Ecology Archive

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A tale of the sting: celebrating nettles

My favourite plant is the nettle. The European stinging nettle, Urtica dioica.  There’s a nettle patch at the bottom of my garden. Nettles aren’t pretty or sculptural, unlike many other plants that are considered weeds. But they are interesting and very useful. Nettles have culinary, cultural, healing, ecological and gardening purposes. And

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Nothing sacred?

In this post I’m writing about my spiritual experiences in a world where soul and spirit are very hard to talk about. Spirituality is seen as a subjective, personal thing that you can’t talk about to anybody else. (Maybe I’ve already lost you!) This isn’t a theoretical discussion. It’s a personal account

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A watershed moment

Watershed – two definitions: an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. an event or period marking a turning point in a situation. I’ve written this post to get my head around the multiple, complex issues surrounding water management, that are currently facing New

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Ecoman: health, wealth and New Zealand culture

I’ve been reading Ecoman, the lively and inspiring book by Ecostore founder Malcolm Rands. He’s one of New Zealand’s creative entrepreneurial thinkers, and also a pioneer of ethical business practice. Like its author, this book is brimming with ideas and energy. It’s also very readable. Ecostore is one of my favourite New Zealand

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Fair traders

This weekend my ukulele group The Strumbles played at our local Trade Aid shop for World Fair Trade Day. Trade Aid is one of my favourite shops in Hamilton. It’s full of beautiful things and delicious fair trade food. It’s also a successful not-for-profit business and social justice organisation.

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A salty question

Not all salt is created equal. In this post I investigate the myriad kinds of salt and what makes them different.

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My father the giant

This is a post about my father, Ralph Bulmer, a man literally larger than life. Ralph died more than a quarter of a century ago, at the age of 60. My half-brother Richard, who was only four, has no memories of our father. So, Rich, this is for you. And for the

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A matter of life and death (3): Farewell, Sue

Susan Evelyn Bulmer (nee Hirsh); February 17, 1933 – October 6, 2016; Archaeologist

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Why certified organic food is important

It’s important that those of us who care about food quality get our heads clear about why we need organic certification. Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of people dissing organics. Some say, “Organic certification is just too hard and expensive.”

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Waikato Time Bank: A local treasure

Of the many great organizations we have in the Waikato, one of the absolute treasures is the Time Bank. I’ve tried to explain how the Time Bank works to several friends, and I always end up saying, “It’s really hard to explain. You have to try it yourself, to see what it’s