WHICH FRUITS AND NUTS ARE TOLERANT OF GROWING IN THE SHADE





Wouldn't it be wonderful, if everyone who wanted one had a perfect plot for vegetable growing? However - as with many things in life - perfection is usually out of reach, and unfortunately gardening is no different.

Most people’s image of a vegetable garden is one that receives direct sun all day, and that’s fantastic for growing the old favourites such as tomatoes, peppers, and melons. But what are you supposed to grow if you have no other choice than to grow in the shade?

Well you may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of varieties that will not only tolerate these lower light levels, but will in fact prefer them and positively thrive.

There are of course some benefits to growing in the shade because you won't need to water as often and crops that are quick to bolt in hot weather - such as lettuces and spinach - will have a far longer harvesting period.

A good rule to remember is that if you are growing crops for the fruit or edible roots, then you are best suited with a sunny position. If you are growing crops for the leaves, stems, or buds, then a certain amount of shade will actually improve the crop. Remember though, that no crop is going to do particularly well in heavy shade. As with all plants they will need a minimum level of light to survive and grow.

Below are groups of the best fruits and nuts for growing in the shade:

Woodland crops such as raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries will usually do well but also consider their modern hybrids such as Tayberries and Boysenberries.

The same will apply to Rhubarb and Blueberries.

Nut trees such as the filbert, and hazelnut will also be able to produce a good crop in the shade but they will need to be in a position where they will receive sun in the morning

If your shade is caused by overhanging trees then you can try and improve the growing conditions. Light levels can be increased by careful pruning, and the soil will probably also need to be improved as tree roots will remove a lot of the available nutrients and water.

Take advantage of warmer and hopefully brighter conditions at home by germinating seeds earlier on in the year using modules. This will get them off to a far quicker start and will also help to establish their root systems before they are planted into the ground.

For more information click onto:

BRITISH BIRDS OF PARADISE




As with many things, familiarity breeds contempt and while we are lucky in Great Britain to have such a fantastic range of bird species – native as well as seasonal visitor – they are wrongly regarded as commonplace and therefore undervalued and often ignored.

Many of our native bird populations are struggling due to the loss of habitat, while others are finding that their once abundant food sources - insects, slugs and snails - have been drastically cut due to the industrial and private use of insecticides and molluscicides.

House sparrow
It is the combination of non-specific insecticides and light pollution that has caused the greatest damage causing a massive reduction in native insect populations upon which many of our native bird species depend on for their survival. Perhaps worse still is the slow creep of agro-chemicals into the food-chain, affecting both adults and their young from generation to generation - clearly the environmental lessons of DDT have not been learned.

While global warming has an influence on local habitats there is of course much that we can do to help preserve the local populations of birds that are most at risk. Bird boxes, food supplementation, wildlife ponds and sympathetic planting schemes that can all improve the local habitat, and create an all-year-supply of natural food. In suburban areas, an almost continual supply of suitable shop-bought bird foods has already helped to supplement the diets of a range of seed eating wild birds, but the fate of our insect eating birds is much less secure. Click onto Caring for Insect Eating Birds in Winter to find out more. Without the help of a concerned and interested public our native tit and finch populations would be in a far worse state.

It is of course an exaggeration to say that the beauty of our native birds is equal to that of the Indonesian birds of paradise, but they are still beautiful nonetheless. The side show above shows a small selection of birds that are still commonplace to our shores, but a number of these have already been in steady decline over the past 60 years. Try to imagine looking at them with fresh eyes or with the very real thought that some of these species may well become extinct in our lifetime.
.If we can’t value the life around us, the how can we expect to truly care about the environment at large.

