Category Archives: gardening

Native plant gardening for species conservation

Declining native species could be planted in urban green spaces. Researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University and other institutions describe how to use this great potential for species protection. In their most recent study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, they recommend practical conservation gardening methods in a bid to restructure the horticultural industry and reverse plant species declines.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2’); });

Despite global efforts to protect biodiversity, many plant species are still declining. In Germany, this includes 70 percent of all plant species, with almost a third (27.5 percent) threatened, and 76 species are already considered extinct. Much of this loss can be attributed to the decline in natural habitats, in part due to increasing urbanization. Ten percent of the total area of Germany, for example, is settlement area.

However, it is precisely these settlement areas that hold enormous—albeit untapped—potential for nature conservation. After all, these areas include millions of private gardens, balconies and green roofs, as well as parks and other public green spaces. Researchers from iDiv, the Universities of Halle and Leipzig and other institutions propose using these potentially available areas for conservation gardening.

Source: Native plant gardening for species conservation

Maple Syrup Experiment Finale

Finished up th maple syrup experiment a few days ago. (I’ve been really lax about posting.)
I started real late, and only tapped the tree for 4 days, so didn’t get a lot, but, I ended up with a little over a quart of syrup. I boiled it down most of the way using some roasting pans on the gas grill. This took about 12 or so hours over two days. then finished it up inside on the stove.
Total cost was about $24, which is on par with buying organic maple syrup at NLC, and more expensive than regular maple syrup in the grocery store.
Probably the cost would have been less if I’d boiled it down over a wood fire. So, it was fun, and interesting, but not economical.
Here’s pics of the finished product.
dsc01815

dsc01818

Yummy
Yummy

More maple Sugaring

Pictures by request:

Here's my pitiful setup.
Here's my pitiful setup. The 2x4 is to weigh the lid down.

Another view (Yes, the kitty litter container was cleaned out real good before using it for this.)
Another view (Yes, the kitty litter container was cleaned out real good before using it for this.)

A blurry view of the tap setuo
A blurry view of the tap setuo

My container.  It's about half full.  I'll probably start boiling sap tomorrow. WOOT!
My container. It's about half full. I'll probably start boiling sap tomorrow. WOOT!

Maple Sugaring

That’s the technical term for collecting sap, and making syrup out of it. We have one maple on our property, and I thought I’d experiment with making syrup this year. I bought a tap and some tubing (to go to the bucket) today for $2 and change. The bucket was free (something I already had), and I’m storing the sap in a plastic tote until I get enough to boil down. I’m going to use the gas burner on my gas grill for that. We’ll see how it goes. I think it’ll be fun, and cheaper than buying real maple syrup at the store but more expensive than fake maple flavored syrup.
I’ll get back to you all on how it goes.
Here’s a tutorial on it.
And the book Maple Sugaring by Helen and Scott Nearing