links: vegetable pizza, state of birds, and more


WHAT A WORLD, for better or for worse.  That’s what I think when I click around the internet: that you couldn’t make this stuff up. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of what I’ve been struck by lately in my incessant online travels–a list of links you might want to ponder, too, from the state of the birds to Congress’ latest mental lapse (huh? pizza is a vegetable?), frugal gardening ideas, and more.

Garden-Fresh Pizza?

II DON’T SEE SEEDS for either heirloom or hybrid pizza in the first of the seed catalogs that have arrived here, but Congress in its infinite wisdom has this week declared pizza a vegetable. Our nation’s children don’t have a chance with such genius at work (nor, I fear, do we adults).

State of the Birds

WITH KUDOS FROM esteemed biologist E.O. Wilson, Mass Audubon (as in Massachusetts, a significantly bird-rich state) released its massive “State of the Birds” report in September, making this full-color, 64-page book available as a pdf online. It’s not all bad news: there have been declines in 39 percent of breeding bird populations and 26 percent of wintering birds there, birds of forests and urban/suburban landscapes are doing better (grasslands and shrublands birds are not).  A must read.

What Price, Gardening?

AA BLOG CALLED The Simple Dollar, about “improving your finances and your life,” shouted out A Way to Garden as a recommended garden site, in an article about gardening frugally and a recent book on the topic. (Today’s topic on TSD’s homepage: How much does it really cost to grow, rather than buy, fresh vegetables?)

A Rose to Relish

II HAVE A BIT of an issue, shall we say, with many modern plant names, preferring something a little more romantic to ones that sounds like they came straight out of a marketing meeting where everyone was drinking too much coffee for their own good. Perhaps the worst I’ve ever heard: a new red rose with a yellow reverse called ‘Ketchup & Mustard,’ from Edmunds.

Case of Mistaken Identity

SO MANY PEOPLE emailed me the link from the “New York Times” a couple of weeks ago, about a cat named Jack who got lost at JFK Airport.  Of course if anyone had called, I could have said where he was the whole time: here with me. Anyhow, I forgot to share this one till now, but in case you missed it….

Geraniums in Perpetuity

I AM ALWAYS fascinated by the lengths people go to in order to keep their geraniums (genus Pelargonium, I mean) over the winter. A recent story in the Albany (NY) paper—the nearest city to me—details some tactics.

  1. Leesa says:

    Just to clarify, it was the Republicans in the House that blocked the Federal Government (i.e. the Obama administration) from changing the rules on school lunch programs so that pizza could no longer be considered a vegetable.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Leesa. The latest detailed report (from the Los Angeles Times) I can find to share on the pizza situation is this one. The Daily News (NYC) also seems to have it stated differently from your take on it. Even Fox News — on the other side of the political spectrum, one might say — seems to have it differently, saying as the others do that the Republican Party objects to the proposed bill that would affect the use of so many potatoes, for instance, in the weekly school menu (in favor of other sides) and stop considering a mere 2 ounces of tomato sauce (as is on the pizza) a veggie serving.

  2. Kate says:

    I am deeply saddened to learn that Jack’s injuries from malnutrition and dehydration were so severe he could not be saved. To think he was lost for 61 days and had no food nor water all that time is just heartbreaking. From comments in the NY Times, it sounds like both Jack and Jack’s owner were treated very indifferently by American Airlines. It’s an unexplained mystery how Jack’s cage came open but I would hesitate to put any beloved animal’s welfare in the hands of baggage handlers and other airport employees.

  3. Lara says:

    I agree, there is just a whole bunch of crazy in the headlines these days. And Kate couldn’t have said it any better–Jack’s story is utterly heartbreaking.

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