For more information click onto:
Are Slug Pellets Poisoning Our Wildlife
British Government Creates Worlds Largest Marine Reserve Around Chagos Islands
Caring for Insect Eating Birds in Winter
Discovered - Giant Monitor Lizard
Discovered - the Language of Hyenas
Easter Island - a Lesson in Environmental Exploitation
Edible Crop Pollination and the Decline of Bees
Elephants - Can they Run or do they just Walk Fast?
Food Plants For Butterflies
Food Plants For Caterpillars
Gardenofeaden
How do Elephants Communicate and Talk to Each Other?
How to Attract Bumblebees to the Suburban Garden
How to Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
How to Feed Birds?
How to Feed Hummingbirds
How to Grow Bird of Paradise Plants from Seed
How to Make a Butterfly Garden
How to Make a Wildlife Pond
Insect Eating Birds
Jellyfish Swarms - The Latest Man-Made disaster?
Light Pollution and the Decline in Bat Populations
Light Pollution and the Decline of Native Insects
Light Pollution - The Hidden Threat
Lost Frog Returned from Extinction
Nectar Rich American Wildflowers for Attracting Native Bumble Bees
Nectar Rich Plants for Attracting Long-Tongued Bumble Bees
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Japanese Knotweed
Pesticides Toxic to Honey Bees
Plants that Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Seed Bearing Plants for Attracting Wild Finches
The Decline of Butterfly and Caterpillar Habitat
The Decline of Insect Eating Birds
The Eagle Owl
The Eagle Owl - Friend or Foe?
The Importance of Log Piles to Native Wildlife
The 'Native Trees' of England
The Plight of English Woodlands
What are the Natural, Native Predators of Vine Weevils
What are the Safe Organic Alternative to Slug Pellets
What can we do to Help Save the Rainforests
What is 'Slash and Burn' Farming and How does it Affect the Rainforests?
When do you feed birds?
Which Native Animals Eat Slugs and Snails
Which Plants can Attract Bats into the Garden?
Why are Tropical Rainforests so Important?
Why Shark Fin Soup is Devastating World Shark Populations
Why Should we Protect the Rainforest?

MERRY CHRISTMAS - FROM WHERE I LIVE




Just recently, I have had a number of requests asking about which part of the world the ‘Garden of Eaden’ website comes from. So at the risk of being found by my debtors and having my identity stolen, I shall tell you. I am based in Sevenoaks, an old Saxon market town, slap-bang in the middle of Kent, otherwise known as Tudor country – a term I have just made up.

It sits on the crossroads of the Pilgrims Way – made famous by Chaucer - which leads from the historic port of Dover, through Canterbury and passes by a number of Archbishops palaces on its way up to the Royal courts of London. The life of Henry VIII was played out through most of this area as he systematically bought up large hunting estates– Knole house, Leeds Castle, Hever Castle, Otford Palace, Penshurst Place and many more besides –all paid for with money generated through the dissolution of the Monasteries. Within a 25 mile radius you probably have the largest selection of period Royal Tudor properties in the country.

My Christmas present to the viewers of the 'Garden of Eaden' website – the majority of which are American – is a montage of photographs that I have taken over the past few years of my favourite properties. I know this has little to do with plants and gardening but if you look carefully there are definately some in the background.

People who like plants also tend to also like history, so if you are interested in the Tudors then hopefully you will like this too. If you have any questions then leave a comment and I will get back to you. If you would like to know more, then click onto the links below or go direct to the ‘My English Diary’ website.

Please enjoy these views from the old country- including a couple of oddballs - and keep an eye out for the rogue camel.

For more information click onto:
Christmas Tree
Gardenofeaden
Recipe for Traditional Christmas Cake
Recipe for Christmas Pudding

CLOVES AND CINNAMON – SPICES WITH THE SWEET SCENT OF CHRISTMAS




Every now and again you can walk into someone’s home and within an instant, the warm luxurious fragrance that greeted you has transported you back to Christmas’s past.

It is truly amazing how certain smells - or even a combination of smells – are able to evoke such powerful imagery. So why not use this natural phenomenon to your own advantage? If you are planning on having guests round this holiday period, then why not make then most of this time by adding the extra dimension of Christmas fragrance to your home?

Cinnamon

Truly a classic Christmas spice, but it’s one thing to sniff some cinnamon sticks while they are under your nose, but how do you get that luscious scent to drift around your home?

Answer. Choose an old drinking glass making sure that the bottom is wide enough to fit a tea light. Next, glue - or tie into place - cinnamon sticks vertically around the outside of the glass until it is completely covered. Should you wish, you can decorate the outside of the glass with an appropriate Christmassy ribbon. When completed, place the tea light on the bottom of the glass and light it – the warmth of the candle will bring out the smell of the cinnamon. Remember though, never leave a naked flame unattended!

Cloves

Another great spice for creating that Christmas feeling is the musky fragramce released from cloves - especially when combined with the smell of oranges or lemons . An easy way to take advantage of this is to make an orange/Clove ball, otherwise known as a pomander. Start by using something like a toothpick to make holes in the orange. Next, place a clove into each hole and continue until the whole orange is covered, you can even position the holes in order to create festive patterns. When finished you can leave in bowlsin the fashion of a large pot pourri or decorate with ribbon and hang somewhere appropriate.

