Friday, October 5, 2012

Propagating Roses

You can go online and find tons of information about propagating roses, but in my opinion, a lot of it is unnecessary.  Sure, a lot of what is written may be helpful, especially in certain situations, but it is still mostly just their opinion of what is better, and some people like to overcomplicate things.  It is not that I cannot do it, it is that I do not want to.  I do not want to take the time, I do not want to spend the money and I do not want to waste space with clutter.  There are too many other things I would rather be doing.  So!  Here is the crux of the matter when it comes to rooting rose cuttings.  Take it, modify it to fit your needs and have fun making more plants! *

Fresh rose cutting.
Take the rose cutting, obviously from a healthy rose.  It should be a shoot that has already produced blooms and has hardened off.  If it is still very flexible young growth, even if it has produced a bloom, it will likely wilt and die.  Some of the previous year's growth may be useable as well, but you do not want a stem that has matured and turned brown as it will not be as productive in growing roots.  Not too young or old is the important part.  Size is secondary; sometimes you have to take what you can get.  Best is about the diameter of a pencil, but I have been successful with smaller and larger.  The length should be two to three leaf sets (about four to five inches in length).  Get more than one cutting if you can; backup is always a good idea.  If possible, take the cutting in the early morning or on a cool day for maximum moisture content.  Watering the day before also helps.

If you cannot plant the cutting at the time, be sure to store it properly.  If I get a cutting while I am on a job, I put it in a little dish of water and keep it as shaded as possible until I get home. You can also wrap it in a wet paper towel and put it in a plastic bag.  If it is going to be stored for any length of time, it needs to be on ice or in the refrigerator.  Moist and cool are key.

Prepared cuttings. Note the angle of the cuts.
Prepare the cuttings.  Here you will get lots of advice to cut, slice, peel or otherwise wound the cuttings in order to expose the cambium layer.  This is a bit more precise and I have not found better results for the amount of time it takes.  I simply make a fresh cut at an extreme angle, just below the bottom leaf node, and more than enough of the cambium is exposed to provide a healthy root system.  Obviously make sure the cutting is not upside down. Take the leaves off, do not take the leaves off, it is up to you.  If you leave them on, cut them back to about two leaves per set to help prevent transpiration, and they will likely fall off anyway.  If you cut them off, new ones will grow back soon.  Definitely remove the bottom set of leaves and the remains of any blooms.

Rooting hormone may improve results, but I have had good results with and without.  In my experience, growing conditions (quality soil, moisture, shade and temperature) have played a bigger role in successful rooting than whether or not I used hormone.  If using hormone, put a small amount in another container so as not to contaminate the entire bottle.  I am not using hormone for the roses being rooted here to show how simple the entire process can be.  Willow water (tea made from cuttings of the Salix family) is also effective to promote root growth.

Freshly planted cuttings.
To plant the cuttings, select a shady location, use a tool to create a hole in the soil, put the cutting in deep enough to cover the first set of leaf nodes, gently push the soil into place and water.  Keep watered.  It is a good idea to label the cuttings and you may want to put the date on the tag as well.

My house is in the shape of an L, forming a cool area of shade with the sun blocked from the south and west.  I like to use this area, whether planting directly in the ground or in pots.  If using pots, I have found that large clay pots work best as they do not dry out quickly and allow the soil to breath; a 50/50 mixture of quality potting soil and sand works well.  Again, to show how simple it really is, I am starting these cuttings directly in the ground.  This area has quality soil and a lot of sand for good drainage.  The main things to remember are shade, moisture and drainage.  The cuttings cannot cook in the sun, dry out or stand soggy soil.

After a short period of time, leaves or small shoots may begin to grow.  While this does not necessarily indicate root growth, it is a good sign.  If at any point the cutting turns brown, it has died and should be removed.

