Eating Bugs, Pt. 2: the Cicada Edition

From the Columbia Missourian by Melissa Klauda

Cicada hatches at Lake of the Ozarks State Park on May 25.

Wondering what to do with all those periodical cicadas creeping across your lawn, preparing to inundate your trees and unleash their cacophonous chorus?

The answer is simple: Cook ’em up and eat ’em…

Jenna Jadin of the University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs offers a Cicadalicious recipe for Emergence Cookies. “These should look like cicadas emerging out of a little pile of chunky mud!”

How about cicada-portobella quiche? Or “El Chirper” tacos?

Read more . . .

See also: TED Talk on bug snacks.

Animals cling to dry spots during Mississippi River flood

By Tina Casagrand

The Mississippi River levee break at Bird’s Point put about 130,000 acres of farmland underwater, but it also flooded two state parks.  The Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites Facebook page posted this picture of Towosahgy State Historic Site on May 12.

Towosahgy State Historic Site
This is a picture taken Tuesday of Towosahgy State Historic Site near East Prairie (the photo was taken by the Missouri Department of Conservation).

The caption reads:

The site is in the New Madrid Floodway, which was opened by the Army Corps of Engineers. The mound you’re looking at is 180′ wide x 250′ long at its base and is about 16 feet high. And yes, those are deers, coyotes and a turkey on the mound.

It kind of reminds me of SimSafari, when I’d make islands and then put a bunch of rabbits on it with two jackals.

Download the Earth Day issue

Footprint Magazine presents . . .

Cover of Earth Day 2011 edition of Footprintthe EARTH DAY ISSUE, featuring lots of sustainable living content you’ve seen here online and a new original DIY piece on how to make your own coffee table.  It’s designed by journalism design student Theresa Berens, and it looks gorgeous.  Now with this e-file you can distribute it to all your friends!  Sustain Mizzou will also distribute copies at our summer welcome table.

[ Download the Earth Day Issue. ]

From football field to collegiate farm

By Tina Casagrand

The latest Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education newsletter, which highlights sustainability efforts across the nation, just published this piece of news.  I thought it was too cool to not share.  You can read more about it here and here.

Paul Quinn College (TX) recently planted the first seeds in a former football field that will now serve the college as a student-run, two-acre urban farm. After grocers told the college’s president that they didn’t want to invest in the underserved Dallas neighborhood where the college is located, he contacted the Sustainable Food Project at Yale University (CT) for a crash course on organic agriculture and educational programs that emphasize the importance of local, healthy food. Part of the harvest will be sold to the company that runs concessions at Cowboys Stadium and the other will be donated nonprofit groups that feed the hungry. By fall the college plans to create a farmers market on its outdoor recreational basketball courts and eventually open its own grocery store.

Urban Farm
CCUA's urban farm at Smith and Fay is 1.3 acres and serves as their main educational worksite for interns, apprentices, and volunteers.

Two acres is huge!  It’s nearly twice the growing space of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture’s biggest plot of land.  Although I don’t think our Mizzou football program is going anywhere, doesn’t “Faurot Farm” have a nice ring to it?

What Mizzou is doing is pretty neat.  The MU Sustainability Office is working closely with others on the Campus Master Plan, which, among other things, intends to incorporate sustainable agriculture and an edibles garden on the campus itself.  Soon even MU can get a taste of what Paul Quinn College is cooking.

What’s that weed? MU Extension offers identification.

From the Columbia Missourian by David Cawthon

This is a downy brome, one of hundreds of weed species listed on MU Extension's new guide to gardens.

Flowering pansies, field violets and some rose species could be a bouquet for mothers or a Missouri farmer’s worst nightmare.

For people questioning what’s growing in their backyard, field or flowerpot, the MU Extension has cultivated a new interactive weed identification Web tool. The site serves homeowners, agriculture specialists and anyone else who is curious about what’s growing out of the ground.

Read more…

Mizzou campus nature quiz

By Tina Casagrand

In an environmental studies course on the natural history of Missouri, Dr. Jan Weaver encourages her students to keep a daily journal of nature observations, complete with a date, location, description (including drawings, if applicable) and one or several questions about that observation. Over time, this information can be very useful for building knowledge about plants, animals, geology, water systems, weather and many other features.

In an ideal world, I would venture out often to find rare or at least more natural features than what’s in the city.  However, since Mizzou is a botanic garden, we can see an impressive a variety of plant species right here on campus, which is great for busy college students!  Here are some observations I made for the class last week.  Please leave a comment if you can answer any questions.

This is a lenten rose on the east side of the Quad. It hangs downward, but it's also a more muted color than many flowers. What pollinates this flower? 4/25
vine near cch
This is a plant in the Christian Campus House parking lot. It seems to be taking over that tree. Can you identify it? Is it invasive? 4/25

Continue reading Mizzou campus nature quiz