In Paradise Lot, two self-described plant geeks, Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates, tell the charming story of their efforts to build a backyard food forest in the city using permaculture practices which had been implemented successfully in Europe and the tropics.
Book Reviews: Powerhouse Plants by Graham Rice, and Derek Fell's Grow This!
As bees feed on flower nectar, their electrostatically-charged and branched body hairs attract and trap pollen grains. They carry the grains from flower to flower making them very effective pollinators. (About one-third of agricultural crops world-wide depend directly or indirectly on bees for pollination.) Both male and female bees feed on flower nectar, which provides carbohydrates and energy. However, only the female bees gather and carry pollen back to the nest or hive. Pollen provides protein that is essential for developing larvae.
By now you have seen or heard (reports about) the periodical cicadas of Brood II. You also may remember back to 2004 and the Brood X cicadas (the largest and most widespread of all broods). Periodical cicadas occur in cycles of 13 or 17 years. There are about five broods of 17-year cicadas that appear in different years in Northern Virginia.
Book reviews: Beautiful No-Mow Yards by Evelyn Hadden, The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler, and Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? by Andrew Keys