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Earthworms

Host Jean Ponzi presents information, education and conversation with activists and experts on environmental issues and all things "green." Produced in the studios of KDHX Community Media in St. Louis, MO.
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Conversations in Green: host Jean Ponzi presents information, education and conversation with activists and experts on environmental issues and all things green.

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Aug 14, 2017

In 1967, the Meramec River had not yet flowed to the edge of a dam proposal controversy that would not end until 1981, but trash and debris from river users and "clubhouses" built along the Meramec's course was a problem that caught the attention of river lovers and enviro-advocates. Half a century ago, the first Operation Clean Stream began a concentrated process to clean up the Meramec.

       

After FIFTY years, there is still a need for this annual river clean-up event, held the fourth weekend of August. However, hundreds of hours and thousands of volunteers have made a huge difference in the health of the entire Meramec watershed.  Operation Clean Stream now works on the Meramec and its tributaries: Big, Courtois, Bourbeus and Huzzah rivers in the region of the Missouri Ozarks closest to the St. Louis region.

This Earthworms conversation celebrates Operation Clean Stream's 50th anniversary, talking with Kat Dockery and Caitlin Zera, who are Executive Director and Office Manager for the Open Space Council and - with super kudos for dedication - to Larry Cain, who has volunteered for Operation Clean Stream for the past 30 years.

Operation Clean Stream is a terrific opportunity to get out, get wet, and do some good work for river health and water quality in our region. Adults and kids can sign up for a cleanup shift on August 27 or 27. Your efforts will make history!

Music: Washboard Suzie, performed live at KDHX by Zydeco Crawdaddies

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer

 

Aug 9, 2017

OK, so maybe "No Mow" is a seedy fiction, but there ARE alternatives to conventional turf that can save water and work, turn down the Lawn Boy's carbon emissions - even support the lives of pollinators. All while keeping that sweet green place to play for our kids and dogs.

Today's needs have evolved, somewhat, from the country's original No Mow situation:

             

Neil Diboll, president of Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisconsin, returns to Earthworms to elucidate the what-why-how of Lawn Alternatives. His No Mow Lawn Mix is proving popular in central Wisconsin's sandy, loamy soil. And his youth in University City, MO, gave Neil a healthy appreciation for our heat-loving Zoyzia grass. Of course he encourages transformation of areas in your turf into flowering prairie-like pollinator islands. Move over, John Deere - there are turf alternatives here!

                            

Could a local, creative plantsman develop a "No Mow" mix for our St. Louis area's hot summers and clay soils? Working with nature, the grass COULD be Greener!

Music: Magic 9, performed live at KDHX by Infamous Stringdusters

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer and discerning listener

Related Earthworms Conversations: Growing a Joint Venture with Nature (February, 2017)

Aug 2, 2017

Earthworms home turf is the Show-Me State - where ecological gardening ideas and practices are growing like . . . plants with WEED in their names. So it follows that getting to see the plants of this place, the ones that are our Natives, is a great way to explore this Nature Thang that's benefiting critters, people, water quality, and more.
                 
St. Louis Audubon hosts their third annual Native Plant Garden Tour on Saturday, September 16, 9 am to 4 pm. Ten homes will open their gardens to visitors using a self-guiding map that describes each site. Volunteers supporting home hosts and a limit of 300 tickets sold will ensure that each visit can include conversations about the environs on view. Personal connections are a hallmark of the Native Plant Gardening movement in the St. Louis region, in many ways, not the least is the opportunity for everyone to connect with Nature's beauty and surprises.

                                           

Earthworms guests are Mitch Leachman, Executive Director of St. Louis Audubon, and Tour Hosts Kari Pratt and Cori Westcott. Along with all gardeners hosting this year's tour, our guests are all involved - as service providers or advisees - with Audubon's "Bring Conservation Home" habitat consultation program. All 2017 Native Plant Garden Tour sites have taken advantage of this program's customized, innovative service.

Visit www.stlouisaudubon.org for program and tour ticket details.