Callused over cut and new roots.
Eventually the area around the cut will callus over.  This is the precursor to roots.  While I do not recommend digging cuttings up to look for this as it can fatally damage the cutting, I did so here for demonstration purposes.  This particular cutting, which not only has callused, but has also begun to form roots, is just over a month old.  Other cuttings may take much longer.  Some cuttings root easier than others and the length of time for roots to form varies, depending upon the variety of rose, time of year, temperature and other factors.

Rooted cutting.
After roots have begun to grow, the cuttings start to branch out more.  The rooted cutting shown here is about two and a half months old.  Though you can leave the rooted cuttings where they are for some time longer, I dig and gently pot the roses in high quality potting soil and continue to keep them in an area that only gets morning sun.  Some recommend leaving them this way for quite awhile, and if you are patient or unable to watch them closely to give them the attention they need, so do I. However, I generally can watch them and am not so patient.  If the rose had a healthy set of roots and a fair amount of growth, I leave it in the shaded area for a week or so.  If it was still rather small, I wait longer to gradually harden it off in the sun.  After I put it in the sun, I monitor it for a week or so, returning it to the shade if there is any sign of a problem.  After the plant has hardened off and is thriving in the sun, I wait for a cool day, preferably before a rain, and plant it in soil amended with lots of organic matter. Again, keep the rose watered until it is well established.

* This same basic process can be used to propagate many different plants from cuttings. Patented plants (PP - Plant Patent or PPAF - Plant Patent Applied For) cannot legally be asexually propagated until the patent expires, which is approximately 20 years.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wait! Don't Grab That Spray!

Some of my Clematis have been looking a bit chewed on lately.  The other day I was looking closely to find the culprit and I saw an odd looking bug.  A lot of people's first response would be to grab the spray, and the thought did cross my mind, but I chose otherwise.  I observed it for awhile and noticed it was looking for something.  If it was the bug who had been chewing on my plant, it would need to look no farther to chomp down.  There was only one of them and bad bugs are rarely alone, so I thought the odds were good that it was a beneficial insect looking for a meal. Examining it closer, it looked like the larva of a lady bug, though it was a different color than I was familiar with.  I had seen a feast of aphids on another plant earlier, and knowing that is a favorite meal of lady bugs and their larva, I took it to them.  Sure enough, it quit searching and munched down.  Had I jumped my guns and sprayed him, I would have been killing my ally and helped the bad guys to grow in their numbers.  That was a lesson learned the hard way.

Lady bug larva on an aphid infested Asclepias.

When I first started gardening, I decided I was going to have the "perfect" garden.  I went to the store and bought a bunch of herbicides and insecticides to kill everything that did not belong in my garden.  The clerk told me that was not a good idea, but what did he know ... he was a chain store checker.  Every day I went outside and diligently sprayed every cucumber beetle and squash bug I could find.  I was going to win this war and have all kinds of veggies, and it seemed to work for awhile.  Key words, "seemed to" and " for awhile."  I went out one day to find pitiful looking plants covered in what I learned to be aphids.  At that point, the battle was over, the bugs won, so I backed off on spraying.  A short time later I was looking and saw a bunch of terrible looking bugs I had never seen before.  These little alligatorish looking bugs had to be bad and I just about grabbed my spray, but my curiosity was stronger than my desire to kill them.  I looked page by page through an old insect book until I found a drawing of what I had seen.  It was lady bug larva. I read a little bit about them and found that they were there to eat the aphids.  They were my allies!

At that point I began diligently going out daily to flick squash bugs into soapy water and crush any of their eggs I could find.  I learned about beneficial nematodes and bought them to eat the larva of cucumber beetles.  I hardly have a problem with either any more.  I have traps for the Japanese beetles and flies; not only do the the ones I trap die, but the more I trap, the fewer there are to reproduce.  I have not found another way to get rid of flea beetles on the eggplants, but I only spray when they are doing extensive damage.  Likewise, I minimally spray the iris for borers.  I have decided to let nature take its course with thrips on the roses because it seems to be a losing battle regardless.

