prayer and preparation for Earth Day

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
— e.e. cummings, North America

As I have been meditating on Earth Day this week, I have reflect on all that will be celebrated today–green living, sustainability, local farming, a return to simple.  I realize that one highlight of Earth Day is to remind us of practices that can save our dear Mother–some practices that have been created in response to ways that we have abused and neglected her.  So while this day is a day of celebrating, it also saddens me to think of how we lost our way and in turn, poisoned our waters, exhausted our resources, and polluted our air.

But I find hope.


I find hope in the family farms, CSAs, and urban farmers who are committed to a simpler and more sustainable way of life.  I find hope in the paradigm shift in big business that promotes greener practices.  I find hope in the public awareness as it grows broader in its understanding of how we can nurture Earth as she was intended to nurture us.

On a very personal level, I find hope right here in my own backyard.  When I step outside to find a snail slithering slowly on my cucumber trellis or a tiny tomato sprout peeking through the dirt, I am filled with wonder.  When I experience the colors of autumn leaves or the blossoming of spring flowers, I am blessed.  This connection with creation fills me not only with a sense of awe but also commits me to a sense of responsibility, for it is I who cares for our Mother  just as the Creator cares for me.

may 1 snail in dirt

On this Earth Day, I encourage you to adopt practices that support sustainability and simple living, but also just get outside.  Get outside and celebrate the very reason for Earth Day–the natural, the infinite, the yes.

necessities and guilty pleasures for the gardener

So we covered this topic for homesteaders (click here for Part 1 and Part 2), and now that I’m spending my free time outside, I thought we’d give the gardeners their due!  Here are a few gifts and gadgets I love to use when gardening.

1.  A good hat–seriously!  There’s nothing worse than sunburned skin.  Personally, I prefer a baseball cap and have 2 that I’ve worn thin bec/ they are too comfy to give up.  Any head piece that covers your face will do.

2. A great pair of gardening gloves–I will admit, I am a glove junkie.  I have a standard pair that will breathe but also protect my hands, but I also have some heavy duty ones dipped in a coating for those berry thorns or splintered logs. three-piece-garden -and-beach-set/ three-piece-garden -and-beach-set/

3.  A child-sized rake–I am all about the rake I bought my daughter when she was 6.  It gets in and around plants and bushes without tearing them up like big rakes do.  Plus, it spreads mulch and dirt with ease.

4. A child-sized metal shovel–again, the size is perfect for bulbs, small plants and little jobs.  Less likely to tear up plants that are close by.

5.  A hoe and garden rake–any tool with prongs on it is a necessity in my shed.  AND, when it falls apart, you can upcycle it to hold smaller tools.

6.  Speaking of smaller tools–I have a great multi-task shovel that my mom found me.  It has a serrated edge on one side, measuring lines on the shovel itself, a weed thingamajig on the end that does wonders with dandelions, and a handle that just won’t quit.  Look for one–it is well worth the money.

7.  A basket or bucket–I use various sizes to collect veggies and fruit, to hold onto pesky weeds and trimmings, to carry water too and from the rain jugs, etc.

you say "yard cart," I say "wheelbarrow"
you say “yard cart,” I say “wheelbarrow”

8.  A sturdy wheelbarrow–when I was growing up, we had a green metal one with three wheels that Dad would rollus around in then take us down to the garden.  Now I have a plastic 4-wheeler one that I can push more easily with my shoulder, but I love it (almost as much as my next item. . .)

9.  A good haulin’ car–I’ve had 4 Subarus and have put them through the paces with mulch runs, bags of dirt, dogs, plants, split logs, and a number of other things.  I had a hardware guy argue with me one time about the number of bags of mulch and dirt my car could hold.  Finally, I just stopped talking and started loading.  He literally stood there with his mouth wide open as I threw in the last of the load.  I smiled, thanked him, then backed out as he stood there like a deer in the headlights.

10.  A comfy pair of overalls and/or shorts–for me, overalls are too hot in summer so I have to go to some cargo shorts.Anything I wear in the yard has to have enough pockets for spare objects, handfuls of birdseed, and my ipod.

11.  A good pair of gardening boots/clogs and outdoor sandals–again, rubber boots are great for messy jobs and cooler weather but send me into some hot flashin’ in the summer.  Love my daughter’s hand me down Merrell sandals.  Oh yeah, many a running shoe from my closet has been upcycled as well.

I am sure I will think of many more so be prepared for a follow up post in the next few days.  I always welcome your feedback so send me your comments, and I’ll check out back and see if it’s in the shed here.  If not, I’ll be off to get one right away!