Category Archives: Green Gardens

Eat Your Greens!

Child eating corn from the local farmer's market.

My mother always told me to eat my greens. That advice is as true today as it was when I was young. But these days, green foods go beyond spinach and broccoli to organic selections of coffee, fruits, veggies, and burgers.

Conventional farmers use around 300 different pesticides to grow foods that are sold in supermarkets every day. These chemicals pollute the soils and waterways, harming fish, birds, and other wildlife. Pesticides are also dangerous for the farmers who are exposed to them on a daily basis. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides are responsible for 20,000-40,000 work-related poisonings each year in the United States.At home, these pesticides hitch a ride to the dinner plate on our favorite foods.

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Winter Gardening in My Favorite City


Earlier this week, some friends and I were talking about how to continue our weekly gardening play dates into winter. Throughout spring and summer we have been relishing the benefits of planting, tending and harvesting without looking past fall. Now that Labor Day approaches and autumn lurks around the corner, how do we relinquish this simple pleasure we share with our children outdoors?

Brows crinkled and faces twisted with despair as we recall those days spent indoors during the winter months. What to do? What to do?! How do we find a city garden that needs our superior weeding expertise all year round?

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Around The Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

Happy Labor Day weekend to you all from the green team here at 5 Minutes for Going Green! Here are some interesting reads for your long weekend:

-Geek Dad creates an incredible Styrobot, all from styrofoam he collected over the past several years. Check out the awesomeness.

-Last week, our own Crunchy Chicken had some exciting updates on the distribution of pads for her very important and very successful Goods 4 Girls organization. Go read about what happened in Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda.

-Another one of our rock stars, Mama Bird, pointed out the lack of environmental awareness among the American Dental Association.

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Let it rot!

These days, I see a lot of “R”s added to what was originally the sacred trinity of green living: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. My personal favorite is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot,” used to encourage folks to compost their food scraps and yard waste instead of consigning it to the burn pile or the landfill.

Many of us will get our first frost of the season within the next month (I know, where did August go?), which means that yard clean-up is right around the corner. In fact, I’ve already been trimming a lot of spent blossoms and pulling out the end of the spring radishes and lettuce (to replant, of course, with fall veggies!).

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5 Minute Green Miracles

Making miracles happen may seem a bit daunting for a Tuesday morning, but with 5 minutes to spare, you can take it upon yourself to make something wonderful happen for our earth. Here’s a few quick ways to make a miracle when the phone is ringing, the kids are making a ruckus, and you’re feeling like green living is impossible:

1. Unplug it. That’s right. Walk over to your laptop and computer, your counter top appliances, your television, hair dryer, vacuum, alarm clock, cell phone and lamps, and pull the plugs. Even when electronics are turned off and plugged in, they continue to draw power.

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Light Green Thumbs

One of the nicest things about the wide green Earth we live on is the plant life that kindly mops up carbon dioxide while it creates energy. If you haven’t got a green thumb, but have a love of leafy decor like I do, you can still get the leafy living greens into your home. Why do that? Well, I’m not kidding about plants improving indoor air quality. And what else are you going to do with the backwash from all your sippy cups?

Green planting 101: use organic potting soil and compost (leaf mold or compost tea) to enrich it.

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Connecting Green Families

When we had a difficult time finding an eco friendly kids summer program this year, we were amazed. There are your standard programs: arts, sports, dance, music and even How to be a Pirate or How to be a Princess camp. My husband and I would look at each other mystified- where is the How to be a Good Person camp? Dead end after dead end, I felt exhausted trying to find a program and started to wonder if I was the only one looking for more.

One night at dinner, I vented my frustration and elaborated on what had been brewing in my head.

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Gardening Cures Depression

In the spring the boys and I started organic gardening at Lincoln Park Farm in the Zoo’s The Edible Garden. Since then we have spent every Wednesday morning with our friends at the organic garden learning, farming, eating and weeding. Each task brings a new invaluable experience. The latest being the revelation that putting your hands in the dirt while gardening relieves depression!

Kord Staley, one of our farmer friends at the Edible Garden, shared this with me after seeing my big satisfied smile while I sat and picked weeds and it makes complete sense. Here I have been researching natural ways to cure my intermittent depression.

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