Whenever you spray any pesticide (fungicide, herbicide or insecticide), it kills most of what you are after. Key word, "most."  Those who survive are resistant and spread, creating super weeds or bugs, etc.  In the case of insects, the spray kills both the pests and the beneficials who feed upon them.  Since there has to be a greater ratio of pests for beneficials to survive, not only do more pests survive the insecticide, they also reproduce faster than the beneficials.  Unless there is great destruction, it is best to leave pest insects alone so the beneficial insects can move in and do their job.

Instead of herbicides, be diligent about weeding and use mulch freely.  One year's seeds is seven years' weeds.  Only use herbicides on the most difficult weeds that cannot be pulled or dug. Remember that not all uninvited plants are bad and biodiversity is a good thing.

When pesticides are needed, they should only be sprayed in the early morning or late evening when beneficials, including honey bees, are least active.  Even organic sprays can be toxic to beneficials.  Avoid spraying when there is a breeze to help prevent overspray.  Always make sure what you are spraying, insect or plant, is really an enemy.  Do not necessarily go for the most toxic spray and ALWAYS USE ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS.  More or more often is not better. In fact, it is worse because it adds to the resistance problem which effects everyone and everything.

Update: July 5, 2012 ... Another unidentified insect that turned out to be an ally.  It looked vicious, but there was only one, so before killing it, I took the time to find out what it was.  While it can inflict a painful bite to humans, the wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) is also a beneficial insect that among other things eats Japanese beetles.

Arilus cristatus - wheel bug nymph
Also see Beneficial Insects and Why Organic Garden?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Down the Chocolate Path

As with all gardeners, my style has evolved through the years.  At one point, much of the hardscape of my garden was reused/recycled materials.  For years I had a little pathway of recycled bricks.  Weeds became an issue, so Jim put landscape fabric under them.  That became a problem because the bricks could not seat themselves into place and the edge ones would often flip up.  Jim was going to take them all up, add sand and reseat them, but as he began the project, a different idea came to my mind.  Mulch!

Most mulch is chunky and I did not want that for a path.  I wanted something fine.  Pea gravel would be perfect ... for awhile.  However, it is hard to keep clean and it is hard to change if I change my mind, which has been known to happen.

At the botanical garden I used to work at, one of the areas had previously been mulched with cocoa hulls.  By the time I started, most had broken down, but there was enough left that I was fascinated with it.  A year or so ago I saw bags of it at Menards and was still impressed with it, but did not know exactly where I could use it at the time.  It immediately came to mind when I thought of mulching the path.

It looks wonderful!  The bag recommends a depth of one inch, but Jim put it two to three inches deep, so it is a bit loose to walk on.  Wetting it is supposed to make it mat down and perhaps it will compact with time.  The one thing about it that I did not fully realize is how fragrant it is. Throughout the whole yard is the smell of a baking cake!

The big warning with cocoa hull mulch is if you have dogs.  They may be attracted to it, and chocolate is toxic to dogs.  The bag recommends dog repellant if that is an issue.

Cheese Fly Larva
June 21, 2012 update:  After a bit of rain, gazillions of little worms started jumping like popcorn, but only on the cocoa mulch path.  A little searching, and it appears to be cheese fly larva.  I am not sure about this one, whether the mulch is a good thing to use or not, but considering that we have since put the mulch on some garden beds, there is not much that can be done about it now. I suppose the flies have always been around anyway, so the only difference now is that I know about them.

Cheese Fly
September 12, 2012 update:  I decided to use cocoa mulch on gardens throughout the yard.  A few of the larva appeared a time or two after the initial hatching, but it does not seem to be an ongoing occurrence.  I suppose after the oil and smell dissipate, so does the attraction.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thrips :(

The rose bushes outdid themselves this spring when producing buds.  We had a few frosts afterwards, so I assumed that was what caused the damage on some of the buds.  But wait! Newer buds were looking a bit damaged, too.  Hmm ... the plants all looked fine, so surely it would grow out of it.

