In the days following my cancer diagnosis I recall a conversation with my husband. “Breast cancer just isn’t my cause,” I told him. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it worthy – of course it was. I’d sponsored friends in the famous 3-day walk, made contributions to Komen and supported a close friend who founded the Arizona Institute for Breast Health. I wore pink bows to honor my best friend, my coworkers, and others but my community involvement leaned in other directions and I wasn’t ready to abandon those due to an unwanted illness. I’m terribly thankful for the thousands who do crusade on behalf of the cure and I’ve enjoyed helping the Wellness Community of Arizona, an organization that was very helpful to me, but whatever the activity, I work hard to make certain that it is well aligned with me and my values.
Community activities are essential to my life and my job. When talking with others, I often meet parents looking for ways to involve their children – trying to model behaviors so they’ll grow up into life of community service but also so that they’ll have a greater appreciation for the blessings that they’ve been given. That can be difficult especially with young children. However a group of scientists in South Dakota is making it easier. It’s called The Lost Ladybug Project and it has important agricultural and environmental implications.
The project began in 2000 and is a quest to return several species of ladybugs from the brink of extinction. A healthy ladybug population helps to keep pests low and that protects many of our major crops such as corn and soybeans – plus it eliminates the need for insecticide. Those ladybugs are a huge tool for organic farmers and those who are committed to sustainable agriculture. The South Dakota lab works in conjunction with researchers from Cornell in order to create optimal ladybug reproduction conditions and then returns those insects to their native areas.
Children and their familites across the US are encouraged to spend time outdoors looking for ladybugs. Thoses who find ladybugs are asked to enter descriptions and photos at the Project website LostLadyBug.org. To date, more than 1000 children under the age of 14 have participated in this work and it doesn’t matter where you live as ladybugs are found in all 50 states.
With magnifying glass in hand, you and your children or grandchildren can examine the intricacies of a flower garden or a baseball diamond or a wheat field and whether or not you find a ladybug, you’ll see the mysteries and miracles of creation. That’s not a bad thing to notice on Easter.
1/3 lb of beets, trimmed but raw
- 1/3 lb of carrots
- 1/3 lb of kohlrabi, thick skin removed
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs honey
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- Fresh dill, chopped
- Few drops of hot sauce