Attracting Native Pollinators
by the Xerces Society is the prettiest homesteading-related book I've
read this year. Stunning images dot nearly every page, zooming in
on the tiny bees pollinating an apple tree or diagramming the
underground nest site of a bumblebee queen.
book's writing isn't quite as stellar as the illustrations. Attracting
was clearly written by a committee who couldn't quite decide if they
were working on a textbook or an inspirational DIY guide. Now and
then, I could sense the authors' passion to protect the bees, wasps,
and flies pollinating our wild and cultivated landscapes, but elsewhere
they got bogged down in excessive vocabulary. All the more reason
to sum up the most intriguing points in a lunchtime series and save you
Despite the annoying
features of certain parts of the text, I heartily recommend that you
pick up a copy of the book, if only to use as reference guide.
The main genera of pollinator bees plus the most important families of
other types of pollinators are covered in a field-guide-like fashion,
another section lists the host plants for many common butterflies, and
yet a third chapter discusses the best native plants to add to your
pollinator garden. And, of course, the book is the gardener
equivalent of porn --- perfect to set on your coffee table to
suck in new converts to ecological gardening.
Thinking of jumping into
chickens in 2012? Weekend
walks you through designing a system that will incorporate your new
flock into a permaculture homestead.
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