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Green Gardening

June 26, 2011

A few years ago, some of you read about my adventures in gardening. Although it is becoming trendy across the country, Arlington County has long been a proponent of community gardens. For at least the last twenty years, but could be longer since I can’t find a precise history, Arlington County has set aside land for residents to grow plants in community plots. Mostly located in our old neighborhood of South Arlington, where the plots of land are smaller and many residents live in apartments or older town homes, people can pay a fee to have a small area to tend. Additionally, practically every neighborhood has a farmer’s market, which allowed for the slow food movement to take hold in the area before Michael Pollan wrote about it. If you would like to know more about the slow food movement in Arlington and the Greater DC and VA areas, I recommend the website Field to Fork Va. Many community gardens encourage people to forgo chemical fertilizers for natural techniques, such as companion planting, especially since the runoff from your plot might affect others. In some ways, gardening next to your neighbor puts a little pressure on you to not use the fertilizers as quick and easy routes to plants and veggies.

Although I had a wonderful experience growing my own food in a community garden, Serafina made it tough to make trips to the garden. Now, we have moved to another town within the region, and we have a backyard. Both exciting and daunting, we are looking forward to having space to

eat,

A slate checkered patio sits outside our sun porch, and is edged with full hostas, lillies, and pansies

play,

Plenty of room for Serafina to kick around a ball

read,

With a little trimming, this crab-apple tree will be the perfect spot for me to do all my reading for the PhD research phase.

and yes, grow our own food.

The area destined to be our future food source.

It is a little late in the season to grow some of the more popular crops, but my backyard has a great variety of shade and light. With tender care, I could still grow some of the more hardy greens and herbs. Yesterday, we bought our first lawnmower, and I searched through all my gardening supplies. Shovel and sheers in hand, we are ready to attack our yard.

In a timely fashion, I noticed a few articles on green gardening that I wanted to share with readers. So many people I know are starting to grow their own foods, and it is important to try to remember there are more natural ways of tending to your garden. The chemicals we put in the ground to grow our grass or our plants aren’t necessary and quite dangerous. It is the method that you care for the plants, don’t try to tame the wild, but work with it. So if you are interested in learning more about green garden.

Here are two articles to consider:

1. Washington Post Article on a Green Lawn.

2. Roundup Fertilizer causes Birth Defects

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