May Day ~ May Day ~ How green is your garden?

Given the repurposing and reuse that abounds within the Time Well Spent concept, there truly is a triple-bottom-line mission, aka People/Planet/Profits, that is what drives me to make Time Well Spent a reality.
    
Thanks to my action-while-planning approach to the start-up, I’ve already met some fantastic eco-friendly people along the way.  The vast majority of those I’ve met are not the artificial kind of green imposters, those guilty of “green-washing,” a term used to refer to false claims and insincerely wrapping of one’s products or one’s company in the earth-friendly flag, presenting a false front, for economic gain…
   
Because authenticity is another cornerstone value of Time Well Spent, phoney-baloneys are a pet peeve of mine and phoney eco-friendly is the worst. So, it’s really been heartening that the local earth-friendly people I’ve met are genuine and authentic people who are leading the way, slowly mainstreaming daily living and consumer choices that reflect stewardship toward our planet. 
   
With spring yard work upon us in New England, our yards, lawns and gardens provide a great example of how changing our daily lifestyle habits, by increasing awareness and attention to the impact of the decisions we make, can improve our own lives, that of our families and those in need, as well as the environment ~ the overall mission of Time Well Spent.
   
So, here are a few examples of small steps you can take in increasing your own attention to your landscaping and gardening choices that you will be making now and that will affect your entire summer gardening:
  
1. Just say NO to traditional green lawns.
  
Did you know that, summer drought or not, your lawn wants to go dormant as the summer winds down? Think of all the cost and waste associated with trying to stop a lawn from doing what it wants to do naturally.  Not to mention all the spring seeding and patchwork required to get the lawn up and going in the first place, only to know that the inevitable summer browning (aka lawn going dormant) will come, just as sure as the sun will rise each day. 
   
“What am I supposed to do, Nancy, have a horrible embarrassing, excuse of a lawn?” you ask, “What will the neighbors think?”  Here’s one suggestion: If you have clover in your lawn, lucky you! Clover provides a green “lawn” that requires less water.  For more anti-lawn and alternative lawn tips and suggestions, check out the Less Lawn website.
       
2. Choose native flowers and plants.
    

 

  • Attend local farmer’s markets and special events promoting local gardening. The newly-formed local farmer’s market in Newburyport has two seedling days planned for May 17th and May 30 from 10-2 at The Tannery in Newburyport. Mark your calendars and plan to get inspired and get seedlings!
   
  • Splitting perrenials with neighbors is a cool thing to do. Those gardeners with a truly green thumb might want to spearhead a sharing day in their neigbhorhood and can at least help folks know what to split and when. If you think about it, you really don’t need to know what something is in terms of latin names and the like, just knowing where it grows, when it blooms and how much it spreads should do the trick.  For those plants that grow like topsy, best to double check that they aren’t some invasive species that is going out of control. As long as it isn’t, hooray, something easy to grow and very share-able (like lillies of the valley that still make me think of my childhood). Okay that’s the extent of my native plant knowledge…
   
3. Ask an Expert!
  
We can’t be an expert on everything, but we can learn how to find experts when we need them. Go to the websites of local business people who have the knowledge, expertise and passion for green gardening and landscaping. Here are a few I have met personally and found to be the truest shade of “green:”
  
  
  

 

I get the distinct impression that all CSAs are eco-conscious by there very nature. Green Meadows, located in South Hamilton, includes an open-to-the-public farm stand, a monthly newsletter filled with info, and a really informative and educational series of programs throughout the summer to help educate those interested in learning more about living in harmony with nature, even as they provide organic food to their members.
   
This list just scratches the surface and I make it at the risk of leaving someone out. So, let’s just call it the beginning of a list. Add your own personal suggestions for those people and organizations, CSAs and other farmstands that care about Mother Earth and Humankind, and understand the impact one has on the other. 
  
I love the idea that Time Well Spent will bring together people with different levels of expertise on different topics and at different stages of their own learning curve on new areas of interest. So, whatever stage you are at on all things green, I look forward to sharing more info, and learning a great deal along the way myself, about all things earth-friendly. What lesson I’m already learning is that earth-friendly ideas and inititiatives are also beneficial to the creatures that inhabit the planet, including, you guessed it, people!
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