April 22nd is International Earth Daywith the global theme for 2013: The Face of Climate Change. You can read more about it on the Earth Day website, however there are several things we can do individually or locally on this special day as well to take care of God’s creation.
Individually, April is a great time to plant seeds, prune shrub herbs and divide perennials to take care of your portion of our planet. If you have not experienced the last spring frost in your area, you can start seed indoors in “mini greenhouses.”
Purchase a sterile growing medium, then firm it in pots, which have been cleaned with a 10 to 1 solution of household bleach and water, pour scalding water over mix with a sprinkling can and let set overnight. The following morning, label pots on opposite corners, plant seed generally to a depth twice the size of the seed and place pot inside a freezer bag closing with a twist tie. Place “mini greenhouses” in a draft free southern exposure window or where they will receive 70-75 degree bottom heat and an 18-hour day length with a combination of warm and cool fluorescent lighting.
As soon as germination has occurred, gradually give more air by opening the bag. After one week remove the bag and mist the seedling to keep the medium moist. When the first true leaves form, it is time to transplant the seedlings into pots with a soil-less potting mixture. Harden off, or gradually acclimate the plant to the new environment, before planting out.
There are a couple things we can do in cooperation with other gardeners also. First we can have a giveaway at a common site such as a Farmer’s market, where people would bring extra seedlings, divisions, etc. or dig up unwanted plants to share with others. Like a plant swap, this would allow each participant to share with others, broaden their variety of plants and at the same time keep their garden under control.
Another possibility would be to create a community garden where people can plant vegetables for distribution through a local food pantry by reclaiming unused or mis-used plots of land and combining clean-up with planting.
Whatever you choose, plan on celebrating by making God’s creation a little greener!
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world and all who live in it”