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum species),
- and Brodiaea species.
There are some bulbs that are difficult to force and may require special conditions such as artificial lighting, among these, are the Allium, Camassia, Lilium and Scillaspecies.
There are four stages involved when forcing bulbs:
(1) selecting appropriate bulbs;
(2) planting;
(3) cooling;
(4) Forcing into flower.
You will achieve the best results when you but the cultivars that are recommended for forcing. ; This is important when you are working with daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, where the cultivar selection is wide.
The bulbs need to be handled with care so avoid exposing them to temperature extremes for example.
If you are not going to plant them immediately then be sure store them in a cool place (35 to 55 °F). You can place bare bulbs in the refrigerator for several weeks before you pot them.
It is best to keep them in a paper or mesh bag than have holes for breathing. If you are going to use the crisper drawer in your fridge make sure that you do not put fruit or vegetables in the same drawer. The ripening process gives off a gas that may harm the bulbs.
Remember that some bulbs are poisonous, and should not be eaten so if you have young children it may be best not to use the fridge for bulb storage.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Green Tomatoes

I harvested one of my tomato plants early, so I'd have a supply of green tomatoes to make chow-chow. Recipe to follow in a future post.

We have lots of red and ripening one for other uses.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Indoor Pollination Techniques

Perhaps the greatest difference between growing vegetables indoors as compared to doing so in your back or front yard is that indoors there are very few helpers. There are no earthworms in the soil, for example. Most significantly, there are no pollinators, no bees, butterflies, wasps and so on, or at least very, very few and most of us are happy that is so.
So what does the gardener, who wants to grow vegetables indoors do? Well, some plants, such as sweet peppers and eggplants, can be manually pollinated. A brush, a small art paint brush can work or even your fingertips. This is time-consuming but it will get the job done.
Other plants, such as tomatoes and beans, can't be readily pollinated by hand and some recommend that the plants be gently shaken each day in order to release the pollen.
I have used a small fan for this purpose and been pleased by the results; also, an open window near the plants, lets the breeze in, should it be blowing. Obviously, this is not a good method in cold weather but has worked for me in the warmer months. I like the idea of working with the wind but a fallback method will be needed when the wind is not blowing.
I have heard that some gardeners use an electric toothbrush to create a similar vibration to a bee's wing, but have no direct experience with this technique. Experiment and keep a record of what works and what does not.

MosaiCulture Gatineau Quebec

We took a trip to Gatineau last Thursday to tour this exhibit.  the theme is the cultural mosaic that is Canada. The fact that plants are used to give life to the sculptures intrigued me.

Mother Nature is one of many.

Podcast Coming soon

I am working on a podcast, working title "We Are Nature Working" I will talk about the many issues facing us from climate catastro...