An easy cheat

There is - of course - a quick way to get a whole combination of Christmas flavours to permeate throughout the house. Place 4 to 6 cups of water into a small saucepan and add to it the peels from 2 oranges, 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon of whole cloves and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Bring the pan to the boil and then reduce the heat so it just sits there simmering gently. Of course, you will need to keep an eye on it so that the pan doesn’t boil dry. When the water gets low, add more water, and when the scent begins to diminish you will need to discard that batch and make a fresh one. Never leave the pan simmering on the stove unattended.

For further information click onto:
Can you Plant up a Christmas Tree after Christmas?
Can you Replant a Christmas Tree?
Christmas Tree
Gardenofeaden
How Does Mistletoe Grow
How to Care for Your Cut Christmas Tree
How to Grow Amaryllis Bulbs
How to Grow Mistletoe from Seed
How to Prepare for the Christmas Holidays
How to Propagate and Grow Mistletoe
Merry Christmas - From Where I Live
Poinsettia CarePoinsettia History and Tradition Story
Poinsettia Pests and Diseases
Recipe for Traditional Christmas Cake
Recipe for Christmas Pudding
The History of Mistletoe Tradition
The History of the Christmas Tree
Types and Varieties of Christmas Tree
What has the Christmas cactus got to do with Christmas?

WHAT HAS THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS GOT TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS?




The ‘Christmas Cactus’ or Schlumbergera truncata - as it is otherwise known - is a plant of singular deceit. Although its botanical name is derived from Frédéric Schlumberger (1823-1893) - the well known French collector of cacti and other succulents – the plant was neither discovered by him nor named by him. In fact, it received its name through another Frenchman - botanist and botanical author Charles Antoine Lemaire, a contemporary expert of the Cactaceae genus and colleague of Frédéric Schlumberger.

But it doesn't stop there! For all intents and purposes, the Christmas cacti has no ‘French connection’ whatsoever as it was actually discovered by Englishman Allan Cunningham (1791 –1839), who in his day was a well known botanist and explorer.

Between 1814 and 1816, and on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks - President of the Royal Society, founder of the Royal Horticultural Society, and unofficial director of Kew Botanic Gardens - Allan Cunningham was sent on an expedition to Brazil aboard the HMS Mermaid. Under the employ of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, he was tasked to collect, document, and bring back to England any new and unknown plant species – particularly those that may have valuable economic importance. Amongst the many new species that were discovered on this - his first - journey, was of course an un-named, tree dwelling cactus.

This newly discovered species was unlike any cactus that had been seen before. It was a true, tropical rainforest epiphyte that - instead of growing as you would expect in the ground - was found high up in the tree canopy rooted onto tree branches.

Despite the high rainfall encountered within the Brazilian rainforest, water drained away quickly in the tree canopy, mimicking the drought conditions encountered by the more familiar members of the cacti family.

Not surprisingly, because of their specialised environment, these epiphytic cacti are quite different in appearance to that of their desert-dwelling cousins.

So why are they called Christmas cactus?

Move away from the seasonal winter cold of northern Europe, and the traditional Christmas tree isn’t always a suitable option. Instead, those living in the warmer climates of Africa, Australia, and some of the Latin American countries have developed their own version of the traditional tree.

They have developed their own ‘Christmas Cactus’ custom of decorating a decent sized, indigenous cactus the same as you would a ‘normal ‘Christmas tree. The Schlumbergera truncata is not that cactus.

Unsurprisingly, the Schlumbergera Christmas cactus – apart from flowering over the Christmas period – has nothing to do with either the Christmas tradition or the story of Christ’s birth.

Its common name derives only from its ability to flower at the right time, and so I apologise to anyone who has been misled by implied marketing. However in all fairness, it isn’t really the plants fault – it’s all down to the French, or is it?

