Sunday, March 01, 2009

I blame budgetary constraints, in that I tend to spend money on books and CDs instead of on yard supplies.

We stand a very good chance of actually finishing the three-year project The Boy and I started when we moved into our house. The three-year project -- now in Year 6 -- was to create a mowing-free, yardwork-minimizing yard by replacing as much "lawn" as possible with perennial flowers and trees and shrubs and the like.

Having torn down the old shed last year and made a great deal of headway on laying a decorative path this year, the three-year project looks as though a few more trips to the discount section of the local department store's garden center may do the trick.

And while I joke about how the primary motivation is to avoid yardwork, there's also a method to my madness -- because through the yard and these efforts, I'm teaching the kids something I already know: the benefits of organic gardening.

Organic gardening -- green gardening-- is important because it's an easy and fun way to help people have a positive impact on the environment right in their own backyard... literally. By cutting down on mowing, I'm reducing emissions and fossil fuel use, and by planting flowers and trees I'm helping offset my carbon footprint and enhancing the environment, providing a habitat for beneficial bugs and small animals.

Still, that doesn't mean that I occasionally couldn't use a little help, and when I need something to help out the yard/garden I don't want to undo all the good I've done -- so I buy garden products from Products like their "organic rose care kit," so that the rose bushes I planted in hopes of outshining my neighbors' beautiful yards can be taken care of without a bunch of harmful chemicals. Their kit helps me protect the miniature rose bushes that will someday frame the driveway free of pests and diseases without terrible chemicals.

It's especially important in our yard, because we're only about a hundred yards from a lake, and the lake is downhill from us, so anything that I put in my yard is likely to end up in Lake Mendota almost immediately.

I came a little late to this whole "Caring About The Environment" thing, but once I did, I realized it's not that hard to do, and it not only makes me feel good about myself and my efforts, but it gives me a chance to lecture the kids while they're doing gardening. And isn't that what it's all about?

That and not having to mow the lawn. Ever.

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