Archive for the ‘books’Category

Teach Your Children Well: A Gardener’s Thoughts on Earth Day…

Guest post by Michaela from The Gardener’s Eden (@MichaelainEden)

Holding Earth in Her Hands – Photo ⓒ Tim Geiss

As gardeners, most of us consider ourselves environmentally minded, and for us, every day is Earth Day. But, it’s important to remember that gardening —in and of itself—  is an unnatural act. When we work the soil and sow seed, fertilize and water, thin plants and harvest, we are manipulating the natural world. Agriculture is a human activity, and the end-results of irresponsible gardening and farming are as detrimental to earth as many other, more obviously harmful human activities.

Teaching future generations how to protect and preserve the environment by growing food organically and living sustainably, is one of the most important things we can do for our planet.

Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ in my garden

Help the children in your life to become active and interested in learning how to grow their own food, organically. Even the simplest gardening projects —indoors and out— can help build positive experiences and teach skills to last a lifetime. Take the time to teach little green thumbs about the diversity of our ecosystem and how to identify and respect the plants, insects, spiders, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and other creatures all around us. Need some new garden projects and ideas for children? Books like The Family Kitchen Garden, Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots and The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Gardening with Children are a great place to start. More children’s gardening book recommendations can be found in the library page at left; where I’ve listed some of the best titles-in-print for teaching children about the joy of gardening organically. Although this blog is geared toward adults, throughout the growing season, you will find articles, projects and links on this blog worth sharing with children. In addition, you will always find online resources linked in the right hand column; including bird & insect identification sites, educational programs, non-profit environmental organizations, and more.  Have a look around, and feel free to recommend great resources for gardening with children, that you have found and would like to share!

Sowing the Seeds of Our Future – Photo ⓒ Tim Geiss

Happy Earth Day! Celebrate by helping the next generation learn to garden organically, responsibly and sustainably.

Special thanks to Tim Geiss for permission to use the beautiful photographs of his daughter Dharma, taken especially for The Gardener’s Eden.


22

04 2012

A New Year’s Resolution for Gardeners

We ♥ Mother Earth

Making Informed Choices About Gardening Practices and Products to Support a Healthy, Natural Environment

The new year often brings about a desire for change and personal reckoning. We make promises, resolutions and plans to better ourselves and the world around us. Over the past couple of years, many people have committed to building environmentally conscious, self-sufficient lives. As a result, gardening, particularly vegetable gardening, has re-emerged as a popular interest and hobby. Read the rest of this entry →


28

12 2010

Simple Holiday Gifts for Honeybee Loving Gardeners

Give the gift of seed and/or seed starting kits. ⓒ 2010 Michaela at TGE

Looking for a great, inspirational gift for the holiday season- one that keeps on giving, with the natural world and environment in mind? It’s easy to inspire a new gardener or please a more experienced green-thumb without spending a bundle over the holidays. A present of seed and/or seed starting kits, particularly for youngsters, is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Gardening is a healthy and environmentally friendly skill to encourage – a hobby that will last a lifetime, and one that can help support other living creatures, particularly pollinators like honeybees…

My passion for gardening developed in early childhood. It all started with a milk carton filled with soil and a few flower seeds. Easy to start seeds, such as sunflower, marigold and zinnia, make great gifts for gardening novices and kids during the winter holidays. When giving seeds to children, I always like to stick them inside a book, like ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ or ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, to spark imagination and curiosity.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

For gardening cooks, herb seeds, (particularly organic basil, parsley, sage, mint and coriander), are always appreciated both in the kitchen and in the vegetable garden, where they attract beneficial insects including honey bees. And while we are on the subject of vegetable gardens, organically grown cucumber, pumpkin, squash, gourd and water-mellon seed make great gifts for friends with victory gardens, as these plants provide ample food for bees and humans alike. Other bee favorites, including the appropriately named North American native bee balm (Monarda), coneflower (Echinacea), black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia) and cat mint (Nepeta), make great flower garden gifts for anyone with a little outdoor space.

For more experienced flower gardeners, heirloom flower seeds are always a good choice – there are many interesting new varieties of  biennials available every year, including bee favorites like foxglove (Digitalis), and hollycock (Alcea). If the choices seem daunting, simply request a catalogue from a good company, and enclose a gift certificate.

Great online sources for seed include; Renee’s GardenFlorabunda Seeds and High Mowing Organic Seeds.  Johnny’s Seeds also has a great selection of seeds and an excellent selection of seed starting supplies, including biodegradable starter pots and kits.

Give the gift of life this holiday season – give seeds and encourage gardening in support of honeybees.

ⓒ 2010 Michaela at TGE


30

11 2010

The Wisdom of Bees

From time immemorial, humans have been captivated by and inspired by the intriguing world of the bees.  This humble, fuzzy insect has taught us many lessons about industry, creativity and cooperation.  Onto the stage has stepped social psychologist and avid beekeeper Michael O’Malley with a new book, The Wisdom of Bees: What the Hive Can Teach Business about Leadership, Efficiency, and Growth. Read the rest of this entry →


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17

05 2010