naee-logo1Click here to read the latest newsletter from Garden Organic.  There are features on tomato seed saving, the allium leaf miner survey, ways to switch to organic cultivation, and more … .

And there is also detail on forthcoming courses.

enn_logo22. The latest update from the Environmental News Network includes:

100BLUE3. Plantlife is the CJS Charity of the month.  You can read about it here.  You’ll find a feature on meadow making by Trevor Dines.  This begins:

Ever thought of establishing a wildflower meadow?  It’s perhaps one of the most rewarding ways to bring native flora and other wildlife into your garden. What could be more attractive than a swathe of oxeye daisies, buttercups and knapweed swaying in the breeze on a warm summer evening?   But one of the biggest challenges is getting the grass under control, especially if you’re creating the meadow in an existing lawn or area of rough grass.  If it’s too vigorous, it simply shoulders aside the flowers you want to encourage.  Thankfully, though, nature has provided her own weapon for us to deploy.  Most meadow flowers are perennials, growing fresh new shoots from their roots each year and spreading slowly through the sward.  But yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor) is different.  It’s an annual plant, completing its entire life cycle in one year.  It produces large quantities of seed, protected inside inflated seed pods that rattle when they ripen and dry in late summer, hence the name.  In the old days, this sound was used as a cue to the farmer that the hay was ready to cut.

Permaculture-Association4. Read the latest from the Permaculture Association.  New opportunities include:

Wildlife_Watch_Masthead_BLUE_25. Wildlife Watch says Get Snap-Happy!

“Have you ever tried to take that perfect shot, but something’s just not right? It can be really difficult to make a photo look fun and interesting, as well as keeping the subject in focus, and think about how bright it is, and shadows, and if it’s too far away! So what can you do?   You don’t need a big, fancy camera. A mobile phone or a small compact camera can be just as good at getting the photos you want, simply by changing the way you take the picture in the first place!  Rachel Wilkins from Jessops shares her top tips for capturing the best photographs.”

SA_MasterbrandLogo6. The Soil Association says that a new report has revealed that school children’s fruit and veg contains residues of 123 different pesticides.  This is more than is found in mainstream produce on supermarket shelves, the Association says.  Its website  says: Fruit and vegetables are given out daily to approximately 2.3 million four-to-six year olds each year in England via a government scheme aimed at promoting healthy eating habits.  A new report launched today by Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) has revealed that the fruit tested contained residues of 123 different pesticides, including pesticides that have been linked to having a negative effect on children’s cognitive development.  Nick Mole of Pan UK says:

“We know that young children are one of the groups most vulnerable to the health impacts of pesticides.  Even more worrying is what we don’t know. We are still unsure of the long term effects of consuming pesticides and of the suggested ‘toxic cocktail’ effect of consuming a number of pesticides.”

0ca9aa2e-4b17-459e-a05c-16a69b71031d7. Finally, the latest Ripples newsletter is here from the Freshwater habitats Trust – and a recent Science Geek blog is about the discovery of pulsars 50 years ago this year.  This touches on the, still controversial, decision of the Nobel Committee not to award a share of the prize to the young woman who actually made the discovery.  That was the admirable Jocelyn Bell-Burnell.