For more information click onto:
Can you Replant a Christmas Tree?
Can you Plant up a Christmas Tree after Christmas?
Choosing Hardy Cacti and Succulents for Growing Outside
Christmas cactus
Cloves and Cinnamon - Spices with the Sweet Scent of Christmas
Gardening Jobs For December
Gardenofeaden
Hardy Cacti and Succulents for Growing Outside
How Does Mistletoe Grow
How to Care for Your Cut Christmas Tree
How to Grow Mistletoe from Seed
How to Prepare for the Christmas Holidays
How to Propagate and Grow Mistletoe
Jack Lantern
Merry Christmas - From Where I Live
Poinsettia History and Tradition Story
Recipe for Traditional Christmas Cake
Recipe for Christmas Pudding
Schlumbergera Species - The Christmas Cacti
The History of Mistletoe Tradition
The History of the Christmas Tree
Types and Varieties of Christmas Tree

JELLY FISH SWARMS – THE LATEST MAN MADE DISASTER?




Discussions about climate change are rife at the moment. Is it a natural phenomenon or is the proliferation of mankind tipping the planets natural balance, Further still, are current and future world populations sustainable or are we consuming resources at such a rate that catastrophe is inevitable?

According to the World Bank, last years world population figures reached 6,692,030,277 - a figure far too accurate for its own credibility, but accurate enough to give the climate change problem some meaning. Who out there – who isn’t being paid to say otherwise - really believes that six billion people are not having a measurable effect on the environment – crazy talk?


The effects are all around us to see – farm land has replaced forests, ice shelves are crumbling so sea levels are rising. And the latest worrying trend is the ever increasing incidence of jellyfish swarms. Although amusing at first glance, these spikes in jellyfish populations are the result of something far more insidious.

Scientists believe that the recent explosions in jellyfish populations are the reflection of a combination of factors. The severe over-fishing of their natural predators - such as the tuna, sharks and swordfish - rising sea temperatures (caused in part by global warming), and years of man-made pollution that has depleted oxygen levels in coastal shallows. .

Although there have already been beach closings due of jellyfish swarms on the Côte d'Azur in France, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and at Waikiki and Virginia Beach in the United States, it is the threat to the world's fishing industry which is considerably more worrying. Swarms of jellyfish are now seen to be hunting in packs, able to decimate large numbers of fish. Because jellyfish are both slow moving and semi-transparent, they are able to get relatively close to unsuspecting fish without them realising the danger. Given the opportunity, they ensnare the fish in their poisonous tentacles and are able to dissolve the bodies in their stomachs within minutes.

In Japan - which is home to the world's largest fishing industry - fishing boats are regularly catching jellyfish in their nets instead of fish. Sometimes it’s both, but then any fish caught along side large numbers of jellyfish are so full of venom they are rendered inedible.

The Nomura's Jellyfish – commonly found off the coast of Japan – has a body that can weigh as much as 200 lbs and grow as long as 2 meters - not including the length of their tentacles. According to estimates by the Japanese government, this plague is 100 times the size of normal Nomura's Jellyfish populations and they are now taking aggressive actions.

The Japanese fishermen have begun the practice of chopping up netted jellyfish and dumping their bodies back into the sea, but the Japanese government are taking matters further by creating a committee and a task force dedicated to hunting down and destroying jellyfish in order to protect the other fish that makes up their livelihood. Unfortunately the practice of chopping up jellyfish may be making things worse. When jellyfish are under attack or killed, they release millions of sperm or eggs, which if return back to the sea can produce yet more jellyfish.

So what can be done about the jelly fish problem? Create fishing amnesties around the worst effected areas; place an international legislated fishing ban on the natural predators of jelly fish? Promote jellyfish as a ‘new’ delicacy for the Asian market? At the moment there are few answers forthcoming, but unless our burgeoning populations wake up to the problems of climate change, pollution, over fishing and the unsustainable consumption of the world’s resources - catastrophe is inevitable.

