Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day 2011

I'd like to tell the tale of our Earth day this a family.  I promise it won't be preachy...or make you feel like you should have done more.  Everything has to have a beginning.  We certainly don't plant forests every year, but after this year...why don't we do it?  It was a great gathering!  What our family experienced was not a usual event, but I certainly hope it becomes one.  It was one of those things that make you feel great on all levels and it happened to be really fun to boot!

Our family drove 3 hours away (there's irony...we burned a lotta gas to get there...but a movement has to start somewhere) to our friends Doug and Traces.  I've known Traces since public school.  

The farmhouse at 6:30am...ready for the day to begin
 They live in Omemee, Ontario.  That's where they operate their business Green Side Up Environmental Services. 

Doug was a guest on this blog recently in the attached link.  Doug recently got a grant from the government to reforest his farm land.  I find it all pretty amazing since not a short while back in Canadian history, our lives depended on clearing such land as fast as humanly hand.  Times change and here we are putting the trees back hand.  On the eve of Earth Day 2011, we're all excited to get doing the work.   I'm sitting by the fire with good friends in the fresh country night air. 

The nighttime shot had way more beer bottles in I opted for the PG image
 The following morning was a rush of preparing the trees for planting. 

My husband (right) Ches being such a good sport.

Digging out the seedlings and getting them in pots on the trailer.  1500 seedlings to be exact.  They had a ways to go before they would get to their permanent home in the back 55. 

Signs were made and spare rubber boots, gloves and shovels were gathered for the unprepared.  I took turns taking different groups of people to the planting area.  We had several local politicians drop in for the event too.  Two different riders for the Green Party and a local Liberal representative joined in.  We were so fortunate that everyone didn't arrive all at the earlier folks got tired, a new flock of helpers showed up to take up the slack!

Tall and small...all came to help in the field!
 After lunchtime, when most of us had thought we had planted enough...a new bunch showed up and it started all over again.  Everyone planted more trees than Doug could have hoped for and still the volunteers kept coming out of the woodwork!

future xmas trees
 It was an exhausting day of wonderful fulfillment.  Everyone had grins on their faces for what we had accomplished.

Noah and Ches personally planted 75 trees
 The smaller kids were lucky to get all the way back to the planting zone...and for the wee ones, there was still lots to take part in.  My boys were keen to check on the chicken coop.  Noah would come running out with a fresh egg every few hours.  Owen just loved chasing the rooster around the coop...silly boy.

What a handsome fella!
 For those kids who STILL had too much energy...there was a huge trampoline.  Kids of all ages gave it a whirl.

Owen gets some airtime.

Traces had boiled a few dozen eggs and early afternoon the kids got into painting them.  Another friend set up a face painting station!  Owen was an easter bunny...tee hee.  Of course the kitchen was a buzz of coffee and snacks all day long.  The kids spent almost the whole day unplugged and taking in the fresh air.  Burning off calories the old fashioned way. 

All in all, it was one fantastic day.  Mother Earth was kind to us weather-wise.  The kids all pitched in.  The adults really gave it their all.  Now next year....there better be a prize for he who plants the MOST seedlings!

What did you do for Earth Day?  Tell me all about it! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Potato Update! and introducing...Rhubarb!

So its been a few weeks since we started our potato experiment...and I thought it was time for an update.

check out those roots!
As you can see, the root systems have grown significantly and the potato sprouted a plant like appendage from the base of the plant!  I was under the impression the potato plant grew out of the top of the original potato....hmmm....the learning continues...

It seems as if spring just exploded here.  The slightly warmer days have made our grass mostly green.  The trees look like their buds are starting to get bigger.

In fact, one of the things that tell me that spring is officially here are the first signs of rhubarb!  We planted rhubarb on a dark side of our house...which hasn't served it well in the past.  Its biggest enemy is the dinosaur spiders that call that corner their home.  Doesn't seem to matter how many of their offspring i sweep away, those spiders refuse to give up that corner.  Eventually they desimate the poor rhubarb. 

Until that time, we do get a decent haul.  This will be the rhubarb's 3rd summer at our house. 

First peak at the rhubarb
Asparagus and rhubarb are two sure signs of owning property.  They take commintment and a lengthy stay to see them at  their glorious full potential.  We rented for so many years that those two plants are real symbols of "growing roots" in a home.  You could never grow those plants while living a transient or nomadic lifestyle.

There are many more to follow...but here is just a small sample of the variety of things you can do with rhubarb:

5 cups of cleaned, chopped rhubarb
1 big clean pot
a few table spoons of white sugar

heat rhubarb on stove with wooden spoon until mushy.  Add sugar and stir.  when rhubarb forms a runny paste...spoon over vanilla bean ice cream or soy alternative...


Enjoy every minute of the is full of life and growth. 

Revel in the newness of EVERYTHING!