Tough Puffs

Dandelions are one of those plants that people love to hate. They’re tenacious, perennial, copious; their tap roots run deep and even cut blossoms will still turn to seed heads if they aren’t culled early enough. Their leaves spread flat and wide, smothering anything beneath. If we didn’t hate them, we’d love them for their…

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Telling Tales

The Białowieża Forest in Poland is still the kind of place, one of the last in Europe, which looks like it is truly straight out of a fairy tale. And when European fairy tales were being written about forests in all their vast complexity, forests still looked like Białowieża Forest. Several months ago, I wrote…

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Ovine Appreciation

Sheep have been domesticated and a part of human life and agriculture for something around 10,000 years. The annual sheep herd that grazes in the meadow next door to our place arrived over the weekend. They’ll forage here until December, when they get carted off again by a sheep farmer who places sheep in meadows…

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The Real Thing

Scotch whisky will soon have something else in common with Champagne besides being one of my favorite beverages: It will have protected geographical status. Like many other coveted products, Scotch whisky is often counterfeited. Fake Scotch whisky is estimated to cost the industry £500 million annually, approximately ten percent of  overall sales. A new Spirit…

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Bee Protection

Today, the European Commission will present a discussion paper to Member State experts at a meeting of the standing committee on pesticides. The aim is to exchange views on the range of policy options available, in light of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) report findings published on 16 January, which assessed the effect of…

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