Saturday, April 28, 2018

Want Your Clams and Oysters Without Poison?

Take Action Now!  

Large commercial oysters growers are seeking a permit to spray the systemic and environmentally hazardous neonicotinoid neurotoxin—Imidacloprid--on tidal mudflats.  

No Poison in our Clams and Oysters!

If they are successful this will create a precedent for allowing this environmentally hazardous chemical to be sprayed in wetlands and inter-tidal zones in other states as well.  While this permit application is for Washington State, if approved it will likely affect many other areas.

This product is clearly marked on the label, “Environmental Hazards, Do not apply directly to water, areas where surface water is present or to inter-tidal areas below the mean high water mark.”  “This product is toxic to wildlife and highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates.”   The following statement is also given on the label:  “PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS, HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS CAUTION.”   Source, page 5:

The State of Washington has temporarily denied the permit, based on sound science.  They are requesting public comment.  The comment period is open until May 14th, 2018.  Comments can be made at the following link:

The Imidacloprid permit request is for using this chemical in non-native commercial oyster beds, where it has been shown that it binds to sediment particles and persists for many months.  This product has been shown to be toxic to arthropods, mollusks, and worms in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine environments.  While binding to sediment particles, Imidacloprid solution that comes in contact with water disperses readily.  When absorbed by susceptible creatures it binds permanently and cumulatively to sites in their cellular structures.  Many of the susceptible creatures are important to the food web, and their demise--as well as the demise of the native burrowing shrimp they wish to target-- will affect the entire ecosystem.  The burrowing shrimp are an important keystone species in our coastal wetland ecosystems.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of burrowing shrimp, the dangers of Imidacloprid, or sustainable alternatives to off bottom culture for oyster growers please stop by the facebook group, Resisting Toxics in Coastal Environments.  We have collected a large body of evidence addressing these issues which we would be happy to share with all interested persons. 
Our priorities are to encourage lasting solutions that will help the industry end its long-standing reliance on pesticides and create conditions amenable to ecologically and economically sustainable fisheries and  shellfish aquaculture.  

It is up to us!  We can do this!


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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Garden Book Reviews

Irises, Native Foods, & Everything for the Landscape

Magic of Irises would make a great gift for anyone who loves to grow flowers.  Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day are just around the corner and graduation is coming up soon.  Or maybe you’re the one who deserves a gift.  This attractive coffee table book might be just what you need to get conversations started at your next Secret Garden Club meeting and it will help you plan some surprises in your borders.  You will find sections on “The Lore and Legends of Irises;” ‘Irises in American Gardens;” “Bearded Irises,” including tall, medium, and miniature, as well as reblooming; “Beardless Irises,” including those native to Siberia, the Pacific Northwest, Louisiana, and Japan.  Bulbous irises as well as pest, diseases, propagation, and botany are also covered. The luscious photos will have you scrambling for bulb and iris catalogs and finding special spots to tuck in these vibrant treasures. The best part of all is - irises do well here in Bigfoot Valley! Magic of Irises, Barbara Lawton, Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN 1-55591-267-2

Native American Gardening includes ancient stories and myths, traditional gardening plans, and garden related crafts, activities, and recipes. Everything you need to know to grow a bountiful crop and learn about northeast and southwest tribal gardening traditions is included.  Each section either begins or ends with a traditional story. These stories illustrate where the information shared began and its place of importance in the culture. Basic outdoor education is covered, including a reminder to be respectful of the creatures that are often found in the garden and the roles they play in nature. Most sections include activities that could be used as classroom curriculum. Traditional children’s crafts, toys, and games have been adapted; many using items the children will be able to help grow. Instructions and illustrations are well thought out, clear, and easy to follow.  This is a very rich resource for anyone who wants to share or explore traditional Native American gardening practices.  Native American Gardening, Michael J. Caduto, Joseph Bruchac, Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN 1-55591-148-X

Sunset’s Western Garden Book has been completely revised and updated.  This is the preeminent gardening guide for the western states. The region is divided into more than 20 climate zones, each more specific than those provided by the USDA system.  The river valleys here in Humboldt and Trinity counties are Sunset zone 14 as opposed to USDA zone 8.  This is a good thing to keep in mind when browsing the plant listings looking for that special specimen for your garden. The browsing is terrific!  There are over 8,000 plants listed – 500 of them brand new to this edition.  The new expanded plant encyclopedia now includes many color illustrations. The information on zones, the plants need for sun, shade, and water are clearly highlighted.  This brand new book was just released in February; it should be available in book stores and garden centers right now!  It will make a great gift for plant collectors, landscapers, and anyone who loves to garden.  Western Garden Book, edited by Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Sunset, ISBN (soft cover) 978-0-376-03916-3 (hard cover) 978-0-376-03917-0 

Published, April 2007, Bigfoot Valley News, in my regular column, The Book Worm.  A full scan of the original article as published can he found here:  Book Reviews: Spring in the Garden.

Note on images:  The book cover images were optimized for black and white printing on newsprint, as they were found in the originally published article.  

Second North American, second serial, or reprint rights available. The article can be broken up into smaller pieces if you are looking for filler.  I am also willing to do a limited amount of rewriting and updating. 

Text, Copyright Harvest McCampbell, 2007.  This article, in full or in part, may be reprinted or reposted with written permission only. For more information send me an e-mail to:  harvest95546 @ (take out spaces). 

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Milk Thistle Salad!

Milk Thistle seeds are famous as a liver tonic and Milk Thistle flowers are famous as a tea for new mothers, but did you know that young Milk Thistle leaves are fabulous in a salad?

You do need gloves and clippers to collect them, and a good set of kitchen shears to remove the prickles along the leaves edge. They look absolutely dashing in a salad of mostly dark or pale greens. They have mild yet robust sweet nutty flavor, and if picked in the morning and then kept slightly moist and refrigerated until served for lunch or dinner, they are delightfully crisp. 

Yes, they are a bit of work, but in the early spring, most anything from the garden, the fields, or the forest is welcome. Please be careful to not gather where anyone may be spraying pesticide or there is a chance of industrial pollution.

My photo from 4.7.2004, moist riparian alder woods along Mill Creek in Hoopa CA. I can still smell those woods across the years and miles.  

Individual milk thistle plants can grow to be 4 - 5 feet tall and wide, with leaves nearly 3 feet long, when they are really happy.  And it is sometimes found in large stands.  I can take full sun to deep shade.  Pictured is a baby growing in deep shade, about  a foot a cross, max and only a few inches tall. 

If you have any questions or tips you would like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.  All comments are moderated, and right now I seem to be locked out of admin for my own blog.  But at least I can post, which I had been locked out of for a while.

Text and photo copyright 2018, Harvest McCampbell, all rights reserved.  May be used in print based, audio, or video media with written permission only.  harvest95546 @

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