We rely on this page to keep informed. to keep links current.
Librarians are the first line of defense against unreliable information. Visit The Libraryof Congress for the most
comprehensive links to our federal government and other public information resources.
While updating these links, I discovered Extension Services have either discontinued their plant databases or buried them somewhere on their web site.
Not helpful to the consumer who looks for reliable information on their garden, their bills, their health. This happened in the 1980's too. The public's
right-to-know evaporated. Will forward this issue to Carolyn Consumer.
In the Garden
A good example of this is the Ohio State Plant Facts. This database used to give the public text data and
graphics of various phases of plant growth. Now a rabbit trail will lead you to multiple databases or an error message. The images have been removed, and
possibly more search selections.
PlantFinder is an outstanding search engine if you know
the common or scientific name of the plant.
If you have a specific plant name, you may find the data in some of the links below:
Butterfly Gardening (Florida)
Fedco Seeds (Organic, Open-Pollinated, Heirloom)
Johnny's Seeds (Organic, Heirlooms, On-Line Ordering)
Chile Pepper Institute (NM State Univ. - Seeds, Images, and Resources)
Seed Savers Exchange (Iowa)
In the Environment
USEPA Envirofacts Data-By Database
Surf Your Watershed --An incredibly powerful database that allows local citizens to determine the health
of their local streams, rivers, lakes, and drinking water sources.
The NOAA Climate Program Office, is buried in the bureaucracy. Its public database that should give
you data in your own zip code area is "termporarily unavailable to service your request." That message has been up for several months at least.
U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Chemical Scorecard (Environmental Defense Fund) scores polluting industries
Chemical Database EPA/CA & EPA) finds ingredients of products
and their toxicity.
Environmental Working Group tracks current issues.
ATSDR Database Tracks releases of Hazardous Substances
In the Doctor's Office
This may be the last straw! First our primary gardening sources were buried. Now the National Institute of Health has made its consumer information
retrieval unfriendly and lacking data. The NIH appears to have contracted out its public information web site that sends you on a wild goose
chase only to find your search issue is not listed: NIH-Consumer Health Info. Anpther issue for
US Nutrient Database (USDA)
Mayo Clinic. A Time Magazine article on Pharmaceuticals reveals the
connections to Big Pharma of WebMD, a popular source of informatin on personal health. It recommends
using Mayo Clinic's Symptom Checker for reliable information on symptoms and their treatments.
NIH Health Index NIH chose to put their best health index data on the Senior Health web site.
Nutrition Research Centers
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
In the Home
Consumer Information. The new Consumer Protection Agency is a like a national directory of state and local consumer resources.
Ask CFPB takes the complainer to topical areas. Many if not most states do not a designated consumer expert,
but go directly to the Attorney General's office.
American Council for Energy Efficiency EconomyACEEE)
Consumer Information (USDOE)
USDA/NRCS Plant Database
Consumer Supported Agriculture Links (USDA-Natl. Agric. Library)
Directory of Farmers Markets USDA)
Coop Directory- States (Good links)
Energy Savers (US DOE)
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
Rocky Mountain Institute
Michigan Land Use Institute
In the Kitchen
Canning Guide (Univ. of MN)
USDA Food Composition Database
Nutrient Database (USDA)
Food & Nutrition Information Center (US FDA)
National Organic Program (USDA)
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine