Archive for the ‘Post Topics’ Category

Canada’s new and surprising food guidelines

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

By Catherine Haug, July 23, 2017

Our neighbor, Canada, has just released a draft of new and simple food guidelines for public comment (1). Unlike the USA’s ‘food plate’ or ‘food pyramid’ recommendations by food group/category, Canada’s guidelines are simple and idea-based (although they do include a sample ‘plate’ (2)).  They also include an interactive “My Food Guide” (3), that can be tailored to reflect traditions and food choices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

These guidelines are good not only for human health but also for that of the planet, and do not play into the pockets of industrial lobbyists.

The following are a list of recommendations (from a Food Revolution article about the draft guidelines (4)): (more…)

Making your own mulch from recycled yard waste, etc.

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, July 8, 2017

Today’s Daily Inter Lake featured an article, How do  you make your own mulch? by Paul Pogue for Angie’s list (1). He breaks it down to 5 steps:

  1. Choose your mulch source from: leaves, pine or fir needles, yard clippings, bark, and branches or other wood trimmings, straw, shredded newspaper, and compost. pay attention to the season: B yard trimmings and compost are excellent for summer mulch; bark is especially nutrient-rich, and along with pine needles and straw are best for winter. pCat’s note: I save the composted fir needles from my gutters to mulch my raspberry bed; raspberries like a slightly acidic soil and fir needles are acidic.]
  2. Collect your materials into piles; if using a compost pile, maintain it by keeping it relatively moist. He also advises turning it regularly, but that is a highly debated issue. When it’s ready, it should be humbly and dark brown with an earthy odor. [Cat’s note: See my 2009 posting: What makes your compost tick?]
  3. Convert the materials: use your lawnmower to cut up a pile of leaves; use a small wood chipper to turn bark, branches and other wood trimmings into tiny pieces.[Cat’s note: shred newspapers with your paper shredder, or tear them into shreds manually.]
  4. Prepare the ground: remove old mulch to your compost pile. Weed the area carefully (mulch will help existing weeds to grow – just what you don’t want).
  5. Spread the mulch: generally about 2″ thick works well. Even it out with a rake, leaving a small ‘well’ of shallower mulch around the base of plants.

Read on for more about mulching. (more…)

Preparing for disaster, advice for seniors

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

by Catherine Haug, July 8, 2017

A reader sent me a link to an interesting article on a website intending to sell the reader burial insurance. The article is titled “11 Critical Ways Seniors Can Prepare for Disaster,” by John Hawthorne (1).  It does have good advice, but I’m reluctant to make a link to the article because of its advertising intent. So I will paraphrase it in this post, adding my comments or additional information as applicable. You can always google the title and author’s name for the link.

To see all articles concerning preparedness on this site, go to Emergency Preparedness Articles. (more…)

Summer Classes and more, with Kathie Lapcevic

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Veggie Landscape Garden

by Catherine Haug, July 6, 2017 (Photo, right, from Dr. Mercola’s website (3))

Kathie is offering a home-canning class at FVCC, and something new: an e-course on ‘Savoring Summer Fun. Read on for more details from Kathie’s newsletter.

Also included in this post are the following from Kathie:

  • Useful Plants in the Flathead in July: chickweed, red clover, white clover, and yarrow;
  • Local Preserving Information: Beets, cherries, berries and zucchini

and from Mercola, on growing broccoli, and growing cilantro.
(more…)

Fraudulent emails from “cron-job”

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, June 18, 2017 (screen captures of fraudulent email, below, taken by Catherine)

I’ve been getting at least 2 emails a day from an address that ends in @cron-job.org. Today’s was about bathroom remodel. These emails are each about a different topic of interest to people, to lure you into clicking the link. For several reasons, I believe these are all fraudulent – either they are phishing for my online information, or they contain a virus. See my earlier posts Online & smartphone security: Fraudulent Email and Recent phishing/scam email examples for more about these.

Why do I conclude this? What should I do? read on for more.

On another fraudulent scam: if you get a call pretending to be from the IRS, see my posting IRS scam, and what to do about it. (more…)

Help protect wildlife and their habitat – in your yard and community

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Soapberry Shrub

By Catherine Haug, June 14, 1017 (Photo, right, of a native shrub in my yard, is by Catherine)

We all love our wildlife, and there are lots of things you can do to help protect them, right in your yard. The following recommendations come from the Wildlife Land Trust (1) [with comments by me or other members of our team in square brackets]. Note that some of the recommendations also help you, like bat houses.

In your home and yard:

  • Seek humane solutions when a conflict arises with wildlife in your home or yard.
  • Support migratory birds and other wildlife by replacing unused areas of lawn with native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses that provide food and cover. [This is especially important if your ‘yard’ covers more than a couple acres. For more about Montana Native trees and other plants, the Montana Native Plant Society (2), Montana NativePlants for Pollinator-Friendly Plantings (3), Native Yards (4)].
  • [Don’t feed deer, but plant some native shrubs that deer like to graze].
  • Maintain a birdbath with clean, fresh water to help your backyard birds and migrating birds needing a rest stop.
  • Install bat houses — happy bats, fewer bugs! [See National Wildlife Federation for how to build your own bat house (5)].

Read on for more recommendations.

(more…)