August 8th Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

Have you ever noticed that no matter what vegetable you may like, but not your favorite, always seems to be the most prolific growing in your garden? You can count on Zucchini to be one of those vegetables. Now I like zucchini, no problem there, but having it at every meal for 6 months in a row does get to be a bit much.

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I planted a garden for my family and myself and just on a whim I added eggplant. I did not know how to cook eggplant and while I did not hate it, it wasn’t exactly my favorite. Naturally, when my garden started to grow, the only thing that grew in large quantity was the eggplant. I gave away as much as anyone wanted and still had an ample supply to feed several armies on the march. Even when the rest of the plants died off my eggplant was still growing!

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I’ve spoken about watermelon before and I will again because if it starts to grow, it never stops! The nice thing about watermelon though is that you don’t actually have to carry it over to your neighbors porch to get rid of the excess, it will actually make it’s way over to them on its own!

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I tried planting blueberries and got three berries, I tried planting strawberries and got one, and my raspberry plants never produced the first berry at all. But even today, after I pulled all my eggplant plants up and burned them, they grew wild in my yard! I finally moved.

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How to celebrate – Warn your neighbors if you plan on planting zucchini, or eggplant, or watermelon. Buy a black outfit so that you can place your bounty on your neighbor’s porch at night without being seen. Make sure you plant your garden where neighbors can’t see it if you intend on making nightly deposits to rid yourself of over stack (that garden is a dead give-a-way of who is mysteriously giving away vegetables no one wants.

July 2nd Build a Scarecrow Day

It’s the time of year that gardens are beginning to bloom and close to harvesting your reward. What a drag to find out everything you have worked so hard fr is being carried away by hungry, angry birds.

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Well birds do not particularly like people. Generally they will do all they can to avoid them. Since it is probably impractical for you to stand out side in your garden 24 hours a day, find a substitute, a scarecrow. Hence the name, scare crows!

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It doesn’t really require a lot… some old clothes and maybe a hat, a couple of sticks and some straw. When there is a breeze, the scarecrow will actually look as though it is moving scaring away those birds from their early harvesting.

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Or if you are really, really lazy, you could buy a barbie doll (Ken) that looks like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz!  Of course he’s kinda small so maybe you should hire an actor to play the roll. Might be a little expensive but if you bring in the rest of the cast you can sell tickets and have your own open air theater! I don’t know if it will keep the birds away but if they aren’t very good it will keep the critics away.

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And then sadly, there are those who just build scarecrows so they have a friend for the summer.

How to celebrate- Build your own scarecrow and proudly display it. Start up a build your own scarecrow contest in your neighborhood and have a party, choosing the best one over a bonfire.  Perform as the Scarecrow in whatever local theatrical performance is near you. (A good Scarecrow always brightens up the show.)

June 16th Fresh Veggie Day

Just look at the color of a table filled with fresh veggies and you are instantly transformed into, at least a momentary, vegetarian. All the senses are filled, color, scent, touch… okay maybe not hearing unless these vegetables speak to you.

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I think one of the reasons vegetables are so colorful is because they want you to eat them. If not, they rot and become ugly, but when they are fresh they are more inviting than nearly any other food available to man. (Fruit is right up there too)

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Not only are vegetables pleasant to look at and smell good, they are good for you too! Anything that is that beautiful outside has to make you beautiful on the inside. I don’t know if you have ever had a garden where you grow your own food but I can tell you, there is nothing as thrilling as seeing your plants come up and grow into something that you can eat. It doubles the pleasure.

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The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” I think can be applied to eating vegetables as well. They are filled with vitamins and antioxidants to not only make you healthier but also leave you healthier.

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How to celebrate – Have a plate of vegetables today instead of yoiur normal lunch. Plant a garden. Go to the fresh foods market and see what they have to offer.

June 6th National Gardening Exercise Day

There are two things in life that we could do with more of. The first is gardening, we can always use more food or beautiful plants to make our day better. The second is exercise. Nothing better than exercise to get into shape, feel better, and look better. So naturally, the both of best worlds combine today in National Gardening Exercise Day.

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It makes gardening not seem like work at all! Of course, gardening is not supposed to be work, it’s supposed to be fun, and working out is supposed to be fun, not work… so I guess combined they work out well.

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Actually, getting out and digging holes, spreading fertilizer, weeding, and watering your flowers is good exercise. You use practically every muscle in your body in some way. Kneeling down, standing up, carrying the plants to where you want them, is all physical exercise as well as the mental exercise you go through putting the plants where they will get the most sunlight, but not too much.

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And planting food you can eat is normally healthy for you meaning you will probably be eating healthy because of what you are growing! It is a win-win. I tried planting Twinkies once but they didn’t grow. On the other hand, once I dug them up they were absolutely no different than when I planted them! (except for a little dirt that you could easily brush away).

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Gardening can be very therapeutic and a great way to get exercise that you don’t even notice you are getting. It is assumed that garden clubs across the United States created this day but no one seems to know for sure.

How to celebrate – get some plants today that you can plant in your yard. Go out and weed the garden you already have. Help plant a community garden.

May 30th Water A Flower Day

Okay, so summer is here, or will be in a couple of days, and it will be hot. So hot in many places that even trees will find it difficult to weather the heat. Imagine you are a small flower and starved for water. For just  a few sprinkles of your water the flower will return it’s beauty to make your day a little brighter.

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The world is filled with beautiful images, true sometimes you have to look for them, but nature provides. Rich, warm colors and scents that fill the air with a scent that is both pleasing and relaxing. (Unless, of course, you are allergic to them.)

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And a flower asks for so little in return. Just a few drops of water, maybe a little fertilizer, some peat moss, occasional shade, a few kind words, a gentle touch… oh, and you really do need to be careful when tending to them. I had a uncle who lived in India for a few years and wondered by only the Americans had beautiful gardens at their homes. When he was greeted by a cobra coming out of his flower garden he understood why. He had a mongoose, which took out the snake in front of him but cobras travel in pairs, as do most snakes, and the one behind him got him. He survived, but was very sick for nearly a month.

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Still, that wasn’t the flowers fault. They do provide great beauty for us all to admire. In fact, most of nature is more beautiful than anything we can create.

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How  to celebrate – Give your flowers a drink. Stop and smell the roses. Plant some flowers to make your life brighter.

April 29th Greenery Day

Greenery Day is based upon Emperor Hirohito birthday, April 29th, although apparently it is most often celebrated on May 4th in Japan. It was established in 1989 after Emperor Showa (The line of Emperors, same guy) died on Jan.7th. So I’m a little confused about his holiday, it came after his death, may or may not be on April 29th his birthday, and he has two names.

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Hirohito was Emperor during World War 2. From what I have read he was basically opposed to the war but as the leader of the Japanese people he was not really able to prevent it. Huh? However they could not end the war without his permission, which he gave after two atomic bombs had been dropped, his navy destroyed and his people suffering beyond belief.

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So why do they celebrate it as Greenery Day? I have absolutely no idea other than beautiful gardens have always been a part of the Japanese culture. They are certainly green and I am sure that while the rest of his country was burning, he had beautiful gardens to walk through.

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Now I am not blaming him for the war, and I am not denying that Japan does have some of the most beautiful gardens anywhere. The two things together are a bit odd though. However I do have to admit I am not all that versed in Hirohito’s life so maybe greenery was a huge part of his life.

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I do know this… if more of the world was green maybe we all would be calmer, gentler people. It’s hard to be violent when surrounded by natures natural beauty.

How to celebrate – Enjoy your own garden, or your neighbors today. (Just don’t get caught tromping through your neighbors garden.) Plant something today. Go for a walk in a forest.