This Week's Library Haul 2014.02.16: Gardening, Bees, Farming and stuff

IMG_0866 I haven't been too impressed by a Paleo cookbook yet. I can get all these recipes from the internet. And in the case of the slow cooker Paleo cookbooks, the dishes are mainly about meat and require extra steps like browning the meat before putting it in the slow cooker, while also requiring additional side dishes of vegetables. I know I'm being totally biased when I say this, but when I pick up a slow cooker cookbook, I want one-pot meals. I want to throw in the ingredients in the morning, go to work, and come home to a cooked meal with very little additional work. If I had the time and inclination to brown the meat and cook the onions and stuff separately, I would just do that and not bother with the slow cooker. These books would have me believe the only recipe like this is chili. So my quest for slow cooker recipes continues.

The film "The Fight for Farming" should be required viewing for all Canadians. This documentary made by a woman in Quebec, reveals things about farming in Quebec I had no knowledge of. Our media doesn't show us the devastating clear cutting of bush lands for fields, the pumping of raw farm sewage into lakes, the filling in of marshes to make grain fields. I had no knowledge of the quotas Quebec's farmers are held to or that if they overproduce they aren't allowed to sell it, they have to dump it-- milk is literally being dumped into the ground by the barrel. I also didn't know about the farmers being sued by Monsanto. Lots of eye-opening stuff in this documentary. Highly recommended.

I got a CD of the sound of wild wolves. It's still my goal to some day go on a wolf howl.

And I got a book for my kid, which he really enjoyed and asked me to order some more for him. So I did.

IMG_0871aWhile winter marches on outside, I've been thinking more about my gardens. I have an apple tree that desperately needs pruning, so I've been learning about how to do that properly from these books. I also want to treat it organically for white fly since that's the major pest ruining the crop every year. I haven't mapped out all the garden plans yet, but I do know more vegetables will be planted this year, along with more flowers for the honey bees.

This video contained two parts: one about the wild cockatiels of Australia that was wonderful to watch. Flocks of birds we normally see in pet stores roam the countrysides Down Under and it was really interesting to see. The other part was about the disappearance of the honey bee. At the time it was filmed, it was not known yet that the bees are dying off because of GMO crops and heavy pesticides. The forensic exploration into Colony Collapse Disorder was fascinating. I didn't know that if a bee feels sick, it doesn't just take a day off. It leaves the colony to go die alone so it doesn't spread the illness. I also didn't realize all those worker bees are female. For some reason, I'd always thought the Queen Bee was the only female in a colony. This video just confirmed my goal of someday having my own beehives.