Supporting Sustainable Living: Part Two
In my articles My Thanksgiving Oak Forest and Supporting Sustainable Living: Part One, I explained that sustainable living is very important to me, and I have supported it through planting and promoting native plants like the Indian pink pictured above, gardening organically, not watering, replenishing the soil, composting, eliminating lawn, and initiating and running an invasive plant removal program, among other activities. I also explained that I am uniquely placed to have a wider impact through my interactions with gardeners at my nursery.
In my article Powered By Compost, I described a composting event to be held at my nursery sponsored by the Radnor Conservancy (dedicated to the preservation of open space) to raise township residents’ awareness of the magical powers of compost. Reader response to this article was very high so I thought everyone might like to find out how the event went. I also wanted to highlight my latest venture into sustainability–honeybees.
In Radnor Township where I live, we are blessed with the best free municipal compost in the whole area, if not the whole state of Pennsylvania. The first station at the Conservancy event showed how to transport township compost to your home without renting a truck or messing up your car. I thought their solution was very clever:
Two Master Gardeners from the Penn State Cooperative Extension Service were busy all day explaining composting using an outdoor bin and indoor composting with red worms. They brought sample bins for attendees to explore:
My husband Michael was stationed in the manure pit profiled in Powered By Compost. He explained our laissez faire method of producing compost by piling up kitchen waste, leaves, and garden refuse in the pit and turning it about three times a year. Participants were very interested:
Michael has had Lyme disease seven times with serious long term implications for his health so the prevention information provided by Doug Fearn, president of the Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, was especially near and dear to my heart. This is an unpublicized epidemic in the U.S. and should be taken very seriously:
As promised, delicious refreshments of homemade brownies and chocolate chip cookies accompanied by mint iced tea were provided on my deck:
A fun and informative afternoon was had by all!
The other “sustainable” event at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens lately was the arrival of the first hive of honeybees. I have been trying unsuccessfully for quite a while to convince Michael that beekeeping was in his future. Knowing when to pick up my marbles and go home, I switched my efforts to finding a local beekeeper who might want to place hives at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens. This spring I sold plants at my town’s growers’ farmer’s market, the Bryn Mawr Farmer’s Market, and met Trey Flemming, a beekeeper and farmer from Two Gander Farm in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.
I purchased some delicious honey that Trey produces from an invasive nonnative plant that I constantly battle, Japanese knotweed. Having a quarter acre of this noxious invader, I thought Trey might be interested in placing some hives here, and he was. This week the first of three hives arrived. Trey will market this honey at the Bryn Mawr Farmer’s Market as local Bryn Mawr honey, and I will receive five pounds of honey and the gratification of supporting a local farmer: a win, win situation if there ever was one!
I am so thrilled to be given the opportunity to support the Radnor Conservancy, composting, and a local farmer. It just takes the accumulation of small efforts by each of us to contribute to sustainable living in a big way.
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