The Alternative Consumer

This blog focuses on environmental issues, and healthy lifestyle choices -- new products and service options for your self, your friends, family and home. It's all about making smart choices, and living well!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

G is for Green Gardens

"The Earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson

My intensely curious son shattered one of my favorite Austrian hand-blown Easter eggs this morning. The sunny yellow one with hand-painted ladybugs. The son is 2, going on 3. (A frightful age, at least at our house). The egg was 8. But as any mother will tell you, there’s a memorable lesson in every mishap. The lesson for today? What’s a mother to do to help children respect the things around them, like fragile eggs, fragile emotions, the fragile world we live in.

As for loving the world, this summer we created a children’s garden. To help the little ones relax by digging in the dirt. To help them understand the fruits of their labors and the richness of the earth. To see the pride on their faces when the season’s first cucumber made it to the table for grandma’s birthday dinner.

Being true to our earth conscious goals, we chose only organic seeds from Seeds of Change. I only had to read the quote from Emerson on their site to be convinced I had come to the right place. The Children’s Garden Collection includes Tom Thumb Lettuce, Red Ridinghood Lettuce, and Jack-O-Lite Pumpkin to name a few.

“And how will they grow?” my daughter asked. “In Coast of Maine soils,” I replied. My latest find, these rich organic soils have impressive water retention capabilities thanks to their compost content. And I’m all for less watering. The Bar Harbor blend elicits more than beautiful blossoms. It’s named for the region in Eastern Maine that’s home to bald eagles, loons, moose and black bear. The view from the shore deserves all my support.

As for Mr. Emerson, the poet and philosopher was also a great naturalist. His 1836 work Nature is not to be missed; the stars will never look the same. Find it at


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