Gardener's Grapevine 2011.10.26

Written by David Green.

Rain rain go away…I’m sure many farmers are saying that, as just prior to our last deluge they were harvesting as fast as possible and late into the night. Coming home from work I saw four combines in one huge area bringing in beans. It seems like a hard life sometimes, and yet it’s one I’ve often thought about frequently.

I do a lot of reading about being green and sustainable. I am not an over-the-top nut about environmentalism, but I know that not leaving a huge carbon footprint will leave a better world for farmers and gardeners. I won’t ever build a solar house or one out of junkyard scrap, but I can recycle and make sure I buy things in recyclable containers.

One thing Michigan doesn’t need is another ski slope made out of trash. With more and more people inhabiting our planet as time goes on there will be less and less room for gardens and farmland. I look at areas like Chicago and other large cities where they have community gardens because they live in such tight quarters that personal green space is very valuable. Community gardens are great, but there is nothing like knowing you can plant and do anything you’d like to with your own green space because it’s yours. 

When Art and I purchased our property in the 1980s everyone said, “Wow, you could sell off a lot and let someone build next to you.” My answer was always the same, “Why? When it’s gone it’s gone.” It’s sort of like our forests and waterways—when they’re gone they’re gone.

When you learn to reuse and be conscious of the products you use, it is really not too complicated. In our small town we have a garbage fee above and beyond what is on our taxes if we use more than one bag a week. It is my understanding that it was put in place to keep costs down, but also to encourage the use of our recycling center. With a compost pile and a few trash bins to separate the recyclables there isn’t a lot left to set to the curb...unless I forget to set it out.

Halloween is just around the corner, which means trick-or-treaters. If you have planters on your porch or walkways make sure they are out of the way. Little people can knock them over or fall over them and hurt themselves. This late in the season it’s time to clean out the planters and put them in the shed anyway, so keep our little ghouls safe.

I bet a lot of people have chased their fall decorations down the street or across the yard this past week as the wind has really been blowing. My scarecrows were headed to our neighbors’ house a couple of times without their sunflower faces. The faces are foam inside and were stuck in the roses. I was getting quite tired of chasing them down after work every night even though they both were pounded into the ground with a hammer. That was some wind.

There are some interesting trees on East Street South. They are young maples and apparently the top leaves turned before the bottom and the wind blew them all off. Now the bottom leaves have turned and the bare branches on top stand straight out like my hair first thing in the morning. The trees are beautiful right now, take a slow drive and check them out.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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