Music: Balkan Twirl, performed live at KDHX by Sandy Weltman and the Carolbeth Trio.

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineering wiz, making us peeps and plants sound good!

Related Earthworms Conversations: Wild Bees and Native Plants (March, 2017); Growing a Joint Venture with Nature (February, 2017); Prairie Power (March, 2016); Natives Raising Natives: Butterflies and People (May, 2017)

Jul 17, 2017

October 14, 1987. They gathered in the shack, on the grassy knoll in Arnold, MO.  A small group of volunteers who'd been digging and wiring and building and raising money for - well, probably felt like forever. A switch got flipped. A needle dropped. Static transformed to the ragtime riffs of "Radio" sung by Banu Gipson. KDHX was ON THE AIR!

Jeff Ritter (front row, left) was the only one of those ten weary, cheering folk who didn't have to go to work the next morning, so he camped out in the shack, spun records and hosted the very first KDHX airshift ever. First of just about 88,000 at this year's 30-year anniversary point, and all contributed by volunteers.

Jean Ponzi - one of several notable Ritter recruits to the KDHX team - got to show the guy who's now Dr. Ritter around our spiffy new Larry J. Weir Independent Media Center when he cruised through The Lou on a summer motorcycle trip. This Earthworms special edition celebrates that tenacious KDHX Person-Power, has a bit o' KDHX history fun, and affirms the ongoing, growing value of KDHX today.

Music: Cadillac Desert, performed live at KDHX by William Tyler
THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer

Jul 11, 2017

We've heard the statistics: seven point something BILLION and growing. What do those "billions" mean, what's at issue for Earth's capacity to support human life - and what about the rest of the species living here?

World Population Day was designated in 1987 by the United Nations to educate and advocate on population-related issues. This Earthworms' conversation takes place on July 11, 2017, the 30th annual round of focus on these global concerns.

                 
 
Joe Bish, Director of Issue Advocacy for the Population Media Center, explains some of these issues, especially from an environmental viewpoint. He also describes how PMC is changing the public population education game in countries where these issues are major stressors, with significant taboos. PMC produces Soap Operas! They collaborate with local talent to create stories based on local culture, supporting the work of writers, producers and actors and impacting community values and practices. Who doesn't love a juicy serial drama? 

Music: Abdiel, performed live at KDHX by Dave Black

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer

In 2013, the Population Institute, a key partner of Population Media Center, recognized KDHX Earthworms and host Jean Ponzi with a Global Media Award for Best Radio Show.

Jul 3, 2017

We too often hear how out society is checked-out, apathetic, overwhelmed. There is a LOT of keep track of and cope with in the news today - in no small part because there's so much news coming at us constantly. But keeping engaged as citizens is IMPORTANT. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment has a new tool to help us be active, responsive, inquiring. It puts efficient, effective potentials in our pockets.

                 
Caitlin Zera, Community Engagement Manager for MCE, leads the team developing The People's Pocket Guide to Environmental Action. A pdf version is available now. MCE staff and volunteers are distributing (pocket sized!) print copies at community outreach events, and will be offering citizen action trainings starting this fall. An interactive online Pocket Guide is in the works, giving MCE and many partner organizations the capacity to illustrate the basic action measures with community issue examples. 

As Caitlin talks through the action process with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi, we are confident you'll get the goal this guide's subtitle energizes: How YOU Can Make a Difference in Your Community NOW.

Music: Magic 9 performed live at KDHX by Infamous Stringdusters

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: From the Pipeline with Filmmaker Caitlin Zera (January 2016)

New Food Policy Coalition Grows Health & Environment Resources (December 2015)

Jun 28, 2017

They stand around us, enrich our lives in countless ways - that are increasingly well-documented with compelling data. They embody cooperation in many ways that humans could emulate. And they give us shade. When we tune to their frequencies, what's on the Great Tree Playlist for us? Plenty!

