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Posts Tagged ‘fresh start’

I figure I will just dive in to this post since I spent the whole morning online trying to plan my mega-garden and now feel that I have much to say!  And none of it has to do directly with gardening!  Instead, its more of the confusion in planning for the spring/summer and thoughts on what gardening entails in modern life.  A great book that made me really meditate on this subject is Michael Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education.  As usual Pollan adeptly blends his own gardening experiences with the history of horticulture.  As an aside, if it is just the plant stories you are interested in Pollan wrote a book called The Botany of Desire (also an excellent documentary) that delves into the histories of four of the most influential plants in human history.  What Second Nature offers is a look at the what the act of gardening means to people, how it signifies a person’s place in the human culture and where the balance is between clear-cut nature control and letting nature run rampant around your home and yard.  After scolding myself for not being a more prepared gardener (I am only now starting to write modest plan of what I think I want to grow)  I make sure to remember this book and how an appreciation for what is going on in your yard, whether you have it under total control or not is the new essence of gardening.

As I was researching my hopes and dreams for a more substantial garden this year I ran into the familiar feeling of needing to go shopping.  I don’t have the right seed starter, I don’t have seeds, my garden tools are lacking, I could stand to have a soil testing kit, and so on and so forth.  Then, I remembered my very current experience with gardening.  It has been limited to fall and spring planted bulbs.  My favorites for fall planting are hyacinth, tulip and crocus.  I know something else is planted out there but I cannot for the life of me remember what it is!  Spring plantings have been a little less successful simply because I have the worlds shadiest yard and most of the popular flowers for summer demand an intense amount of sun (never shall I get to enjoy a lily)  But, my luck has been with begonias and anemones.  Everyday I leave the house I always peruse the garden bed which stretches from underneath my living room window to the driveway.  There has been snow, drenching rain, hard freezes and lots of wind this winter, but I am astonished to report that right on schedule, my crocus from not last November but the November before that have come back with force and became a thick strip of orange, white and purple edging.  This in concert with the peeking tulips (both old and new), hyacinth (old) and a couple of lavender plants that beautifully wintered has made me absolutely appreciate the effortless work of Mother Nature. I realize that any effort I make to add to my surroundings will be met with just the right energy from Mother Nature.  With this thought in mind, I will be grabbing some seed packets, picking a pretty good spot and forging ahead with sunflowers, potatoes and beans.  Hopefully Mother Nature agrees with me 🙂

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As I experiment with the various green improvements to my lifestyle I like to read a few types of books (besides my usual perusal of the internet, which I can say sometimes gets a little overwhelming!)  At first I stuck to the nitty gritty informational kind that included cleaning product recipes, organic gardening and self-sufficiency/homesteading advice.  Most of these are great, but I feel the gap between my current life and the fruitful organic garden and chemical-free environment.  I needed to uncover my own motivations toward change in hopes of discovering how to attain my green-life goals.  Recently I have begun to read books that focus more on the intellectual and spiritual reasons for choosing a green.  This month’s book is Twelve By Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream by William Powers.  So far it is a deeply emotional and spiritual look at why one person chose and why another person may choose to pursue a extremely simplified and in turn, greener life.  Once I am finished a final review will be posted under my Inspirations and Resources page.  Until then I will share the tid bits that speak to me most.

Finally, the word “green.”  For my purposes and the purposes of many a blog and book, green is not only meant to be understood as the desired color of a perfect world, but in a much larger sense as a way of harmonious and clean life.  I struggle with the use of “green” as the descriptor.  It has become short-hand for a multitude of thoughts and philosophies and I often feel that the intricate and awesome connections amongst them is lost in order for this movement to stay “catchy.”  In an upcoming post I want to explore these connections and hopefully find a new way of describing my work-it may even mean changing the name of this blog!!

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I decided it was time to “go green!”  Ok, it didn’t happen exactly like that.  It was more like a perfect storm of inspiration that led me on my current journey to a “green” life.  I am coming from the absolute first step a person can take, having had no previous desire to embrace green-ness outside of some recycling and turning off a light when I leave the room.  I hope to inspire those people who consider the idea but poo-poo it for a variety of concerns or simply believe it requires too much extra in an already too busy life.

I should start with my rudimentary take on what the term “green” means to me.  Here is a sort of word/picture flow chart because a long paragraph seems dull and well…wordy.

GREEN = using what you have and making it last

GREEN ≠ waste

GREEN = thinking about the impact of the things/substances you use

GREEN ≠ (always) buying “green” things

GREEN = eliminating from you life the things/substances that harm you

I know the definition will change, expand and become more detailed over time.  It has already expanded considerably these few short months of work.  I hope to revisit the definition of this concept every so often to see how my successes and failures shape my thoughts on living “green.”  The topic of going green is quiet vast, taking in every single aspect of a person’s life.  My initial interest was sparked with a favorite subject of mine, cleaning.  So that’s what this blog will start with and forever be peppered with.  I will however branch out to personal care, gardening, eating/cooking and day-to-day activities where I think a touch of “green” may successfully be attempted.

I have no idea how or when I decided to start my “green” adventures.  All I know is that it is an addicting process that once begun is now impossible for me to drop.  So here’s to our Adventures in Green from the Emerald City!!

p.s- I live in the Seattle area and the charming nickname for this fabulous city was too good to pass up J

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