A while back I read a book called Easy Green Living. It made me stop and think about a lot of stuff. How much I consume, what I consume and what I can do to change how I live. Pretty much immediately after putting this book down I replaced my shampoos and body washes with organic ones. The icky plastic containers are being replaced with glass and ceramic ones (suck it up DH…it’s for your own good!). I am replacing my cleaning and washing products with organic/all natural ones as the icky chemical ones are used up. I have banned chlorine bleach from my home. I will even start to make some of my own cleaning products. Yeah, it’s a little OCD I know.
One of things Renee talks about is growing your own food. Before we moved last year, I had a garden at the old house. It was my first attempt at growing vegetables and flowers and let me tell you, I went to town! We had quite a haul of tomatoes and peppers. I also spent a TON of money on plants but saved a ton at the grocery store.
Last summer I didn’t plant a garden. It wasn’t worth it to plant one after July (when we moved) and I pretty much relied on the largesse of family and friends for fresh tomatoes. I missed gardening way more than I thought I would. But this year it will be different. Yesterday I spent (yet another) ton of money on vegetable seeds. But these are no ordinary vegetables. I bought about 14 kinds of heirloom tomatoes, some 19th century Italian zucchinis, carrots, Red Deer Tongue lettuce, Freckles romain lettuce, pretty much every type of basil known to man, sweet brown peppers (yes they are brown…cool!), herbs galore and even poppies that produce the seeds you use for baking. And every single seed is organic! I got them from here, here and here. I missed the garlic for the 2008 planting but let me tell you, me and Baba Franchuck are going to be spending a lot of time together this fall! And another awesome thing….all Canadian pricing and shipping baby! Everything should arrive by the middle of next week. I. Cannot. Wait.
Oh sure I can buy plants in May from a nursery but I grew some basil over the winter and there is something very primal about watching those little green shoots poke through the soil. I’m not embarrassed to say that I get really excited every time I see a new shoot. And this way I know exactly how things were grown and what I’m eating. Plus, with 75-100 seeds per pack it’s a lot more cost effective to start from seed. And the coir starter pots I got will not only degrade in the garden but improve the soil at the same time.
My latest and greatest read is Ecological Gardening by the incomparable Marjorie Harris. I love this woman. She’s no-nonsense green. And really, how can you beat a recipe for manure tea? Or learning about recycling cat poo. She’s pure gold!
Apparently our last frost date is May 9. So until then I’ll be starting my seeds, raking my dirt, mulching my leaves, studying up on companion and beneficial planting and dreaming of the salsa, tomato sauces, salads and everything else I can make with the bountiful, organic harvest I hope to have come August or so. Feel free to take some zucchini off my hands. Everyone says it’s physically impossible to use up everything you get from a productive plant or ten.