             

Biologist David George Haskell has been listening to trees in very different Earth locales. His new book The Songs of Trees - Stories from Nature's Great Connectors (Penguin 2017) features trees in an Ecuadoran rain forest, on Broadway in Manhattan, in a middle-eastern olive grove, and other unique spots. His observations and perceptions combine scientific precision with a philosopher's expansive take on life, told in a troubadour's voice. Trees have MUCH to teach our kind, about dancing between competition and cooperation, toward the vision (Haskell says it's an attainable goal!) of regenerating and benefiting all we touch.

David Haskell will speak on July 25 in St. Louis, for the Wild Ideas Worth Sharing biodiversity speaker series - FREE - at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He will also present to area teachers as keynote speaker for the "Visualizing Biodiversity Symposium." He teaches biology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. His work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of the natural world.

Music: For Michael, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran
THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: Urban Forests: Seeing the Benefits FROM the Trees (October 2016)

Backyard Woodland: How to Tend Your Forests and Your Trees (August 2016)

Jun 21, 2017

Our human culture shapes our human values, which in turn makes us more (or less) of how we see ourselves and who we "really" are, as individuals and as the societies we form. Writer and thinker Jeremy Lent has explored the connecting, shaping forces in the context of human history - to help us see and hopefully direct ourselves.

                                

This conversation lights on topics from Agriculture - and how it cultivated Hierarchies - to Truth, with and w/o the capital emphasis, to Love being our realization of connectedness, at the heart of human-kind-ness. We think you'll dig these deep thoughts, seasoned with Earthworms' sense o' humus about what it means to be Human - in the past, now and in possible futures. 

May this podcast prompt you to pick up Jeremy Lent's new book, The Patterning Instinct - A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning (Prometheus, 2017), and check his work through the non-profit Liology Institute, where connection is appreciated as a universal organizing principle. 

Music: Beneath the Brine, performed live at KDHX by The Family Crest

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer and hub of Sedentism Awareness

 

   
      
   

Jun 14, 2017

Consider money: abstract medium of exchange representing all human and natural creativity and productivity. Could money evolve through human ingenuity - motivated by human love - to restore, protect and cultivate the human and natural resources it stands for?

Investment expert Joel Solomon says, emphatically, YES! and expounds on how in his new book The Clean Money Revolution - Reinventing Power, Purpose and Capitalism (New Society, 2017; written with Tyee Bridge).

                            

This revolution means that we who have monetary privilege can and will use the energy of money for the good of the whole, for the long term. Visionary - and practical, advocating from 30+ years investment experience that proves doing well can do good, in major ways. 


This Earthworms conversation explores the options, as it affirms the urgent necessity of transforming how money works, and how to realize changing it.


Music: Giant Steps, performed live at KDHX by the Dave Stone Trio

THANKS to Cody Pees, Earthworms engineer, and to Carney & Associates P.R.

Check out Joel Solomon's Ted Talk - Joel, chair of Renewal Funds, a $98 million mission venture capital firm in Vancouver, BC, was instrumental in bringing TEDx to Vancouver. 

Jun 7, 2017

The bug us. They bite us. Some of them carry a dread disease. Mosquitoes are a fact of summer life that WE can and must actively control.

                       

Jim Sawyer, Vector Control Supervisor for St. Louis County Department of Public Health, covers the details about mosquito biology, disease concerns, and County mosquito control protocols. Earthworms host Jean Ponzi gets the facts to help us all work together with public health officials to minimize mosquito breeding (dump and prevent standing water!) and to identify sites where mosquito species of concern may be proliferating.

Hear how Integrated Pest Management by a local government uses surveillance, conservative and strategic applications of adulticide and larvaecide chemicals, and plenty of public education to protect human health while also protecting beneficial insects. If you are gardening for bees or butterflies, learn how you can opt out of street spraying.

                       

For specific information about mosquito controls where you live, call you municipality or county government Vector Control office. Resources from St. Louis County, MO, include the basics of citizen-municipal collaboration toward good health for all.

Music: Hunters Permit, performed live at KDHX by Mr. Sun

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer, assisted by Cody Pees.

