Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Front Yard Gardens Explode All Over Town

Our town is just bursting with gardens, many of them new conversions of yards and previously unused strips of bare land. It's inspiring to see the many ways people have found to grow their veggies in their landscaping. I'm seeing gardens in front of rentals, duplexes, and apartment buildings too. Here's just a few photos to inspire!

These curbside veggie boxes are already bursting with salad makings:

Growing your own food is both patriotic AND stylish in this flag-bearing garden with nice block walls:

These duplex-dwellers aren't missing out on the opportunity to grow some veggies on their lawn:

An eclectic garden full of onions, borage, and greens, mulched with straw paths:

And this beauty, nicely landscaped with flowers, paths, and a raised veggie bed in the middle of what was probably once a boring old lawn:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Couldn't Have Said It Better

It's very seldom that I wholeheartedly agree with Michael Moore. Sensationalist journalism of any kind sort of makes me grit my teeth, and I've only gotten a few pages into a couple of his books before turning them face down. He has some potent stuff to say, but the hype it's wrapped up in generally makes it unpalatable to me.

That being said, I agree 100% with everything he says in this article about shutting down GM. Doesn't it just make you see red that Japan and Europe have terrific high speed rail (and have for decades) and we have.... NOTHING. This fall, we got on a Eurostar bullet train in Florence and arrived in Rome less than 2 hours later, traveling in comfort and style, completely on time and for a very reasonable price. The fact that we can't do that here in "technologically advanced" America simply boggles the mind. Boggles it completely.

I'm forwarding this to my congressman, my president, my mayor, my neighbor, what the heck. We need to demand that OUR money is invested in ways that will bring US a better future with real transportation options for everyone.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Words of Wisdom

We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
- John W. Gardner

I thought of this quote as I biked to work last night. My bike count reached a new all-time high of 64. Basically, in any direction that I looked, I saw cyclists. Some of them parents toting kids on tag-a-longs or trailers, some of them workers returning home with messenger bags and ties, some college students, some kids on BMX bikes, but everywhere bicycles going this way and that.

To my left and right, new front and side-lawn gardens were popping up right and left. I'll try and add some photos soon of all the new creative food-growing landscaping I'm seeing. Clotheslines (or "solar clothes dryers" as right-to-dry activists are now creatively calling them) are flapping in the breeze, and neighbors sit on newly constructed front porches or stand by their garden fence talking. All of these people in ways small and large are taking the insoluble problems we now face and turning them into challenges to be met. Sure, it's a challenge to hang out your clothes when you could just throw them into the dryer in 1/8 of the time (though I would argue that the smell of line-dried laundry more than makes up for that one!) or to get out your helmet and rain jacket and bike off to work. The great thing is that almost everything that benefits the planet really benefits us even more. We get more exercise, more fresh air, we eat better, we know more of our neighbors when we engage in sustainable living. We're not saving the earth, we're saving ourselves.