Tag Archives: organic

Reno Patagonia : Free Organic Food, Learn Local Composting too!

Past Event 

The composting event was a HUGE success with over 84 people who showed up to learn how to compost in their own homes and communities…

Patagonia is hosting an event tonight to help promote composting in Northern Nevada.

 

I’m excited to see their new digs in downtown Reno.

*New address is:

Address130 S Center St, Reno, NV 89501

Their events are usually packed with fun, creative locals who are positive change makers in the areas of organic food production, healthy eco systems and the local food movements. This event is no different. Last years Mini Documentary screening was a blast. Locals brought in their organic dishes for the community potluck, we packed the place out! Read article on last years organic panel event here.

Bee Habitat supports all forms of promoting healthy, organic soils. Did you know that the health of any plant begins and ends in the soil you grow it in? Did you know that using synthetic fertilizers, soils and compost break down the overall health of the soil forcing you to have to keep buying synthetic fertilizers and amendments to keep the plants alive? Crazy huh? but very smart business strategy from big ag. Bee Habitat strongly encourages the local composter’ and/or gardener to look for the USDA Certified Organic sticker/logo on any garden product you put into your precious soils. If it does not have that USDA logo, chances are, it is not 100% organic and/or safe.

reno organic stores

With that being said, we have to start somewhere as a community. Bee Habitat presented a year ago to Reno City Council ideas to help compost most of the cities food wastes and re use throughout the city parks, schools and public areas. Although this compost would not be able to be certified USDA organic, it would be a HUGE leap in the right direction to help repair damage to our local eco-systems that have been treated with tons of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and GMO by products.

Healthy soils promote healthy food…and thus healthy people. The speakers at tonight’s FREE event are all promoting these ideas and working to heal our damaged food systems.

 

patagonia reno

We’re thrilled to host an event dedicated to all things COMPOST!

Reno is home to many organizations that are utilizing compost in a big way, and on Thursday, Aug. 31 we’ll welcome some local leaders into the store to answer all of your questions and show you how to get the most out of your composting. Plus, it’s FREE and all donations/raffle sales will benefit the nonprofit Reno Rot Riders.

Here are our guests:

reno rot riders

Kyle Chandler-Isacksen, Reno Rot Riders

 


Cody Witt, Full Circle Compost

 

permaculture reno
Jana Vanderhaar, Verdant Connections Landscape Architecture LLC

Linnea Whitney, Tahoe Food Hub

Lynne Barker, Sustainability Manager for the City of Reno
Lynne Barker, Sustainability Manager for the City of Reno

Doors open at 7, with the presentations and Q&A beginning at 7:30. We’ll have drinks from Under the Rose Brewing Company and Davidson’s Organic Teas plus local food and a raffle to win sweet Patagonia gear!

All ages welcome!

 

Event Marketing Support provided by:

sandy rowley

Event promoted via SEO & Social Media Marketing by local Internet Marketing & Web Design Expert, Sandy Rowley of www.RenoWebDesignER.com 775-870-0488 sandy @ renowebdesigner . com. Sandy is an official Webby Award Honoree for creative design.

Services offered: creativity coach, custom web design, search engine marketing, social media networking, SEO, PPC and SEO Audits.

marketing

marketing

Reno Marketing Expert

 

 

 

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Organic Yards – 10,000 Mini Pollinator Sanctuaries

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save the bees

Is your yard grown organically?

Chances are, probably not. Did you know that all of the plants, seeds, trees, shrubs, flowers, soil and compost you that you buy for your yard contains pesticides and other chemicals that you cannot “wash” off? That’s right! Neonicotinoids are pesticides that last up to 13 years on plants that are treated only once.

When buying garden supplies for your home, MAKE sure you are buying products and plants with the USDA Certified Organic, Demeter Biodynamic and/or OMRI logo on the product. These products will not contain the long lasting bee killers, neonics.

Now onto the next sneaky garden supply that is killing the health of your pets, family and your yard! Synthetic fertilizers!  These are toxic chemicals that leach heavy metals into your water, soil, grass and sidwalk areas. Heavy metals cause brain damage, cancer and a number of serious health problems.

Instead of grabbing a bag of FAKE Fertilizer, use Certified Organic, Natural fertilizers. Ask your garden shop to point you to the USDA Certified Organic Humus, Soil, Compost Tea… and other wonderful garden supplies for your beautiful yard.

