Reblogged from shamanist
every autumn, tens of millions of monarch butterflies travel to their ancestral winter roosts in mexico’s mountain fir forests, coating the trunks of the trees in the orange of their wings, and causing the branches to droop under their collective weight.
surfing winds from southern canada and the northern united states, and taking directional cues from the sun and magnetic poles, they travel 4,500 kilometres over two months to reach their hibernation grounds — a feat that still remains a bit of a mystery, but which has been going on for millions of years.
interestingly, the autumn migration south is accomplished in one generation, which lives for about seven months, while the spring migration north is done over three generations, each living about six weeks.
last year’s migration, however, was the lowest on record, as excessive herbicide usage has reduced the supply of the milkweed plant which the monarch larvae rely on to feed, and which makes the monarch caterpillars toxic to predators. but the plant is now being destroyed from heavy use of roundup ready pesticides used in soy and corn crop production.
further complicating matters for the monarch is climate change, as drought along their migratory route has exacerbated milkweed decline, and colder spring temperatures has meant the temperature-sensitive cold-blooded butterflies are unable to begin their journey north.
and once they reach their hibernation sites in mexico, the butterflies, which rely on a thick forest canopy for protection from the cold and rain, encounter deteriorating forests from illegal logging.
experts, however, are hopeful that this year’s migration will double or triple, thanks in large part to the conservation efforts of the mexican government. nevertheless, this increase would still put monarch numbers at one tenth of their record high of one billion.
Reblogged from forestfeast
It’s apple season! Growing up in the apple orchard when I was little, I loved this time of year when we started to pick and make everything imaginable with apples. We dried them, made apple butter and apple sauce, pies and tarts…the list is endless!
Cutting apples into matchstick-sized pieces for a salad makes them just a little more fun to eat, don’t you think? Slice a few apples this way and toss them with chopped pecans (or any nuts), dried berries and raisins (I bought a mix at Trader Joe’s with golden raisins, blueberries and cranberries), plus some fresh cilantro. Dress with a bit of olive oil, lemon and salt. Sweet, Salty, Savory!
This week The Forest Feast turned 3, and I love that this little blog’s birthday falls during the harvest season. This week, our family is celebrating my favorite Jewish holiday- Sukkot, a harvest holiday where we build a little hut outside and have meals under it for a week. It’s so fun! And we’ve had warm nights here in the woods lately which has made it even better. I made this salad the other night and it was a hit.
Reblogged from veganfeast
-This recipe I got from a cooking demo at a restaurant called Native Foods Cafe. It is excellent on crackers or veggie sticks or as a spread :)
-3 cups raw cashews
-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
-3 medium garlic cloves
-about 6 cups arugula or baby spinach (I used one bag)
-1/2 cup olive oil
-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-pinch sea salt
-dash of pepper and (optional) crushed red chili pepper
In a food processor, pulse the cashews, nutritional yeast, and garlic gently, so that all the ingredients are mixed but the cashews are still chunky. Empty into bowl and put aside. In the food processor, add the olive oil and lemon juice first, then add the greens. Pulse to blend well. Mix two together with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve with thick crostini-type crackers and veggie sticks.