Discover more from Priscilla’s Newsletter
We have always held onto hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Welcome to Newsletter #17! A big thank you to everyone who has stayed with me on this journey so far, whether it’s subscribing to my newsletter, visiting my website, following me @priscillawoolworth on instagram and showing interest in what I do. My priority has always been to build a community that is inspired, informed, empowered and excited by all the possibilities to take action in bettering the planet and our communities. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote posted above feels like it could be updated with “ and we can all pitch in to create a better future.” In this issue, you’ll learn Why I Love Collecting Seeds; Ways we can Give Back to the Earth; What is Free to Roam; About a Forest of 1,000 trees; Be Ready in the Event of an Emergency and a film, Sculpting This Earth. Hope you enjoy reading this newsletter! Let me know your thoughts!
#1- Why I save seeds
-We care for seeds and seeds care for us-
I’ve been saving seeds since I was about 13 years old. I started finding lupin seeds in my grandmother’s garden and milkweed in the fields in Maine and intuitively spread them on my walks. Since moving to the Hudson Valley, I have become a passionate seed saver, saving the healthiest vegetable and flower seeds every year. 90% of the vegetables and flowers I grow @River’sEdgeFarm are grown from seeds I have saved year after year. It’s not only an act of self-reliance, but I also truly enjoy the process.
Seeds connect our past to our present while promising hope for our future.
The 6 reasons for saving seeds
1. It’s the ultimate in garden self-reliance
2. You will save money as seeds you save yourself are free
3. When you save seeds from your very best specimens, you will improve your seed stock year after year and develop varieties especially well suited to your micro-climate
4. One of the best ways to help preserve biodiversity is to grow heirloom varieties
5. By saving your seeds you are opting out of the ever expanding garden-industrial complex, as small seed companies are rapidly being bought by giant agribusiness (Monsanto-Bayer)
6. Saving seeds helps us to grow our own food, promote food security and self-reliance, and preserve and protect our local genetic and cultural heritage. Being in charge of your food supply by having your own seeds.
Dried flower heads and zinnia’s on the wane
“Whoever controls the seeds controls the food supply,” ~ attributed to Vandana Shiva
End of summer and early fall is a good seed collecting time. I’ve compiled a list of some of the easiest seeds to collect and store:
Beans, peas, soy beans, kale, arugula, butternut squash, pumpkin, tomato, lettuce, okra, melon, peppers, cucumber, Brussels sprouts
Marigold, cosmos, poppy, sweet peas, nasturtium, zinnia, sunflower, cup flower, sulphur cosmos
Medicinal Plant Seeds
Chamomile, calendula, fennel, marshmallow
Native Wildflower Seeds (list varies depending on where you live)
Goldenrod, common milkweed, common wood aster, bee balm, New England aster, giant iron weed, Joe pie weed, Jerusalem artichoke, foxglove beardtongue
* When collecting wildflower seeds, collect only 20% of plants in abundant populations.
Both photos by @acountryroad , when I gave a seed saving workshop last year at Churchtown Dairy, near Hudson, NY.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive information about any upcoming Seed Workshops, which will take place @riversedgefarmny, near Hudson, NY or if you would like a Private Seed Saving Instruction.
#2-Sustainable Living vs. Mindful Living
-returning the gift-
I love the graphic I made years ago for my book LOLA Lots of Love Always, and would love to do an updated one that includes how we shouldn’t keep on taking earth’s resources but instead, be mindful about all our actions. Give back to it all the while putting less stress on the planet.
In the words of Robin Wall Kimmerer, "though we live in a world made of gifts, we find ourselves harnessed to institutions and an economy that relentlessly asks, What more can we take from the Earth? This worldview of unbridled exploitation is to my mind the greatest threat to the life that surrounds us. Even our definitions of sustainability revolve around trying to find the formula to ensure that we can keep on taking, far into the future. Isn't the question we need, "What does the Earth ask of us?" The premise of Earth asking something of me makes my heart swell. I celebrate the implicit recognition of the animacy of the Earth: that the living planet has the capacity to ask something of us, and that we have the capacity to respond.
Can it be that an entity as vast, as whole and generous, as the Earth has need of me? Me? Could it be that we are more than passive recipients of her gifts, but participants in her well-being? We are honored by the request. It lets us know that we belong.
