Gardening: Broken Links

By Betty Harris

Our collective understanding of how things connect is still being developed, as some have observed, by traveling the world and living with and around various indigenous peoples and wild animals that inhabit their space. Much of what is being learned is being tried all over the globe and an ever expanding trove of literature is gradually spreading that knowledge. A recent read of a book by Kristen Ohlson titled the soil will save us (yes, lower case letters) shows that we’ve lost a lot of connections or links in human knowledge, or that we never understood a lot of things from the beginning.

Did you ever think about how plants, soil and planet life connect? Who among us knew that when we disturb the soil, we release carbon that could be used by plants rather than be added to the atmosphere? Who among us had any thought about the fact that “modern” agricultural or gardening practices actually harm the soil and plant and animal life?

Well, more recent research shows that plowing the soil releases carbon (the sugars of life that plants make from sunlight) killing microbes, nematodes, worms, and other soil animals which thus requires that we spend more money on soil amendments, fertilizers, etc. It goes back to our lack of understanding of cause and effect and our lack of attention to what happens around us. Plowing destroys some extremely important links and costs us a great deal of money while requiring us to do more work. Who knew that less is more?

Plowing the soil has destroyed the connections between the soil animals and the plants, which then impacted birds, insects and masses of other life on the planet. Plowing used to release masses of animal life which flocks of birds would eat as they followed the plow. These days there are no birds following the plow, not because of a lack of birds but because of a lack of animal life in the soil. I’m old enough to remember those birds following my dad’s plow as the mules pulled it. By the time I went to college the mules had been replaced by large tractors which were small in comparison to what is being used to kill the soil in agribusiness these days. By the time I was 25, the birds had stopped following the plows as there was nothing to eat.

Now scientists and farmers are working together to understand what links have been broken and how to repair them. Most scientific work is done through college research grants provided by large corporations to “prove” that their products are the “solution” to everything the world needs. Most of these grants are for 3 yr studies. Understanding the connections between the soil and what humans do to it often requires more like 10 yrs of study so building this knowledge seldom gets done through universities but rather by observant farmers and ranchers who are going back to ground. But some scientists are increasingly trying to learn more and work on more research, even if there are no grants to fund it.

It seems that we’ve unknowing broken some important links between the fungi, microbes, nematodes and other soil animals and the soil itself. Observation teaches us that those links are vital to the production of food and the atmosphere itself. As humans have tilled the land, they have released massive amounts of carbon and broken the links mentioned above. By this process we’ve reduced the natural fertility of the soil which then requires application of chemical fertilizers that pollute and poison the earth and its water and air.

To reconnect the links between soil, plants, food, humans and other wild life, we need to stop plowing the land. It is far less expensive to stop rototilling gardens and let the worms and other soil life live. By adding compost directly on top of the soil, we can avoid releasing more carbon. We also end up storing more carbon as plant life improves and uses more carbon from the air. As we stop disturbing the soil, we allow mycorrhizae to thrive. This feeds plants which exchange the minerals and nutrients that the mycorrhizae offer in exchange for carbon sugars that plants make from air, water and sunlight. The mutual aid society that fungi and plants have had from the beginning reaps massive benefits for the planet. Plants convert more sunlight to sugar than they need themselves and exchange this with microbes, fungi, mycorrhizae and soil animals. These critters’ life cycle aids the plants as well.

How do you save money and do all this without chemicals and without a great deal of work? Cover all soil with plants, with compost, with mulch (rocks are NOT mulch) which reduces heat where you live, stores water in the soil, stores carbon in the soil and makes the space you live on cooler. Bare dirt holds little water and next to no carbon; it heats up and washes or blows away. It has been estimated that nature needs 1000 years to create 1 inch of soil but you can generate soil significantly faster with proper actions.

Save all clean organic matter including trimmings from bushes, trees, etc. You can leave this on the flower beds or raised beds, bury it in trenches, or make hugelkulturs. That 1000 years that nature requires to make that inch of soil can be accelerated by humans by collecting and composting massive amount of organic matter from plant growth each year. We can save the leaves from our trees in the fall and mulch them on top of our flower beds or garden boxes. We can collect the neighbors’ leaves before they give them to the trash man. Piling them up on our garden areas keeps moisture in the soil and keeps the soil from freezing, which then allows the worms to eat leaves all winter. This process is sort of like composting without the work and extra equipment of compost bins, etc.

