Two Bur Oaks and a Crawdad

A group of swamp white oaks Healthy soil is important, but for whom?  In the Garden  The young bur oak would not be kept down. Yet again it revealed itself among the standing dead stalks of a large patch of purple bee balm, a good three feet tall and leafing out. In spring, a bur oak’s leaves look like sharp-edged, glossy cutouts. They are not green, but shade delicately among soft corals, tans and pinks. The green comes a bit later, like a slow-motion wave gently pervading each leathery leaf. The question, as it had been for several years, was what to do with this young newcomer to the garden.  About ten feet away and across the walk from house to garage stands a second bur oak that I’d started from an acorn some twelve years ago. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow its first sets of true leaves, become large enough to attract birds and then mature enough to bear acorns. This winter I limbed it up three feet from the ground, mainly to give the sedges and wild geraniums growing underneath a

Earth Day and Sustainability


The Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project, 2010

Jan at Thanks for Today has invited garden bloggers to "share ways that garden bloggers are actively practicing a greener lifestyle and contributing to protecting our environment."

Well, in my opinion, every day is earth day. I've gone so far down the garden path that I've reached and gone through the gate to the woods and couldn't ever go back.

Having adapted (and continuing to adapt) as much of our personal lifestyles as possible, my family and I do all the biking, walking, organic gardening, buying CSA, home cooking, chilly winter/hot summer house, saving water, limited driving, public transit stuff we can. Which is quite a lot. Which continues to be something of a struggle, and not always easy (yes, I'm lazy).

In the Garden: Several years ago I decided to only plant natives, which is working out just great. Some of my natives I'm growing for Native Seed Gardeners. The idea is to collect the seeds and give them to restoration groups for reseeding purposes. I continue in this effort.

In the Oak Savanna Near My Home: I volunteer with the Thatcher Woods Savanna Restoration Project.

In the World: I've been learning as much as possible about the Chicago Wilderness ecosystem in which I live, and have started teaching environmental issues in the classroom and giving talks to gardening clubs. I'm now writing a book. I've also moved increasingly into eco-activism, because personal lifestyle choices, while vital, aren't enough to move our culture to one of sustainability. A green lifestyle shouldn't be special, or a part of the menu; green should simply be the way things are done, so every day truly would be earth day.

Comments

Jan said…
I was happy to receive your post, Adrian, and thank you for participating. I agree with your thoughts. It is unfortunately, not easy to get back to a sustainable lifestyle on a cultural level, without a lot of work. I applaud your eco-activism, lifestyle and book-writing efforts. I hope that in time, your efforts, and gradual education and enlightenment for the rest of us, will help get our world on the track originally intended for her. Thanks again;-)
Thanks for your kind words, Jan. I'll check back at your blog soon.
Noel Morata said…
aloha adrian,

how fantastic to live every day like earth day and be a part of the natural environment by growing natives and what can be sustained locally, i enjoyed reading your post today.
Thanks for visiting, Noel. I think all gardeners live much closer to the earth, at least those that use natural methods.