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Connecting to Our Food Web

Dedicated to educational resources towards building and sustaining viable food webs and ecosystems
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Welcome to My Jungle - May, 2018

With some plants gardeners are quite happy to see spread around in the garden, while others not so much. Maybe the "not so much" plants aren't as coveted, not as showy or maybe they spread a bit more than considered polite. But are the negatives overshadowing the potential benefits for some of these plants? Take our native violets for example. Many gardeners view our state flower as an aggressi...

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2018 MOBOT Wattle Fence
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Welcome to My Jungle - April 2018

Wattle is not only beautiful but also a great use of repurposed pruning materials. Even if you are unfamiliar with the term "wattle," you most likely have seen examples of fences and other structures made by weaving thin branches ("weavers") between upright stakes ("sales") to form a woven lattice. Check out the Kemper Center vegetable garden at Missouri Botanical Garden where staff are buildin...

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Transplants Lactuca sativa cv Tropicana - Standard Heat-tolerant Green Leaf Lettuce IMG 3168

Welcome to My Jungle - March 2018

Signs of spring are everywhere, but the "peep, peep, peep" of the spring peepers ( Pseudacris crucifer ) is what truly heralds its coming. These quarter-sized frogs are members in the Anura order of amphibians comprising the frogs, toads, and tree frogs, all of which lack a tail in the adult stage and have long hind limbs often suited to leaping and swimming. Spring peepers come...

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Welcome to My Jungle - January 2018

You know, one of the inherent problems with hanging out with other plant fanatics is that they tend to suck you further into your own fascination with and addiction to plants. Case in point, I was recently enjoying a night out with colleagues when one fellow plant enthusiast mentioned she was planning a workshop on marimo moss balls ( Aegagropila linnaei ). My ears perked right up. Marim...

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2018 Small Farms Winter Webinar Series

Registration NOW OPEN! http://go.aces.illinois.edu/WinterWebinars University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations w...

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Welcome to My Jungle - December 2017

The medlar ( Mespilus germanica ) project was a success. I had enough bletted (very ripe but not rotted) fruit from one tree to make a small batch of jelly and try a new dessert bar recipe featuring medlars and walnuts. Having never tasted medlars before, I was worried I would hate the taste and had wasted my time, but I really enjoyed the unique, stewed-apple-like flavor created in both...

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Welcome to My Jungle - November 2017

My 'to do" list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter as I prepare my Jungle for the coming of winter. Some items on the list have been relatively simple, while others have presented some interesting and humorous challenges. One of my easy tasks was collecting and washing gazing balls. Some gardeners leave them out for a bit of color in the winter garden but I prefer to bring mine in t...

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