By seldom disturbing the soil (as we do with plowing and tilling), the mycorrhizae in the soil continues to feed the plants and exchange nutrients for carbon sugars and builds soil faster than you can imagine. If we seldom break this chain of events we build a stronger chain of life that makes the planet a more wonderful place to live for all life. For we humans, it is also cheaper and less polluting and less time consuming, leaving us with a cooler spot on the block and more time to sit under a tree and enjoy nature.

Don’t have a tree? Plant one on your birthday and Earth Day each year. Find affordable trees available from the City for Earth Day here: http://www.littletongov.org/city-services/green-environmental-programs/spring-tree-program or in the current Littleton Report. Buy a fruit tree from O’Tooles and plant it even if you’ll never get to personally eat the fruit. Plant trees, plant fruiting bushes, plant a garden, plant native species of flowers because they have deeper root systems which requires less water. Plant life, reconnect those broken links for you, your children, your grandchildren, your neighborhood, your planet.

We have a choice to make now and we must make it soon. We can choose to survive on a planet that is slowly dying or we can choose to live and help the planet survive. It is time to work at repairing those broken links.

Gardening: Trees—Our Life Support System

By Betty Harris

Over the holidays we were invited to celebrate with friends and thus ended up spending a few hours with some really nice people, eating too much and talking and laughing a lot. As always happens there have to be bathroom breaks and thus I found on the back of the door a long list of things to do to make one’s life better. Reading down I came to one that stuck me immediately as a truly great idea. It said, “Plant a tree on your birthday.”

A little light went on in the brain and grew into a much bigger one as I mulled that one over. For years I’ve been a supporter of the Arbor Foundation and make regular donations so they can plant trees. Recently at one of the Community Conversations events we showed a movie titled Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home. Since my birthday is coming up soon a lot of little pieces of the puzzle fell into place. At the moment I’m researching to see what trees are natives to Colorado and this particular part of the state with the proviso that they not be one that must be planted by some stream to survive. And I’m not looking for an evergreen either simply because their falling needles make it the soil too acidic which means nothing much grows under them.

Understanding that Colorado is in a drought situation, although not as bad yet as California, that it is predicted to be prolonged and worsen, and understanding the importance of trees to clear air, clean water and to calming environments it seems appropriate to consider what we could do to help ourselves maintain our Life Support System – Nature. One doesn’t have to be a scientist to see the impact that trees have on humans and other living things. One doesn’t have to be an arborist to understand the importance of trees. Considering also that the ash trees we have growing around all over town may soon be endangered by the emerald ash borer, it would not seem to be the right time to plant more of those. A cursory search for native Colorado trees showed a lot of evergreens and trees I am not that familiar with which also seem to grow along streams and creeks. Not what I was thinking of so the search goes on.

Meanwhile perhaps it would be good to review just how trees benefit us, how they create a Life Support System that makes it possible for us to live in comfort while we are here. Trees provide a great deal of benefits to humans and other living creatures just in the process of living and being. A reminder from basic botany might be in order. Or just remember that trees breathe in and out as we do but without lungs. They breathe in moisture and carbon dioxide and breathe out what we need – oxygen. All the while they are taking up nutrients from the soil and from fungi and soil animals to help create leaves which shade and cool our surroundings. These same leaves then return organic matter and nutrients to the soil which feeds the same fungi and soil animals. Everything really is connected!

Trees have been used in the west as wind breaks for over 100 years, especially on the plains. This wind break reduces the drying effects of wind around a house or barn while slowing the wind and wind noise.

Trees take moisture from the soil and from the air. And when it rains and snows the tree takes moisture down into the soil where it eventually makes its way to aquifers and water tables, creeks and rivers and on to the seas.

Trees add color and texture to our surroundings, value to our property, shade to ourselves and our neighborhoods. Trees make people feel good and improves neighborhoods and the people in them.

We can help build our own Life Support System by planting trees at any time but if we could find a way to create a ritual of planting a tree on our birthday every year we could rapidly increase the benefit to ourselves and our children.

Cool Gardening Ideas: Bee Serious

By Betty Harris

Those of us who get the creeps when a bug gets on us, those of us who are allergic to wasps (which most people mistake for bees) and those who just hate bugs in general may be unintentionally causing some serious issues for bees in particular and insects in general.

