Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beneficial nematodes

I have drunk the kool-aid. Or rather, I have drunk the swamp goo. This is the second year in a row that my lovely squash plants have begun to grow insipid and die. It's all account of the squash vine bore - an evil greasy looking grub thing. Prior to discovering my new love, all of the books told me to get out there as the sun was rising, squat down and see if I can see those squatting bores chowing their way through my plant, then pull them off and kill them.

I'm not that kind of a gardener - organic, sure, but spending my morning pulling bores off my plants is just not going to happen. Enter the lovely beneficial nematode.

"Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic and live below the soil surface and like a moist environment. Looking like short non-segmented worms these voracious predators make their way through your lawn and garden looking for food. Nematodes do not harm worms, birds, plants or the environment, in fact they are part of the environment and are found the world over.

When the nematode comes incontact with a pest the attack by entering through body openings or simply by boring through the body wall, once inside the Nematode will release a bacteria that kills it's host within 48 hours. They will feed and reproduce before exiting in search of fresh prey."

Apparently, we fuck up the natural nematode order of things with our chemicals and construction and general damage to the ecocycle. But now we can reinsert them and let them microscopically munch their way through the big bad bores and other squishy cousins.

I will report back after I scatter my nemotode friends and watch to see my squash plants unfurl in companionable pride - their roots protected by their nematodies.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Twin Cities US Social Forum

I know, it's been four months since I last blogged. I am an incredibly part-time blogger. I am, however, pausing here to add a post about a new blog - the Twin Cities US Social Forum blog.

For those unaware of the US Social Forum, it took place in the last week of June and was a movement- building gathering in which 15,000 people from all over the country - mostly people of color with a significant queer and youth presence - gathered together to share workshops, strategies, lessons learned and visions for, literally, making another world possible. This was the US contingent of the World Social Forum - the WSF has the theme "Another World is Possible" and the US Social Forum carried the theme - "Another World is Possible, Another US is necessary".

A few months before the US Social Forum, a small group of us began to organize in the Twin Cities, seeking to help local activists get to Atlanta for the US Social Forum and working to begin building connections for an eventual focused and ongoing social justice movement building effort in the Twin Cities. There is extraordinary work happening here - particularly in immigrant justice/worker rights and green urban planning - but there is also a lot of work to be done. Our Twin Cities moment is, what we hope will be the start of a slow and thoughtful effort to make connections between communities and groups working in the Twin Cities for broad-based social justice, something that is, at its core, led by and envisioned by those whose lives and communities are most affected by the ravages of capitalism and US imperialism.

So, check out our new blogsite - it's mostly for communicating about activities and sharing resources, but it's a start!