by Sandra Kaptain, EGG350.org
As a SOIL member who grew up in MI across the street from my grandfather’s fruit and veggie farm and as a girl who grew up hiking in nearby woods that belonged to another farm/woods owner, and as a person who spent many hours sledding down hills on that farm, I still love hiking, and spending time “in the woods”, my favorite place to be.
We now have about 50 trees on our ½ acre city lot, and live uphill from Tyler Creek. Yep, more mosquitoes, more bugs, the occasional tick, but we can manage those, and I still love the small woods area behind our house. Coyotes follow the water back there, and deer visit and ‘trim’ our evergreens, but I wouldn’t live anywhere else. We joke that we buy yards, not houses!
We have to manage our yard with nearby sources of invasive weeds, but after outlawing the garlic mustard, but we are OK with the jewelweed, a native ‘weed’ with beautiful orange or sometimes yellow dangling flowers that look like ‘jewels’.
Last year we had a ‘bloom’ of tiny mushrooms on the bark chips we spread on the path near the woods, and I thought it was beautiful! These are the ‘fruits’ of the mycelium underneath the soil. It shows you the life underneath the ground. We need to promote this microbial and plant life everywhere, it is part of the so-called web of life.
Even just putting soil in your hands shows you a beautiful smell that tells you there are organisms there that are living and growing and reproducing down there as all life does!
Soil is the medium that plants and food grows with just the help of sunlight and water! Who among us can make food from sunlight and water?
Once you feel the connection of all of life, from soil and bugs and worms down there to the largest tree to human beings, you understand we are all connected and living together. We have to protect life!
Sandy Kaptain, EGG350.org