Elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some St. Paul homes and buildings

paul-homes-buildings”Via FOX 9: St. Paul Regional Water Services in a press release said it found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes and buildings, with tap water sampling showing 13 samples were above the 15 parts per billion action level for lead.

Via MPR News: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sue Abderholden, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity CEO Chris Coleman and other Minnesotans remember former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Kim Hyatt at the Star Tribune reports the U.S. Supreme Court rejected former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s latest appeal attempt, just a week after he filed a new motion attempting to overturn his federal conviction in the murder of George Floyd.

Jay Kolls at KSTP is reporting the Jewish Community Relations Council is calling a recent social media post by Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59 “antisemitic” and threatening to Jewish teachers and students in Minneapolis Public Schools.

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Becky Z. Dernbach at Sahan Journal covered two days of public hearings where Minnesota students told an administrative law judge that they wanted to learn the whole truth about history and include the experiences of people from all backgrounds.

news/st-paul-police-called-to-downtown-apartment-building-nearly-300-times-in-2023/”Renée Cooper at KSTP reports St. Paul police have been called to the Press House apartments on Cedar Street near Kellogg Boulevard nearly 300 times in 2023. The former home of the Pioneer Press was converted into affordable housing a few years back.

Frederick Melo in a subscriber-only Pioneer Press piece reports Keg and Case Market, the 22,000 square foot commercial space that had reopened on St. Paul’s West Seventh Street to much fanfare in September of 2018, has grown silent. Melo describes it as a $10 million gamble

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Considerations for plants overwintering indoors

There are several things to be aware of for your tropical plants spending the winter indoors. First is good light.

I can provide most of my plants with very good light since I have both a sunroom and a greenhouse. However, for most folks getting adequate light to plants in the house during winter is difficult. Less light and generally dry conditions from our heating systems place stress on these plants.

Depending on the plant and its size, artificial light can sometimes be provided to help indoor plants by using florescent or other light fixtures. This often takes quite a bit of room and is something that many people cannot or do not want to do. Rotating plants to a bright window can help including in the garage if it is warm enough.



Likewise, the humidity level can be increased somewhat with humidifiers, by bunching plants close together, and by setting plants on trays of water – elevating the plants above the water so that they are not sitting in it. This also can be difficult.

Fertilizing and overwatering plants in winter are two of the most common mistakes. Because plants are growing slowly, if at all, they cannot utilize fertilizer and they do not need as much water.

Unless the plant is one that can thrive in the conditions in your house, stop all fertilization until late winter/early spring. If fertilizer is needed for some plants, use ½ or less of the recommended strength. Water only when plants are dry. If you forget to water, they will tell you they need water by wilting. For most plants, too little water is better than too much.

Weakened plants under stress are more susceptible to problems. The three most common pests I confront inside are fungus gnats, whiteflies, and

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Preventing plant diseases in the garden