Related Earthworms Conversations:
Fight the Bite!  City of St. Louis Mosquito Team (July 2016)

May 31, 2017

Across the tribal lands of Oklahoma, indigenous people are supporting Monarch butterflies and other pollinators by learning about and restoring the area's indigenous plant communities.

           

Jane Breckinridge - herself a Butterfly farmer! - co-directs this initiative, Tribal Environmental Action for Monarchs (TEAM), a collaboration of seven sovereign native nations. TEAM is growing a living stream of plants and butterflies, the Monarch Migration Trail, in partnership with the international initiative Monarch Watch.  Jane also founded the project Natives Raising Natives (2013), which is teaching rural tribal members to cultivate butterflies with goals to (1) reduce unemployment, (2) promote STEM education for Native youth and (3) promote conservation of native butterflies and the ecosystems that support them. 

Evolving on the wings of cultural and environmental purpose, this is a new model for conservation as community action. that is working in accord with the partners' diverse tribal values. Healthier humans of all ages are thriving with bugs and plants, in interactions that restore the land all depend upon.

Jane Breckinridge will be guest speaker at The Pollinator Dinner, June 20, at the Saint Louis Zoo. Tickets for this delectable, inspiring event go fast. 

THANKS! to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms Engineer

MUSIC: Jamie, performed live at KDHX by Yankee Racers

Related Earthworms Conversations: Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch (March 1, 2017)

May 19, 2017

The operation's name affirms its goal: Living Lands and Waters, and it's founder is a powerhouse of encouraging experience for humans along many shores. As Chad Pregracke proudly reports, LLW has worked on 23 Rivers in 20 States, mobilizing 98,000 Volunteers to pull more than 9.2 million pounds of Trash OUT of U.S. waterways. Right livelihood, on a barge. Since this guy was 17.

               

Chad is a Green Giant - and his LLW crew and circles of helpers and supporters are doing some of the most amazing, effective and necessary work around. Including connecting people of all political persuasions to our land's big rivers, in ways that enable us all to experience being good citizens of our nation and our Earth.

This Earthworms is a rockin' good listen!

Music: Extremist Stomp - performed live at KDHX by Pokey laFarge and Ryan Spearman

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms' Engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: Missouri River Relief (March 2017)

Mississippi Watershed Mayors take Infrastructure Plan to Washington (March 2017)

 

May 16, 2017

Now five issues old, The New Territory celebrates culture and views of the Lower Midwest in a quarterly anthology of writing, art and photography.

                   

Founder, publisher, Ed-in-Chief Tina Casagrand took her vocational step into magazine-making to amplify voices of the region she unhesitatingly calls a Center of the Universe. She talks with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi about the spirit and workings of her literary venture, and the region it portrays.

Visit online at NewTerritoryMag.com   Let us know how you experience it!

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer.

May 10, 2017

Earth's atmosphere can safely sustain a concentration of 350 parts per million carbon dioxide (or less). That number, 350, now stands for the world-wide work of climate protection activists (350.org), who also advocate for human stuff like a livable minimum wage - and for office-holders in accord with 350 goals.

       

350STL launched in November, 2016, on a wave of local affiliates to 350.org. 350STL organizers John Shepherd, Stephanie Sturm-Smith and Elizabeth Ward talk with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi about this group's purpose and activities - most recently coordinating the April 29 Peoples Climate March in St. Louis - and about their personal motivations and experience doing this work. 

You'll hear a climate of thoughtful purpose, working toward local and global change.

Music: Butter, performed live at KDHX by Ian Ethan Case

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms ConversationsCitizens Climate Lobby - Dec 2016 Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change - Nov 2016                                       An Ethnobotanical Perspective on Climate Change - December 2015               David and the Giant Mailbox: A 1,000 Mile Walking Climate Conversation (Nov 2015)

May 2, 2017

Digging into food values - while exploring her own - author Marissa Landrigan journeyed from her Italian family roots to vegetarian and PETA activism - and on into the realm of modern food production, especially Meat. Her new book, A Vegetarian's Guide to Eating Meat (Greystone Books, 2017), chronicles her quest for dietary and personal identity.

