Friday, June 20, 2008

Gardening & Plastic Bags

It seems that my blogging has entered "summer mode" - in other words, infrequent forays to the computer. Sewing is also in hiatus. Things around here have been relatively busy and when I have time, I'm spending it in garden clean-up.
This path below has gotten worse since I took this picture, but I'm getting it cleaned out-- as well as thinning and weeding in the beds.Leave it to me to wait until it is HOT & HUMID to get around to all of the garden chores that should have been done in the fall and spring.

And to find a mess of fire ants into the bargain. On Monday, I accumulated several fire ant bites and an unidentified something stung me on the lip causing it to swell to an enormous size on one side only. The bite didn't hurt or itch, but the swelling went down into my chin, and I was certainly a sight to behold. Each day, I've managed a few more fire ant bites as I discover them under the foliage in various beds. Can you see why I might not know where they are ?
On another topic, sometimes I despair of mankind's shortsightedness and, well, laziness. Including my own inability to use forward vision and my frequent tendencies for talk rather than action...

Yet in many ways, I'm guilty of negative thinking because there are individuals out there who are looking to the future and for ways to solve some of our environmental problems, and those individuals provide hope and inspiration.

How cool is Daniel Burd? Daniel is only sixteen, but he has figured out a solution to an environmental problem that more experienced and better financed scientists have been unable to solve. Priorities? Ingenuity? Curiosity? Whatever the difference, Daniel has figured out a way to break down polyethylene plastic bags in a matter of months, rather than the thousands of years that it would take for them to break down naturally. This article calls Daniel a Green Genius. Sounds appropriate, and I'd invest in his future.

I am trying to break my dependence on plastic bags for groceries, but frequently forget to take them in with me, especially when just stopping to pick up one or two items quickly. I did take them to the Farmer's Market last week when Robin and I went for fresh, local tomatoes. Getting away from the plastic bag habit is a bit of a challenge for me, but I'm certainly working on it.


  1. a guild member who always has some inside scoop told me last weekend that a quilter's batting is coming out late this year or early next year that is made up of recycled plastic bottles...we all could do more but don't beat yourself up over it.

    looking forward to seeing the beautiful'll have it ready just in time to relax in it come fall when its cooling off ;)

  2. I hope that you are getting back to normal from your bites. I need to work on the plastic bags, also. I so far, have just had good intentions, and I know what is paved with those.

  3. Oh, fire ants! I just killed a huge colony the other day. Boy do they hurt when they sting. Our local grocery stores are selling very cheap reusable bags for shopping. I also have good intentions, meaning to make some reusable ones myself but alas, have not done so.

  4. Karoda - I can't wait to see what that batting will be like! When I get to the check out counter and realize I've left the bags in the car, I feel pretty foolish. But with more research in the areas of breaking down the plastics and of finding new uses for them, maybe we can all feel more hopeful.

    Candace - :) Good Intentions! I always have the best, but frequently feel that I'm doing substantial paving!

    Deborah - Oh, guess what? This morning on NPR, Mike McGrath took a caller who has been using a new (and organic) method of getting rid of fire ants! I'll post about it in a few minutes--I'm still reading some online research.

    I use the cheap reusable bags from the grocery store, but may make some of my own later. The cheap ones are both roomy and sturdy, though.

  5. I have canvas bags in my trunk but so often when I go in to shop I forget to take them with me. I guess I'll have to move them up front where I'll see them and remember to take them with me. I like using them and I hate seeing shredded plastic bags on the fences and prairie plants where our almost constant wind this year takes them.

  6. Fran - :) I have to put them on or over my purse to remember to take them in. When I do use the plastic bags now, I also try to remember to put them in the recycling box at the front of the store.


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