A History of Water

We don’t seem to know exactly how water originated on earth.  Some scientists suggest that extraplanetary sources (comets, meteoroids etc) might have brought water to the earth’s oceans.  More recent data indicates that water was likely present during the early formation of earth or approximately 4.8 billion years ago.  When the planet’s surface cooled some 3.8 billion years ago, the gaseous form of water condensed into rain to form the oceans.  So earth was borne as a wet planet.  Regardless of fully knowing its origin, without water, life would not exist on earth.  Our body is mostly water (60-65%).  Our blood is over 80% water, Read More

Achieving Clarity

This week we are fortunate to have Kerry Bliss as a guest blogger with Greenbelt Land Trust. Kerry blogs over at ‘Ed and Reub‘, giving readers a glimpse into her life through delightful photo-essays, musings on all things large and small, the adventures of living with 2 dogs and 2 cats, and enjoying a world of music and family.   Achieving Clarity I have been re-reading Oliver Sacks’ recent short essay “My Own Life,” in which he describes his feelings after learning that he has terminal cancer.  It is not a morbid piece of writing, which is great, because the ponderous face of mortality is Read More


Current varieties of domesticated pears likely originated from wild pears that grew in the hills of western Asia.  Pre-historic humans consumed wild pears as evidenced by dried slices of wild pears found in cave dwellings in northern Europe.  Humans have cultivated pears for thousands of years.  The fruit was grown in China for over 3000 years and ancient Romans and Greeks grafted pears to create multiple varieties several hundred years prior to the birth of Christ.  Homer described pears as a “gift of the gods” in The Odyssey and Pliny wrote about stewing pears with honey in his Natural History.  Theophrastus of Eresos (370-286 BC) described Read More

Farms and Peanuts

My grandparents on my mother’s side, Mance and Bertha Warrick Dickens, grew peanuts in the warm chalky soils of their southeast Alabama farm.  Like many small farmers in the south, they likely switched to peanuts after the Mexican boll weevil entered Alabama in the early 1900s and devastated cotton crops. Archeologists suspect that peanuts may have originated in the valleys of Peru and Paraguay, and along with cotton and squash were some of the oldest cultivated crops in the Americas.  Apparently peanut shaped pottery and ancient jars decorated with peanuts dated to over 3,500 years ago were found in South America, evidence of the longevity Read More

A New Year

Well, 2014 is a wrap! And what a year it was, this our 25th Anniversary. It was a time to reflect on the countless people who have made Greenbelt into what it is today, while outlining a future for the next 25 years. When Greenbelt began so humbly in 1989 amid living rooms and kitchen conversations there was never a lack of vision. You might think that a group that knew so little about nonprofit administration, the technical legalese of Conservation Easements or the art of grantwriting might have let that stop them from establishing far-reaching goals and benchmarks. Not Greenbelt Land Trust. From the onset our Read More