Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Harmony...With My Heart

Last week I had the opportunity to watch HRH Prince Charles' gorgeous environmental movie Harmony. It was a visual delight and an inspiration. 

Harmony made me feel as though I'm not just one little guy banging  my head against a wall of indifference in my concern for the earth.  There are others out there, many of whom have greater resources than I and whom one wouldn't think were your typical tree huggers; who are working hard to make a greater impact in the global environmental movement.

Red-winged Blackbird at Marvin's Organic Gardens

 But there are many others out there -- the little guys --  who, like me,  do what we can. All of these concerned individuals (and corporations too) give me hope  --  make me feel that my child and my grandchildren have a shot at having a better world in which to live and thrive, have clean water to drink, grow their veggies, and an earth that sustains itself.  Programs like Harmony keep me motivated to continue to do what I can.

I know my two little organic no-till garden beds amount to a very small hill of beans in the grand Eco-scheme of things but they make me feel as though I too can do something to help the earth sustain and heal itself while reducing my family's pesticide load.

I wish I could but I don't have the financial resources to put a bank of solar panels on the roof. Unlike Prince Charles, I don't have hundreds of acres to husband organically. But, I keep at my little composting operation.  I preserve vegetables and fruits.  I reduce the amount of red meat we consume (much to my husband's chagrin). I drive a very small, Eco-friendly car. I recycle.  I do what I can and that helps me sleep a little easier. I can't change National environmental policy but I can save my veggie scraps and compost the lawn clippings and leaves.

Stages 1 and 2 of my composting operation

Stages 3 and 4 of my composting conga line.

There's some pretty exciting Eco-friendly research going on out there!  Visiting these sites gives me hope as well as information. Therefore, to help inspire you to get your green on, and your hands dirty, I offer the following:

For more information, and inspiration, about what's new and very exciting in the global Eco-movement, visit Ecogeek and sign up for their newsletter.  They really keep abreast of what's moving and shaking in the Eco-world and help prevent you from getting depressed at the thought that no progress is being made.  It may not be in our own backyards all the time, but there is progress being made!

One of Marvin's Organic Gardens greenhouses.
For some ideas about gardening on a more personal level,  Mother Earth News is a good place to start for the lowdown on all that is green and growing. They also have a great e-newsletter.

Hamilton County's Uber Composting Gal Michelle Balz
For hands down the best composting get down and dirty, I highly recommend Cincinnati's Michelle Balz's Confessions of a Composter.  Michelle is Hamilton County Ohio's Environmental Director and a true composting junkie.  Her site has a plethora of information on the various methods of creating gardening black gold, a.k.a. compost.  Designed for beginners and experienced composters alike, Confessions of a Composter will get you on your way or point you in the right direction.

Just a part of Marvin's Gardens which include red-winged blackbird friendly wetlands.
Another great source of organic gardening news and knowledge as well as organic and sustainable landscaping information is the  Marvin's Organic Gardens website.  Marvin Durrand and his son Wes run a completely organic and sustainable gardening and landscaping operation in Lebanon Ohio.  Marvin was a soldier in Vietnam and saw first hand what toxic substances like Agent Orange (aka Roundup®) could do to the environment when used large scale. Marvin decided he could make a difference and has spent the last several decades doing just that.  Both Marvin's website and his  gardens are a wonderful places to visit.

Hope these sites give you ideas and inspiration.  Watching Harmony could certainly be a step in the right direction...

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