We are starting a 10,000 yards initiative in Reno, looking to spread across the world. Make sure to get on the waiting list for our Quick Certification Workshop for your families yard this Spring.

certified organic plants bee habitat

Feel free to use our Free Powerpoint and/or Slide Share to present this idea to your community!

 

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Naomi Duerr

Ask the City to protect open spaces with policy!

Thank you to everyone that showed up to show your support for healthy parks and open spaces at Reno City Public Comment yesterday.

I especially want to thank the couple that made time out of their busy day to share the painful story of the loss of there young son to a form of cancer linked to the use of pesticides/weed killers. This couple has lived in the keystone area community for over 30 years. They have worked hard to build a strong community and get to know everyone that lives there. After their young son got sick with cancer, they started noticing their neighbors were sick as well. This motivated them to keep track of as many neighbors as possible. They learned that clusters of families had sick children and parents as well.  This couple has spent years walking to each home in this large community and getting to know their neighbors. The have a long list of people in this community who are either struggling with cancer and other serious health problems or have lost a loved one. I know it was hard to get up and speak in front of so many people, but your community loves you for your courage and determination.

Our mayor, Hillary Schieve was livid after hearing about the constant pesticide trespass that happens in our city every day and vowed to find a way to stop it. We are meeting in a few weeks to discuss policy to solidify these words.

Also at the public comment were the very people responsible for promoting and training our city employees on how to “safely” use these toxic substances. Big Ag made a huge display at the city council meeting, bringing in the big retail giants, public works crew members, Future “farmers” of America, a local gmo dairy producer, a teacher from the UNR Agro department, a local dietitian, as well as the Nevada Department of Agriculture bringing in 5 of their very best.

Each made a plea for the safety and wonderful uses for these chemicals. The UNR teacher professed his devotion to big ag, speaking about the thousands of studies showing the safety and benefits of using pesticides. He failed to mention, those 3000+ studies were done by the very chemical companies that produce and make BILLIONS of dollars from cities, counties and other municipalities that purchase synthetic fertilizers and pesticides from them each year. View some highlights from their evangelists for chemical industry here.

Our very own Public Works director shocked us all with his comments (see video above). He stated that “We (city of Reno public works) do not use pesticides. How could the director of public works not know that his own employees spray with toxic herbicides everyday?

Sandy Rowley, founder of BeeHabitat.com, summed up all the points made by the chemical industry and corrected the inconsistencies they shared with validated facts easily found online at the CDC, USDA, FDA and World Health Organization websites.

Cory Frey, local citizen who was sprayed in the face accidentally by a city employee, and Lisa Hill, a local member of the community, made awesome points that really made the council sit up and take notice. So much so that they all agreed to help the community keep their open spaces organically managed without toxic pesticides.

City council really listened to our comments and offered real world solutions, even asking Jana Vanderhaar if she would volunteer her time to train city public works employees on best practices in managing land without toxic chemicals. Jana has over 20 years experience in organic land care.

Our mayor and city council were very supportive of our requests and agreed to meet with us next week to discuss implementing policy to protect open space and park areas within Reno from future pesticide miss use.

Please call your city council and thank them for caring about the health of their community.

Mayor and Council:

Hillary Schieve <schieveh@reno.gov>

Neoma Jardon <jardonn@reno.gov>  ****our Ward 5 council person****

Naomi Duerr <duerrn@reno.gov> announced the pesticide-free park initiative

David Bobzien <bobziend@reno.gov> lives in our neighborhood

Jenny Brekhus <brekhusj@reno.gov>

Oscar Delgado <delgadoo@reno.gov>

Paul McKenzie <mckenziep@reno.gov>

City Liasions:

Learn more how other cities in the USA and around the world are switching to organic land management here.
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Recycle those old plant containers and help save our bees!

Help Us Grow Organic, Bee Friendly Flowers for our climate!

plant containersOver 80% of all “bee friendly” flowers and plants you buy at small and large garden shops, contain toxic chemicals that harm the health of bees and other friendly pollinators.

Help Bee Habitat create a city wide corridor of organically grown flowers, trees and plants that build the health of our sweet little bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. Read bee friendly tips below and we would love your help. Call Sandy at 775 453 6120.

