Are You Too Clean for Mother Nature?: Our relationship to Mother Nature

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Are You Too Clean for Mother Nature?

By Cat
November 11, 2014

Late July and early August are a great time of the year here in Indiana. Summer is in full swing, the State Fair is just getting ready to begin, and barbecues are roaring!

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hazelnut
Nov 12, 2014 9:46 AM CST
If we knew, we forgot. We destroy the habitats of other animals--hundreds are facing extinction. We douse "germs" and destroy our own microbiota that would keep our immune system healthy, we nuke weeds with glyphosate, and support Round Up ready farming--to the extent that much of our food is doused with GMOs. The next generation will have shortened lifespans. Watching our children die before we do will be even sadder than the loss of the bees and other species.

We all need to remember that we are part of nature, and nature is part of us, we are natural beings more than anything else.
Thanks for the thoughtful lesson.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 12, 2014 11:07 AM CST
As you say, we really have thoughtlessly destroyed a lot that nature provided.

I think, though, that it is my generation who will have shortened life spans. I'm in my 60's and remember clearly as a child my dad spraying weed killer and insecticide around willy nilly. He was a doctor, too, and never worried about breathing in the stuff or getting it on himself or us, never mind the plants, lawn, in the water and everywhere else.

Fifty years later, let's hope most people know you can't nuke your home and yard with chemicals to keep it tidy and 'free of bugs'. At least here in the US and Canada the habitats are returning, and water is cleaner.

There are still a few die-hards, mostly in their 70's or 80's who need to be reminded that there is a cause and effect for everything you use. My kids are in their 30's and are intensely aware of environmental issues. I need to hope that they and their kids will live longer, healthier lives than we are because we're cleaning up the mess our parents made.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Nov 12, 2014 11:48 AM CST
Our problem (Humans) is we act like we Own the World! We Don't!! There are so many things As a Species we have destroyed, it makes me sick to my stomach when I get thinking about it sometimes. Sad I am just trying to do the things that I can to do some good for a change. I hope to be starting a couple of Bee Hives in the near future! Have ordered Milkweed seeds to plant this next Spring. I am tired of seeing all of the worlds Great Creatures being destroyed! I have kids and a Grand Daughter that I hope can still enjoy Nature when they are older...
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

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hazelnut
Nov 12, 2014 12:50 PM CST
thinking we own the world is probably one of the characteristics that helped us survive. My dogs think they own the world (and me!) also. But learning to respect the natural world is something that other cultures have nurtured but we have not.
I hope it is true that we have reached the point were the latest generation understands what this is about. It should be taught in the third grade--and every grade thereafter--the basics of ecology, and the truth about the birds and the bees--and the penguins, giant pandas and white tigers. In so many past cultures -- the sacred domain included the sun, the wind, the soil, the forests and our brothers who live there. Somehow these treasures were disregarded and lost. How sad that children would be born into a world without dragonflies. I hope that time is past. Perhaps if each of us takes a small person's hand on a walk through what is left of the natural world around us, a dent will be made to counter the generation of ignorance who tried to destroy it.
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Nov 12, 2014 12:59 PM CST
I agree I think the younger you start with kids the more they really do care about and respect nature.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 12, 2014 3:49 PM CST
Even getting kids to just think about respecting nature, and nurturing the land and water is a great start. I'm volunteering at the local elementary school where we have a little veggie garden going, and we're teaching 80-odd kids each week about gardening. Hardly ever have a kid that's not interested and engaged. It's been an eye-opener for everyone and now we are in our third year.

You can teach a kindergartner that the leaves on a plant collect the sun to make the plant grow, and so the air needs to be clean for the sun to reach the leaves. You can teach a 5th grader the fascinating science behind it all. Photosynthesis to composting, they all just eat it up.

Find a kid and teach them gardening, by all means! My grandkids are in Salt Lake City, but I've already been planting things with the 2-year old when I visit and we have lots of fun getting dirty. She grew cherry tomatoes and some herbs in her earth box this summer.
Thumb of 2014-11-12/dyzzypyxxy/e39632

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Nov 12, 2014 6:20 PM CST
Elaine that is Great! Working with those kids has got to be fun! It is a Good thing you are doing! Hurray!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Nov 13, 2014 7:44 AM CST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Waters

I am a fan of the Alice Waters school programs for teaching kids gardening -- and the Chez Panisse premiere model for cooking and eating what they grow!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 13, 2014 9:59 AM CST
Me too, in fact I'd forgotten until you mentioned but one of my kids' favorite books was 'Fanny at Chez Panisse' and my kids are in their 30's now. Hmm, a gift for the 2yr. old . . . coming up!

