Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
When I was a little girl, I grew up (just like most other kids) on my fair share of Kraft Mac and Cheese and Chef Boyardee. I also spent a lot of time at my Grandmother’s house. My grandparents didn’t exactly live in the country, but they had enough land for a (to my young eyes) sea of lilac bushes, a towering Weeping Willow and a huge garden.
The garden was my Grandmother’s domain and she grew all sorts of wonderful things. I remember as if it were yesterday the dinner table groaning with a bounty of fresh corn, swiss chard, cabbage, squash and beans. I loved to watch her weed and work with the earth- she knew EVERYTHING about plants and flowers. When we wanted a snack I would pick the reddest, ripest tomatoes I could find and we would sprinkle them with salt and eat them like apples, still warm from the sun.
One weekend I could take it no longer…. I begged her to let me have a garden of my own. She warned me that a proper garden was hard work, but I whined and complained until she let me have my way. My grandpa tilled a patch of earth for me near the driveway. Their house was right on the marsh and my little plot of earth was backed with high grasses and heather. It looked magickal, empty and waiting for me to fill it with lovely growing things.
I got right in there and started planting seeds. I had no idea what needed sun or shade. I didn’t know anything about what should be planted where or how deep. I just put my seeds in wherever I happened to be sitting at the time. When I tended my young plants I was likely to yank out the sprouting seeds along with the weeds. I’m sure my grandmother was highly amused by the whole process. But I didn’t care if anything actually grew. I was enjoying myself!
I loved digging in the earth, and I had a grand old time planting seeds and digging out rocks. But then I began to notice something. This earth wasn’t always clean and brown and beautiful. Instead of stones and pebbles I started finding tin cans, broken combs, and bottles. It was gross and fascinating. I turned up at the back door with the weirdest things. My grandpa said that the people who lived there before us must have used that part of the yard to bury their garbage. He then explained to me that some things take a really long time to decompose. I started thinking about all the trash we put out every week, and how long it would take for that stuff to break down in a landfill.
After that experience I was very careful with what went into our trash bags. I made lists of things that were recyclable and I would get upset if my mother didn’t put something in the proper bin. I worried about every bag of garbage that left our house- and I’m still the same way. I try to put out as little for the garbage truck as I can. Our blue recycle bins are always filled. I post our unwanted but usable things up on freecycle, and I try to find things we need there too before we buy new.
We use cloth diapers, wipes, grocery bags, napkins and kitchen towels, and I’ve saved and reused all my children’s clothing and toys. I compost everything that is compostable. We use glass instead of plastic bottles and containers- and we even have our milk delivered in glass bottles that are reused. We drink tap water instead of bottled- although I am looking to buy a filter system for our water.
I have a garden now- and I confess that I’m not the best gardener ever. But it fills my greenish brown thumb and greener heart with joy each time I see one of my children hunting for the nicest looking tomato and then eating the sun-warmed fruit fresh off the vine.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.
(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)
- My Momma Was a Hippie — Jessica at This is Worthwhile is continuing her Earth Momma mother’s way of honoring nature by taking her child outside every day. (@tisworthwhile)
- Mom Did Know Best, About Diapers at Least — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has a dirty secret about cloth diapers: They’re easy. (@guavalicious)
- The Force that Drives the Water Through the Rocks — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest remembers her first spiritual connection with nature, granted to her through her father’s care for the spirits of the earth.
- Confessions of a Cabbage Patch Kid — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma learned about landfills and recycling through gardening. (@kitchenwitch)
- Seeing My Grandmother Through Green Colored Lenses — Michelle at Seeking Mother was raised by a grandmother who wouldn’t let anyone throw out used clothing — ever — and who believed baths were water enough for two or more people at least. (@seekingmother)
- Through Green Tinted Glasses — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis realized her family didn’t so much choose green as it chose them, since not being green would have cost a lot more.
- Green or Die! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing remembers berating her family for not turning off the faucets — and notes that her efforts to save the planet for another 20 years must have worked.
- Natural Parenting Carnival: Green Living — Sarah at Natural Parenting is doing more to make her children’s generation green than what she had as a child.
- Natural Parenting Carnival: Vintage Green — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start used to fill her own water bottles from a spring — before doing so was cool. (@pchanner)
- Getting Dirty — Molly at Molly’s Place is inspired by her mother’s camaraderie with nature. She’s going to get back in touch with the real food cycle, as opposed to the “shrink-wrapped nutrition” you can buy. (@KPMolly)
- My Vintage Green Raincoat — Mama at Maman A Droit is wearing her brother’s bright green raincoat — 16 years later! (@MamanADroit)
- Vintage Green — Darcel at Mahogany Way hasn’t realized it yet, but she is slowly turning into her parents. (@MahoganyWayMama)
- Vintage Green — mrs green at littlegreenblog reminds us that children can be green simply by being kids. (@myzerowaste)
- March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Lauren at Hobo Mama was eco-chic before it was en vogue. (@Hobo_Mama)
- Growing Up Green — Chrystal at Happy Mothering honed her green instinct from an early age. (@HappyMothering)
- greener pastures — The Grumbles at Grumbles and Grunts has a list of ways she’s transitioning from green living as a novelty to green living as a lifestyle. (@thegrumbles)
- Vintage Green: The Hot Water Tank Is Not Sexy — Zoey at Good Goog had to go green when moss started growing around her feet. (@zoeyspeak)
- We Walked Softly — Starr at Earth Mama wrote a beautiful post about how her parents instilled a love of and respect for Earth and nature in her, and how she is passing that gift on to her own children.
- Save the Mermaids! — CurlyMonkey is learning from her daughter how to keep the mermaids happy. (@curlymonkey_)
- March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Dionna at Code Name: Mama sees glimpses of her mother’s greenness frugality in her own life – but she draws the line at pantyhose soap. (@CodeNameMama)
- I Thought I Made Them Green, But Really They Made Me — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! thought she made her parents green — until she took a closer look. (@bfmom)
- A Culture of Less — Alison at BluebirdMama explained why homebirth is the green childbirth choice. I love this thought! (@childbearing)
- 5 Ways to Embarrass Your Children While Going Green — Acacia at Be Present Mama shares some of the embarrassing things her parents did to her in the name of being eco-conscious.
- Ending Is Better than Mending? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is teaching us how to darn socks armed only with a light bulb. (@babydust)
- There and Back Again: A Green Girl’s Tale — Lactating Girl offers a gentle reminder that certain eco-conscious practices shouldn’t be “ideals,” but realities. (@LactatingGirl)