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.

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