A few days ago I was working at the Rose Lady's house.  Some of her roses had the same damage.  I asked her if it was frost or what.  She said it may have been, but last year she had problems with thrips, so they may be back.

Thrips?  Home to the internet I came and checked it out.  Come to find out, they are tiny little bugs that burrow deep into the buds and are very hard to get rid of.  I went out and pulled back the calyx of some of the bad looking buds, and sure enough, little critters scampered out of sight.  I looked into the petals of the open roses and found them in many of them, too.  What to do now? A lot of experimenting.

Thrips look like tiny slivers inside the rose bud.

I began with the first suggestion, something that was very painful to do.  I cut all of the flowers and buds from 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' and 'Graham Thomas' and threw them in the trash.  From what I have read, that disrupts the life cycle enough that it may get rid of them.  My well established unknown rose appeared free of thrips at first glance.

After that, recommendations became conflicting.  Some sources recommended a systemic pesticide (the pesticide is drawn into the vascular system of the plant, making the plant toxic to the insects eating it), so I immediately bought Bayer Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed.  I then double checked the unknown rose and found that it did, indeed have thrips.  Being so abundantly full of buds and blooms, I could not bring myself to cut it back, so I simply applied the systemic pesticide while I was treating the other two roses.  Then, upon doing more research, some sources said that the vascular system of the plant differs from that of the flower, so systemic pesticides do not work.

Some sources recommended Neem oil while others said it does not work because the thrips burrow into the rose and do not necessarily come into contact with it.  Being as it does not harm beneficial insects unless they are sprayed with it, I bought some, and late in the evening, sprayed the unknown rose.  That, too, appeared to be pointless.

Today I finally gave the Rose Lady a call to ask her what she uses.  She did not know the name of it, but told me to come by and she would give me some.  The product turned out to be Conserve SC.  I had an internal battle as to whether or not to use it, but in the end I did.  I hate using pesticides, but if I am going to have roses, it may be necessary from time to time.

In my research, some people were able to exterminate thrips and they never came back.  That is what I am hoping for, because if pesticides are routinely necessary for roses, to me it is not worth it.

All of the sources stressed a few things.  Tackle thrips as soon as they are spotted because they multiply so quickly.  Keep debris from around the base of the roses to help prevent thrips from overwintering.  Always throw spent roses in the trash rather than in the compost to prevent spreading thrips.  Flooding the base of the roses may be useful in drowning thrips in the soil, which is where part of their life cycle is usually spent.

For more information see

May 29, 2012 update:  A few days after spraying, it appeared as though all thrips had disappeared.  Then they started reappearing, so after seven days, I resprayed.  Today, on one of the newly rooted cuttings that had not been sprayed, I saw that the only bud was badly damaged by thrips.  Since Conserve should only be sprayed twice in a season, I decided to take drastic measures to try to get rid of all the thrips and prevent reinfestation.  I removed all buds and blooms from all roses and pruned back the larger roses rather hard, putting everything I removed in the trash. I then used a nozzle with a harder spray to wash off the remaining foliage on the roses that had not been treated with systemic pesticide and later sprayed them with Neem to get those I had missed.  I flooded the soil around all of the roses, as I have been doing about every other day, and sprayed the newly rooted roses with Conserve since they had not yet been treated.  If this does not work, I do not know what will.

June 2, 2012 update:  Though I have not purchased it and hopefully will not need to, I have learned of a new product called Naturalis O that may be worth trying.

July 19, 2012 update:  With the heat of summer, the thrips have all but disappeared.  Cooler weather is when they make their comeback.  Hopefully by then beneficial insects will have gotten them under control.

September 19, 2012 update:  After a very hot and dry summer, cool weather and rain have arrived. I keep check for any signs of thrips, but as yet, have found none.

