We were given permission to post a link to another resource on Composting. I though I might could share it with anyone who was interested, and who might be gearing up for the Spring...
Have you heard the buzz? Bee populations are dwindling. Why should you care? Our daily activities depend on bees. “They are responsible for pollination of approximately 1/3 of the United States’ crop species” (EHSO). “Perhaps 1/3 of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly” on pollination by insects. (Delaplane) There are other pollinators, such as butterflies and other flying, stinging, crawling critters. Scientists surmise that “honey bees are responsible for every third bite we eat.” (Delaplane). Crops pollinated by bees include “almonds, peaches, soybeans, apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and strawberries.”(EHSO) Many of these would be possibly pollinated by other insects or other kinds of bees, but not in a commercially sustainable way. It is important that we do our part to help save the bees. Make sure that wasp traps are bee friendly (I have a paper bag bundled up to look like a wasp nest on my porch – the wasps and yellow jackets don’t like competition). Avoid toxic bug killers. Also, instead of destroying a nest that you see forming, contact bee keepers. They will gladly come and move the colony for you.
Contact: The Greene County Beekeepers Association http://www.gcbeekeepers.com/Pages/default.aspx
Or please text/call Shelley Gravenstine at (937) 689-2782 and she will contact you as soon as possible. Text is usually the best way to reach her. She is located in the Xenia/Caesar Creek area and will travel to surrounding areas of Centerville, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Bellbrook, etc.
Delaplane, Keith S. “On Einstein, Bees, and Survivial of the Human Race.” http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/OnEinsteinBeesandSurvivaloftheHumanRaceHoneyBeeProgramCAESEntomologyUGA.html
EHSO. Environmental Health & Safety Online. http://www.ehso.com/FoodChainIssues_BeeColonyCollapse.htm
The Earth is our Mother, we must take care of Her;
The Earth is our Mother, we must take care of Her!
Hey yanna, ho yanna hey yan yan; Hey yanna, ho yanna hey yan yan
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take;
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take!
(Traditional chant, Hopi)
Stewardship, by definition, is the management or care of something. (vocabulary.com) The Green Team at Christ Episcopal Church has a focus for stewardship in the care taking of the world we live in. In the Bible, God told Adam to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (ESV Genesis 1:28) Some take the words subdue and dominion to mean to do whatever you want with it, it is yours. However, is it my planet? Is it your planet? Is it my future great grandchild’s planet (the one who comes long after me)? Is it Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson’s planet or Sarah Palin’s planet?
When I hear dominion, I think of it as one’s domain. In the 1970’s, there was a cartoon for Tarzan; each episode opened with him talking about his jungle and saying “This is my domain, and I protect those who come here.” He protected his friends – the animals and his friends – the humans. He stopped people who would harm his jungle or as well as when the inhabitants wished to harm each other, without judging whether Tantor or Sheba had more right to live – stating that the resources within the jungle belonged to all who dwelt there. His message was that he would protect all life, nurture it, and care for it so that it would be there tomorrow. In the commercial breaks, there would also be a message from Smokey the Bear to “prevent forest fires” or the “crying Indian” to keep America beautiful. Perhaps we need to consider this blue/green planet a gift from God, given to us as our domain and placed in our care. Perhaps we should see Genesis 1:28 as a mandate to be stewards to our planet; it is hard to be fruitful tomorrow, if we abuse the resources today.
If you have any interest in helping us or any ideas on preservation of natural resources, reach out to Mark, Jonathon, Pete, Bradley, or I.
I recently read an article discussing the Lynn White Thesis of 1967, a widely publicized paper (The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis) blaming Judeo Christian beliefs that man has dominion over nature to exploit it as he sees fit. In it White is quoted as saying that “Environmental concern can only improve if Judeo Christian institutions were rejected and if society converted to a ‘communion with nature’ social structure”.
At some time or another, most of us have encountered people who consider Christians to be generally lacking in concern for environmental issues. Dr. Charley Dewberry, a scientist and Dean of Gutenberg College wrote an article entitled “Is there a Christian Environmental Ethic?” In it he shares: “as a working scientist, I meet people who view all Christians as ultra-right-wing conservatives. They believe that Christians view the environment through the lens of economic expedience and that Christians like other conservatives are working to gut the existing environmental regulations on public and private land, so that supply and demand market forces can work. Viewed this way, Christians have no morals with regard to man’s relationship to nature. Christians have no environmental ethic.”
Dr. Newberry also shares that Christians ask him how he can be an environmentalist as well as a Christian since the former means “someone who worships the environment and cares for nature more than people. Both the Christians and the non-Christians described here share the common perception that only two environmental ethics exist… the free market perspective and the environmental perspective.” He goes on to describe both of these views and I encourage you to read them. But for now, I will share a third perspective he suggests and subscribes to: the biblical perspective.
