Who Said “It’s Not Easy Being Green”?

31 01 2008

I’m going Green. This isn’t going to happen over night… and, I know that my efforts aren’t going to single-handed-ly save the planet but, my efforts along with yours will make a difference.

There are a lot of benefits to being a domestic goddess– time to invest in the homestead is one of the biggest perks. In the last three months since I quit my job to be a full time Mom I’ve begun a recycling program at home, switched out light-bulbs, am cooking from scratch (I even make dog biscuits and suet cakes for the birds!), switched to canvas grocery bags (which by the way really irritates the clerks at Walmart) and now I am planning a garden.

This is pretty new for me… I have really enjoyed herb and perennial gardening and have a really great perennial area but have never done a vegetable garden. I want to grow things I can’t buy at the farmer’s market. Today I ordered the seeds. (A LOT of seeds…)  I’m going to grow some pretty fun carrots (red and sweet), red and white stripped beets, sweet peas, heirloom tomatoes, Trail of Tears beans, several colors of peppers, squash… I think I’ll skip the leafy things like lettuce because they go bad so fast and tend to get buggy from what I’ve read. Most of the things I’ll grow can be seeded straight into the ground– except the tomatoes and I’m saving cardboard egg cartons to start seeds in the sun-room.

Anyway– this is going to be totally organic. Newspaper will be used for mulch to keep the weeds at bay can be tilled into the ground at the end of the growing season. Corn gluten meal works well as a weed stopper- pre-germination. There are lots of homemade remedies for any pests and diseases but, I’ll have to do more research into that. I’m also thinking about using corn as stalking for the beans and peas… Native American Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) Gardens in the 1700s used this method but, I hear corn attracts deer so we’ll see about that.

My brother who is a soil scientist (Dr. Dirt) and avid gardener told me to go to the County Extension Office to get information on row basing (whatever that is…) and fertilizing. He also said they can test our soil. It takes a little time but is free. I’ll check into that tomorrow.

This is a great opportunity for my son to learn about taking care of living things. He is the dog feeder and brush-er. In the summer he’ll be the dog washer again (he has this thing about being wet so, this has to wait until he’s in his swimsuit when it’s ok with him). I want J to learn to take care of the earth.

My bike needs new tires and a larger basket. I need to setup a composting system,  plant a few more trees and berry bushes… should probably re-watch an Inconvenient Truth.

By the way– my husband is totally on board!

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2 responses

1 02 2008
Jeremy Dore

Go for it! In the UK we had an excellent TV series called ‘It’s not easy being green’ which followed a family as they converted an old farmhouse into eco self-sufficiency. Looks like you’re well on the way.
You won’t want to be fertilizing your soil though if you are going to be organic – far better to use home-made compost and leaf mould.

I’d love to see the show– wonder if it’s available on DVD from the BBC? Thanks for the tip! I have a compost bin that I have largely ignored so I don’t know if there is anything use-able… My understanding is that ground egg shells and coffee grounds are good for enriching the soil so I’m saving them back for the garden. I’ll be checking out your site for more pointers!

5 02 2008
TopVeg

Great stuff – once you start growing your own veg, you won’t stop. just take it easy, and do one thing at a time. When you have grown one – try another and you will take off. Enjoy it!

Thanks for the advice! I do tend to throw myself into things and then burn out… I think this will be a great experience and good for the family as well as the environment.

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