For more information click onto:
Are Slug Pellets Poisoning Our Wildlife
British Birds of Paradise
British Government Creates Worlds Largest Marine Reserve Around Chagos Islands
Caring for Insect Eating Birds in Winter
Discovered - the Language of Hyenas
Discovered - Giant Monitor Lizard
Easter Island - a Lesson in Environmental Exploitation
Edible Crop Pollination and the Decline of Bees
Fall in Bee Populations Linked to Decline in Plant Biodiversity
Gardenofeaden
How do Elephants Communicate and Talk to Each Other?
How do Lizards Run on Water?
How Long can a Flying Fish Fly for?
How to Attract Bumblebees to the Suburban Garden
How to Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
How to Make a Wildlife Pond
Light Pollution and the Decline in Bat Populations
Light Pollution and the Decline of Native Insects
Light Pollution - The Hidden Threat
Lost Frog Returned from Extinction
Non- Native Invasive Species - The Chinese Mitten Crab
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Japanese Knotweed
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Harlequin Ladybird
Non-Native Invasive Species - The American Signal Crayfish
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Ring-Necked Parakeet
Seed Bearing Plants for Attracting Wild Finches
Sustainability Through the Consumption of Things Conserved
The Decline of Butterfly and Caterpillar Habitat
The Decline of Insect Eating Birds The Eagle Owl - Friend or Foe?
The Importance of Log Piles to Native Wildlife
The Plight of English Woodlands
The Portuguese Man of War
What can we do to Help Save the Rainforests
What Causes Pond Water to go Frothy?
What is a Portuguese man of war?
What is 'Slash and Burn' Farming and How does it Affect the Rainforests?
Which Plants can Attract Bats into the Garden?
Why are Tropical Rainforests so Important?
Why is the Amazon Rainforest being Destroyed?
Why Shark Fin Soup is Devastating World Shark Populations
Why Should we Protect the Rainforest?

WHY SHARK FIN SOUP IS DEVASTATING WORLD SHARK POPULATIONS




Throughout much of Asia, the Chinese delicacy of shark fin soup is widely recognized as a status symbol of the wealthy. Usually only found only at special occasions – such as weddings or banquets - it is an item of such luxury that it is often served to important guests as a way of bestowing them great respect.

To give an idea of the high costs involved, Scalloped hammerhead fins are among the most highly sought after as they help to create a particularly thick, gelatinous soup. In the Asian market place just 1 kg of these coveted fins can sell for as much as $120.00.


Unfortunately, the premium prices commanded by shark fins have fuelled a global shark hunt of epic proportions. Research has shown that up to 73,000,000 sharks are killed annually to supply the fin markets, placing the future survival of many shark species in doubt. Further research from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada has also shown that shark populations - as well as populations of all large predators in the worlds oceans - have dropped an estimated 90 per cent in the last 30 years. Some species of shark, such as the tiger, bull and dusky shark have dropped by more than 95 per cent.

Unfortunately, further controversy hangs over the practice of shark fishing, mainly because shark bodies have little, substantial value. This has caused many fishermen to use the practice known as ‘finning’. This is where the fins are cut away from the sharks body while the remainder of the fish - which is often still alive - is thrown back into the sea. Once back in the ocean, the finless shark is unable to swim and sinks to the ocean bottom to die, a slow and extremely painful death.

Animal rights activists and environmentalists have called the practice brutal, and have also named it as a primary contributing factor in the global decline of many shark species.

Hong Kong is responsible for handling anywhere between 50% and possibly up to 80% of the world’s trade in shark fins. Of that number 21% of fins were found to have originated in waters off of coastlines of the United States, Belize, Panama and Brazil. Surprisingly, these are areas where the shark has been categorized as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature!

But it is not just the Americas that are helping to fuel this enormous market, a third of all fins imported to Hong Kong come from Europe with Spain by far the largest supplier. Of course they are not alone with Norway Britain, France, Portugal and Italy all making major contributions to this barbaric trade. Currently there are only a couple of dozen countries, including those in the EU, which have banned the practice of shark finning – and mostly in just the last five years.

In 2004 was the first fish was placed under the protection of the ‘Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species’ (CITES). Today there are at least some species of sharks listed on CITES such as the Great White and some of the Basking sharks.

By systematically removing the top predator from every ocean we're destroying the balance of the world’s most important ecosystem, one that is vital for our own survival - hopefully we are not too late. Just as awareness and education has help to bring back many whale species from the brink of extinctions, hopefully shark populations can also be saved. We lose them at out own peril!

