Plant a Tree on Arbor Day

arbor_day

The recognition of Arbor Day began in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton. The intent of this day was to create awareness of the importance of planting trees. 100 years later, the Arbor Day Foundation was started. This not for profit organization has a focus on conservation, environmental education and the significant role that tree planting plays in both. Trees help to reduce carbon dioxide and promote oxygen in the air. By increasing tree growth where it can be helpful instead of continually cutting down these natural resources, a positive ecological boost is created. The foundation encourages tree planting and inspires… read more

In Bloom

In Bloom

Cherry trees are a beautiful display of the onset of springtime. They are native to Japan as well as China and Korea, but the striking trees can be found across the globe. Plantings of cherry trees were initiated in 1912 as a symbol of enduring friendship to the U.S. from Japan. The line of original seeds that were sown during this time still continues to bloom today. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an ongoing celebration of this gift. For more on the history of cherry trees in the U.S., see the National Park Service. The blossoming plant, or sakura,… read more

Art That Makes Foodies Happy

Art That Makes Foodies Happy

Images of delectable fruit, vegetables and fresh foods may not be, but the naturally vibrant colors in produce can be inspiring to the eyes. To get a visual serving of a healthy variety of foods, check out the following artists who use them as a medium and motivation. Hikaru Cho has been lighting up the web lately with her collection of paintings. With a fitting title, It’s Not What It Seems, this series puts a little playfulness into the ordinary kitchen fruit bowl. Using only food and acrylic paints, Cho disguises one item to look flawlessly like another. Peeling back the… read more

Seeds Of Wonder

Seeds Of Wonder

You don’t have to be an avid gardener to appreciate the sophisticated splendor of something as seemingly modest as a seed. The Seed Site provides a realm of information about the life of seeds. A compilation of botanical information, including instructional resources for harvesting, storage, germination and planting are covered. Identification descriptors and many other helpful materials are also offered. Helpful links answer advanced questions as well as the basics, like is it an annual or perennial? Educational tools for scientific and teacher resources are available like themed project supplies for making diagrams, templates, seed packets and identification cards. There is also… read more

Green Gardens Up Above

Green Gardens Up Above

Guz Architects has designed many upscale residential properties with plans that integrate the outdoors as a significant part of the living space. The following 2 homes have plush green landscaping as the backdrop and impressive green roof designs that top them off. The constructions are located near Singapore, and both have outdoor garden rooftops that make greenery look stylish. The Willow House is a family home with an exterior that looks like a sculpted art piece. The gorgeous entryway lets you know you are about to enter something grand. A seemingly floating staircase leads to the upper level garden. The living… read more

This Houseplant Can Emit Its Own Light

This Houseplant Can Emit Its Own Light

No batteries required. This glowing houseplant gets its luminescence from science. Dr. Alex Krichevsky, a molecular biologist, created a new type of glowing greenery called autoluminescent plants. Uncovering the process that makes this possible, his application is being said to be the first that can create plants capable of generating their own light. Scientists have been looking into light applications for a while; however this plant system is able to produce its own light using a bioluminescent process that does not rely on another source. The plants get their glow by a genetic modification process that alters the structure of the plant… read more

Green Your Valentine

Green Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, relationships, family, and friendship. Although when you consider how much energy it takes to create all those goodies, gifts, and especially the cards it is a whole lot of waste. At any given store in the month of February tons of paper cards grace the shelves. Can you imagine the carbon footprint Valentine’s Day leaves behind each year. Here is a unique way to ‘green’ your Valentine’s Day for adults and children alike. Plant cards Can be made from old scrap paper, contain seeds and can be planted. To make the seed paper just use scrap paper… read more

Making Communal Use of Vacant Lots

Urban-farming

Over the decades many cities have suffered from population loss. This degeneration may show in the staggering amount of vacant lots and houses. On average, 15 percent of a city’s land is vacant. The term ‘vacancy’ can pertain to many things in relation to a city. Some lands deemed vacant are abandoned houses, others brown fields or empty lots. Even though these areas are unoccupied, sometimes deemed unsuitable for occupation, they can still cost cities considerable amounts of money. There have been temporary fixes for these vacancies, including use as a pasture or for storage. It is a sad state… read more

Build A Backyard Grape Arbor

Build A Backyard Grape Arbor

Consuming grapes has several health benefits as they are high in many essential nutrients. Rich in manganese, they are potent antioxidants and have proven cardiovascular system benefits. Organically grown grapes, unlike conventional varieties, do not have the extra worry of contaminated soil and water runoff from pesticide residuals. Installing a grape arbor in the backyard can be done on a budget. With a little research, planning and building a main structural support system, establishing a successful start for a grapevine is a project that will pay off. Garden Guides has ideas for basic construction materials to use for a grape trellis. A… read more

Improving Produce Without Genetic Engineering

Improving Produce Without Genetic Engineering

A lot of focus on the food production and farming industries may seem to concentrate on genetically modified foods. However, some plant breeders are working to also bring focus to an age old way of growing premier foods, without using any genetically induced alterations. Rapid genetic analysis, or sometimes referred to as marker-assisted breeding, uses conventional farming techniques and plant breeding with quick ways of identifying alleles and DNA markers and how they are structured. Combining the more traditional forms of farming along with these processes can produce crops with more flavor and color, as well as a more appealing presence and shape. It… read more