April is Earth Month in honor of Earth Day and here’s how we have celebrated it in our home.
We live in the sticks.
We are in a rural area 10 minutes from Alabama and 40 minutes from the Emerald Coast. We have few neighbors, lots of crawling wildlife, and a lot of space to roam free.
One of the priorities I have had over the years is to let the kids roam free and wild outside. It’s a great way to help them get the wiggles out, it is a healthier option than a screen, and fresh air and Vitamin D are good for the soul.
Being out in the country we’ve also made an effort to have a garden. My mother has a very green thumb so we’ve planned out the foods we wanted to grow and for a few years now, have made gardening part of the daily summer tradition. Last year we had so many tomatoes and cucumbers we had to bless the neighbors.
I love this quote about gardening:
“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” Mother Nature Network
When Tom’s of Maine asked us to create a project using their packaging for their #LessWasteChallenge I knew we’d do some type of gardening project. We decided to use the toothpaste packaging to make some garden labels.
We had previously just put the seed wrappers near the hills, but they were fading with the Florida sunlight so we wanted to be able to identify what was where in the weeks before anything was producing.
My daughter and I spearheaded this project because the boys were too busy rolling around in the dirt. Plus, she’s the only one who can write yet. :) We took the old toothpaste containers, opened them up, and I let her write the names of the veggies we’d planted in our garden.
This year we decided to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, watermelon, peppers, and onions. These are all things we eat on a regular basis and they grow with daily care but without too much babysitting. My mother created the hills for the crawling veggies, and we prepped the pots for the tomatoes and peppers.
After she wrote on the cardboard, we cut them into squares and laminated them. I cut the laminating paper into a spear shape that would go easily into our moist ground. We went from row to row and put the markers near the appropriate hill. Even after weeks of rain and normal weather, the markers are still present and visible.
If you’re like me, you want your children to learn to love and use what they have, not to always want more. This is a hard concept for young children to learn, but an important one.