Even if you can expound on Food Issues in your sleep, you'll be nourished by Ms. Landrigan's  perspective on the importance of eating local, voting for instead of protesting with your fork, becoming aware of your food connections - plus participating at a steer slaughter and in an elk hunt.

This Earthworms conversation with Marissa Landrigan serves a menu of food consciousness, most eloquently. 

MUSIC: Deep Gap - recorded live at KDHX by Marisa Anderson

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer, and to Kathlene Carney Public Relations.

RELATED Earthworms Conversations:

Farmer Girl Meats: Pasture to Porch, Sustainably (June 2016)

Grow - Create - Inspire with Crystal Moore Stevens (October 2016)

St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (December 2015)

 

Apr 26, 2017

The Miller family had been farming acreage in Ferguson, Missouri for over a century when Molly Rockamann, a visionary who loves to dance, came home from service overseas, met Mrs. Miller and launched - in 2008 - the enterprise EarthDance Farms.

Today, this extraordinary human-nature partnership includes an Organic Farm School; hands-on working and learning opportunities for teens to elders; productive, nutritious, delicious and LOCAL public interactions through the Ferguson Farmers Market - and much more.

                           

Most recently, the principles of Permaculture have taken root on the contours of EarthDance fields, guided enthusiastically by Farm Manager Matt Lebon. Matt describes the Permaculture way of working with nature to produce food while supporting whole ecosystems (way more than just crop rows) on agricultural lands. 

This summer, plan a Saturday morning trip up to Ferguson. Shop the Ferguson Farmers' Market starting at 8 am, then at 10:45 hop on the new Jolly Trolley (put your veggies in its cooler) for a short trip to tour EarthDance Farms. You'll be back to your car by noon - and it may not be your only visit! Learn more at www.EarthDanceFarms.org

Music: Mayor Harrison's Fedora, performed live at KDHX by Kevin Buckley and Ian Walsh

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms' engineer, and to Crystal Stevens, EarthDance Marketing Mama, for coordinating this interview.

Related Earthworms Conversations: 

Farming on a Downtown Roof - June, 2015 - Food Roof farmer Mary Ostafi is an EarthDance alumna.

Permaculturist Tao Orion Goes Beyond the War on Invasive Species (March, 2016)

St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (December, 2015)

Apr 23, 2017

Kat Makable, a financial analyst, was living in Japan in 2011 when the tsunami resulting from the Tohoku earthquake shut down the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  His experience of the effects of power outages and shutdowns motivated him to research nuclear power options.

                              

His book "Buying Time: Environmental Collapse and the Future of Energy" makes the case that current generation nuclear energy technology must be included in a mix of energy production sources to support human needs and demands in the age of Climate Change - and beyond.


Music: Abdiel, performed live at KDHX by Dave Black

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer!

 

Apr 12, 2017

Earth Day is a green-letter holiday for Earthworms, this year celebrating 29 years of communicative community service on KDHX! Worms and humans will whoop it up at the St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park on the glorious rolling grounds of The Muny. And did we say: it's all FREE!

           

We say a lot about this event in this Earthworms conversation with host Jean Ponzi and Bob Henkel, manager of St. Louis Earth Day's uber-resourceful year-round community-event program Recycling On The Go.
                              
These days, in the enviro-biz, it ain't all good news. But Earth's elegant, beautiful systems persist in humming all around us. Getting outside for a fete is a righteous way to celebrate the gifts of Earth, and of Life here. The Earth Day Festival in St. Louis offers open-air breezes, music, great food and drink, fun and enlightening activities, super-duper people-watching - and the opportunity to learn a lot of good stuff toward becoming a better steward of this Earth we in habit. All for Free. 

Hope to see you at the Earth Day Festival!

MUSIC: Agnes Polka, performed live at KDHX by the Chia Band.

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms very Green-minded engineer.

