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Earth Day 2024 - Keeping it Simple

Sometimes you just want to listen to birds chirping, check out what’s growing, look at fruit trees and bask in the sun.

While other folks may talk about recycling or climate change or organic diets or go volunteer at an event or create resolutions for positive change, we spent this Earth Day immersed in our garden…and being inspired by the work of professional gardeners and horticulture experts.

In the morning, we strolled around our garden listening to the local birds in a quiet meditation of sorts, peering into the raised beds to see how things were coming along (ooh! the beans are sprouting!). It’s always been our favorite thing to do together, pointing out the little changes as the plants grow and blossom and the like, watering what needs watering from our rain tanks, and smiling as the ducks race out of their house to join us in the garden and splash about in their pool. I still find it hard to believe we only have two left, but they have adapted, and so have we.

While my husband made our brekkie of veggie omelettes with duck eggs courtesy of the ladies, I worked on getting all the trim painted on the house to the white…which I knew shortly after this post several weeks ago was vital for it to feel like “us”. With the nearly full gallon of exterior paint left behind by the seller (since the house was originally white with dark gray trim), I was pretty stoked to get this done (nothing like having a one story house these days, y'all). And of course it was a great excuse to see how my herb garden adjacent to the hydrangea has started to take shape - by end of summer it should be filling in nicely.

But the highlight of the day? Going out to the WSU Extension’s Volunteer Display Gardens, in particular exploring the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation’s Fruit Garden. It was a self guided stroll combining the coolness of simple yet functional design (check out these artsy espaliered trees above), the sensibility of labeled trees that are perfect for our neck of the woods, and the gloriousness of having the whole place to ourselves even in the height of tulip madness! As we are just falling in love all over again with our 7 fruit trees here in the Valley (my heart broke into a million pieces saying goodbye to our 9 fruit trees on the farm before they ever fruited, not to mention all of my beloved blueberry bushes we’d dug up from my longtime city home and planted …sigh...), along with a boatload of berries and currants, it was so satisfying to get that dose of inspiration.

Yes, there are some new eco-friendly projects and lifestyle updates in the works, but for now, for this one day, we celebrated simply. With a bike ride over to the park as the cherry on top? We’re just trying to live as closely to what we believe as we can. Still work to do, but looking back over the last two decades of the five I’ve spent on this planet, it’s kinda cool to see how far I’ve been able to move the needle.

“The earth is what we all have in common.” ~ Wendell Berry


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