Publisher’s Corner

God’s Little Sixth Acre

I, like so many other people, live in a very modest suburban home. We have about a sixth of an acre lot in Webster Groves. My wife and I love to garden and work in the yard. We pride ourselves in trying to create the most sustainable and eco-friendly home and garden we can. When you “go organic,” it takes some education and in some cases hard work. If you love to work in your yard and garden, then organic is the way to go. I asked an organic yard guy once what I could do about ridding my yard of weeds in an eco-friendly, organic way, and he said, “just pull ‘em.” And so that is what I do. I know you can use vinegar and other home concoctions to try to kill the weeds, but we share our backyard with two dogs and one outside cat. I am not about to risk doing anything that might harm them, or the environment. I look at other lawns and sometimes wish ours looked better, and then I think of the chemicals it took to achieve that look and I just stoop down and pull a few more weeds. And with all the talk of the hardship in the honey bee population, I am glad we have clover patches in our yard. It’s not much, but at least I feel like I am helping out a little. In our efforts to create the most sustainable yard we can, we have many native plants and we have had a rain barrel for 5 years now. The first one cracked over the winter because I forgot to drain it. My bad. Our new one from Robinson’s Rain Barrels in Fenton, is doing a great job with all the recent rain. I like the feeling that we are watering our new raised bed vegetable garden with captured rain water. We got our vegetable plants from our friends Crystal and Eric at La Vista CSA Farm. My wife Niki uses the rain water for her hanging plants and her potted herb garden, too. We take water for granted sometimes. Just ask people in California about water. Water is the new gold in LA. We recently got a delivery of compost/mulch from St. Louis Composting and have spread it all around our yard and on our gardens. It doesn’t get better than that! Our yard and gardens mean so much to us as I am sure yours does to you. People who garden, live healthy and happy lives. People who garden organically live healthier and happier lives. And one thing to always keep in mind, “We all live downstream.” So think of your neighbors, too!

Sustainable living is very popular in June. Make sure you visit the Green Homes Festival put on by the Earthways Center of Missouri Botanical Garden. This year please note that the Festival has moved from the Garden property in Shaw Park to the Butterfly House in Faust Park. The Lantern Festival temporarily took top billing. Please read the article by our pal Jean Ponzi on page 4 and see the ad on page 5 for more information. See you there!

You won’t want to miss the 5th Annual Sustainable Backyard Tour June 14. You can see what others are doing to create their sustainable paradise. You will be surprised at how easy it is to be an Earth Steward. See article by Terry Winkelmann on page 8 and start something sustainable today!

And for those who are really industrious, check out the 15th Annual Pond-O-Rama June 27-28. These ponds and gardens are really beautiful. Get your ideas and make your plans by reading the article on page 9.

Happy Gardening! J.B. Lester; Publisher