Illustration of a boy planting seeds in rows in a garden bed, and a man standing above him watering the seeds with a metal can.
Use clean seed to prevent new pathogens from entering the garden. If using saved seed, treat it with hot water (find specific instructions for temperature and duration online).
Illustration of terra cotta pots on a grassy lawn with trellised tomatoes and other plants growing in the pots.
Rotate the plots where crop families are planted. For example, after planting tomatoes, wait 3 years until you plant solanaceous crops in the same spot. Containers can help with rotations in small gardens.
garden bed, zoomed in to focus on their shoes.” data-embed-button=”embed_images” data-entity-embed-display=”media_image” data-entity-embed-display-settings=”{"link_url":"","link_url_target":0,"image_style":"","image_link":"file"}” data-entity-type=”media” data-entity-uuid=”24417331-f12b-450b-9361-d11d091e6aca” title=”Clean shoes in the garden. Illustration: Urban Ecosystems & Stardust Interactive” data-langcode=”” class=”embedded-entity”Illustration of two people in a garden bed, zoomed in to focus on their shoes.
Clean your shoes before entering the garden, especially if you have recently been in another garden.
Illustration of a DIY handwashing stand made of a wooden stand with a blue water container and a catchment bucket.
Wash your hands regularly, and clean and sanitize your tools. Pathogens can travel on shovels, trellises, and other equipment.
Illustration of two parallel garden beds with green plants growing on plastic and straw mulch. The bed on the left has drip irrigation snaking through the plants, and the bed on the right has an overhead sprinkler.
Use drip irrigation or careful hand watering when possible to add water near the roots of plants without splashing water onto the leaves.
Illustration of a garden bed with three rows of plants. The plants in front have straw mulch, and the plants in back have plastic mulch.
Mulch (either straw or plastic) prevents pathogens from splashing up from the soil.
Illustration of a grassy walkway between two garden beds.
Grassy walkways between plots can help to prevent water movement across plots.
Illustration of tomatoes growing in a tall wooden raised bed. Each has a metal trellis supporting it.
Trellises support plants and provide better airflow through the canopy. Clean and sanitize trellises each year.
Illustration of lettuce plants. Some of the lettuce plants have spots, indicating disease.
Remove infected plants and plant tissues to prevent the spread of pathogens to healthy plants. Only remove diseased leaves when plants are dry, and no rain is forecasted.
Illustration of pepper <a href=plants. Some of the peppers have spots, indicating disease.” title=”Diseased peppers. Illustration: Urban Ecosystems & Stardust Interactive” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”img-responsive”/
Identify diseases using tools like What’s Wrong with My Plant or Ask Extension. You may need to send a sample to the plant disease clinic. Once you have a diagnosis, seek resistant varieties the following year.
Illustration of a 3-sided wooden compost bin. A person stands next to the compost and is turning it with a shovel.
Keep compost away from garden beds, and make sure it is fully composted before applying it back to growing areas.
Illustration of a sign that reads "Welcome to the garden! Garden rules:"
In public and community gardens, inform gardeners and visitors
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Hardware Store Hydroponics | Hackaday

Science fiction movies often portray horticulture in the future, be it terrestrial or aboard spacecraft, with hydroponic gardens overflowing with leafy greens and brightly colored fruit. There is no soil, just clear water that hints at future-people creating a utopia of plant strains untethered from their earthly roots.

This star-faring food production method is not fiction if you forego the polycarbonate tubing, neon accent lights, and gardening robots. For his 2020 Hackaday Prize entry, [AVR] shares how he creates a bed for sixteen plants with parts sourced at a nearby home-improvement store. It may lack the visual pizzaz of the Hollywood versions, but it will grow soil-less crops on a hacker budget.

The starting point for this build is a sturdy wooden base. The PVC tubing and fence parts on top are light, but the water inside them will get heavy, and if you grow large plants, they become surprisingly heavy. Speaking of water, the sub-category of hydroponics this falls under is Nutrient Film Technique, or NFT, which uses a shallow stream of water laden with all the nutrients for plant growth. The square fence posts provide a flat top for mounting mesh cups where the plants grow and a flat bottom where the stream continuously flows. A basin and pump keep the plants refreshed and fed until they are ready for harvest.

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How to plant a Mediterranean garden

The British have a bit of an obsession with the Mediterranean. It’s tantalisingly close, yet sufficiently different that the moment the EasyJet tyres hit the tarmac, we feel transformed and instantly a bit more glamorous.

Many of us have stockpiled vignettes of sunny summer holidays in the Med, tucked away to see us through the gloomy British winter. Lunches in the dappled shade of a vine, fields of sunflowers below a big blue sky, hazy, dusty tracks through parched olive groves and that syrupy light that makes everyone look their best. So why wouldn’t we want to create a little slice of this at home?

The good news is, it’s not as difficult as it sounds, plus if done right, it’s a really sustainable way to garden. The bad news is, it’s not for everyone. There is one essential ingredient for a Mediterranean garden, and that is sun. So if your garden has a south / south-west aspect read on. If you’ve got a north / north-east facing plot, or a courtyard surrounded by tall buildings, maybe book a flight to Spain (or see my article on how to plant a shade garden).

