January 15, 2010
Map by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
January is Radon Awareness Month. Who knew? But now that you do, here’s the scoop on what radon is, where it comes from, what it does and what you can do about it.
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas formed from the natural breakdown of uranium. The gas is found naturally in certain soils around Oregon and the United States.
Radon enters buildings through cracks in concrete floors and walls, and especially builds up in basements.
Decaying radon produces radioactive particles that can enter the lungs and cause damage, including cancer, over time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls radon the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. (more…)
My favorite seed catalog came in today’s mail.
What’s new for 2010: organic Floriani red flint corn, green meat radish, Bolivian rainbow pepper, purple pac choy, ruby streaks mustard.
This is why I started gardening – I was awed by the incredible diversity of life I could sustain on my little corner of earth.
There were other reasons too. After my urban upbringing, I longed for the pastoral and bucolic ideal of self sufficiency and thriftiness. And certainly there were the political reasons: getting off the corporate food trough while promoting biological diversity and personal health.
But what really pushed me past reading and into action was a full-color catalog that arrived one Winter’s day. I saw purple carrots, speckled lettuces, striped snappy string beans, and a bright orange tomato that turned out to be an eggplant! If your vegetable education came largely from mainstream supermarkets as mine once did, you’ll understand my shock. Who knew there were purple potatoes, or that we could grow Thomas Jefferson’s beans or the Anasazi’s corn?
These days I’m a passionate gardener and my garden supports over 100 species. Here’s why you should tend a garden, even if it’s just a couple of plants: (more…)