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      “Nous avons peu de temps pour sauver les 110ha fertiles du triangle de Gonesse” / LaReleveEtLaPeste · 6 days ago - 12:26

    “Comme les pouvoirs publics n’ont rien pour justifier la gare de la ligne 17” qui doit se construire en plein champ et accompagner l’artificialisation des terres, “ils veulent une cité scolaire”.

    Cet article “Nous avons peu de temps pour sauver les 110ha fertiles du triangle de Gonesse” est apparu en premier sur La Relève et La Peste .

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      Farmer’s wife Helen Rebanks: ‘There was a fire in me about speaking up for the women who hold things together’ / TheGuardian · Sunday, 27 August - 09:20

    The wife of bestselling author James has written a book of her own shining a light on small-scale farming. She talks about the pressures of Brexit and preposterous trade deals

    Helen Rebanks is driving towards her farm, which is between Keswick and Penrith in the Lake District but, before we get there, she pulls up unexpectedly by the side of the road. She gets out of the car and leads the way into a field where her husband, James Rebanks, bestselling author of The Shepherd’s Life and English Pastoral – books about life as a traditional farmer – is working with a herd of black-and-white cattle. He is about to load his animals – belted galloways – into a trailer and move them on to pastures new.

    On the ground are leftovers from yesterday’s sheep-shearing (300 done, 200 to go). Helen informs me that these are “daggings”, which are good to put on hedges and mulch saplings as they help retain moisture in the ground. It is not the most convenient moment for introductions but James’s face breaks into the widest of smiles when, over the fence, I tell him how much I loved his wife’s new book.

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      ‘The UK’s importing of food is a travesty’: farmer’s wife Helen Rebanks tells her own story / TheGuardian · Sunday, 27 August - 09:00

    Rebanks, who is married to bestselling The Shepherd’s Life author James, publishes her debut book this week and gives short shrift to Britain’s farms policy

    • ‘There was a fire in me’: read full interview with Helen Rebanks

    “I live with my husband, James, and we have four children – Molly, Bea, Isaac and Tom. There are also six sheep dogs, two ponies, 20 chickens, 500 sheep and 50 cattle to care for. I am a farmer’s wife, and this is my story.”

    So writes Helen Rebanks on the first page of her debut book, The Farmer’s Wife . It is about her life with husband James managing four young children and a lot more animals on a 700-acre farm in the Lake District. James has already made his name as a bestselling author of The Shepherd’s Life and English Pastoral about traditional farming in Cumbria

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      Why we desperately need wild bees / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 24 August - 13:55 · 1 minute

    Bumblebee on a flower

    Enlarge / The black and golden bumblebee, Bombus auricomus, is typically found in grasslands in the Great Plains and eastern states. (credit: alle12 via Getty )

    When ecologist Rachael Winfree first began studying bees 25 years ago, she happened upon a surprise: a species of plasterer bee in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, not seen in 50 years and suspected to have gone extinct. But when she called state wildlife officials to report the discovery, she was told they weren’t interested — they didn’t have the resources to monitor bees and other insects.

    This is a familiar scenario to scientists who study native bees. These insects are facing multiple threats, and though official monitoring has improved, their declines have not been well documented. At the same time, a growing body of research is revealing just how crucial native bees are as pollinators for many plants. “They both pollinate our natural systems and — what people don’t realize — they are also really important for many of our agricultural crops,” says Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society, a nonprofit focused on invertebrate conservation.

    Domestic honeybees are pretty much synonymous with pollination in the public’s mind, particularly when it comes to crops, and the plight of wild bees has largely been overshadowed by concern about threats to the domestic variety. Many people don’t know the difference between wild and domestic bees, further obscuring both the troubles faced by many wild species and their value, says Hollis Woodard, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside.

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      Bacteria that ‘eats’ methane could slow global heating, study finds / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 22 August - 16:28

    Technology has the potential to make deep cuts to emissions of the potent greenhouse gas but requires major investment

    A bacteria that consumes the greenhouse gas methane could slow the rate of global heating, according to a study out this week.

    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas emitted from energy (natural gas and petroleum systems), industry, agriculture, land use and waste management activities.

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      « Mortalité accrue » des oiseaux, raisins et pommes en danger : les impacts de cette canicule / Numerama · Tuesday, 22 August - 09:09

    Les températures s'envolent à plus de 40 degrés dans de nombreux départements français, et sont aussi très élevées dans les autres, alors même que le 15 août est derrière nous. Un dérèglement qui n'est pas sans conséquences sur la nature et les récoltes. [Lire la suite]

    Abonnez-vous aux newsletters Numerama pour recevoir l’essentiel de l’actualité

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      Ferret racing and giant marrows: how UK country shows keep rural traditions alive / TheGuardian · Saturday, 19 August - 06:00 · 1 minute

    Agricultural shows are a highlight of the British summer, combining farming heritage with the village fete to bring an eccentric joyfulness

    10 of the UK’s best country shows

    Several years ago I was asked to judge the homemade wines at a local agricultural show. I have written to tight deadlines at World Cups and delivered a speech in the Long Room at Lord’s; neither filled me with quite the same feelings of pressure and anxiety. I knew how seriously such competitions are taken, the strength of feelings they evoke. I had nightmares of being strangled with a siphoning tube. Fortunately my co-judge was more experienced and sanguine. She also held the old-fashioned opinion that swirling the wines around your mouth before spitting them in a bucket was uncouth, and so following her lead I drank a small glass of each. There were more than 20 entries, and after half an hour my fears had dematerialised into a fuzzy summer glow.

    That was before the pandemic. These days anyone taking a similar approach to judging homemade wines would probably end up being hospitalised, thanks to the sheer range and number of entries. During lockdown people all over the country filled their days rediscovering old crafts, baking, brewing and winemaking among them. Entries for the industrial tent (originally for displaying the work of rural craftspeople, but showing everything from baking to children’s art, knitting, jam and photography) at agricultural shows have soared.

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      ‘This way of farming is really sexy’: the rise of regenerative agriculture / TheGuardian · Monday, 14 August - 05:00

    On the Isle of Wight Hollie Fallick and Francesca Cooper are part of a movement to bring tired and depleted soil back to life – and boost food security

    Hollie Fallick looks over Brading on the Isle of Wight, at a patchwork of fields boarded by ancient oaks, which stretches to the Solent. “We still have to pinch ourselves every day,” says the 30-year-old, as she surveys the 50 hectares (125 acres) she farms with her best friend, Francesca Cooper, 34.

    The friends – who have five young children between them, were both vegan for a period, and are lifelong environmental activists – are not typical livestock farmers. And they don’t practise typical farming: instead they are part of a growing global movement practising regenerative agriculture – or regen ag for short.

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      It’s the ‘Swiss army knife of the sea’. But can kelp survive rising marine heat? / TheGuardian · Saturday, 12 August - 15:00

    As warming oceans threaten the farming of the sustainable crop, scientists work to make the industry climate resilient

    Ocean temperatures have hit record highs this year, growing so hot in some places that taking a dip in the sea feels like stepping into a hot tub . For kelp farmers, who grow an underwater crop with a life cycle highly dependent on temperature, that spells trouble for their harvests – and their nascent industry’s future.

    “Over the last 30 or 40 years, we’ve seen a pretty big decline in the kelp populations around Long Island. In large part, that’s due to climate change and water temperatures increasing,” said Michael Doall, a former oyster farmer and marine scientist at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences.

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