Mediterranean planting has many virtues, not least that it’s very low maintenance – as Olivier Fillipi, the celebrated Mediterranean plantsman says, they are gardens “without a gardener. No one is there to weed or water, no gardener comes to mow, or treat or fertilise.” As in their natural habitat, the plants we associate with the Mediterranean like free-draining, poor quality soil and not too much attention. So, ideally you’ll need a sheltered, south-facing spot with free-draining soil (i.e. not heavy clay). The usual cast of plants that feature in a Mediterranean garden are also those that are undemanding in terms of water; they have evolved

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DIY Hydroponic System Grows Herbs On The Wall

Wall-Mounted Hydroponic Garden

Everyone knows that you should eat healthy, but it’s not always easy. Fresh and healthy foods are often more expensive than processed foods. When money is tight, sometimes it’s best to just grow your own produce. What if you don’t have room for a garden, though?

When [Matthew] returned home from the 2014 San Mateo Maker Faire, he found himself in a similar situation to many other faire attendees. He saw something awesome and was inspired to build it himself. In this case, it was a wall-mounted hydroponic garden. [Matthew] started out with some basic requirements for his project. He knew which wall he wanted to cover with plants, so that gave him the maximum possible dimensions. He also knew that they may have to remove the garden temporarily to perform maintenance on the wall in the future. And as for what to grow, [Matthew] loves lots of flavor in his foods. He chose to grow herbs and spices.

[Matthew] purchased most of the main components from Amazon and had them shipped to his doorstep. Everything else was found at the local hardware store. The base of the build is an off-the-shelf planter box. The drainage hole in the bottom was plugged up to prevent water from leaking out. A different hole was drilled in the side of the box to allow a garden hose to be mounted to the box. The hose is connected through a float valve, keeping the water level inside the box just right.

[Matthew] then built a frame out of dimensional lumber. The frame ended up being about 4.33 feet wide by 8 feet tall. The boards were fastened together with metal braces and mounting plates. A full sheet of plywood was then nailed to the front of the frame. Thick plastic

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Growing Concerns: | London Free Press

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Summer is winding down. I know fall is on its way when I start to see fall mums and asters for sale.

My local garden center had the early blooming fall mums for sale last weekend when I went for my bi-weekly energy boast.

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Fall mums are a member of the chrysanthemum family. The original colour for fall mums was yellow, but during the years they have been bred to have lots of different colours from bronze, copper, orange, yellow, red, white pink and purple blooms.

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Fall mums are started from cuttings in mid-May and by the end of June they are moved outdoors to spend the summer  in the sun. As the days shorten, the mums bud and flower. They start blooming in August and will bloom for 6 to 10 weeks if cared for properly.

They require lots of water to keep blooming. A 15-centimetre pot requires at least 350 millilitres to 400 ml of water a day, 20 cm pots require more like 700 ml of water a day. It is best to water from the side not from the top of the plant. When you water from the top, you force the branches open and you end up with a big bare center.

  1. (Getty Images)

    Still lots of things that can be done in the garden

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    What to do when rain won’t go away

Fall asters are more delicate and only come in white, pink and blue-ish purple. They have a similar growth timeline and requirements as fall mums. Water is just as important. I put a saucer under my fall planters so the pot has a chance

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City restricts its water use while more Calgarians choose xeriscaping

The City of Calgary is restricting its water use and encouraging residents to do so as well after assessing the current drought risk.

And a growing yard trend is helping people cut back.

The city moved its drought monitoring dial from “normal” to “dry” conditions based on its ongoing monitoring of precipitation levels, reservoirs and lake levels, stream flow rates in rivers and water demand.

“This movement from ‘normal’ to ‘dry’ conditions is being proactive,” said Sarah Marshall, water resources planner for the City of Calgary.

The city is now lowering its water use in various ways, including cutting back on watering flowers, parks and sports fields, limiting the use of decorative fountains and not washing city vehicles as often.

