Soon after settling in beside the wood stove with Summer Rayne Oakes' How To Make a Plant Love You and a comforting cup of tea one recent cold Saturday, I had to lay that book right down again - and turn to plants.
Emerald ash borers (EAB) are bright metallic green wood boring beetles. They play a role in decomposition of dead and dying trees in their Asian home habitats, but quickly devastate even healthy ash trees in ours.
What a difference being outdoors in a warm, green plant-filled environment makes to a winter-weary spirit! Walking and gawking at the tropical (and subtropical) abundance in the funky, small-scale neighborhood of Pass-a-Grille Beach, squished between Boca Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, in St. Petersburg, Florida is a treat. In this climate, things just grow and every yard is a garden.
We're often advised to "eat a rainbow" of colored fruits and vegetables for their fiber and healthful phytochemicals (biologically active chemical compounds produced by plants). But when deciding to purchase organic produce or conventionally grown, how do you know which crops are most or least contaminated with pesticides? The Environmental Working Group issues an annual report - The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15.