See Beneficial Insects for an update and further information.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't Mess With Mother Nature

The Perfect Design

Whether you believe in God or evolution, you likely believe in the miracle of life and that the body is perfectly created or evolved.  Unfortunately, many people in this country do not realize the male foreskin is not the exception to this perfection and mistakenly think it is better to have the most sensitive part of their son's body painfully ripped and sliced away.  However, it is not "just a useless flap of skin," which is why all mammals have a prepuce.  As with any perfect design, you cannot change form without altering function.
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good."  -- Genesis 1:27, 31
"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." -- Psalm 139:13-14
"But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased." -- 1 Corinthians 12:18 
"Natural selection will never produce in a being anything injurious to itself, for natural selection acts solely by and for the good of each.  No organ will be formed, as Paley has remarked, for the purpose of causing pain or for doing an injury to its possessor." -- Charles Darwin
What does this have to do with gardening?  Mother Nature repeats Herself, and as I work in the garden, I see many ways in which She similarly creates and protects Her creation and interference destroys Her perfect design.  Even most non-gardeners realize natural and organic products are superior to those altered or polluted by man (in reality, natural is the standard and less is inferior). To believe in the wonders of the Universe or the miracle of life, yet at the same time think every human male is born "defective" or that the foreskin is "useless" does not make sense.  To think that the foreskin can be amputated without negative consequences is ignorant.

The Beautiful Rosebud

I have read of circumcisers comparing the freshly circumcised infant penis to a "beautiful little rosebud."  I have made a similar comparison myself of the natural penis, but there is none of a rose's beauty in a raw, wounded organ.  We have all admired a beautiful, perfectly formed rose bud.  Never would we rush to open the calyx of a rose in order to expose the bud.  We know the calyx protects the developing rose, so we allow the bud to gently unfold and mature in its own due time.  To cut or forcefully open the rose would destroy its beauty.  It still would mature, be able to pollinate and form a hip, which to the rose bush itself, is the only goal.  In fact, breeders who are not concerned with the beauty of the individual flower do a form of this, but most people would agree that to do so routinely would be mutilation.  A mutilated penis (NSFW) is also usually able to gain some enjoyment and procreate, but like seeing in black and white, the full spectrum of beauty that Nature intended is lost.

The same perfect design on a daffodil.

The flower buds of Canadian ginger and rhubarb.
Nature reveals Its creation only when the time is right.
(Click images to enlarge and reveal detail.)

The Protective Seed Hull

Having grown many plants from seed, I have observed that on seedlings, some hulls take longer to drop away than others.  Trying to help the seedlings, a number of times I tried to remove the hull.  The lesson learned?  Some seedlings take a little longer to develop and need the hull to provide protection and perhaps further nutrients, but they are still perfectly normal.  If I do not remove the hull, occasionally the seedling never advances and eventually wilts away.  If I do remove the hull, even if it is still barely attached, the seedling is damaged and usually does not survive.  Even if a baby boy does not die from circumcision (in the U.S., over 117 boys a year die from circumcision), when a functioning part is amputated, the body is damaged.  In early life, the foreskin is fused to the glans (head of the penis) in the same way a fingernail is fused to the finger, and forcefully retracting it causes damage.  This is why some natural ("uncircumcised") males have problems and are circumcised later in life.  In other cultures (the majority of the world does not circumcise), the foreskin is left alone, and problems are virtually unheard of even in old age.  Like the seedling, the boy himself knows when the time is right to retract his own foreskin.  (There are rare cases of phimosis, but this can only be diagnosed after puberty and can be treated without cutting.)