How can we reciprocate the gifts of the Earth? In gratitude, in ceremony, through acts of practical reverence and land stewardship, in fierce defense of the beings and places we love, in art, in science, in song, in gardens, in children, in ballots, in stories of renewal, in creative resistance, in how we spend our money and our precious lives, by refusing to be complicit with the forces of ecological destruction.”
Captured hugging a tree by photo @anthonyslayterralph
#3- Free To Roam
-wildlife corridors in the USA-
Wildlife corridors are wonderful! So happy to learn that there are several in the works in the USA. Many animals will adapt to new climate conditions by changing habitats- if they can find a safe route. To see where animals might be able to move, scientists modeled the continent’s most likely wildlife corridors. The aim: to conserve connections that remain and restore flow where it’s been lost.
The wildlife overpass being built over the 101 freeway, north of Los Angeles. Congratulations to @yosemitebethy for working for many years to make this happen and #savelacougars
In reference to #6, I’m thrilled to be able to participate in my area during the spring migration and protect salamanders and frogs, by making sure they make it across the road safely. They emerge from winter hibernation on rainy nights in March and early April, after the ground has thawed and the evening air temperatures stay above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I have a vernal pond, which is a destination for salamanders and wood frogs. The frog’s evening chorus lets you know they made it to the pond and are ready to find a mate!
Vernal pond- which is temporary. It dries up by summertime, to reappear the following Spring.
Frog spawn in the vernal pond
But why are these amphibians so frequently seen crossing the road? Migration distances to woodland pools can vary from a few hundred feet to more than a quarter of a mile. Unfortunately, because forest and wetland habitats are often disconnected by development, many migrating amphibians need to cross roads and long driveways, leading to mortality of slow-moving wildlife, even in low traffic areas.
If you would like to learn how to volunteer and you live in upstate NY, follow this link
#4- Walking Forest of 1,000 Trees
-a vision of a greener future in the Netherlands-
Since May, volunteers have been transporting 1000 native trees planted in wooden containers along a 3.5km stretch through the centre of the northern Dutch city of Leeuwarden, giving people an opportunity to experience an alternative, greener future.
More tree cover in urban environments means lower land temperatures – a planning feature that is becoming increasingly crucial in a heating world. A study conducted across nearly 300 European cities showed that urban trees can cool the land surface temperature by up to 12C in summer.
“The trees created such a calming effect, people immediately felt relaxed,” says Sjoukje Witkop, the general manager of a nearby hotel. Witkop has been inspired to install 10 large plant pots outside the hotel. “Why didn’t we have trees there before?” she says.
The 1,000 trees are made up of 60-70 native species, including alder, ash, elm, maple, oak and willow, planted in 800 wooden containers. Each has a QR code providing details such as species, average lifespan and preferred soil type. A soil sensor alerts the city’s gardening team when the trees need water.
From 14 August – 100 days after they arrived – the trees will be planted around the city, including in low-income neighbourhoods, where greenery is scarce. Friesland aims to be the most circular region in the EU by 2025, reducing waste, pollution and biodiversity loss.
Source: The Guardian
#5-Be Ready in the Event of an Emergency
I hope that you are never in an emergency situation, but being prepared in the case of a major emergency such as fire or a natural disaster, can save your life. September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross urges everyone to get ready for the possibility of an emergency situation in the future.
Just last year, more that 40% of Americans were living in a county struck by a climate-related disaster.
In my book LOLA Lots of Love Always, a chapter 17 is devoted to being prepared in the event of an emergency and what to do if you find yourself in one, whether it’s a Power Outage, Fire, Heatwave, Flood, Earthquake, Tornado, Blizzard and Ice Storms. I recommend reading it as the information is to the point and very helpful.
An example of the contents of a 72-hour bag, which will vary depending on where you live. These are some of the universal must-haves items.
When I lived in Los Angeles, I had 2 large plastic bins stored in a storage shed by the house, which included all of these items. It really gave me gave me peace of mind. I also included the dates when some of the perishable items should be used by (water and food), but most of them the items will last for many years.
In addition, include your pets in your emergency plans. In the event you would ever need to evacuate your home, find out which pet-friendly hotels are in your area, ad where your pets can stay in an emergency situation.
More info at the Red Cross
-for your pleasure-
Sculpting This Earth
Over four consecutive seasons artist Strijdom van der Merwe travels to remote locations in the southern African interior to make beautiful land art works in a striking range of spectacular natural settings.
The new documentary feature film from director Victor van Aswegen. World premiere: Friday 26 August 2022.
Wishing you all the best in all ways, for you and your loved ones
See you again in two weeks!