For more information click onto:
Are Slug Pellets Poisoning Our Wildlife
British Birds of Paradise
British Government Creates Worlds Largest Marine Reserve Around Chagos Islands
Caring for Insect Eating Birds in Winter
Discovered - Giant Monitor Lizard
Discovered - the Language of Hyenas
Easter Island - a Lesson in Environmental Exploitation
Edible Crop Pollination and the Decline of Bees
Fall in Bee Populations Linked to Decline in Plant Biodiversity
Gardenofeaden
How do Elephants Communicate and Talk to Each Other?
How do Lizards Run on Water?
How to Attract Bumblebees to the Suburban Garden
How to Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
How to Make a Wildlife PondLight Pollution and the Decline in Bat Populations
How to Make Spicy Pumpkin Soup
How to make my Recipe for Parsley Soup
Jellyfish Swarms - The Latest Man-Made disaster?
Light Pollution and the Decline of Native Insects
Light Pollution - The Hidden Threat
Parsley Soup
Non- Native Invasive Species - The Chinese Mitten Crab
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Japanese Knotweed
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Harlequin Ladybird
Non-Native Invasive Species - The American Signal Crayfish
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Ring-Necked Parakeet
Recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Recipe for Tangy Tomato Soup
Seed Bearing Plants for Attracting Wild Finches
The Decline of Butterfly and Caterpillar Habitat
The Decline of Insect Eating Birds
The Eagle Owl - Friend or Foe?
The Frilled Shark
The Importance of Log Piles to Native Wildlife
The Plight of English Woodlands
What can we do to Help Save the Rainforests
What Causes Pond Water to go Frothy?
What does the Great White Shark Eat?
What is Acid Rain?
What is the Worlds Biggest Shark?
What is 'Slash and Burn' Farming and How does it Affect the Rainforests?
Where do you find Great White Sharks?
Which Plants can Attract Bats into the Garden?
Why are Tropical Rainforests so Important?
Why is the Amazon Rainforest being Destroyed?
Why is the Sky Blue?
Why Should we Protect the Rainforest?
Wolf Conservation

EASTER ISLAND - A LESSON IN ENVIRONMENTAL EXPLOITATION




Many of us are familiar with Easter Island, but only from its association with the spectacular stone statues known as Moai – a creation of the early Rapa Nui people.

Now a World Heritage Site, Easter Island sits in a remote area of the south-eastern Pacific Ocean, formed as the result of volcanic activity from three extinct coalesced volcanoes 750,000 years ago.

The island was originally populated by Polynesian explorers believed to have journeyed from either the Marquises islands (3200 km away), the Tuamotou islands, Mangareva, 2600 km away) or Pitcairn (2000 km away). Incredibly, these early inhabitants they found their way to Easter Island using only simple wooden canoes or catamarans. Originally the Island was covered by a thick, sub-tropical rainforest which included both palms and hard-woods, but by the time the island was discovered by Europeans in 1722 the Island had become almost totally barren.

The story of this Island is of particular relevance to those concerned with climate change and global warming. This is because recent history shows that Easter Island experienced the collapse of its ecosystem. This resulted in the extinction of many of its prehistoric plant and animal species to the detriment of the local population - an event associated with the over-exploitation of the island's resources.

When Captain Cook visited the island, one of his crew members, who was a Polynesian from Bora Bora, was able to communicate with the Rapa Nui. They found out that the island had a very clear class-based social system, with a King – known as an Ariki – who wielded absolute god-like power. The main element of their life on the island was the cult of the birdman, and a central part of their worship was the production of the massive, ceremonial Moai which are found erected along most of the coastline.

As the islands population grew in size it began to divide into separate clans – each competing for the same natural resources. As these resources began to dwindle an atmosphere of competitive rivalry began amongst the clans who began a self destructive pursuit of building bigger and bigger Moai. This intensified the islanders need for wood from mature trees - one of the islands main resources - essential in the production and placement of the completed Moai.

To move the statues from the island's Rano Raraku quarry in the south-east of the island, the Rapa Nui needed to cut down large trees for use as logs in the construction of long ‘canoe ladders’. This enabled them to carry the massive carvings to the island's coast, but they also needed to manufacture heavy ropes which were made from the fibrous bark of the larger palms.

The scale of operation required to move such enormous stone statues was vast. Research has shown that teams of between 50 and 500 men dragged the statues which weighed anywhere between 10 and 90 tons. Some 887 statues were carved in total, but nearly half of them still remain at the Rano Raraku quarry, which appears to have been abandoned mid-way through production. For transport alone, each statue would have required several trees to be cut down; however other trees would have been taken for housing, fuel and the construction of the large stone platforms, or "ahu", upon which the Moai were placed.

As a result of the steady deforestation, food production began to fall dramatically as crops became exposed to harsh winds and the semi-arid conditions of the region. Starvation and desperation ensued followed by violence clashes as each clan competed against each other for survival. Consequently, the Island population collapsed - unable to sustain itself - from perhaps as many as 15,000 at its peak to just a few thousand at the time of its discovery.

