It’s no coincidence we celebrate Earth Day in late April,when all nature seems to rebound from the frosty refuge of winter. On the first Earth Day,April 22,1970, over 20 million Americans from all walks of life took to the streets and parks across the country to demonstrate for a healthy,sustainable environment.
The idea to create a came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson,a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin,after witnessing the devastation following the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara,California. The first Earth Day laid the foundation for the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air,Clean Water,and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment,gaining support from Republicans and Democrats,rich and poor,city folk and rural farmers. “It was a gamble,”Gaylord recalled,“but it worked.”Watch video from the first Earth Day at the Earth Day Network website.
Just as different communities of people came together to celebrate Earth Day and work for environmental change,the wise gardener will plant certain plants together (companion planting) to create a harmonious environment and eliminate the use of harmful chemicals.
Support local producers of seeds and plants,such as:Sunseed Farm in Acme,WA,Uprising Seeds from Bellingham,Thompson’s Greenhouse in Sedro Woolley,Cascade Cuts in Bellingham,and Jo’s Garden in Bellingham.
When planting a garden,it’s important to fertilize naturally and compost if possible. For a general guide to composting basics,visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. This Earth Day,take a closer look at your gardening space and think about how you can help maintain and improve it.
Plant food and flowers to help rebuild healthy soil in your garden and community as a whole. As plants grow,they take nutrients from the soil. Arrange certain types of plants together to help maintain healthy soil. For example,planting potatoes and tomatoes together will contribute high organic matter and nitrogen to the soil while breaking it up and suppressing weeds. The tomato grows above the ground,shielding the mounds of potatoes. Companion planting will help eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Don’t forget to visit the Co-op this upcoming Earth Day,Sunday April 22nd to collect a free tree. Plant one and do a little something to save the planet.
Recipe for Earth Day Garden Salad
Source as many vegetables from local,organic gardens,including your own garden,your neighbors and your area farmers.
1 head romaine lettuce
1 head arugula or bitter green
2 carrots,washed and cut into strips
1 cucumber,washed and sliced
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup almonds or walnuts
Few handfuls of parsley or dill
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash and prepare ingredients. Toss together and add dressing. Serve immediately.