Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Going green

Today, I am canceling my lawn service. I can no longer in good conscience continue to treat my grass with chemicals considering the turn my life has been taking over the last few months.

I guess it actually all started with a bout of gastritis in late January that perpetuated a necessary - and much needed - wholesale change in my diet. Before then, if it wasn't a processed and pre-packaged foodstuff, I generally didn't eat much of it, and certainly not on a regular basis. But there's nothing like a little gastritis to change that though! Considering that I spent the majority of February and March being able to eat nothing but cream of rice and bland pasta, making the change to a cleaner, healthier way of eating was easy (and welcomed!) once I was able to resume a more normal diet.

One thing led to another and by April I had started a garden in earnest. (Funny, a few months before that I was just going to plant grass in that bed, and now I'm planning to turn a sizeable chunk of my backyard into raised beds for next year.) To say I've never liked yard work is an understatement of massive proportions. I still don't really like anything with the word "work" in it, but vegetable gardening has become very rewarding in a lot of ways. It's exciting when something new pops up - although a little less exciting the more and more zucchini I have to pick every day! I've so far enjoyed weeks and weeks of fresh leaf lettuce, spinach, red potatoes, Italian flat green beans, and yes zucchini, along with cucumbers I just made pickles with the other day. I've never canned anything in my life, and I feel so proud to have actually made pickles from cucumbers I grew myself! I've also been making my own yogurt, which is not only economical but fun and extremely delicious (and easy).

I've also decided to start recycling, with the goal of not needing to put my big garbage can out at the curb any more frequently than once a month. So far, I'm exceeding that by a week and probably have a good two or three weeks more before I'll need to put it out. Luckily, there is a big recycling center at the fire station in my neighborhood, so about once every couple of weeks I take my bin of paper and glass up there.

A lot of my recent turnaround has come about from reading Michael Pollan's book, Omnivore's Delimma. I won't bore you with details, but needless to say it's caused a sea change in the way I view what I eat and in the bigger picture of how that food actually gets to my plate. Last Sunday, I went on a sustainable farms tour in Yellow Springs and was delighted to see how many people came out for it in addition to learning so much about four very different farming methods, all of which are designed with the health and happiness of the earth, their animals and their customers in mind. It makes me feel really good to be traveling on this path and I look forward to getting more and more into it.

So, I won't be having a weed-free lawn for much longer, but I don't care. I never really liked having a lawn service in the first place but felt I needed to for the neighbors' sake. I've always LIKED clover, so don't be surprised if you come over and find my yard is dotted with beautiful little white flowers and buzzing with bees.

1 comment:

Itinerant Studio/Look Photography said...

I am with you on clover! However if you ever have yard problems (we had grubs eating our grass down to dirt)..I highly recommend Elfner's Organic Lawn Care (out of Delaware County). They are an awesome family business.