Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Does one say "Happy" on Earth Day? Well, I like it, so Happy Earth Day to you. I might even start saying Happy Tuesday to you too. Why not. Undoubtedly, everywhere you go today, people (?), well probably not people, but media, tv, newspapers, etc. will be telling you how and why you should be more green. I know, it's true what Kermit said, "It's not easy being green."

One of the easiest things you can do to be more earth friendly is to grow your own food, as in fruits and vegetables, and why not, throw in some herbs while you're at it. You really don't have to have big garden in order to grow some veggies of your own. Many things can be container grown. I'll give you a hint, some of the easiest things to grow are lettuce, snap beans, and zucchini. It really is just about as easy as putting a seed in the soil or potting mix. Food you grow in your backyard doesn't have to be trucked in from across the country, or flown in from another country. Not only does that make it more earth friendly (no fuel is spent bringing to you), but an added benefit is that it tastes better. You'll be so proud of something you grew yourself.

Now you might be thinking, "Where do I get seeds? I don't want to mail order and pay shipping and have to wait." Well, next time you're at the supermarket, or hardware store, or even one of those big box "mart" stores, you can pick up a packet or two of seeds real cheap. Think about the potential in a pack of seeds, how much food you can grow from one pack of seeds. Another option is to buy starts at a nursery (small plants). That works too. But there's something about growing from seed that's really cool. Think of the speck of tomato seed. In that tiny seed, is the potential to grow into a big plant, that will produce many fruits. Inside each fruit is a more seeds! Think of the potential!

If you really want to be green while growing your greens, you can reuse a container you already have laying around. Cut the top off a gallon container (only for something small like herbs or lettuce), use and old bucket (5 gallon works for tomatoes), or that planter where you once had flowers and now sits unused. I guarantee, you'll get more compliments, and interest from something edible, than that dead annual from two years ago. Make sure to poke or drill some drainage holes in the bottom. Make sure you use a nice fluffy, light potting mix. Anything marked top soil is not going to work, too heavy. And forget about scraping some soil out of the yard and plopping it into a container.

You're going to need full sun. That means the spot where you put your container will have sun on it most, if not all of the day. If all you have is partial sun, give it a shot. You may get something out of it, it's better than nothing.

The back of the seed pack (and sometimes the front) will tell you how deep to plant the seed, how many days to maturity (that's when you can pick the fruit/veg!), and maybe some tips on care.

Vegetables not your bag? Well, you can grow a small fruit tree right in a container. Put it on your patio (full sun of course!) or deck, or where ever you want. Check out these cool apple trees from Miller Nurseries.

Well, I better get going. I've got some earth day celebrating of my own to do. With that, I'll leave you with these words from Kermit:

"But green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree."

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