Parasitoid Wasps of Southern Oregon


“Hi! This is about parasitic wasps, some of the coolest wasps. They’re kind of like H.R. Giger’s Alien (you know, like the one that burst out of John Hurt’s chest in 1979). You may not like wasps, but they’re pretty fascinating nonetheless. They’re pretty useful biocontrol agents, and though you might not see them you would notice the difference if they were gone. I learned some interesting things about parasitoid venoms and mating strategies. Have a read, or maybe just check out the pictures.” Travis Owen



Parasitoid Wasps of Southern Oregon

Anyone that knows me knows that I love wasps. I think you should love them, too. Here I will attempt to familiarize you with the world of the non-stinging wasps known as the parasitoids. Parasitic wasps do not have true stings, as the aculeate wasps [and bees] do. These parasitoids have ovipositors, which are used to lay, or sometimes inject, eggs. While there are aculeate parasitoids, the aculeates do not have ovipositors. (The exception is the Chrysididae, the cuckoo wasps, which are aculeates which evolved their own unique ovipositors independently from the parasitoids featured in this piece.) The aculeate sting evolved from an ovipositor many millions of years ago…. READ MORE

Drawdown — The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming


“Drawdown is based on meticulous research that maps, measures, models, and describes the most substantive solutions to global warming that already exist. It is the most important goal for humanity to undertake.”

#1 Best-Selling Environmental Book of 2017

Here is a link to a list of the top 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming.   All of it is so positive and hopeful that it’s well worth sharing.   Many of us are already aware of the direness of our global situation and because so much of the news we get is simply scary, it often generates a feeling of hopelessness in many of us. Perhaps it is that feeling of hopelessness that keeps people from doing the small things like replacing plastic bags with their own cloth bags at stores.

It seems critically important that we understand that it is NOT hopeless – that there are things we humans are already doing that can work if they are supported and expanded upon.

Here are just a few of the Solutions listed on Drawdown’s website that are related to gardening, growing food and permaculture – with the rating number and a link to the small article:

#9 Silvopasture

#11 Regenerative Agriculture

#15 Afforestation

#16 Conservation Agriculture

#17 Tree Intercropping

#23 Farmland Restoration

#28 Multistrata Agroforestry

#35 Bamboo

#51 Perennial Biomass

#60 Composting

#62 Women Smallholders

#72 Biochar

“The objective of the solutions list is to be inclusive, presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies. These initiatives improve lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health.”

permaculture farm


The Rodale Institute farm in Kutztown, PA: 333 acres of formerly degraded farmland restored to productivity and biosequestration through regenerative agriculture.

Conventional wisdom has long held that the world cannot be fed without chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. Evidence points to a new wisdom: The world cannot be fed unless the soil is fed. Regenerative agriculture enhances and sustains the health of the soil by restoring its carbon content, which in turn improves productivity—just the opposite of conventional agriculture.

Regenerative agricultural practices include:

  • no tillage,
  • diverse cover crops,
  • in-farm fertility (no external nutrients),
  • no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and
  • multiple crop rotations.

Together, these practices increase carbon-rich soil organic matter. The result: vital microbes proliferate, roots go deeper, nutrient uptake improves, water retention increases, plants are more pest resistant, and soil fertility compounds. Farms are seeing soil carbon levels rise from a baseline of 1 to 2 percent up to 5 to 8 percent over ten or more years, which can add up to 25 to 60 tons of carbon per acre.

It is estimated that at least 50 percent of the carbon in the earth’s soils has been released into the atmosphere over the past centuries. Bringing that carbon back home through regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest opportunities to address human and climate health, along with the financial well-being of farmers.



February Sustainable Rogue Valley meeting – Sunday Feb. 11 – 12:30 pm


Come join us for Gary’s famous cookies and interesting conversation about important issues, with interesting people who care about making our world a better place for all of us to live!  Some of the topics we will discuss this month are:

  • Report on the Rogue Indivisible This Land is Your Land workshop
  • Fairgrounds Gardens
  • RCC Raingarden and Bioswale
  • Stream School (April 14) at RCC
  • Earth Day (April 19) at RCC
  • Blue Zone Project
  • Sustainability Class
  • Local Recycling
  • ACES

See you at the UU Fellowship at 129 NW E Street, Grants Pass, OR

Transformative Change: conversations with Fritjof Capra

An interesting conversation…

The Systems View of Life as a scientific basis of regeneration

by Daniel Christian Wahl

We need to educate ourselves and educate each other to learn the basic principles of ecology and systemic thinking and then we need to filter this through the local conditions and the local culture to create something that is lasting, sustainable and effective.— Fritjof Capra

Nature is sustainable because it is regenerative. That is the key lesson.
— Fritjof Capra

Native Bees of America

Native bees are an unappreciated treasure, with 4,000 species from tiny Perdita to large carpenter bees, they can be found anywhere in North America where flowers bloom.

Most people don’t realize that there were no honey bees in America until the white settlers brought hives from Europe. These resourceful insects promptly managed to escape domestication, forming swarms and setting up housekeeping in hollow trees, other cavities or even exposed to the elements just as they had been doing in their native lands.

Native pollinators, in particular bees, had been doing all the pollination in this continent before the arrival of that import from the Old World. They continue to do a great deal of it, especially when it comes to native plants.



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Manish Jain: “Our work is to recover wisdom and imagination”



Rob Hopkins, founder of Transition Town interviews Manish Jain.

Manish Jain lives in Udaipur, Rajasthan, in North India.  He works with a movement called Shikshantar, ‘The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development’.  He has been working for the last 20 years, initiating many projects around unlearning, sustainable living, and Gift Culture. He is also co-founder of Swaraj University – India’s first university dedicated to localization. You can read more about his work here. He very kindly spent a fascinating hour chatting to me via Skype…

To read interview – watch the video and listen to the podcast go here