My family loves gardening. I love bright and colorful flowers that pop against the gorgeous green of our yard and my husband loves tending to the green part! My son loves to watch plants go from seed to stem, and he particularly loves growing his own veggies.
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But we want to make sure our love is a love for Mother Earth too, so we try to think in eco-friendly terms! The first way we consider sustainability and being kind to the earth is to think about end goals.
Growing our own vegetables in our own organically tended garden is not just great for our budgets and our tummies, it's great for the earth too. We consume foods that are grown without pesticides, and we tend our soil with composted fertilizer that we've created through the year from our food wastes in our compost bins. Growing our own vegetables also gives us the opportunity to share goodies with friends and neighbors, and once they taste homegrown foods, they are often inspired to grow their own foods too.
We also work to be good to the butterflies and pollinators of our area. Not only do gardens that attract these creatures look gorgeous, but they also provide the opportunity for the most important pollinators to get their sustenance and continue spreading their goodness. Even though we are allergic to bees, we tend to plant gardens that encourage them to come, eat and go and we're never disappointed by the work they do all over.
Some favorite plants for butterfly beauty and to bring the bees are: verbena, salvia, pentas, milkweed, zinnia, coreopsis, hyacinth, and lilac. They're all gorgeous too!
To make sure we always have clean rainwater full of its sky-given goodness, we have rain barrels to collect the drops of life as they naturally fall. Rain barrels are relatively inexpensive ways to keep all the rain that comes through gutters/downspouts, but also to give to all your plants on those days where spring and summer showers don't happen.
It's a great way to show your children how to conserve all resources, mainly water, and to really give them an idea of how pivotal water is in our lives.
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The most important thing we do when gardening is use non-GMO/organic seeds. In a world where more and more is modified and less the way nature intended it to be, we contribute by giving back to the earth what it should have had from the start, and by supporting companies who produce those seedlings/plants. We encourage supporting local nurseries that tend to grow these right from their own farms, and by supporting them, we support a cleaner, healthier industry for all.
On that line, try to use native plants whenever possible as well, as it's the best way to use the land as it was meant to be used, and brings the natural beauty of wherever you are right to your home while keeping true to the terrain of your community.
Getting your family involved in gardening isn't just good for them, it's good for the earth!