Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blotanical's Best Gardening Blogs for New Jersey 2009

Thank you so much for everyone (all 104 of you) who voted for Heirloom Gardener! Here are the rest of Blotanical's Best Gardening Blogs for New Jersey 2009:

2. Best in Bloom Today - a new discovery for me, "Married to Hubba Hubba, proud mom of 2 Darling Daughters, passionate gardener (is there any other kind?), especially daylilies! Addicted to nursery any garden center in NJ/PA...I've been there...honest!"
3. View from Federal Twist - a favorite of mine for some time, "We moved to Rosemont in June 1999. Originally known as Cross Keys Tavern in the mid-18th century, Rosemont has remained an agricultural community for over two centuries..."
4. Miss Rumphius' Rules - a new discovery for me, "My blog was conceived in 2007 as an online journal exploring my continuing journey as a designer with a focus on design, gardens, and the creative process."
5. Garden Endeavors - a new discovery for me, "Gardening by the shore in southern New Jersey.My husband and I both enjoy the garden, all the vegetables are grow by him and everything else by me..."

I'm honored to be among the many 2009 award winners. Check out all of the winners here.

Bonica, Shrub Rose, on Goldberry Hill

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

2009 Blotanical Awards - voting ends in two days

Just browse some great blogs or vote here.

Dahlia in the Cutting Garden

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Purple Angelica Seed Heads

Friday, September 25, 2009

Red Zinia in the Cutting Garden

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

White Zinia in the Cutting Garden

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

"In 1999, the Atlantic Monthly estimated that Borlaug's efforts...saved the lives of one billion human beings."

As readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of heirloom and organic gardening and food production, but know that in practice (my backyard), the yields are much lower. Thus, heirloom and organic food is a luxury that many in this country cannot afford and in most countries is non-existent. In that context, I found this obituary interesting, particularly the difference in agricultural development in Asia, where famine has been eliminated, and Africa, where famine continues to persist.
From Gregg Easterbrook's obituary on Norman Borlaug in The Wall Street Journal. For the full article click here.

'As a young agronomist, Borlaug helped develop some of the principles of Green Revolution agriculture on which the world now relies including hybrid crops selectively bred for vigor, and "shuttle breeding," a technique for accelerating the movement of disease immunity between strains of crops. He also helped develop cereals that were insensitive to the number of hours of light in a day, and could therefore be grown in many climates.
Green Revolution techniques caused both reliable harvests, and spectacular output. From the Civil War through the Dust Bowl, the typical American farm produced about 24 bushels of corn per acre; by 2006, the figure was about 155 bushels per acre.
Hoping to spread high-yield agriculture to the world's poor, in 1943 Borlaug moved to rural Mexico to establish an agricultural research station, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Borlaug's little research station became the International Maize and Wheat Center, known by its Spanish abbreviation CIMMYT, that is now one of the globe's most important agricultural study facilities. At CIMMYT, Borlaug developed the high-yield, low-pesticide "dwarf" wheat upon which a substantial portion of the world's population now depends for sustenance.
In 1950, as Borlaug began his work in earnest, the world produced 692 million tons of grain for 2.2 billion people. By 1992, with Borlaug's concepts common, production was 1.9 billion tons of grain for 5.6 billion men and women: 2.8 times the food for 2.2 times the people. Global grain yields more than doubled during the period, from half a ton per acre to 1.1 tons; yields of rice and other foodstuffs improved similarly. Hunger declined in sync: From 1965 to 2005, global per capita food consumption rose to 2,798 calories daily from 2,063, with most of the increase in developing nations. In 2006, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization declared that malnutrition stands "at the lowest level in human history," despite the global population having trebled in a single century.
In the mid-1960s, India and Pakistan were exceptions to the trend toward more efficient food production; subsistence cultivation of rice remained the rule, and famine struck. In 1965, Borlaug arranged for a convoy of 35 trucks to carry high-yield seeds from CIMMYT to a Los Angeles dock for shipment to India and Pakistan. He and a coterie of Mexican assistants accompanied the seeds. They arrived to discover that war had broken out between the two nations. Sometimes working within sight of artillery flashes, Borlaug and his assistants sowed the Subcontinent's first crop of high-yield grain. Paul Ehrlich gained celebrity for his 1968 book "The Population Bomb," in which he claimed that global starvation was inevitable for the 1970s and it was "a fantasy" that India would "ever" feed itself. Instead, within three years of Borlaug's arrival, Pakistan was self-sufficient in wheat production; within six years, India was self-sufficient in the production of all cereals.
After his triumph in India and Pakistan and his Nobel Peace Prize, Borlaug turned to raising crop yields in other poor nations especially in Africa, the one place in the world where population is rising faster than farm production and the last outpost of subsistence agriculture. At that point, Borlaug became the target of critics who denounced him because Green Revolution farming requires some pesticide and lots of fertilizer. Trendy environmentalism was catching on, and affluent environmentalists began to say it was "inappropriate" for Africans to have tractors or use modern farming techniques. Borlaug told me a decade ago that most Western environmentalists "have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists in wealthy nations were trying to deny them these things."'

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Celebrate Fall at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, New Jersey, Sunday, October 25th, 11-3

Games, Family Scavenger Hunt, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Arts and Crafts, Face Painting, Costume Parade at 11:30AM. For more information, click here.

Japanese Beautyberry - Flowers and Immature Berries

To see what the berries will look like when they turn their distinctive purple, click here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2009

Here are just a few of the current blooms in my zone 6b garden. Check out all of the Bloom Day posts at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toad Lily, Tricyrtis formosana

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Picture This Photo Contest: Miscanthus sisnesis 'Adagio'

This month's Picture This Photo Contest at Gardening Gone Wild is on Ornamental Grasses. I have two confessions to make: first, there was a time when I didn't think I liked ornamental grasses, and second, I rarely focus on them as photographic subjects.

After an unexpected visit to the Cutler Botanic Garden in Binghamton, New York, where they have a wonderful garden dedicated to them, the beauty of ornamental grasses finally dawned upon me. Now, I have about a dozen of various sorts incorporated into several of my gardens. Of these, my favorite is Miscanthus sisnesis 'Adagio' which is located on Goldberry Hill, the Front Border, and Lilac Hill.

They are photogenic, but perhaps I overlook them because they don't have flowers. Yes, they are too large to exclude from pictures of different gardens, but no, I never stop to take a close-up or a picture focused on them. So, here's my first shot (pun intended).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio glaucus, on Butterfly Bush

Of all my butterflies, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the most frequent visitor and the least fearful photography subject.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Silver Spotted Skipper Butterfly, Epargyreus clarus, on Butterfly Bush

Here's another skipper that does not like to stay still for a decent photograph.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Correction: Female Zabulon (not Hobomok) Skipper Butterfly, Poanes zabulon, on Butterfly Bush

She skips around a mile a minute, so I felt lucky to get this shot.
Thank you to Randy Emmitt for the correct identification--this "handyman/photographer" from Rougemont, North Carolina really knows his butterflies. Check out his blog Randy & Meg's Garden Paradise.

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