New publication on biodynamics

Happy New Year to our blog readers!

Now that we have our blog safely moved to this new format, we all resolve to post more frequently. (It’s actually Bert’s day to post, but given that his computer is probably frozen – literally – in Michigan, I’ll step in.)

Today I got a link to my most recent publication in HortTechnology on the science behind biodynamic preparations. I’ve written about this topic before, but recognize the importance of peer-reviewed information for researchers, extension educators, and Master Gardener volunteers. Not to mention all the gardeners who rely on us to provide good science for gardens and landscapes. So here it is. I’m planning to continue submitting review articles to HortTechnology on other topics of interest. It looks like permaculture might be the next one up.

So enjoy this article – pass it on to others who are curious about biodynamics, and if you are a Master Gardener be sure to take it to your MG coordinator and ask that it becomes a resource for your program.


Breaking up Tree Week with an Important Announcement! (Or Not — depending on how you feel about shameless plugs)

OK, here it is, my one and only shameless plug — because my publisher says: Hey! You need to at least let people know that the book exists!

So — I’m excited to say that my next book, How The Government Got In Your Backyard, which I co-wrote with my good friend (and old college roommate) Eric Heberlig, who is an Associate Professor of Political Science at UNC Charlotte, is finally out.

In case it isn’t immediately obvious, I love to write. This is my fourth book — and in many ways I think it’s my best.  In it Eric and I look at the science and politics behind a number of environmental issues — everything from Plant Patents and Illegal Plants (think marijuana) to Organic Food, Global Warming and Biotechnology.  We look at the political right and left, investigate the science behind what they believe, and try to give unbiased opinions.  Some people have already let us know that we’re wrong!  (Which we find amusing — but that’s another story).

What we don’t try to do in this book is make up your mind for you — that’s your job based on your priorities.

Is there any future for a scientifically-sound gardening magazine?

(You’ll see two posts from me today.  This first one is easier to do at 6 a.m.)

One of the efforts I’ve been involved with is serving as science editor (and writer) for MasterGardener Magazine.  We started this quarterly publication in 2007 (take a look at it online at it here) – not just for Master Gardeners, but for anyone interested in sustainable gardens and landscapes.  Sadly, the publication went to an annual issue last year because of the economic downturn and now may be eliminated altogether.

Yes, this is a Washington state publication so when native plants discussed they are local natives.  But the information itself is applicable no matter where you live.  We had hoped at one time to offer regional issues, so that the magazine would have a local flavor.

Anyway, the publishers are no longer willing to carry a loss on the magazine.  What they really need are advertisers.

Any suggestions out there?  Most useful will be ideas that I can do from my computer or phone.