bees – “The Lost World of the Kalahari”

I have been spending time with my bees - recently did my first split (split the one hive into two separate hives) and will soon do the first honey harvest of 2012.  So, with bees on my mind, I want to include some excerpts from an engrossing book written in 1958 in South Africa by Laurens Van Der Post titled "The Lost World of the Kalahari" about the Bushmen. The Bushmen loved honey and used a special herbal smoke to drug the bees before he dared reach for the honey because "the wild bees of Read more [...]

water conservation – “Heart of Dryness”

I just read Heart of Dryness by James Workman about the plight of the Bushmen in the Kalahari desert when the Botswana government cut off their water supplies and how they adapted and how we can learn from them. I was interested in the book because I am originally from South Africa which abuts Botswana, and also here in Georgia we are engaged in legal water wars with neighboring states.  Workman interlaces the story of the Bushmen with a narrative on the use and abuse of water worldwide and his Read more [...]

something new every day

I learn new things every day.  If I was an attorney I would be studying up on the impact of new legislation and recently decided cases.  An accountant - the impact of new GAAP and the merging with international standards; a business executive - new moves by competitors as they strive for competitive advantage.  For me, my classroom is observing what's going on around me. In my post of February 23 I noted that one of twelve muscadines (grape vines) I transplanted did not survive and I provided Read more [...]

neem oil – a remedy for chickens

I have been intrigued with neem oil for some time. Something exotic about it. When I first planted tomatoes in north Georgia four years ago, and they were overwhelmed by aphids, neem came to my rescue. Aphids were never a problem again, not because of the neem but my voracious ladybug population. (This week I have been collecting my overwintering ladybug guests and ushering them out to their workplace in my vegetable garden). My second recourse to neem was a couple years ago when the stinkbugs arrived. Read more [...]

permaculture trending – comfrey

I like the pragmatic and intellectual underpinnings of permaculture. On the intellectual side, I am reading and enjoying Holmgren's "Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability", at the quasi pragmatic/theoretical level I enjoyed Hemenway's and Whitecraft's books on permaculture in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively, and for a hands on approach, of course the two books by Holzer. And some of the suggestions have rubbed off. Polyculture and biodiversity are not new to organic Read more [...]