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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I May Not Have A Lot To Give, But What I Got, I'll Give To...

Tonight I sent money to two organizations that I think are important to everyone, whether they realize it or not.

One is the Seed Savers Exchange, which started its life thirty-five years ago as a few people getting together to exchange open-pollinated and heirloom seeds. They have made at least two deposits that I know of in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in Norway.  For the year 2010, they have 704 listed members, which means they are members actively offering saved seed for exchange.  I'm a member, but not a listed member, and I will probably never become a listed member, but I think the work that the Seed Savers Exchange does is important, very important, so I think they're worth supporting.

The other organization is Bat Conservation International. Now- I have to admit that I'm just silly about bats.  I seriously dig them.  Nothing makes me happier than to watch bat acrobatics at dusk.  Thanks to Hollywood, bats have been badly maligned, and a lot of people fear them or dislike them.  It's true that there is a vampire bat, but it lives in South America and it tends to feed on livestock left out all night.  Most bats are insect eaters, and they're e*x*t*r*e*m*e*l*y important to farmers and gardeners because they keep insect populations down.  If we didn't have bats, we would not have crops- they don't pollinate, like bees, but they allow crops to grow by eating the billions of insects that would strip fields bare.  Bats have been having a tough time lately, by losing habitat, but now a new malady threatens their existence.  White Nose Syndrome is a fungus that attacks bat populations by the colony and is killing them by the caveful.  Experts are very worried because they don't know what to do for them yet, but they are working on it.  White Nose Syndrome is to bats what Colony Collapse Disorder is to bees.  Putting WNS and CCD together in the same sentence is really, really scary.

I can keep bees in my backyard, but I can't do anything more than hang a bat house up and hope for the best.  Oh wait, yes I can. I can give Bat Conservation International some money.  I sure hope they figure out how to fight WNS.

I also hope that you'll consider checking these organizations out, and maybe contributing something as well.  I may not have money for public broadcasting, but I found it for the Seed Savers Exchange and Bat Conservation International.  The way I look at it is, we all gotta eat.

7 comments:

Sense of Home said...

When we read about how many varieties of apples there used to be and how our food choices have been narrowed to a couple varieties, it is down right scary. Apples are just one example, there are so many plants we have never seen, heard of, or tasted.

-Brenda

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Sounds like two wonderful organizations.
I ♥ bats. Nothing makes me happier than going into my barn attic and finding them sleeping from my rafters. I have not heard about WNS - I need to look it up. Wondering if it's in our area? Ugh.

Paula said...

I was really excited when I saw the picture of a bat hanging upside down in your barn on your blog.

WNS seems to have started in the Northeast, but is spreading west and southward. I can't remember what the last BCI magazine reported on it but I remember that it's moving fast.

sissyjane said...

One of my favorite Summer-time activities is sitting on my deck at dusk and watching the bats dancing through the sky!

Jennifer Montero said...

I'm fascinated by the seed bank project and I think it will prove a vital resource in the future. I get a bad feeling in my bones about GM. I hope the seed bank will be a kind of insurance.

NPR Science Friday ran a great show about white nose disease in bats...sometime in the past year I think..I'm a big fan too. My earliest childhood memory is my great grandmother trying to drive over an injured bat in her driveway. I've been trying to make it up to the poor creatures ever since!

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Paula -- Thanks for the bat alert. I didn't know about WNS. We've had two bat houses sitting in our garage for months ... maybe it's time to get them out there. God knows we could use some insect control!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Seed Saver's is a wonderful organization, and like you, I will probably never be a listed member.

WNS and CCD are both serious problems. I've seen both the bats and bees slowly disappearing in my neck of the woods - especially in the last 10 years. I am starting to see the honeybees increase, but sadly, not the bats...