Local Harvest

The best organic food is what’s grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Common Pesticide Makes Honey Bees Picky Eaters

A new study offers further evidence about the dangerous effects of pesticides on honey bees. Biologists at the University of California at San Diego have found that a commonly used crop pesticide makes honey bees picky eaters and also makes them reduce the number of waggle dances they perform. Waggle dances are how the bees communicate the location of a food source; bees exposed to the pesticide performed four to ten times fewer dances.

Indeed, as Daren Eiri, a graduate student and the first author of the study in the Journal of Experimental Biology, says, some bees simply stopped performing waggle dances altogether after exposure to pesticides.

The chemical in question is imidacloprid, which is a type of neonicotinoid — which has been linked to bees’ deaths. Imidacloprid has come under increasing scrutiny in the US and is banned for use in some crops in some parts of Europe. James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who also authored the study, notes in Science Daily that, in 2006, imidacloprid was the sixth most commonly used pesticide in California. Besides being used in agriculture, it is also used in home gradens.

Read more…

Corn insecticide linked to great die-off of beneficial honeybees

Photo by Sherrymac

Bees are excellent environmental monitors, so does it really surprise anyone why the bees are dying? As so many other things these days we have some real problems that need fixing in our food chain and no real leaders on the side of the people to help fix them. It’s time for people to wake up and start demanding safe healthy food. Not food that’s tainted by GMO’s and poisonous chemicals. WE ARE NOT SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS!

New research has linked springtime die-offs of honeybees critical for pollinating food crops — part of the mysterious malady called colony collapse disorder — with technology for planting corn coated with insecticides. The study, published in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology, appears on the eve of spring planting seasons in some parts of Europe where farmers use the technology and widespread deaths of honeybees have occurred in the past. Continue reading »»»

Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.  ~Juvenal, Satires


Ways to Help:


Upcoming Classes and Events: Common Ground Organic Garden Supply

Upcoming Classes and Events

Healthy Organic Garden

Growing a Healthy Organic Garden

Classes do sell out!

Register early by clicking on the registration link, or calling Common Ground at 650 493-6072, then sending a check for the full amount to Common Ground, 559 College Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306. Seniors and low-income persons may request a $4 discount on classes.

Nancy Garrison
Saturday, March 17, 2012
10:30 – 12:30
To register click Growing Great Tomatoes or call 650-493-6072
Healthy Organic Tomatoes
Learn which tomatoes have really great flavor and reliable production and are able to hold up under regular garden conditions. You will learn excellent trellising methods, soil preparation, what NOT to do, and how to avoid the brown crispy foliage blues so a bountiful harvest will be yours until frost. Tomatoes featured are the result of Nancy’s 25 years of hands-on tomato research.
As the University of California Cooperative Extension Past Farm Advisor and Past Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Nancy continues to learn from the annual Master Gardener’s tomato variety evaluations.
Save time after class for Nancy’s popular Common Ground Center tour covering her favorite products.

Upcoming Classes and Events: Common Ground Organic Garden Supply.

Urban Farming: Raised Beds and Chicken Coops by Garden Girl

I just saw this great DIY video on agropedia about how to build raised beds for your urban garden. Being a very visual person I love videos that show you the entire process step by boring step, keeps me from getting lost and wandering off ending up with nothing.

Urban Farming: Raised Beds and Chicken Coops by Garden Girl.


Occupy Your Lawns Day – March 20, 2012 – Spring Equinox | Occupy Monsanto

The history of the lawn is distinctly of the 1%. It is also a terribly destructive practice in regards to biodiversity, pollution, rainwater absorption, pesticide and herbicide application, and more. The concept upon which the modern day lawn is based on a practice that began among the English elite as a way to flaunt their wealth by demonstrating their ability to “waste” their property by having inedible ornamental gardens (much of which was highly maintained grass, as you may have guessed) instead of using it for growing fruits and vegetables as the common people had to out of need. Make this day a day to be remembered by tearing up a section of your lawn and planting some of your own favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs. If possible, use a spot that is visible to the public to help encourage others to do the same. Invite your friends, make it an event going from house to house as a group transforming the neighborhood.

Occupy Your Lawns Day – March 20, 2012 – Spring Equinox | Occupy Monsanto.

3 Easy DIY Greenhouses for Under $300

© Angela Davis

With spring around the corner it’s time to start thinking about the garden. If you don’t have a garden I highly recommend making yourself one. There are so many benefits to growing your own garden (from reducing your stress and food bills, to better, more nutritious food that just tastes better). You don’t need a lot of space to grow things, and any small space can be turned into an amazing garden using pots and planters. Dirt, seeds, water, sun, a few nutrients, and most plants know exactly what to do. I’ve been amazed at what I’ve been able to grow in just pots on the patio; everything from cherry tomatoes and cucumbers to eggplant, and of course countless herbs. If you have yourself a little more space than just a patio, then you can get an early start planting seeds for your garden. Here are some creative and inexpensive DIY greenhouse ideas.

3 Easy DIY Greenhouses for Under $300 : TreeHugger.

Organic Seeds