September 17, 2008

Canadian Peat Bogs In Crisis

Despite the positive outlooks and press from some industry manufacturers of peat moss-based potting mixes and soil amendments, The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Council has released updated warnings that the peat bogs of Canada are shrinking and not renewing as fast as anticipated.

Although peat bogs are renewable, even the most liberal minded of peat-product manufacturers and consumers will - and should - agree that it's an extremely slow renewal process. A slow rate which is exacerbated by both natural and man-made causes. *see: Global warming. It's because of that caveat, so many horticulturalists (both professional and lay) consider it non-renewable, and that may become a definite classification according to this cautionary press release issued by The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Council in September, 2008. The innate slow renewal rate, combined with over harvesting and the aforementioned global warming implications, forebode an even more precarious future for the bogs and increased scarcity of peat moss.

Canada is, one of the largest suppliers of peat moss outside of The British Isles and Siberia. While peat is organic in nature, it adds little in the way of nutritional value to the soil. Shredded and half-decomposed leaves add more nutrients, improve soil conditions, retains moisture yet enhances drainage and makes for generally happier, fatter and more productive earthworms. Plus for many people, leaves are free and abundant, which certainly can't be said for peat moss considering the current (and possibly future) conditions for bogs such as the ones in Canada.

I still prefer minimal use of peat moss, however, in small quantities as part of my own potting soil formulation. Despite the consistent rise in peat moss prices, I've found combining it with compost, perlite and kelp meal is still more cost efficient than purchasing pre-mixed potting soil or seed-starting mix. But, like many other gardeners who rely upon peat moss for such applications, and for those people who do not have access to an abundance of leaves and/or compost, alternatives to peat moss must be sought. Right now - at least as far as a potting soil or seed-starting mixes are concerned Coconut-Fiber Coir is a very acceptable alternative. It is still more costly for those gardeners like myself who use either a great deal of potting soil or start a large number of seeds. But as more people purchase it and if peat moss prices predictably continue to rise (especially in light of this latest report out of Canada), the cost difference between alternatives and peat may be a wash.

September 15, 2008

Defenders Of Wildlife Desperately Need $100,000 To Air TV Ads Of Sarah Palin's Advocacy Of Aerial Wolf Slaughter

The Defenders of Wildlife, who today came out in support of Obama/Biden, needs $100,000 to air television ads on Sarah Palin's support, advocacy and participation in the inhumane, aerial wolf slaughter. It reveals to me Mrs. Palin's lack of compassion and a very frightening, blood lust nature.

This brutality - which in no way, shape or form could possibly pass as "hunting" - must be seen by more people than those on both sides of the political fence and, maybe more importantly, by those still straddling.

It must be seen by the people who turn their heads and hide their eyes when such subjects are even hinted at. These are the people who must have their nightly t.v. doses of reality programs interrupted with True Reality. Let this interrupt and jar their t.v. viewing with their children in the comfort of their living rooms and then have to explain to their kids why they want this woman to be our next Vice President. Or the next time they rent "Balto", let them envision and explain again to their kids how the animated wolf is any different from the real-life wolf being butchered from the air compliments of Mrs. Palin and the Good Ole Boys she claims to disavow.

In her recent Gibson inerview, when Palin was asked about gun possession, one of the words she used as justification was "ethical". As in: as long as guns are used ethically. How anyone in their right mind, with any semblance of a conscience,(which might be describing Palin) could condone this aerial savagery as "ethical" is beyond the realm of my comprehension.

I also wonder how many who may already be aware of this inhumane practice and for some God-awful reason have no problem with it, are not aware, however, that she rewards these alleged "hunters" if they present the severed forelegs of the poor defenseless creatures, who are run to the ground, harassed by small planes and then repeatedly shot in their backs till they drop from exhaustion.

A minimum of $20 would be very helpful. $40 even better. I made my $40 via their 800# just this afternoon. I wish it could have been more. You'll find their plea and instructions as to how you can help here at DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE AD CONTRIBUTIONS