  1. Bee-come a Foster Parent to some beautiful organically grown bee food:
  • Verify that your plants are indeed growing without the use of embedded pesticides.
  • Help you learn how to verify your compost, soil, fertilizers, seeds and plants are indeed bee friendly.
  • Grow a beautiful Habitat Hospital, of native and zone friendly plants that will help heal our native pollinators.
  • Have your questions answered by local organic horticulturists, hobby gardeners and landscape designers who are committed to organic and healthy solutions.

bee friendly plants

2. Bee-come a sponsor of a healthy ecosystem:

  • Donate used plant containers, pots and garden tools.
  • Share or donate used garden tools like shovels, spades, water hoses and the like.
  • Donate certified organic plants and seeds.

wildflower gardens nevada

View bee friendly plants for our climate in Northern Nevada here. Remember, to buy only certified organic seeds and plants to save the bees!

3. Bee-come a voice of reason:

  • Start a Bee Phone Tree by calling all of your friends and family and educate them on how most plants and seeds are already treated with long lasting bee killing pesticides. Have them call all of their friends and family and share this critically important information. When you know better, you do better.
  • Host a Bee Friendly party at your home. Educate your friends and family, share organic seeds, starts and plants. Enjoy healthy organic food and drink.
  • Plant an organic, bee friendly native habitat at a local park.
  • Start a Bee Calling effort. Call local garden shops and ask to speak with the manager. Ask them to carry more certified organic plants, seeds, soil and compost. Having certified organic products helps keep them honest.
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Getting Good Things Done For Nevadans – A Year in Review

Thank you for wanting to learn more about Bee Habitat and our work. Our intentions are to save our pollinators, reduce pesticides and their affects on our health as well as pets and wildlife.

We have accomplished a great deal in a relatively short amount of time. Most of the work we do involves a steady commitment to make sure that our goals are met.  These goals include Cleaner water, air, land to grow healthy organic food, safe and healthy playgrounds, sports fields and parks for our children, pets, wildlife and to protect our future food supply by saving our pollinators.

We are constantly arranging meetings, going door to door, holding meetings in person and  on the phone with media and/or a volunteers looking to spread the word with our community.

Setting up classes and meetings with local parks and recreation departments at city, county and state levels. Calling school boards, requesting documentation of pesticide use around children. Providing proven organic solutions and case studies to encourage dependence on natural methods of pest management.

We leverage social media, email newsletters, phone trees as part of our outreach. Our focus is on a goal, not just spreading the word. Continuous and persistent communication & education with our local authorities on safer alternatives, case studies and solutions.

Liking a post on Facebook is helpful, but actually doing the ground work with your community is where the real magic takes place. Following through on our promises ensures success in our endeavors.

Want to actually do something great for our world? We would love to welcome you as a friend and a leader. Call Sandy at 775 453 6120.

Here are A list of items that Bee Habitat has achieved for the community in Northern Nevada over the course of one year:

1. Educated thousands of people on the harmful affects of weed killers and pesticide use. Taught safer alternatives and gave resources to help them make the switch to organic.

save-the-bees-reno-2014-pesticide-free-parks
BeeHabitat.com volunteers at our first meeting with Washoe County Parks Department.

2. Organized our first meeting with Washoe County, City of Sparks, City of Reno and Reno Urban Forester to discuss the improper use of toxic chemicals at city parks. Bee Habitat and a group of volunteers attended this meeting in hopes to motivate and education our parks departments to use safer alternatives at local parks. City of Sparks director offered Bee Habitat 27 parks as pesticide free, with some serious strings attached. Later fell through because of the fine print. Currently working to secure more parks and pesticide free signage with the Adopt a Park program with corporations and non profits. The key point here is, we did NOT GIVE UP and now have several cities and counties going pesticide free because of our work!

https://www.newsreview.com/reno/parks-rec/content?oid=14740680

ND4_6599

3. Organized and marketed a Peaceful Bee Parade on Riverside Drive in Reno Nv. 80 attendees, covered by Fox news. Children, pets and local activists dressed up as their favorite pollinator and took the streets of Reno dancing, drumming and singing their way to downtown Reno. Children and teens performed an art protest on stage at Wingfield Park Amphitheater. The same park is now converted and maintained as pesticide free a year later! https://www.facebook.com/events/322044251304480/

4. Scheduled and held private meetings with local politicians on the health benefits of going pesticide free. Researched free solutions to help the city make the switch to organic best practices and then presented to council .

