Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Ground Cover

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)!

Wondering how to live greener? You've come to the right place. Each week we challenge ourselves to try a new task ... or "amp up" something we're already doing. We raise our awareness, learn from each other and develop Eco-friendly skills which will improve our lives and protect our planet. Doing so together gives us power ... the power to Change The World!

If this is your first visit, please click HERE for information and a complete list of all the challenges we've taken on so far.

This post contains great information and I encourage you to read through it at your leisure ... however, if you are short on time, you might find the following quick links helpful:

Last week we planted (and/or ate) legumes to add nutrients to the soil. Legumes, which attract nitrogen, benefit both soil health and other plants. I have peas growing in my mini greenhouse and soon will be planting beans in the garden.

The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments.

Aimee left a comment on our composting challenge. Here's what she had to say, "We built a bigger compost bin this year out of repurposed old fence posts which has been awesome. We compost everything on the list (minus the urine!) and on the rare meat consumption days those bones go into the weekly curbside compost bin. We looked into composting toilets recently but unfortunately the cost for a decent one is still too prohibitive ($1800+)."

This edition of Shopping Charity included several of your posts. Was yours one of them?

Alicia joined us and shared this: "We love growing beans and peas but have not grown lentils . So I think this would be a good time to check into growing some this year. I will give you an update on what we find out!" Can't wait to hear how it goes, Alicia!

Welcome to cstocks! Here's her comment: "It's a bit too late for growing beans in the desert, but they are a fabulous source of nutrients for body and soil. We did get some from our food co-op this week and just broke off the stems, grilled in a little olive oil with garlic. Yummy."

Charlotte accepted the challenge. She said: Great challenge as always! I will happily get my teeth into it :) " True to her word, she did! In Add Nitrogen to The Soil she talks about why she won't be growing one of her favorite legumes and shares how the plants actually add nitrogen to the soil. Want a hint? Noodles! Is she talking about pasta? You'll have to read her post to find out!

Kimberly stopped by. I appreciate her comments: "Great post. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you being a part of our party. Please stop by on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls"

Morag shared another idea for improving soil. She said: "Just to say that some trees and shrubs also fix nitrogen - the ones that have "pea pod" type seeds (not always edible though) and interestingly the Alder tree (Alnus sp.). You may already have a nitrogen fixing plant on your garden border - perhaps in a hedge? Worth checking out :) " Excellent!!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @rose_rambles
- Thanks for including me in your #CTTW wrap-up. So glad you like my blog. I'll be planting beans this week....!
- The Rambles boys have planted beans - this week's 'Change the World Wednesday' challenge #CTWW

From @WorldChangingMe
- forgot to say .... planted some runner beans this week #ctww from saved seed :)Â… #fixingnitrogen

From @momfindsout
- I do like to plant them, but its too early where I live to do that til June. :) but I will plan on it! #ctww

The #CTWW Gang are those folks who tweet our challenges using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I recommend following them ... they share great things. Let's meet them:

@2kidsandacoupon @arithatcher @beatepdx
@bestrawesome @collegegogreen @debsmikdav1
@dehelen @efoodpyramid @familyfocusblog
@freshcleanersaz @givelocal15 @greektitan_mov
@greengympenge @greenqueenofmod @gronavra
@groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972 @islayhijk
@jen_fontaine @kaitlingarder @kayelleallen
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@leslieveg @marjoriemcatee @martha_bourke
@mdgblogger @memorialgrdnscg @mimibarbour
@momfindsout @mommyhiker @myzerowaste
@nolafusion @organicgpodcast @outdoorfammag
@rckweddings @rose_rambles @rulesofgreen
@shoppingcharity @shopwhatpops @signsbyrhonda
@spafloating @sustyq @thefreckledrose
@theworld4realz @treesgroup @turningclockbac
@wary12 @wellminded @wimpyvegetarian

My Final Thoughts:

Nature is amazing! Soil provides the conditions necessary to grow plants and plants give back to the soil by adding nutrients, either by their ability to attract nitrogen to the area around their roots or by decomposing when they die. It's a perfect, sustainable system. Unfortunately, humans come along and ruin that perfect balance. Mono-crop farming, clear cutting, and the use of artificial fertilizers all interfere and leave us with nothing more than dirt ... a substance which cannot sustain life. With food insecurity a major concern in our world today, it's more important than ever to ensure that our soil is healthy and nutrient rich!

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share features located below this post.

This Week's Challenge:

April's theme is: 2015 Year of the Soil

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Ground Cover
Thyme is a beautiful ground cover
and it's edible!
In the 1930s, the US experienced "The Dust Bowl". Unanchored soil, on over 100,000,000 acres of land, turned to dust and simply blew away. Tens of thousands of families were forced to abandon their farms and both ecology and agriculture in the US and Canadian prairies were severely damaged.

Exposed soil, which is subjected to the wind, rain, grazing animals, and the sun, is susceptible to erosion.

Erosion is preventable!

Here's your challenge ...

This week, prevent soil erosion by increasing ground cover and/or mulching. Another way is to plant seedlings as close together as possible. The idea this week is to cover up any exposed soil.

OR ...

If gardening isn't for you, please give up meat this week. Why? Grazing animals destroy new plant growth. Plants benefit the soil by preventing erosion. So, reducing our meat consumption, and therefore the need to graze more animals, will help reduce the harm done to soil.

Are you up for preventing soil erosion? I know that you are!

Until next time ...