How to get over our “creeps” about insects is not my main focus here. What we need to think of is how our attitudes towards insects in general can be detrimental to our own survival. For a long time I’ve been of the opinion (right or wrong) that everything connects and breaking some of these connections can be detrimental to all living things.

What we do know is that about 40% of all the food we currently eat depends on pollinators. These pollinators are various forms of flying insects. For a few years I grew Crowder Peas and am still trying to find the actual variety that my family grew one year that I truly thought was worth putting in my mouth. The variety they did grow was not my favorite and they didn’t grow the one I liked because it made a small pea and was more difficult to shell. In my opinion it was the only one worth eating and most of the rest of my life I’ve avoided those other varieties. What I learned when I grew these Crowder Peas a couple of years back was that for these to produce well they needed a pollinator…unfortunately these appeared to be wasps and yellow jackets (wasps) which didn’t bother me unless I made the mistake of picking the peas when the wasps were active. So thinking about bees I got to researching to see what foods we commonly grow need what kind of pollinators.

Some plants seem to need different kinds of pollinators, some honey bees, some bumble bees and lots of them use native bees that we don’t usually have names for and mostly don’t notice.

How does this effect us, if at all? Farming feeds the world for sure but most of us think of gardening in a different light than farming. This is probably because we think of what we do as fun food formats and not survival. Farming sounds more serious and it is serious business that grows plants for food for animals and humans as well as for fuel. It is also the attitude of agribusiness toward chemicals and insect and weed pests that fuels that 70% of pollution that poisons our water and air. But learning more about insects and food is important for human survival too.

“In their 1996 book, The Forgotten Pollinators, Buchmann and Nabhan estimated that animal pollinators are needed for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops. Each of us depends on these industrious pollinators in a practical way to provide us with the wide range of foods we eat. In addition, pollinators are part of the intricate web that supports the biological diversity in natural ecosystems that helps sustain our quality of life.” Source quoted from: http://www.pollinator.org/PDFs/ColoradoPlateau.rx2.pdf

It seems that stuff we plant in our gardens… squash, pumpkins, melons need honey bees for pollination. However, tomatoes and corn are wind pollinated. An aside: I don’t grow corn because I’m not particularly interested in feeding the raccoons and squirrels.

Some plants we grow do not need pollinators at all unless we decide to collect seeds… in that grouping are most all greens, kale, broccoli and cabbages, lettuces, Swiss chard, onions, carrots and radishes. So depending on what you are trying to grow for food in your back yard then honeybees might not be important to you.

So why worry about bees? If you eat animals they normally eat alfalfa which needs honeybees. If you eat fruit these need honeybees. Then there are nuts like almonds which require honeybees and other insects.. Maybe this isn’t important for us because we can’t grow them here but the honeybees that are used are hauled in by huge trucks and unloaded and left during the flowering season and then moved elsewhere. If in the environment they are affected by chemicals that interfere with their survival and masses of them die then there will not be hives to move to the almond groves in the future.

This is only a miniscule amount of info on the importance of honeybees and even native bees but we need to understand that like the chaos theory small changes in one area can have massive impacts in others.

With this in mind we can make our world beautiful by planting flowers in our yards that help feed the bees a variety of “foods” that help them survive. Doing so improves our lives and helps all kinds of bees survive. So when you are planning the landscaping of your yard, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to design, think seriously about including flowering plants that bloom at various times during the warmer months to provide food bee and insect food. Plan accordingly. Grow more perennials and fewer annuals (which have been bred for color more than anything else and may provide very little pollen or nectar for bee food).

Since I went back to gardening in 2010 I’ve learned a great deal by experimenting with various plants. For early bloom I’m crazy about grape hyacinths (even with their great tendency to spread everywhere), crocus and tulips. I grow iris for me because I’m passionate about them, regardless of insects or bees needs. But I grow masses of daisies, penstemon, salvias, coreopsis, nautica, penstemons, autumn asters, thyme, veronica, jupiter’s beard, blanket flowers, phlox, blue mist spirea and marigolds (yes, one annual flower because it seems to be the last to get frost bitten). Mostly from April to November there is something blooming for the bees. Each year I evaluate which are doing best. I also deadhead anything that I know I can get to bloom again and thus keep a steady supply of beauty for me and the neighborhood and the bees.