The Emerging Hosta

Walking through the yard, I noticed that hostas emerge very phallic like.  As I looked closer, I realized the comparison was even more than I first observed. To protect the hosta as it pushes through the soil, it is covered in a sort of protective sheath.  As the hosta grows out of the sheath, the more mature outer leaves continue to encapsulate and protect the delicate, still forming inner leaves from a late frost or a few nibbles from a hungry critter.  As the outer, sometimes slightly damaged leaves unfold, the fresh inner leaves reveal their beauty.  It would not make sense to remove the sheath or outer leaves early to "protect" the plant.  Just like those outer leaves, the foreskin protects the penis from frostbite, zippers and even the wear and tear of daily life which causes desensitizing keratinization (NSFW) on an unprotected glans.  As the foreskin is studied, even more ways in which it protects and serves are being discovered.  The major difference between the foreskin and those outer leaves on the hosta is well stated in this quote, "The foreskin is not the wrapper, it's the candy."

More hostas emerging.

A peony emerging from the soil, then from the protection of its sheath.

The protective sheaths of emerging lily of the valley, baptisia and Solomon's seal.  One can observe this again and again throughout Nature.  If plants and animals are designed or evolved so perfectly, why would the human male be any less?

Nature and Hygiene

One of the most often used excuses for amputating the foreskin is hygiene. While soap and running water are no doubt a benefit to humanity, there are still valuable lessons to be learned about hygiene from Nature.  Animals do not use soap and water to bath as humans do, yet I have never heard of one getting an infection of the foreskin or needing to be circumcised.  But then, people do not tend to tamper with animal foreskins to create those problems.

Females produce smegma, too, yet despite all the products sold to "prevent odor," few advocate genital cutting to promote female hygiene.  Though it is more difficult for a female to get to all of her folds and crevices than a male to retract his foreskin, she is entrusted to do so.  People should not insult their sons by assuming they will grow up to be incompetent slobs.  Of course, any part from teeth to toes are "easier to clean" if removed, but to quote Craig Ferguson, who is intact, "You can have this chopped off or you can wash it ... That's a tough choice there, doctor." Amputation is not hygiene and everyone needs to wash, cut or not.

Natural vs. Circumcised

I ask that you view the comparative photos in the following links ... Keratinization and Circumcision Status (NSFW) and Introduction to the natural, intact penis (NSFW).  If you hear the thousands of words these pictures speak, you will agree there is good reason intactivists consider circumcision genital mutilation.  Perhaps in the natural, you will even see the similarity of a rose bud in its perfect form.

Planting the Seeds of Change

I was about ten years old when I first learned of circumcision.  The first thought to come into my non-indoctrinated mind and out of my mouth was, "What if he doesn't want to be circumcised?  It's his body and it can't be undone."  I knew nothing of the pain or loss, only that it was not necessary and that it was wrong to cut other people's body parts off.  That was enough for me to decide then and there that if I ever had sons, they would not be circumcised.

It is only through questioning that we can see where there is fallacy in long held beliefs and create change.  When it comes to circumcision, frequently questions and change are met by mockery and anger.  The person who says, "Baby boys are born perfect.  Love them enough to keep them that way." is considered crazy, penis obsessed, and even perverted while the person who says, "Baby boys are born ugly, dirty and unhealthy.  You should amputate the most sensitive part of their manhood before they can refuse." is considered normal, sane and their motives are never questioned.  How backwards is that?!  Our boys and men deserve better!  I ask that you challenge any beliefs you may hold regarding circumcision with the following questions.