There are no mandatory restrictions for Calgarians at this point but everyone can play a part in trying to keep it that way.

“Water restrictions may be required if our actions today are not sufficient to protect water supply and ensure it supports our needs and protects environmental health,” Marshall said.

Calgary communities use up to 50 per cent more water in the summer because of outdoor watering.

You can avoid evaporation by watering lawns early in the morning or late in the evening and leaving your grass two to three inches high.

Succulents, shrubs and flowers native to the Prairies have filled Kath Smyth’s yard for about a decade, ever since she decided to get rid of her lawn.

“I hate cutting grass,” Smyth said with a chuckle.

She does not spend as much time doing yard work or as much money on her water bill.

Landscaping companies say more Calgarians are replacing traditional lawns with drought-resistant plants or hard surfaces such as tile.

Most people are choosing it because it’s less work to maintain but it also

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A garden watering mistake that may do more harm than good – my tricks make sure your plants’ roots are saturated too

A GARDENING whizz has shared a common mistake that novice gardeners make when it comes to watering their plants.

He explained that it may do your plants more harm than good.

Joe, a gardening whizz, shared his hack for properly watering plantsCredit: TikTok/ joesgarden

Joe (@joesgarden) shared the advice with over 1.5 million TikTok followers.

Holding up a watering can, he explained that potted plants need to be watered in a specific way.

“If you water your potted plants like this, then you may be causing more harm than good,” he said, sprinkling water over the pot.

“Containers are a great way to grow crops if you’re renting or only have limited space but be careful when you’re watering your plants from the top,” he said.

“Although the soil may seem saturated, dig a little bit deeper and it can often be bone dry.”

To demonstrate, he watered a pot of soil from the top and used his hands to pull out some dirt, showing off the dry layer underneath.

Instead, the expert shared a tip to properly water these crops.

He filled up a large container with water and placed a potted plant straight in.

“The soil will absorb up the water through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, helping to give your plant an even drink all the way throughout,” he explained.

For larger pots, he placed a smaller pot in the soil and filled it up with water, letting it drain directly to the roots.

People took to the comments to share their thoughts on the advice.

“I have too many pots, I usually water till I see water comes out from the drainage holes,” said one commenter.

“That smaller pot is a brilliant idea, thanks!” said another.

He explained that watering plants straight up could leave the inner layers of soil bone-dry

He explained that

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How the ‘Miracle House’ in Lahaina Survived the Devastating Maui Wildfires

Earlier this month, a large, devastating fire in Maui—the second-largest island in Hawaii—caused at least 100 confirmed deaths so far, and left many people missing or injured in the town of Lahaina. The press has called it a “bush fire,” which is a term that refers to fires that burn through a specific kind of often arid landscape that has been stripped of some vegetation by development or industry. That doesn’t sound like the image of Hawaii that most of us conjure in our minds, but the islands have experienced a very hot, dry summer. This isn’t even the first major fire, although it’s by far the worst in terms of deaths and property destruction.

One photo of a house on Front Street in Lahaina (top) has become a remarkable image in the midst of the devastation as the only surviving house in its neighborhood. Experts are estimating that 80 percent of the buildings in the town of Lahaina, home to about 12,000 people, have been destroyed. The so-called “Miracle House” has entranced the internet, where people are speculating about what could have spared the house. In truth, it’s probably due to a mix of factors, not least of which is luck.

an aerial view of lahaina devestation

Buildings still smolder days after a wildfire gutted downtown Lahaina, August 11, 2023.Robert Gauthier – Getty Images

But the home also had an unusual advantage when it comes to fire: the owners surrounded it with a three-foot-wide area of river rock. The homeowners told Honolulu Civil Beat that they’d wanted to protect their home’s foundation from the typical runoff associated with watering traditional landscaping. Loose stone cover, which is used in traditional landscaping to “block off” areas where homeowners don’t want plants to grow, is a huge part of environmentally conscious landscaping, as

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