So bee serious about this. Understand how things in the universe connect and how they are important to life on this planet because if there is a planet B, the people with the money aren’t taking us with them.

Bee Serious in trying to save those parts of life on this planet that are responsible for our survival.

Cool Gardening Ideas – Cause and Effect

By Betty Harris

It would appear that most humans do not connect their actions or lack there of with the results of the same. Personally I believe this lack of understanding or connection has resulted in some major issues in our lives.

How does this relate to gardening? Remember that 70% of water pollution is caused by runoff and half of that is from what we do on our lawns and gardens. That alone is an example of cause and effect. Covering the earth’s surface with concrete and asphalt causes major issues with flooding as water is prevented from entering the soil. Building up to the sidewalks leaves no space for water to sink into the soil, thus adding to the issues of runoff and flooding. Removing grass, plants, and trees and spreading impervious materials on the surface of the earth contributes not only to flooding but to heating of the planet. Think overheating. Overheating contributes to further overheating as we like to live in a great deal of comfort so we air condition our homes by using fossil fuels to produce energy to run these machines to make our lives more comfortable. Cause and Effect.
Spraying chemicals on the soil to kill weeds and plants has deleterious effects on soil and plant life and on those people who spray this stuff without protective clothing or equipment. Failing to understand that the effect from this will not be fully understood for perhaps another generation causes us to not take the proper actions to prevent problems in the future. We do this without thinking. Designing plant life to patent it in order to make more profits will not feed the world, in fact all the research shows that areas of the world that ban the growing of genetically modified organisms actually have superior crop production. Designing plant life is not the same as early human’s developing plants that produce larger or better fruits or seeds by selectively choosing from among existing plants for those characteristics that are desired and help the people survive. That process itself can be attributed to cause and effect.

Designing chemicals to be used against other humans may result in the extinction of all humans. Redesigning those same chemicals to kill insects so that more profits can be made on crops shows that plants and insects can adapt faster than we can. Use of these dangerous chemicals on plants now finds some of these chemicals in our food and even in honey. Survival of the fittest has degenerated into survival of the greediest.

Refusing to accept that all actions have consequences, many of which may be detrimental for generations may doom us all.

Insisting on a lawn of blue grass causes a demand for more water than our environment may be able to accommodate going forward. Buying sod from an area where Japanese beetles thrive rather than from local sod farms because one kind of grass makes golfing more fun has brought the beetle to Colorado. Keeping green lawns, which by the way is a more recent innovation than we are aware of, uses too much water, creates too much work, too much noise, too much pollution and less time spent with the children talking and playing and teaching as well as habitats for the beetle.

Bagging leaves and organic matter and paying companies to take it to landfills where it ferments and creates methane does two things. First it adds a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere that is way more damaging than carbon dioxide. Second it trashes material that God designed to be recycled back to the plants. Cutting that recycling process reduces plants’ ability to survive and causes humans to fertilize with chemicals that are dangerous to our environment and our personal health. Digging phosphorus out of the ground to be used in other places for fertilizer causes massive pollution and creates further issues with “runoff” and disposal of the side effects of this mining creates issues where it happens. Since it is not in our own neighborhood we aren’t aware of it at all until there is some massive pollution event that somehow escapes into the corporate controlled media.

Cutting down entire forests and burning the plant residues in order to grow palm trees for oil to put in cosmetics and foods causes drought. Removing trees allows for erosion and loss of fresh water and nearly wiped out the population of New Guinea. Removing trees to be used to move huge stones to be used to show that one man is more important than another caused the loss of all trees on Easter Island.

Whatever your religious beliefs or lack there of, ignoring the natural environment or destroying it for profit will destroy life on this planet. If you believe in evolution or in a God that created everything then you must consider how all this fits together, designed or otherwise. How we deal with it, what we do with it will determine our own destiny. Whether plant life was evolved or created, the interactions between plant and animal life and between plant and plant is important to maintain. Returning dead plant matter to its source and feeding the soil life that feeds the plants and the plants that feed us is imperative. It would behoove us as the more “intelligent” species to observe and learn from what we do (the cause) and how it impacts other species and our own (the effect). We ignore this to our personal peril. We ignore this to the peril of all life forms on this small blue dot that revolves around the sun which Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, the first person to propose based on his observation of “cause and effect”.

