20 April 2012

Top Five Friday: In the Quiet Green - Five Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Every time I have some moment on a seashore, or in the mountains, or sometimes in a quiet forest,
I think this is why the environment has to be preserved.
~ Bill Bradley

 pril 22nd is Earth Day.  An appropriate time to announce that I will be starting a weekly series here on my adventures in organic farming rather than starting a new blog for just that topic.  There is an art to farming and gardening ~ especially if one wants to actually produce food! 

But one need not start an organic farm in order to celebrate Earth Day and all that is green and reusable.  Here are five things to do to help preserve our national green this weekend ~ preferably out of doors and off the roads!

Read Up!
You know I will always recommend reading.  I have one whole room in my house dedicated to books!  My favorite nature author is John Muir.  Mother Earth News also has some great articles on sustainability and organic farming.  This one deals with GM (genetically modified) crops and this one talks about why we are seeing a decrease in the bee population, which not surprisingly, relates back to GM crops. 

Another great book is Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Create a Kitchen or Herb Garden
Starting out small is good.  Less room for mistakes.  Not that I expect I won’t make mistakes, but they hopefully will be on the small scale.  Begin with a few containers on your patio, desk, or porch.  It’s too late in many zones to sow seed for some veggies ~ although I did just receive my direct sow seed packets ~ and too early to plant seedlings in others. 

from 123rf

Here in Virginia it’s hit or miss.  There is still time for one last nasty frost.  So I’m waiting and spending the time continuing to read (see point #1) and prepping the ground so that once it is time, my plants will have a fighting chance of growing healthy and strong.

A great blog to read for gardening advice: Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden.

Plant a Tree
There are many places that are giving away free trees.  Take them home and give them lots of love and a good mix of organic matter, soil, and compost.  Just don’t forget to plant them!  I, uh, sadly did that last year.  Mea culpa!

Visit a Sustainable/Organic Farm
You can look up local farms in your area here and here.  It is a great way to meet the people who grow your food, and learn a bit about how things are done.  Some farms are part of an organization that encourages people to volunteer at farms to learn more about the agraiein life. 

If P. Allen Smith’s farm was closer to me, I would go there in a heart-beat, as he is the guru of all things green.  Actually, he’s a Renaissance man: in addition to gardening and farming, he cooks, paints, writes, designs, builds, chops wood – I don’t know, he may even sing or play an instrument. 

And he’s good looking.

That is just wrong.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local
This is the mantra of the Piedmont Environmental Council ~ love them! ~ and it is a great economy booster.  You use less gas driving there, and you help create a vibrant and sustainable community.  Plus it’s fun!  Especially if you live in a great small town with cute downtown areas filled with boutique shops and chatty owners and salespeople like I do.   

And of course, we can all start small by carrying around reusable bags [they come in such cute patterns now too!] and not using the plastic ones; buying less items with plastic containers, and donating our gently used items to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or St. Vincent’s.  One woman’s trash is another’s treasure ~ really! 

I haven’t read it yet, but I just saw an interview of Edward Humes, the author of Garbology, where he talks about how much trash we actually produce and ways to reduce it.

Happy greening!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

What are some other ways you plan to celebrate and preserve our beautiful, bountiful planet?
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