Earth Day, on April 22, is a day designed to inspire awareness and
appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S.
Senator Gaylord Nelson, as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is
celebrated in many countries every year. Over 20 million people
participated that year, and Earth Day is now observed by national
governments in 175 countries and more than 500 million people
Shouldn’t every day be Earth Day?
Well , yes -- like everyday should be Mothers Day, or Valentine’s Day! Sometimes we need to take time to appreciate the world around us.
This Earth Day, my family is going to take some time to reflect. Here in the Southern hemisphere it is autumn. Our garden is looking raggy! In the Northern hemisphere it is spring. My brother in Philly will be looking at the ground and deciding what to plant. My parents in New Jersey will be watching the Azaleas come back to life, and my sister in DC will be looking forward to the first signs of spring in the Cherry Blossom trees.
My daughter and I will plant fruit for Earth Day – we are trying to decide between a plum tree and a Kiwi vine. As part of our family’s commitment to reducing our need for fossil fuels, we have produced a lot of our food this year. We have composted everything possible (including an old futon mattress) and kept egg shells to crush around the base of the plant. We have encouraged birds into the garden by planting trees they like to eat the pests as well. We have companion- planted marigolds amongst the strawberries and learnt about edible flowers in the process. We visited a friend to collect horse poop (boy, are horse’s digestive systems inefficient!). We haven’t used pesticides or fertilisers and I squash the cabbage butterfly caterpillars one by one. We planted blue flowered borage to encourage the bees into our garden. Our courgettes have finally finished producing (phew), and we have harvested the cime di zucca – the last few shoots which taste wonderful steamed. I have harvested the first pumpkin and have only 2 spaghetti squash left on the vines. Our tomatoes (red, purple and yellow cherry tomatoes, and Italian plum ones) are stunning, and the monarch butterflies are hatching daily. They have made cocoons all over the garden. The neighbour’s apple tree is laden with fruit, hanging over our boundary.