5. Public comments at city hall educating the council members, mayor and public on pesticides and bee deaths. Worked with City Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus to create the Right To Know item that would make it mandatory for city employees to put signs up in areas that were recently treated with pesticides. This fell through because of lack of support. We are still looking to implement signs at all parks and public spaces that are treated with toxic pesticides. Right To Know signs stating “Keep off area. Treated with pesticides” signs as well as a text alert message to local residents when an area is treated with a chemical. Presented this idea to Jenny Brekhus. We are hoping to work with city council to vote on this item to review possibilities of implementing this program. We presented a presentation to the city of Reno including case studies of other cities and states with this successful program in place. http://renocitynv.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Motion.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=1100&MinutesID=1124&MediaPosition=654.238&ID=10007&Type=70&CssClass=%20style=

5b. Also presented this idea to Washoe County Health Department to notify citizens before they spray with the carcinogenic pesticides to kill mosquitoes in Washoe County. They were a no show for our scheduled meeting and have yet to return our phone calls, but started a NO SPRAY hotline that you can call and get on. Meaning, the county will not spray the toxic chemicals close to your home, but down the street. Did you know that pesticide exposure killed over 300,000 people last year? Did you know that west nile virus killed less than 300? Out of those 300 individuals who died from west nile virus, most were in hospice care. WNV is a common flu we all have been exposed to at one time in our life. Most of us never even know it.

bee hotel galena
Bryan, Elrik and Michael worked very hard to design, build and install our BeeYouTiful Bee Hotel. Thank you to Galena Volunteers who kicked in some extra back up when we needed it. Built at The Generator in Sparks Nevada, then transported onsite and installed.

bee-hotel-reno-nv

6. Won a grant to build Nevada’s largest Bee Hotel and Pesticide free garden. Used $4500 to build large insect hotel, two pesticide free pollinators gardens, hire Elrik Du Sallient to help with our Bee Hotel project and create k – 12 curriculum to teach students in Washoe County about pollinators and how to protect them. http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2014/12/17/rsar-selects-build-better-block-project-winner/20563171/

sparks reno realtors
Reno Sparks Association of Realtors Build a Better Block Grant Team!

http://www.ktvn.com/story/28709030/welcome-to-galenas-bee-hotel-3

7. Lobbied for pesticide free parks in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Dayton and Lyon County with phone conferences, school districts, local leaders, Beyond Pesticides and local government via phone calls, in person meetings and social media.

history in the making for nevada
Chip Osborn – Beyond Pesticides Training at City Hall

8. Organized, marketed and secured free Pesticide Free training for 58 city, state, county and school park officials with Chip Osborn and Beyond Pesticides. As a result, now have 12 parks in City of Reno, 3 parks in Carson City Nevada and two large parks with Washoe County.

organic lawn care

9. Helped secure 2 parks in the city of Reno to be converted and maintained as pesticide free.  Wingfield Park and Barbara Bennett park: https://www.newsreview.com/reno/fly-away/content?oid=17430288

state of nevada going pesticide free
Carson City Nevada State Legislature is going pesticide free!

10. Help secure pesticide free grounds for our state legislature in Carson City Nevada. Currently training staff and monitoring soil for organic systems.

11. Worked with Carson City Nv Mayor Robert Crowell and his team to secure 3 large parks in Carson City Nevada as pesticide free.

12. Encouraged local Washoe County Health Department to begin to advertise their NO SPRAY zone. Gained media coverage on how fighting West Nile Virus with toxic chemicals defeats the counties purpose of protecting the health of its citizens.

13. Provided low cost and free organic lawn care classes in our community as well as presentations at local organizations.

14. Organized and promoted art shows to raise awareness about neonicotinoids and pesticide use at our public parks. Neonics are a class of pesticides found on every plant you buy that is not certified organic. This pesticide lasts up to 5 years, killing bees and other pollinators. Worked to have media coverage to share more organic lawn care tips to the public.

http://www.rgj.com/story/life/2015/06/08/nadadada-transform-motel-rooms-art-exhibits/28714857/

reno pesticide free gardens
Bee Habitat volunteers working hard for 3 days straight!

15. Planned and Installed an organic pollinator garden at Wildflower Village. We had to drive up to Grass Valley to buy certified organic flowers. Creative Gardens in Sparks Nevada donated organic flowers and soil thanks to Brian Eubanks our city Urban Forester.

16. Secured two of Washoe Counties largest parks to be converted and maintained as pesticide free. Currently working on obtaining sports fields within the county as pesticide free.

17. Created and maintained 4 large organic/wildlife related Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, Pinterest boards and Linkedin articles. We have over 11k followers.

18. Volunteer admin for How To Create A Toxic Free Community with world wide leaders in the organic movement. Educate, motivate and inspire moms, dads and members of the world to reduce the amount of toxins in their communities.

