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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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