MNN week in review montage

Our picks for the week of June 5-11, 2011: 

• In "Growing a Better America," rocker and environmentalist Chuck Leavell (pictured above, at left) offers lessons on how the United States can keep growing without sacrificing the environment.

USDA MyPlate eating recommendations logo• You've probably read about the USDA's updated food rules, the colorful MyPlate recommendations (at right). But if this is what we should be eating, why don't farm subsidies reflect that?

• Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania (above, right), wants to be president of the United States. Here's your quick guide to Santorum's environmental record

• We love food gardening in the U.S., but just how much do we love it? Check out this infographic of our gardening obsession, broken down by the numbers. 

• Toyota announced its Ideas for Good winners a while back, but it wasn't until last weekend that those winners worked with engineers to turn Toyota technology into something much more far-reaching. (These ideas will make you feel good about the future.)

• Technically, it's not summer yet, but someone forgot to tell the thermometer to hold off until June 21. This incredible heat means it's time to hit the pool, but before you do, here are 14 things your lifeguard probably won't tell you.

• Out with the old and in with the new ... and we're referring to weather disasters, of course. Before hurricane season kicks into high gear, check out this interesting infographic about the 2011 tornado season.

• And while were thinking about massive amounts of rain, consider these tips for avoiding mosquitoes this summer.

Donald Trump• Last week was proof enough that billionaires can be bad neighbors, but then we learned about Donald Trump's decision to build a massive wooden fence around a property next to his planned Scottish golf course. The catch? Trump sent the owner a bill for half the project. (Maybe we should mail Trump a copy of this book.)

• And finally, let's end the week with a virtual trip to Belize. Strap on your flippers, get your hiking shoes ready and set out to take in some eye-popping views.

Plus: Don't miss the week in photos, including this spectacular first photo from Chile's VLT Survey microscope, below:

The Omega Nebula. (Photo: ESO/INAF-VST/OmegaCAM)

MNN's week in review: Chuck Leavell's book, Rick Santorum's eco-record, and why we're scratching our heads over farm policy
This week's best bets from Mother Nature Network for the week of June 5-11, 2011, including our home gardening infographic, a review of Chuck Leavell's new book