Cool Gardening Ideas–Calming the Masses

by Betty Harris

A new study found that an additional ten trees on a given block corresponded to a one-per-cent increase in how healthy nearby residents felt.

“To get an equivalent increase with money, you’d have to give each household in that neighborhood ten thousand dollars—or make people seven years younger,” says University of Chicago psychology professor Marc Berman.

“The emerald ash borer, which has killed a hundred million trees across North America in recent years, offers a grim natural experiment. A county-by-county analysis of health records by the U.S. Forest Service, between 1990 and 2007, found that deaths related to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses rose in places where trees succumbed to the pest, contributing to more than twenty thousand additional deaths during the study period. The Toronto data shows a similar link between tree cover and cardio-metabolic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. For the people suffering from these conditions, an extra eleven trees per block corresponds to an income boost of twenty thousand dollars, or being almost one and a half years younger.” –Alex Hutchison, Runners World columnist, author of Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise

Perhaps more interesting is that the greatest benefit appears to be where trees are planted in front yards and along sidewalks rather than back yards. Think about those rare times when you drive along a road or street and there are trees on both sides that shade the road. On Littleton Blvd between Bemis and Windermere the street is lined with mostly mature trees and it feels good to go that direction. Which just brings to mind the claustrophobic feeling some of us get where buildings are built right up to the sidewalk. Consider the different “feel” of walking on most downtown Denver streets compared to the feel of walking down the 16th street mall.

“Something deep within us responds to the three-dimensional geometry of nature, and that is where arguments of economic equivalence, however well intentioned, fall short. If someone offers you ten thousand dollars or ten trees, take the trees.” –Hutchison

The human brain which controls behavior (bad thoughts perhaps creates bad behavior?) responds positively to areas that have a higher proportion of green mass over that of gray mass (building, sidewalks, streets). Open spaces with grass to play and lay on and trees to create shade help humans relax. No amount of hard surfaces provides relaxation. Green spaces is one of the reasons that people want to move here. People want to come here because of our green spaces because it feels safer and calmer than the hardscape of Denver and other cities. Demand for houses in this area is strong and thus prices for houses are still strong.

When I moved out to Colorado in 1983 a friend who was living here was complaining big time about there being so few trees and was trying to push her husband to move away from here. Since 1983 many trees that were planted then and since have filled and softened the spaces between all that hard scape and my friend is happy and still here.

The soothing effects of trees on our psyches is perceived as a desirable character in a city. Maybe we should consider that developer’s desire to make more money by building right up to the sidewalk is detrimental to the citizenry as well as the desirability of a city as a place to live and work. It may also decrease the value of our properties as greater spans of concrete and steel and brick and mortar destroy the desirable character of a city of any size and create more agitated and unhealthy populations.

Besides trees help us breathe better along with all their other desirable qualities. Next edition we’ll talk about breathing more.

Where Does it go?

In the movie, Temple Grandin is depicted as observing a rendering plant and saw a cow being killed… her response was “Where did it go? It was there and now it’s not.” That may not be a totally accurate quote for what the director had the actress say but it stuck in my mind and often I think of how it applies to other things.

For instance: Early in the year a garden gang member was looking at my flower beds which had perennials coming up and had lots of mulch in the bed. She said, “Your are going to clean that up, aren’t you? When I said no she wanted to know why. So I pointed out the plants coming up and said that in about 30 days you won’t be able to see it and in the fall it will be gone. Her response was, “Where does it go?” When I explained that it decomposes and the worms eat it she said with some surprise, “so that is where my mulch goes”. Yep

Then I think about applying it to water… when it rains, where does it go? Is water a resource or a problem to be drained away. In Louisiana it has been a problem last week but here in Colorado it is a resource that we need to keep. We need to think more about where that rain water goes. So when it rains at your house where does it go? When you water your lawn with a sprinkler, where does it go?
Find out by going out and watching the water that comes off your house or comes out of your sprinklers. If the sprinklers are watering the side walk and the driveway it is not going to help grow any more concrete but it is water that you are paying for that is going to the gutter. If there is rain water coming off your roof and running down your driveway or side walk the same thing is happening.