The Easter Island story is not only the most extreme example of forest destruction and its effect on indigenous populations in the Pacific area; it is perhaps the most extreme example in the world. Not only had the islands almost entire forest disappeared, its unique collection of tree species, as well as the animals that lived within them had also become extinct.

The importance of such a story is not lost in this age of modern globalization. With the ever increasing threat of climate change and a rapidly growing world population of more than 6.5 billion people, the parallels between what happened here at Easter Island, and what could happen to the rest of the modern world - if suitable steps aren’t taken quickly enough - are chillingly obvious.

For more information click onto:
Are Slug Pellets Poisoning Our Wildlife
British Birds of Paradise
British Government Creates Worlds Largest Marine Reserve Around Chagos Islands
Caring for Insect Eating Birds in Winter
Charles Darwin's Greatest Experiment
Discovered - Giant Monitor Lizard
Edible Crop Pollination and the Decline of Bees
Fall in Bee Populations Linked to Decline in Plant Biodiversity
Gardenofeaden
How to Attract Bumblebees to the Suburban Garden
How to Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
How to Make a Wildlife Pond
Jellyfish Swarms - The Latest Man-Made disaster?
Light Pollution and the Decline in Bat Populations
Light Pollution and the Decline of Native Insects
Light Pollution - The Hidden Threat
Lost Frog Returned from Extinction
Native Pond Plants
Nectar Rich American Wildflowers for Attracting Native Bumble Bees
Nectar Rich Plants for Attracting Long-Tongued Bumble Bees
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Japanese Knotweed
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Harlequin Ladybird
Non-Native Invasive Species - The American Signal Crayfish
Non-Native Invasive Species - The Ring-Necked Parakeet
Pesticides Toxic to Honey Bees
Plants that Attract the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Seed Bearing Plants for Attracting Wild Finches
The Angel of the Amazon - Sister Dorothy Stang
The Causes of Acid Rain
The Effects of Acid Rain
The Decline of Butterfly and Caterpillar Habitat
The Decline of Insect Eating Birds
The Importance of Log Piles to Native Wildlife
The Island of Statues - Easter Island
The Layers of the Rainforest
The 'Native Trees' of England
The Plight of English Woodlands
The Rainforest
What are the Safe Organic Alternative to Slug Pellets
What can we do to Help Save the Rainforests
What causes Global Warming?
What is Acid Rain?
What is the Difference between Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect?
What is Easter Island?
What is the Greenhouse Effect?
What is 'Slash and Burn' Farming and How does it Affect the Rainforests?
What is the Rainforest?
Where is the Rainforest?
Which Plants can Attract Bats into the Garden?
Why are Tropical Rainforests so Important?
Why is the Amazon Rainforest being Destroyed?
Why Shark Fin Soup is Devastating World Shark Populations
Why Should we Protect the Rainforest?

GREEN TEA - A CURE FOR PROSTATE CANCER




A study by Philadelphia based researchers has identified a chemical in green tea that appears to slow the progression of prostate cancer. The compound – known as Polyphenon E – was given to a selection of patients who had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer and who were scheduled for radical prostate surgery.

Using a dose of four capsules a day – roughly equivalent to 12 cups of green tea – the patients were treated for an average of 34 days, up until the day of their surgery.

Tea plants
Afterwards, the research team – led by Dr James Cardelli, from the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center - checked for a number of biomarkers - molecules - including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and prostate specific antigen (PSA) - a protein only found in the prostate, all of which are indicators of developing prostrate cancer.

The results of the study showed a significant reduction in levels of HGF, VEGF and PSA, with some patients demonstrating reductions of more than 30%. In addition, there were only a few reported side effects associated with this study, and liver function remained normal.
.Dr James Cardelli had this to say on the matter.

“….Polyphenon E may have the potential to lower the incidence and slow the progression of prostate cancer. We think that the use of tea polyphenols alone or in combination with other compounds currently used for cancer therapy should be explored as an approach to prevent cancer progression and recurrence. There is reasonably good evidence that many cancers are preventable, and our studies using plant-derived substances support the idea that plant compounds found in a healthy diet can play a role in preventing cancer development and progression…"

Green tea has been linked to a positive effect on a wide range of conditions, including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

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