We're so lucky here in FL that our growing season is fall through spring, when the kids are in school. We can grow two rounds of veggies, to let more kids get into the garden. We make Stone Soup (a nice morality tale) from the harvest before the holidays, clear out the beds and plant all new stuff in January for the longer spring growing season. Everything in the garden is a great learning experience, even putting on gloves for the little kids! (kids in FL don't need gloves for cold weather . . )

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Bee Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder Birds Pollen collector Seed Starter
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Cat
Nov 13, 2014 12:34 PM CST
@Elaine I need to look that book up. I have a 2 year old Grand Daughter that really likes books already!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 13, 2014 2:55 PM CST
@Cat, I found it on Amazon and bought it this afternoon.

It's a little advanced for a 2yr. old but she will grow into it by next summer, I figure. Has recipes and everything!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Lilies Ponds Echinacea Irises Butterflies
Bee Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder Birds Pollen collector Seed Starter
Image
Cat
Nov 13, 2014 4:56 PM CST
@Elaine I will check Amazon. I have already started letting her help me make cookies and the like. Should be Fun!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Nov 13, 2014 6:03 PM CST
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/179-3132442-3663220...

This is the Alice Waters cookbook page. I have the Vegetables at Chez Panesse (where I learned about celeriac) I didn't know about the children's book. What a great gift for a child!

Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Lilies Ponds Echinacea Irises Butterflies
Bee Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder Birds Pollen collector Seed Starter
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Cat
Nov 14, 2014 9:08 AM CST
@hazelnut, Thanks! She has a lot of books!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

tantefrancine
Nov 15, 2014 11:32 AM CST
I am so glad so many kids are learning about gardening. My concern is also garbage. I have noticed that still too many bottles, cans, clothing, books, plastic bags, etc. just are thrown out. We have at work special containers for recycling, yet people throw them away in trash cans. Still buy bottled water for every day drinking and throwing away the bottles, instead of recycling them. Shoes, clothing, toys. They say it is so much easier to throw things away. They are perfectly good stuff. Some other people can use or wear them. I still remember when I was a child in Kindergarten, that we had to take apart little scraps of cotton fabric, so they could be recycled. Cotton was scarce. No flour, we had to stand in line for rice and bread distribution, in exchange with the tickets that we had received. Some women were wearing rubber sarongs. Bicycles had solid rubber tires. So now I pick up cans, bottles from the street that people threw away and recycle them.--I was finally 'forced' to use Lontrel when I was desperate of my wall-to-wall backyard filled with mugwort; I was extremely careful, covered from head to toe in protective gear from HD, with goggles and breathing equipment. Made sure I just hit the plant, and not the soil---That was quite a job. I am glad it worked. I do not think I want to do it again. Now still fighting with bindweeds and bermuda grass, AND native trumpet vines----I am trying to cut them off near the soil----AND my neighbors black walnut tree, rose of sharon, butterfly bush, crepe myrtle, and maple sharing their descendants. Pulled hundreds of little seedlings as soon as I see them.
I am always so glad to see other people also giving away stuff to the Goodwill when I do too.---
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 15, 2014 11:48 AM CST
Great thoughts @tantefrancine where did you grow up? I do the same with recycleables I find along the road during my walks. I now carry a bag to bring them home and recycle them. We have a great recycling system here, but still my next-door neighbors (family with 2 small kids) never put out their recycle bins, and so I am sure they are just throwing away all their plastics, glass and paper that could be recycled.

Btw, if you rake up the leaves from that black walnut tree, and pile them on your weedy areas they might help you to eradicate the weeds in a more natural way. The leaves and roots of black walnut are allelopathic (they contain juglone (I think it is) and are inhospitable to other plants)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Nov 16, 2014 10:40 AM (+)]
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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Nov 16, 2014 9:23 AM CST
I live in a small town in rural Alabama. Twenty years ago it was nearly a ghost town. But some innovative architects, a judge, and some other right minded people had some ideas about rejuvenating the town.

Today, nearly every empty store downtown has some project. There are several thrift stores, resale shops, a flea market, and an auction with better class antique furniture. All of these are great recyclers. The other day I noticed that my Diane Von Furstenburg silk down vest had some mice chews in the lining. I was able to find a similar fabric at the thrift store (in a six 6 dress--not my size) that will make pefect mending fabric for my down vest. I think lots of locals and some tourists also come here to scour the recycling stores for cheap tvs, stereos, refurbished microwaves, clothing and what have you. I make the rounds and collect old garden tools!

And our little town has been rejuvenated. There is a way to go in cleaning up the scammers who came after local tornado damage, but I think we can do it.

Another way to recycle of course are the Saturday morning yard sales. Its quite a social event and people get rid of what they want and other people collect things they can make use of. Plus, we get to know our neighbors who are moving in to salvage some of the Victorian houses in our historic district.
[Last edited by hazelnut - Nov 16, 2014 9:25 AM (+)]
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