Fix the sprinkler and control the rain water run off to spread it over your grass, collect in a rain barrel (2 fifty-five gal barrels per household), make a rain garden that collects and uses it, direct the water to another part of the yard to grow plants, flowers, bushes, etc. Improve your soil so that it will hold more water. Cover the soil with mulch or plants so that it doesn’t heat up or dry out. Remember that a roof that is 1000 sq ft in surface will collect 623 gals of water from a 1 inch rain. Think what you can do with that? It won’t fit in the two barrels so you need extra planning.

Think about this also…. 70% of water pollution is caused by run off. Where does it go? Into streams, sewer systems, water treatment systems and if it goes to the Platt River that pollution goes with it. Those people who are downstream of us will have that stuff in their water. Half of that pollution is caused by what we do on our lawns…..so when you spray herbicides or pesticides on your lawn where does it go? Maybe you might want to learn what happens at one city in California that is having their water contaminated by runoff from farms. Here’s the link below.
http://greenabilitymagazine.com/blog/2016/08/discover-8-easy-ways-conserve-clean-water/

Before you go please consider doing this.. Before pouring anything on the ground or down the toilet or down the sink ask yourself where it goes? Come up with an answer and figure out if what you were thinking about doing is part of the problem or part of the solution. Remember that water bill? Get a calculator or an engineer and figure out how much you are paying per gallon for your water. Now figure out what it costs to buy water in plastic bottles that end up in the oceans. Oh, and when someone tosses something out the car window because they are finished with it, where does it go?

Trees–Planting for the Future

One of the stories about societies that choose to fail or succeed in Jared Diamond’s book Collapse is about the people of Papua New Guinea. They discovered that their island nation was starting to have serious issues with land erosion, lack of fresh water and ability to feed themselves.  Fortunately for them, someone understood that the issues were causes by cutting down the trees. They decided to solve the problem.  They focused on tree planting but with an emphasis on fruit trees because this would also solve part of their food problem.  Today their society is thriving.

Another country working aggressively toward environmental solutions to their problems is India.

In July 800,000 people turned out to attempt to plant 50 million tree saplings across the state of

“Uttar Pradesh in 24 hours which was also an attempt to break a world record set by Pakistan in 2013 of 847,275 trees…. Students, lawmakers, government officials and others headed out to plant trees at designated spots along roads, rail tracks and in forested lands.”* Hopefully this won’t be their only attempt at beating the world record. The Indian government is encouraging all states to start tree-planting drives like the one in Uttar Pradesh. It has designated more than $6.2 billion for this purpose alone. India pledged to push its forest cover to 235 million acres by 2030.

With these world-wide accomplishments in mind, let’s think about what we could do locally if we had the desire.  Drive around town and look for property with few or no trees. Wonder about why this is so.  Do people not plant trees because they don’t like trees? Or is it because they don’t want to rake leaves?  Or do some people love extremely hot environments? Or are these rental houses?

Ok, let’s not worry about why. Let’s focus on what the benefits of growing trees are.  Here’s how you can tell very quickly.  Drive down Broadway through auto row on a really hot sunny day with your windows rolled up and no air conditioning.  Then drive across the area of Littleton Blvd between Windermere and the railroad on the same day with the same conditions. Feel the difference?

Stand in the middle of the parking lot at Woodlawn midday away from the trees for about 5 minutes.  Then walk over and stand under one of the trees there.  Find a street in any part of town that has lots of mature trees, such as Bemis north of Lake Ave.  Feel the difference?

What else do trees do for us?  Filter air?  Breathe in CO2 and breathe out oxygen?  Create mini ecosystems?  Produce organic matter for this desert we live in?  Provide nesting areas for birds and other animals? Filter water down to the water table?  Provide food for us?

When planting trees, plan ahead. Think about what they will grow under – avoid power lines.  Don’t plant trees that will shade the roof of your house in case you want to get solar panels.  Plant trees that will produce fruit. Plant something other than ash trees because of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Don’t plant Russian Olive trees because they use too much water. Plant trees that will provide partial shade for a garden because vegetables do not need full sun 8 hours a day, and in Colorado they often cook and die if they do.

Now is a good time to buy a tree from any local nursery because the prices should be much lower. Get instructions on how to plant them and follow those instructions. Plant one for your kids, plant one for your grandchildren, plant one for the future. Just Get Planting!!!

As an anonymous Green proverb says, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.”

*http://www.ecowatch.com/plant-50-million-trees-guinness-world-record-1917368877.html