 

Apr 5, 2017

Their motto: 124 Cities, 10 States, 1 River. Their most recent collaboration: a proposal to the Trump administration for investing in an infrastructure plan that restores ecology as well as built features along the Mississippi.

They are the mayors of towns of all sizes bordering the river's "mainstem," forces joined in the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative. This group of local leaders jumped on the presidential campaign promise of infrastructure improvements, preparing a plan they presented in Washington on March 1, that calls for investing $7.93 billion in specific actions that will create 100,000 new jobs, sustain 1.5 million existing jobs, and generate $24 billion in economic return.

     

The mayors' plan is grounded in economics. It modestly calls for near-current levels of funding for valuable EPA, DOT, DOI, FEMA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers programs that clean our water and return taxpayer investments at the rate of at least 2 o 1. This group was FIRST to present a proposal to the White House, meeting with the President's senior infrastructure advisor and representatives from White House Intergovernmental Affairs and the National Security Council.

This Earthworms conversation with Colin Wellenkamp, Executive Director of MRCTI, details foresight, cooperation, leadership, and common sense - applied to protect and restore the Triple Bottom Line of natural, human and capital resources - from elected officials of American towns.

It's a proposal, not a done deal by any means, but . . . Kudos, mayors for GREAT work!  Stay tuned.

Music: Butter II, performed live at KDHX by Ian Ethan Case
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Leadership in a Global Way: Mississippi River Town Mayors (June, 2016)

 

Mar 27, 2017

A river in songs and legends is also one of the most altered major waterways in the world, and the longest river in North America. The Missouri roils eastward from the Rocky Mountains to join it's mighty Mississippi cousin just upstream of St. Louis. 

Before this powerful confluence, Big Muddy flows past the historic, friendly town of Washington, MO. And on those banks - in fact, right in Renwick Riverfront Park - all are welcome to help clean up and celebrate the Missouri in the 6th Washington River Festival on Saturday, April 8th. Local artists and river friends host this festival in partnership with Missouri River Relief.

            

Join the clean-up effort from 9 am - 1 pm. The Festival from 11 am - 5 pm features music, educational booths, art activities, food, and an art auction - all FREE and all arrayed along Washington's Missouri River banks.

THANKS to Earthworms guests Steve Schnarr, River Relief Program  Manager (and real-life River Rat) and festival organizer Gloria Attoun for this flowing conversation!

THANKS also to Andy Heasley, Earthworms engineer.
Related Earthworms Conversations: Living With Rivers: Big Muddy MO (February 15, 2017 - AND Mississippi River Town Mayors: Leadership in Global Way (June 2016) 

Mar 22, 2017

"It's how we used to learn," says Scott McClintock, science teacher and board member of the Experiential Education Exchange of St. Louis. "You experience something, reflect on it - learn from it - and incorporate it into your life skills."

Scott expands this modest summary in an Earthworms conversation that covers outdoor trips, building school gardens, digging up the cow that died on the school farm last year - and how real-life experiences (and topics like climate change or tolerance) are growing human minds and hearts while also teaching necessary math and reading. Not your straight-line test-score old-school blues song.

                    

Leaders and partners of the EEE have collaborated since 2013 to help teachers, students, parents and school administrators get access to Experiential know-how, grounding St. Louis in an international education movement. A free Spring Event on March 29 and the annual conference on April 29 of the Experiential Education Exchange are opportunities to build skills and relationships in a learning mode where connecting to nature and becoming fully human headline the curriculum.

Learn (a lot!) more at www.eeestl.org 

Music: Magic 9, performed at KDHX by Infamous Stringdusters

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer

Related Earthworms Conversations: The Big Book of Nature Activities (June 28, 2016)

Mar 14, 2017

They may nest in a tree stump, or holes in the ground, or pull nest fibers from the stalks of your dried-up native plants. Wherever they can make a home, you will find them fascinating, useful guests. Earthworms guest Heather Holm - a landscape designer, author and native plant expert - LOVES to introduce humans to them!

