Just a couple more pictures from our Earth Day project

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just finished mulching this a.m.  Still have a couple more plants to put in – but once these get growing it will fill in really nice (and only one bit the dust – somehow a drip line never made it to the plant -oops!)

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Here’s the entrance to the veggie garden – we built the two long beds on the far left and right.  I went this week and finished up the planting.  The kids were so into it – it was so great to see their enthusiasm.  The little ones needed a bit of guidance (they were a bit rough with the plants ) but my opinion is “we can always replant”.  It’s more about getting them interested and in the dirt.  If we lose a few plants along the way, no big deal.  As an adult sometimes it’s hard to let go of control and let your kids help out (it doesn’t always turn out the way you intended or it may take a little longer) but you just have to relinquish that control and let them be a part (especially if they are showing interest).  I have my moments that I have trouble relinquishing that control but I try to be conscious of that when we are working on projects.

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In keeping with Earth Day and reusing items, we made bird feeders out of 1/2 gallon milk and juice cartons.  They were so easy to make and there is nothing better than inviting our feathered friends into your environment.  We just love to watch the birds feed on our feeders.  I think the kids will get a big kick out of seeing the birds come to feed as well as enjoy filling the feeders. 

We’re going to make some for our house too – you can never have too many bird feeders.

If you want to make one of your own follow this link  – have fun!

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So, this is what’s been keeping me from my blogging and my sewing.

Once we got the beds built we needed to get the garden going.  We finally got most of our veggies and herbs in.  We planted lots of different lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, thyme, basil, cilantro, fennel, chives, eggplant, peppers, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, pole beans, and we added a couple more strawberry plants to our patch. 

 I think that’s about it.  Oh ya, I have some carrot seeds we need to get in the ground this week.  It may sound like a lot but you should visit my friends blog ( a sonoma garden- link to the right) she’s got tons!  She needs to start her own market out of her backyard. 

So our lettuce has started to grow

we tried it out the other day and can start making salads – that’s my favorite – to go out to the garden and get my greens for our salad.  The arugula is super spicy- boy is it yummy!

The fruit trees are looking great

The Santa Rosa plum

our peach tree – love that furry fruit

In between getting the garden in order we are doing a mini remodel in the kitchen.  It’s kinda like sewing, I would so much rather create a skirt/shirt/pants from scratch than to try to alter someone elses work.  Same thing with remodeling, sometimes it’s easier just gutting and starting from scratch.  But we are “altering” – so we run into some snags here and there- but it should be done within the next week or so.  Then we can take a breath.

It is all so worth it- especially since we’ve been picking our strawberries and eating our fresh greens. 

 

So I hope everyone is doing something positive for Mother Earth this year.  Actually I hope you are always doing something positive for her!  But at minimum, at least on Earth Day.  This year we are building new planter beds in our front yard (it’s been a long time coming- we’ve been saying we’ve needed new ones since the day we moved in)  So almost 5 years later and many remodeling projects later we are starting on this one. 

We went to the central landfill and purchased reused lumber.

 

  What a deal!  $0.28/ft. and it was used for framing so it was totally perfect (minus the nails that had to be pulled) but it’s awesome- we are reusing wood that would normally have ended up being burned or left at the landfill or who knows what else and we didn’t have to buy new.  The central landfill is amazing.  They have everything so dialed in, all the wood is separated in piles by type (redwood, doug fir, etc.) size (2×4, 4×4, etc) then they have piles of compost, mulch, cords of fire wood, etc – and I haven’t even mentioned the reuse area that has kids toys, bikes, doors, windows, etc, etc, etc,.  Up at the site we purchased the wood there is a big sign that says they have diverted over 1 million TONS of yard waste from going to the landfill!  If only all cities did this!

 

So, after a trip to the landfill, a day of pulling nails, we were ready to build.  We are so thrilled with the beds, they still need the lip added (somewhere to sit or put our garden shovel) and we need to cut down the 4×4 to make it level with the top of the box. 

 

But we are pretty much there- one more day and we’ll be ready to get our veggies in.  We had to take a break from it and go to the Earth Day celebration in Golden Gate Park.  Bobby and Mickey from the Dead were playing along with Yonder Mountain String Band.  It was a gorgeous day and good tunes carried in the breeze. 

Just getting our hands in the dirt and nourishing the soil was our minor contribution to our Earth.  We will continue to nourish her throughout the year as we tend to our veggies and fruit.  We want to pass this on to our children.  By creating a habitat for the bees, birds, butterflies, worms, etc. we are showing our children respect for all living beings and respect for the earth and for themselves.  We will reap the rewards when we are picking fresh strawberries off the vine, fresh tomato and lettuce for sandwiches, fruit for lunch and more. 

So what are your plans for Earth Day?  If you don’t have any- think about going out and buying yourself a Sigg water bottle or Klean Kanteen (stainless steel water bottles) and vow to not buy bottled water and bring your own water wherever you go.  This one simple step can reduce the amount of plastic that is produced and that is sent to the landfills everyday (you know that plastic is made from oil) so this also helps in our reliance on oil.  Another thing you can do is vow to bring your own bag to the grocery store- another very simple thing you can do but again it helps reduce our reliance on oil (no more plastic bags).  They are making it so easy and cheap- most stores carry reusable bags that you can purchase for $0.99- keep a couple in your car at all times so you don’t even have to remember to bring them- they will always be there for you.

So happy Earth Day to you- go spread the good word!!!! 

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  ~Native American Proverb

First I would like to say- hello again- I feel like it’s been forever since I last wrote.  I have been busy with visitors and the blog has taken a backseat.   It feels good to be back.

My friend emailed this link to me and I just wanted to share it with everyone.  You can have your backyard certified as a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.  It’s pretty cool and very easy.  There are certain criteria that you must meet in order to qualify.  So for those of you who don’t quite meet the qualifications, as a family you can turn your backyard into a wildlife habitat.   It would be a fun thing to do as a family and it would help teach your children the importance of creating these habitats.  Spring is officially here so it’s the perfect time to get outside and start getting those hands in the dirt.  Or if you are not as lucky as some of us to live in a temperate area (such as the bay area) you can start your planning indoors by getting books and magazines together and figuring out what you are going to do to create your habitat.

Once you’ve completed your habitat it will provide you with so much pleasure – it’s so great to look out in your garden and see hummingbirds drinking from the flowers,  walking by a bush of lavender and have it humming from the buzz of all the bees  intoxicated from the nectar, birds outside your window singing or frolicking in the water, the multitude of fragrance around every corner- it’s pure joy.

So go – get dirty – breathe in that musty earthen smell and have fun!

I would love to hear how you created your habitats.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.  Frank Lloyd Wright

https://secure.nwf.org/backyard/certify.cfm?campaignid=WH08ACHP

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