A donkey enjoying a salt lick at the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary
Hello and welcome to Tendrils! Can you believe that March is over? Last weekend Ryan and I paid a quick visit to our local donkey sanctuary, where we saw a lot of donkeys who seemed most interested in eating the soiled hay that their carers were trying to remove in a wheelbarrow. I have helpfully found for you a list of plants for donkeys, in case you’re interested.
Donkeys weren’t really where I was planning on starting today, but the world is a weird place at the moment, and donkeys are relatively safe territory. Recently we learned that Google places adverts on hate speech, which has upset some of its biggest customers, who feel that is not aligned with their values (and yet, tellingly, will still pay to advertise in the Daily Mail). Google is now scrambling to fix this, because it wants to protect its advertising revenues. Why didn’t it do this before? Because it makes money from those hate-filled websites. There’s no point in passing up money unless someone makes you, huh? It has been a few years since they abandoned their original “Don’t be Evil” motto.
I have always been a big fan of Google, but this is a bit too much. Although Googling has become a regular part of my day, I have just switched my default search engine to Ecosia.org, which says it plants trees (funded by the paid search results it (like Google) displays on top of the ‘organic’ results). It was painless to install; we’ll see how I get on with using it on a daily basis. During the course of producing Tendrils this week, I have planted 11 trees, it tells me.
Living in a city could be damaging your health, for various reasons, many of which could be alleviated with trees. And a New Zealand tree has become a social media sensation. There’s no report on how the tree is coping with it’s new-found fame, as yet.
Like trees, earthworms are more important than pandas if you want to save the planet. I think we all knew that, but it’s hard to get warm and fuzzy feelings about worms.
So, let’s do some fun spring stuff. If you need a drink after the events of this week, then it’s time to put together an Ultraviolet, the wild violet cocktail. Alternatively, you could make violet jam or jelly and slather it on toast, scones or between two halves of a cake. My morning walk is alive with violets at the moment (and there’s a handful in bloom in the garden), so violets are timely. If you were using how nice it would be to bottle the essence of spring for later in the year, I think I’ve got you covered!
I’m going to leave you today with Rachel Laudan on why she’s a happy food waster. I don’t agree with her 100%, but she’s right to point out that diverting food waste to the poor alleviates the symptoms of food poverty, without doing anything about the underlying causes. A new report from the government’s Food Standards Agency highlights that 1 in 4 low-income households can’t afford food regularly. We know that kids are going to school hungry, and that affects their education. We also now know that UK schoolgirls are missing school because they can’t afford sanitary protection. These are Third World issues playing out in First World countries. The solution isn’t redirecting aid from developing countries, of course, it’s getting our backyard in order.
It’s a shame planting more trees can’t help with that.
Tendrils will be taking a break next week, but don’t worry, it will be back the following week with more wonderful ways that plants can make things better. Toodle pip!