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  • Green Idea 1 : ' Find your nearest Farmer's Market and go there this weekend with friends...
  • Green Idea 2 : ' Swap your old incandescent bulbs for CFLs when they burn out and start saving $$$
  • Green Idea 3 : ' Try using your bike this weekend instead of your car...
  • Green Idea 4 : ' This Spring why not plant a small kitchen garden of tomatoes and peppers on your balcony or patio?
  • Green Idea 5 : ' What are you waiting for? Make the change today!

    The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.


    You can grow your own food whether you live on a rural farm or in a tiny urban apartment. Urban gardening is all about using space wisely to regain a closer connection with your food and beautify your home or neighborhood.


    Explore energy resources, such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, ocean thermal, and wave power, that replenish themselves within a short period.


    Locating the Farmers' Market nearest to you is now only a few clicks away. Localharvest.org is a useful and straight-forward site designed to faciliate your quest.


Review: "Plan Bee", by Susan Brackney.

Posted by vergelimbo On 10:31 AM No comments

"Now disappearing in alarming numbers, honeybees are the unsung heroes of the food chain, essential for the pollination of apples, oranges, almonds, blueberries, and more than ninety other crops."
Find more info@ planbeebook.com

One of the long-term projects I have had on my "to do" list for the Urban Garden Project over the last few years has been to keep a few hives of bees. My friend Steve G, also an aspiring beekeeper, has been a member of the Forsyth Beekeepers' Association for some time and has encouraged me in this direction. Beekeeping has always appealed to me, and thousands of determined pollinators would benefit my garden's yield dramatically. Oh yeah...and there is the honey. Local honey, apart from tasting yummy, offers immunity to many seasonal allergy symptoms. However, my design/build work [ie: my real job] has taken off, leaving me no time to pursue my own "Plan Bee" this season. Nonetheless, I have (bee)n able to research many of the practical issues of beekeeping and that is how I came across Susan Brackney's "Plan Bee". Aptly subtitled "Everything you ever wanted to know about the hardest working creatures on the planet", Plan Bee is destined to become a cult classic.

My friend Andrea had just finished reading "Plan Bee" and was intending to sell it to a local used-book store when I stepped in. The moment I saw the dust cover and skimmed through its 192 pages I was "stung" with interest. As a designer, I very much appreciate the concept and layout of the book itself... someone with a skilled eye and subtle creativity has done very good work - from the cover art to the binding, the paper used, the fonts chosen, the page layout, the varied photographs and sketches within, through to the back-cover blurbs.

Brackney divides the book into two parts: "The Buzz about Bees" and "A Beekeeper's Life", for a total of 9 chapters with multiple sections therein. Chapter titles include such puns as: "Who's Who in the Hive", "The Bee's Knees" and "The Sweet Life". Humorous anecdotes abound. But so too does a wealth of interesting scientific, cultural, historical, environmental and practical information. This is not a textbook on beekeeping... but it will stimulate the enthusiast into pursuing more reading about bees and beekeeping, or at the very least (for the casual reader) it will draw attention to the largely unrecognized importance of bees in our world. Multiple footnotes anchor the pages - some anecdotal, some academic, but all interesting, useful and often funny. Two pages of "Further Reading and Resources" finish the book.

The writing is colloquial, accessible, concise and very entertaining. It is really quite a feat that Plan Bee contains such a range information: from beekeeping rituals in ancient Egypt to the early American beekeeping practices, to the current blight of the Varroa mite and up-to-date research on the looming and mysterious threat of Colony Collapse Disorder [CCD]. This book is one of the better "How To" books I have ever read... what it lacks in practical matters it more than makes up for in its inspiring tone, clear message and provocative futurism. Anyone could read "Plan Bee" and everyone will enjoy it. I already have 3 friends looking forward to borrowing my copy. I am hoping that they will give into their stinging desires to read "Plan Bee" and buy their own copies. An author this good deserves to be rewarded. I'll be buying another copy to give to a friend for his birthday.