  • The same "health benefits" and ridiculous excuses are given to promote both male and female circumcision.  Insurance companies even covered female circumcision in the U.S. until the 1970s.  Since 1997, all forms of female circumcision performed on a minor have been banned by U.S. law; this includes even a symbolic pinprick of the clitoral hood (female foreskin) for religious reasons.  The 14th Amendment grants equal protection, so why do males not receive it?
  • For what other normal, healthy body part would we think amputation was a parental right for any reason?
  • What other unnecessary cosmetic surgery, trauma or abuse would we allow upon a child because he could not say "no" and "won't remember" the event?
  • Would we consider it acceptable to amputate the foreskin of an adult without his consent?
  • Why does the adult that the circumcised child will grow into not deserve the same right to his foreskin?
  • Why do anatomy books and charts in the U.S. show the penis sans foreskin as though that is the natural state?
  • Why are U.S. doctors and nurses taught to amputate the foreskin rather than of its functions and how to preserve it?
  • For what other body part is amputation promoted as "cleaner," "preventative medicine" or a "cure" rather than washing and treating as needed?
  • We do not refer to other body parts as "unamputated" (e.g. unmastectomized, undecapitated), so why is a man with his whole penis referred to as "uncircumcised," as though a surgically altered penis is natural?
  • What other amputation, especially upon a helpless child, are "jokes" not only acceptable, but common about?
  • What other body part would it be acceptable to ridicule or scorn a person for having?
  • Why are the feelings of men who feel violated by circumcision swept aside rather than acknowledged as they would be for any other amputation, especially if performed needlessly without the owner's permission?
  • If a society has a perverted view of a normal, healthy body part, is it not the society that needs to be changed rather than forcibly amputating the body part from the society's most vulnerable members?
  • Why so many double standards, all against the human male foreskin?

Basic Human Rights

This is about human rights.  No medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision; it is medically unnecessary.  Circumcision is a personal choice.  Sadly, some confuse a personal choice with a parental decision, which is not the same thing.  When the parental decision is to circumcise, the right of personal choice is stolen from the only person whose opinion matters, the person who has to live with the decision, the person himself.  This violation is something that even the most violent criminal is protected from.  His body, his choice.

"When You Know Better, You Do Better."
-- Maya Angelou

I am not judging anyone who had their son(s) circumcised because they did not know any better. Since the late 1800's when it was promoted in the U.S. to prevent masturbation, circumcision has been a "cure" searching for a disease, and whatever the scare of the era, it was said to prevent.  There is still a lot of misinformation promoting circumcision that is spread as fact, even by those who should know better.  It takes a very strong person to admit they have made a mistake and a very strong man to admit he has been harmed.  I have the utmost respect for those who have done just that and have chosen to protect their sons rather than continue a painful cycle.

Circumcision ...
The more you know, the more you're against it!

Resource links ...

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
Beyond the Bris
Boys Deserve Better
Catholics Against Circumcision
Circumcision Harm
Circumcision Information and Resource Pages
Circumcision Resource Center
Circumcision Wisdom
Doctors Opposing Circumcision
DrMomma - Peaceful Parenting
End Routine Infant Circumcision
Global Survey of Circumcision Harm
In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child
Intact America
Intact Network
Intact News
Intactivist Pages
Internation Coalition for Genital Integrity
Involuntary Foreskinectomy Awareness
Jewish Circumcision Resource Center
Jews Against Circumcision
Lucky Stiff
Men Do Complain
Mothers Against Circumcision
MGM Bill
New Foreskin (foreskin restoration)
National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers
National Organization of Restoring Men
NORM: New England (NSFW)
National Organization to Halt Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males
Not Just Skin
Nurses for the Rights of the Child
Question Circumcision
Rape of Innocence
Restoring Foreskin
Restoring Tally
Saving Babies
Saving Sons
Secret Penis
Sex As Nature Intended It
TLC Tugger (foreskin restoration)
The Whole Network

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Are Your Veggie Seeds & Plants Monsanto?

As spring is just around the corner and bulbs hint of its arrival, it is time to start planting some veggie seeds inside.  For many seeds, I prefer heirloom.  There is nothing quite like an heirloom pink tomato ... perfectly sweet, low acid, full tomato flavor.  I also prefer Purple Peacock green beans, as they are some of the best I have eaten and are beautiful growing, too.  However, with some other seeds, I have not been quite as selective and I now realize that by that, I have been profiting a company that I would prefer not to ... Monsanto.  It is a bit late for me this year since I bought ahead at the end of last year's growing season, but I will be more cautious from here on out.

Want to know what veggies to steer clear of in your garden?  Check out Kevin Lee Jacobs' article, Forewarned is Forearmed:  Veggies Owned by Monsanto.