                           

They are Native Bees - species of insects that pollinate many kinds of plants. They are very different from familiar honeybees (introduced here from Europe) which live in huge colonies of thousands of bees. Our native bees are usually solitary, visible only during their brief adult lives, when their determined purpose is to build an out-of-the-way nest, provision it with "bee bread" made from flower pollen, lay eggs, seal their nest up - and die. Next year, new native bees will hatch from those obscure places and re-start the cycle of reproduction and pollination.

Heather Holm now works, researches, writes and speaks from her Minnesota home in the Twin Cities. She hails from the University of Ontario, Guelph, where another recent Earthworms guest brought us intel about honeybees. She visited St. Louis in early March, as keynote speaker for the Partners for Native Landscaping workshop, where she kindled many fires of interest in gardening to attract and observe native bees - including with Earthworms host Jean Ponzi!

Music: Divertimento K 131, performed by Kevin McLeod

Thanks to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms engineer.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Bees and People (January 2017)

Prairie Plants: Growing a Joint Venture with Nature (February 2017)

Mar 8, 2017

In Earthworms' experience, when people want to do something Green they think recycling - or solar panels! But what makes solar tick? What are your options? How is solar evolving, in efficiency, affordability, and influence in the "energy space?"

                         
Paul McKnight, owner of St. Louis-based EFS Energy, has made solar his business since 2011. He's weathered solar's ups/downs - and continues to be excited by innovations in power storage, renewable energy financing - and more.


                    

Music: Giant Steps, Dave Stone

THANKS to Andy Heaslet, intrepid engineer

Related Earthworms' Conversations: PACE Financing (January 2017)

Energy: Efficiency, Policy, Financing (September 2016)

All-Electric America> (August 2016)

Mar 1, 2017

How can you not love a tiny, gorgeous creature that flies from Mexico to Canada to keep its species on the Earth? Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are one of our most iconic nature-kin. They need our help - and we can give it to them, beautifully.

                    

Dr. Orly R. "Chip" Taylor has championed Monarchs since the early 1990s.  His studies through University of Kansas-Lawrence have documented a drastic decline (over 90%) of Monarch populations along their  North American migratory flyway, and his advocacy - as founder of Monarch Watch, Monarch Waystation and Milkweed Market - continues to mobilize citizen science and gardening support to restore habitat needed to preserve this species.

Chip Taylor will  keynote the second annual Grow Native! workshop in Edwardsville, IL on Friday, March 10. This is an opportunity to hear one of nature's Green Giants, learn how YOU can contribute to the health of Monarch and other native critter populations through Native Plant landscaping - and you can GET PLANTS!

Don't let this spring pass without digging into the Native Plant movement. Opportunities abound! You - and Monarchs - will benefit, beautifully.

Music: Artifact, Kevin MacLeod

THANKS to Andy Heasley, Earthworms engineer - and to Andy Coco.

Related Earthworms Conversations: 

Native Plants: Growing a Joint Venture with Nature (February 2017) 

Prairie Power (March 2016)

Feb 15, 2017

Longest in the US, muddy-waters famous for music-inspiring - and one of the most-altered rivers on Earth. We humans have channelized, narrowed and straightened the Missouri almost (not quite) beyond recognition.   
   
                         

With enough River Issues to float a boat, we STILL have opportunities to protect and in some spots even restore health to the Mighty MO. Greg Poleski, VP of Greenway Network, works on river issues by leading paddling outings on "water trails," leading river clean-ups, and organizing public education events. Brad Walker, River Director for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, works with legal, legislative, public education and other means to protect the Missouri from further degradation.

LEARN MORE at River Soundings - a free panel discussion of Missouri River issues. Wednesday February 22, 5:30-8 p.m. Visitor Center in Forest Park. Panelists Tony Messenger, Brad Walker and Dr. Robert Criss, moderated by Jean Ponzi from KDHX.

Music: Big Piney Blues, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran, December 2003

THANKS to Josh Nothum, Earthworms engineer.

Related Earthworms Conversations: Mississippi River Town Mayors: Leadership in a Global Way (June, 2016)

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