According to Dr. Newberry, the biblical perspective
1) Acknowledges God and His purposes
2) Reflects nature’s inherent worth because God created it
3) Stresses that man is distinct from the rest of nature because God created him to be so
He writes that “God created nature in part to provide for man’s material needs, and in turn He gave man the responsibility to care for the natural world to be a steward over it.”
We know that God has entrusted us with a great responsibility to care for His creation and we must acknowledge that we have at times failed miserably. We also know that the world is watching and that the only way that we can bring about change in our world is to start in our homes, churches and other places of involvement by creatively seeking ways to live responsibly and sustainably. Otherwise, our words are empty.
In their article, ‘Beyond the Lynn White Thesis’, Djube and Hunt begin with the following statement: “We find that social sources of information in the church shape the dimensions of religious beliefs and exert stronger effects on attitudes on the environment than do doctrinal or religious measures.” So as we go forward, let us begin by practicing those disciplines and principals as we become aware of them. Wherever possible seek to educate, encourage and motivate others to seek new and exciting ways to be faithful stewards of God’s creation. We can do this, not only in our congregation, but also in our workplaces, our families, and other places of influence.
Beyond the Lynn White Thesis: Congregational Effects on Environmental Concern; Paul A. Djupe and Patrick Kieran Hunt; http://static.squarespace.com/static/5084639de4b0f4598aa9423d/t/50cdddaae4b01020c34f170e/1355668906151/Djupe%20and%20Hunt%202010.pdf
Is There a Christian Environmental Ethic; Charley Dewberry; http://msc.gutenberg.edu/2008/01/is-there-a-christian-environmental-ethic
Article – Natural Pest Control
Did you know that very few backyard gardeners know how to use natural methods for organic sustainability? There are plants that work together to help one another grow; there are plants that repel insects for organic pest management; and plants that repel other plants for natural herbicide control are of great value to both small backyard gardeners and commercial growers.
Certain protective botanicals don't always act instantaneously, and must be planted several years or seasons in advance to have lasting benefits. For example, companion planting pest control using marigolds to prevent nematode growth should be done at least one season ahead before expecting to see great results. It's important to remember that both secretions and odors from various plants are valuable traits for organic pest control and companion planting where repelling or attracting certain aspects and effects is attempted.
There are ten easy companion planting tips that you can use now:
Companion planting for chemical free pesticides and organic sustainability is a huge subject that can take years to master; however, there are a few easy things you can do in your own garden right now to make use of this intriguing method of gardening.
1. Protect carrots by planting them with leeks to repel both carrot and onion flies. They won't even lay their eggs and your yield will increase tremendously.
2. Growing radishes. Plant them with lettuce to repel earth flies that hate the smell of lettuce and make them take flight.
3. Aphids will injure almost all plants, causing headaches for gardeners everywhere. To repel aphids, plant nasturtiums around broccoli and bunches of chives among sunflowers and tomatoes to discourage infestations.
4. Ladybugs are natural enemies to aphids and are excellent for use in organic pest management. Order ladybugs in bulk online or buy them from gardening centers. If you're wondering how to improve your garden and reduce the aphid population, this is one of the most effective methods of doing so.
5. Asparagus and tomatoes complement one another and improve the vigor of both plants. Place a row of asparagus between two rows of tomato plants.
6. Beans and potatoes work in concert for organic pest control. Planting bush beans with potatoes in alternating rows protects the spuds from the Colorado potato beetle and the beans from the Mexican bean beetle.
7. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables belonging to the cabbage family do well when companion planted with celery, dill, peppermint, sage and rosemary; as well as potatoes, onions and beets.
8. Repel moles around a vegetable garden with a border of castor beans; mice with a border of daffodils; and yarrow makes a wonderful boarder for an herb garden as it encourages the growth of essential oils in the herbs.
9. Remember that companion planting for pest control includes keeping those cute little rabbits out of the garden. Onions repel rabbits and can be inter-planted with peas, beans, lettuce and cabbage.
10. If your garden attracts raccoons, plant corn and pumpkins together so that the large pumpkin leaves grow around the base of the corn stalks. Cayenne pepper sprinkled on the corn silk will also act as a deterrent.
Natural organic pest control may be a complex subject; however, there are many simple things you can do in to improve your garden for increased vegetable harvest and organic sustainability.
Feel free to share ideas you've heard of or envisioned on how to care for God's Green Earth.
The team was renamed on April 27, 2016 at 6:15PM to Creation Care Committee
The CECX Creation Care Committee
consists of Mark Cummings, Jonathan Feinour, Bradley Alexander, Pete Sinnott, and Tanya Ellenburg-Kimmet. We are committed to learning and implementing ways of resource conservation and environmental friendly interaction.