Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's Earth Day Baby

October 25, 1969: Cartoonist Ron Cobb designed the ecology symbol and published it in the Los Angeles Free Press. In December, Hunter reproduced the symbol in his Vancouver Sun column. It became a symbol for our generation. I was a freshman in high school. It was a new concept, embraced by all of us. A good friend decided at that point to become an ecologist. We embraced the "love mother earth" program whole-heartedly.

It is one of the reasons I am so confused when I read what giant corporations are doing to food. These corporate heads were part of that generation. What has happened to them. Is their greed so strong that they think genetically altering plants, patenting them, and "owning" those patents can replace nature? It is that greed that we must fight. How?

I was taught the phrase "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" as a child. It is the foundation of my life. It is my "necessity is the mother of invention" mantra. There is always something more that can be done with something before it is committed to the bin.

It now is evident that we must do the same with plants that become food. How? We begin by growing our own food. Plant a garden. Just the mere act of growing a garden keep us out of our cars and on the street looking for a bargain. You haven't tasted a tomato until you've grown your own. Purchase seeds from non-gmo companies. This list provides links to an enormous amount of seed companies dedicated to organic and non-gmo seeds.

Once your garden is planted go to the next step: save seeds from that garden. This page is written for elementary age children. But it is not so fundamental that we can't all learn something about collecting and saving seed for our gardens each year. Please take a look at it.

If you cannot grow your own garden, visit local farmer's markets. Purchase from local growers in your area. Eat fruits and vegetables in their season and learn to can for times when they aren't. Canning isn't difficult, but it is always more fun with a few friends to help. Co-op the cost of fruits or vegetables and take a day where everyone gets together to can and share the result. If you can on a regular basis, teach someone else how to can.

Once you've eaten the food, wasting little, then compost it. I know this is a difficult task for those city dwellers out there. However, there are small composting information available all over the net. A good one is Barb Finnin video pod talking about composting in your apartment or small homes. Go watch it, it is full of good information.

These are just a few ideas on how to "love your mother" and give a bit back to the earth.