Earth DayPhotos from the greenhouses of my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

Scrumptious cucumbers growing upward not trailing along the ground. Because they were grown during the winter months, even though it’s mid-April in the midwest, I came home with cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, chard, basil, bok choy, huge romaine and red-leafed lettuce and Chinese cabbage and cauliflower. The flavors and tenderness of each vegetable were sublime. The other cool note for earth day is that all the greenhouses use energy from the one windmill on the property. They produce enough power that they sell some back to the power company!

22 years ago, Earth Day was born, in 1970 on my birthday, April 22 when I was 17 years old. My birthday wish is twofold: One is huge.

I wish for an end to world hunger. Enough food can be grown to feed those who are starving, especially children. I pray that the solution be found to feed the masses. On a more local scale, I wish that everyone begins to grow some of their own food or at least supports their local farmers at farmers markets, or buys food from their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s). In addition, encourage the growers to use organic practices, without pesticides that harm our air, water, and food supply. I also garden, and know the devastating feeling of having bugs destroy my plants, like seeing my zucchini plants wilt overnight. I know the cost can be financially debilitating to farmers also if they lose their crops to bug infestation, but we have to think about the effects of pesticides on future crops and on the lives of future generations. A study shows that organically grown vegetables have 50% more nutrients and vitamins. This means that you are lesser at risk of developing certain health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

Why buy local?

Most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold. And this is when taking into account only US grown products! Those distances are longer when we take into consideration produce imported from Mexico, Asia, Canada, South America, and other places. They may have to be picked before ripe. You cannot compare the tastes to local produce.

I helped organize a cooking class Monday night taught by 2 local chefs and foodies, Kathy Dubois and Steven Boss (@Stevenboss on twitter). Kathy had picked the vegetables from the local CSA that morning and cooked them or served them fresh in the antipasti that night. We were in awe.

Middle Photo: Bell peppers growing upward to help save space and get more air.
Bottom Photo: Yellow cucumber blossom.

Please honor Mother Earth and do something to save her such as switching to cloth bags, not plastic, walking more — use your car less, turn lights off more often, and grow at least a few vegetables, even if in a pot on your porch.

Happy Birthday Dear Earth!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?



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