19. Organized a meeting of the minds dinner with Reno City Council Woman Naomi Duerr. Local environmental groups met for an evening of food and drinks, to share in an open forum what their groups are working on, what help they need if any and to network in a way to help foster growth in sustainability.

BAR O
Marcia Litsinger shows off a pumpkin growing at her market garden, Churchill Butte Organics. The Litsingers are part of the coalition of organic producers creating a new private organization, Basin and Range Organics, to continue organic.

20. Committee member for BAR O a new Nevada Organics Certified program to replace the defunct Nevada Agriculture Certification program. Working with Pat Lynch and board to market, educate and establish a NEW and Improved Organic Certification Program in Nevada. http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/17457660-113/organization-plowing-ahead-to-provide-organic-certification

Mandela African Scholars
Mandela African Scholars at Silver Sage School in Nevada

21. Meet with Mandela African Scholars to discuss sustainability, pesticides exposures, GMO’s and organic farming alternatives at Silver Sage School and Healthy Communities event in Northern Nevada.

pollinators in reno

22. Help create and market The Pollinator Fair at Urban Roots. Led a kid friendly spelling bee, gave awards and prizes while educating the public on how to buy plants that are pesticide free. Face painting, honey bee watching, insects, organic plants and more! Kelsey and the team at Urban Roots rocked our socks that day!

reno garden art insect hotels reno nevada

22. Encourage YOU to Partner with local environmental groups to create real and immediate positive change for our community, friends and our children. Call Sandy at 775 453 6120 or email her at sandy @ bee habitat dot com.

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bees reno

Are Garden Shops Killing Bees?

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Declining populations of European honeybees, native bees and other pollinators have been well documented over the past few years. Research indicates that a combination of factors have contributed to this decline. These factors include habitat loss, poor nutrition, parasites such as the varroa mite, pathogens such as fungi and viruses, and exposure to pesticides.

The role of chemical pesticides in the decline of pollinators has been widely studied. Eric Mussen, a UC Cooperative Extension expert on bee keeping (apiculturist), reported that researchers have found nearly 150 pesticide residues in samples of adult bees, pollen and beeswax taken from beehives. Among the residues, which are thought to be involved in colony decline and loss of native pollinators, are limited amounts of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics).

A mass die-off of bumble bees in Oregon has been attributed to a mis-application of a neonicotinoid on linden trees. Although no direct link has been found between the neonics and what is known as Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bees, it is believed that these pesticides weaken the honeybee immune system, thus making the bees more susceptible to pathogens and diseases.

The neonics have several characteristics that are attracting attention. They are systemic pesticides, meaning they are absorbed into the plant tissue. Systemic pesticides can be applied in a number of ways: by drenching the soil; injecting directly into trees; used as a spray; and even applied as a seed coating. As these pesticides are translocated throughout the plant tissues, pollen and nectar become toxic. Pollinators that visit flowering plants to collect pollen and nectar are then exposed to the pesticide. Research has found that even small levels of neonics affect the ability of bees to navigate and impair their ability to detect odors. These are both important factors in their ability to forage for food.

Neonics are long-lasting and have been found to persist in soils for months and even up to six years in woody plants. Untreated plants can also absorb these chemicals from soil residues from previous applications. This is of particular concern because they are used constantly to coat corn and other seeds, leading to a cycle of soil contamination.

Because many products approved for home and garden use can be legally applied at rates significantly higher than the rates approved for agricultural crops, home gardeners may unwittingly be exposing pollinators to toxic levels of pesticides. Neonics found in common home and garden products include imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid and dinotefuran.

What can you do to help? Avoid using systemic neonic products in your garden by checking the active ingredients on the label. Ask local nurseries if plants or seeds they sell are treated with a neonic product. Several home and garden retailers have already agreed to eliminate neonic-treated plants from their nurseries. When applying a fertilizer, avoid fertilizer-pesticide combinations because many of them contain neonics. If pesticide use is warranted to control worm pests, turn to one of the organic pesticides such as Bt.

Most importantly, practice Integrated Pest Management or IPM techniques to control garden pests (see http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/).

Chemical pesticides can negatively affect all insects, including ladybugs and other beneficial predators that keep destructive pests such as aphids under control. Create a pollinator-friendly garden by planting patches of pesticide-free flowering plants. The goal is to provide food sources for pollinators throughout the year.

The Xerces Society is a great resource for more information on the dangers of neonics and how to create a pollinator-friendly garden (http://www.xerces.org).

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