Defending against wildfire

Butte County Fire Safe Council offers defensible-space program for disabled, elderly, low-income residents

Summer party at The Plant Barn!

Summer party at The Plant Barn!

Make your home fire-safe
I recently received in the mail the latest issue of Wildfire Safe Neighbors News from the Butte County Fire Safe Council (aptly dated “Fire Season, 2013”). The newsletter goes into detail about the council’s Residents Assistance Program, for “residents in communities at risk of wildfire who need help with defensible-space clearance.” The no-cost program is offered to disabled, elderly and low-income residents of Butte County.

Volunteers and/or staff of the fire-safe council will schedule a home visit with participants “to share wildfire-safety information and discuss and verify the concerns of the residents,” according to the newsletter. Once the need for defensible-space work has been determined (100 feet of cleared, defensible space around a home is required according to California law), members of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office will come out to trim trees, thin brush and remove “ember hazards,” such as leaves and pine needles. Any necessary chipping of brush and tree limbs or hauling away of leaves will be done by a contractor hired by the fire-safe council.

Those interested in participating should call 877-0984 to request the simple application that needs to be filled out in order to participate (help in filling out the form will be provided, if necessary).

Fire-safe council volunteers are needed in the Oroville area, incidentally; call the above phone number to offer your services.

It’s floozie time again
Head down to The Plant Barn (406 Entler Ave., 345-3121) this Saturday, July 20, for that lovely nursery’s sixth annual Superfantabulous Summer Soiree, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The day’s festivities—including “random sales,” “super crazy fun discounts,” free drinks and snacks, and “silliness galore,” as the event’s promo postcard says—are overseen by head “flower floozie” and Plant Barn owner Denise Kelly and her crew of fellow floozies (and plant experts), Rebecca, Nancy and Sammy.

“Floozify” your outfit (wear a tiara, a boa, prom dress, and/or any other fantastic article of foofy clothing) for a chance to spin the Discount Wheel “for even more outrageous discounts and specials!”

The Plant Barn recently expanded its gift shop, and now offers—in addition to a huge selection of plants—fresh-cut flower bouquets.

Go to to learn more about The Plant Barn; go to to “like” The Plant Barn on Facebook.

GreenHouse reader Luisa Garza alerted me to a story at about the early-June nighttime destruction of 40 tons of genetically modified sugar beets in two fields in Jackson County, Ore., leased and managed by giant agri-pesticide corporation Syngenta AG.

“It was only reported locally live on KXL [in Portland, Ore.] and echoed by The Oregonian, where the only Web mention exists,” said the June 23 article. (The story has since appeared on several alternative-news websites.)

“Here’s what happened,” it continued. “Forty tons of GMO sugar beets were set ablaze in Oregon. … Since the initial reports, the news said instead that 6,500 plants were destroyed by hand, one plant at a time. If the reports of the uprooting of this many plants are true, then we are talking about a movement, a kind of organized revolt. …

“If, however, the initial reports of uprooting along with arson are true, then this certainly makes more sense, both in terms of the direct action, and the logic behind how it could be pulled off on a practical level. This would also explain why the FBI is involved, as uprooting plants would not likely interest the Bureau as much as [the arson in] this case.”

Federal felony charges of economic sabotage and domestic terrorism could be brought against the perpetrators if they are caught.