A Brief Video Message From Me To You

On Fridays, I’ll be rounding up interesting news, plant links and other good stuff from around the web. Here’s the first edition.

* The question I get asked most often — besides how to avoid poisonous plants — is, “How can I forage sustainably?” A great tool to help you answer that question is the USDA Plants database. It will tell you whether a particular species is endangered and how long it takes to reproduce.

* Kiva Rose, the well-known herbalist in New Mexico, started a new magazine called Plant Healer and it has lots of great information on medicinal plants.

* Scientists at the University of Cambridge offer proof that intuition is real in a study published in the journal Psychological Science. (But we knew that already).

* Simple living bodhisattva Tammy Strobel interviewed me on her widely read blog, RowdyKittens. If you like inspiring stories, pay her site a visit.

RIP Redwing Blackbirds / Image via NPS.Gov

* The big question on my mind is what’s behind the massive die-offs of of birds and fish. We know we’re living in an era of extinction, but the magnitude is really unusual this time — and it’s more mysterious than ever.

Some people wonder about a magnetic pole shift, others suspect pesticides. The Chinese press is talking about an interesting conspiracy theory involving the murder of Pentagon weapons expert John Wheeler.

Whatever the cause, I do see one silver lining: the public is really alarmed about this. The age of apathy is over. Maybe that’s because we’re only one step on the food change away from the same fate.


9 thoughts on “A Brief Video Message From Me To You

  1. My favorite kinds of books? I’m currently reading “Oxygen” by Nick Lane and “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey (suggested by one of your commenters). “Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer” by Novella Carpenter is excellent as is “Fat of the Land” by Langdon Cook of course. Another long time favorite is “Silence is My Homeland: Life on Teal River” by Gilean Douglas.

    I just love your blog. Thanks for the great posts and the provocative questions and insights!

    • Thank you for reading! I loved ‘Fat of the Land’ and read a bit of ‘Farm City’ recently – also neat stuff. I keep hearing about this Ed Abbey book – can’t wait to check it out!

  2. In your video you asked about what type of post we like the best. My favorites are the posts introducing us to new edible/medicinal plant species and their uses. A search-able collection of such posts would be awesome.

    Adding posts on some of the more basic or common plants would be good, too. While intermediate foragers might already be familiar with these, newcomers would welcome information on the more common plants.

    Have a great 2011!

    • Hey Tom,

      Thank you for the feedback. This blog is searchable right now — you can use the box at the top of the page next to the page tabs. Enjoy. :)

      And happy new year to you, too!


  3. I live in Northern Arkansas…about two hours drive from where the blackbirds and drum fish died. Within a few days there were also reports of mass die offs in Mississippi, Louisiana, the Chesapeake Bay area, as well as several places in Europe. (A friend of mine lives in Sweden and told me they’d had a similar occurrence.) It seems as though the whole thing has been swept under the rug without any real explanation. The mass die off is disturbing in itself, but what makes me suspicious that humans have a hand in it is the fact that (here at least) it was only the blackbirds that were affected and no other birds. As for the massive fish deaths, in Arkansas it was over 95% drum fish and few other types. It’s truly bizzare and has me on high alert.

  4. I wish I could believe that all these bird and fish deaths would send an alarm all over the world. I have watched the local and national news the past couple weeks to see what they would say about the situation.
    I expected a shock of “What have we done” to come out of someones mouth but no. Liberal, conservative, republican, democrat…it was all the same. It got a lot less coverage than I thought it should have. I saw more on a cross-eyed possum who had thousands of facebook friends.
    If birds are dropping out of the air and fish are washing up on the shores…..SOMETHING IS WRONG! It’s time to change the way we’re are doing things. I live in the bible belt, a place where most people laugh off climate change. Everyone wants to think it was just a freak thing. I believe they only want to think this way so they won’t have to take responsibility for the way we are living. No one wants to be told they have to give up their SUV or only eat whats grown in their area. It’s time! If it’s birds and fish now what will it be next?

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