Alison Kerr

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by Wendy Gabriel

In honor of Earth Week, I decided to find out how spring looks to some of my favorite sites (and people) around the web. These are some amazing photos they were generous enough to share with me.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb 

Adam Shake is a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founded Twilight Earth and Eco Tech Daily. He is an environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC based activist. His photos of cherry blossoms in Washington Dc are some of my favorite. [more]

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear

Alison Kerr is an American from Scotland who lives with her family in a leafy suburb in North East Kansas, within the Kansas City metro. She writes about our connections with nature and with each other and ways to grow greener kids, home, garden, and community at Loving Nature’s Garden. Alison kindly sent me this photo of her gorgeous red tulips. [more]

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Carole Brown is a Conservation Biologist with a passion for Ecosystem Gardening – giving a little back to wildlife by creating welcoming habitats in our gardens, conserving natural resources, and choosing sustainable landscaping practices. Carole has worked as a wildlife habitat landscaper for almost twenty years, designing, installing and maintaining Ecosystem Gardens for wildlife for homeowners, businesses, and other property managers. She is a consultant, educator, and author of Ecosystem Gardening. Avid birder, butterfly watcher, and lover of all wildlife. Carole is also an awesome photographer with an eye for nature. [more]

Marghanita Hughes is a children’s book author, illustrator and the creator of the award winning Little Humbugs. It was while observing her children revelling in the awesome wilderness of their new surroundings in British Columbia that the idea for the Little Humbugs was conceived. Marghanita is passionate about encouraging our children’s interest in the guardianship of The Earth we share. She strongly believes that children can influence change. Her Mission is to deliver this positive message to them through the delightful characters in her enchanting stories. Marghanita shares a Little Humbug and her beloved peach blossoms. [more]

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author Unknown

Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a lifelong writer. Her writing career started at 13 when she wrote a weekly column in her small town’s newspaper. For the past three years, Melissa has focused on blogging and other online writing venues. She is the Business Blogger at the Mother Nature Network and the owner of Raising Them Green, a blog dedicated to providing parents information to help them raise eco-conscious children. Melissa shared a photo of her two children taken by their Grandpa.

Take some time today to connect with nature. Take a walk, notice a budding leaf, marvel at a bird in flight and share the wonder and magic of the outdoors with a child.

Bethe Almeras is an award-winning author, web producer, and eLearning designer. A gifted speaker and trainer, Bethe prides herself on being a kid at heart and sharing the benefits of play with others. Bethe is The Grass Stain Guru and graciously provided this wonderful photo of a redwinged blackbird. [more]

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings

How does spring look in your corner of the world?

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by Wendy Gabriel

I read an awesome article this week by Alison Kerr at Loving Nature’s Garden about When to Plant Vegetable Seeds. It’s really informative and got me excited about spring (and a little nostalgic about last spring).

Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You 

Here are some photos I took last spring:

The goddesses hugging a tree

Spring 2009 at the farm

Spring 2009

Some of my favorite photos and photo blogs:
Twilight Earth’s Photo Sunday
Mother Nature Sunday Gallery: Beaming Flowers from Love Earth Always
Photo Terri

Sam Can Shoot

Twin Cities Photo Blog

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by Wendy Gabriel

Alison Kerr is an American from Scotland who lives with her family in a Alison Kerrleafy suburb in North East Kansas, within the Kansas City metro. She writes about our connections with nature and with each other and ways to grow greener kids, home, garden, and community at Loving Nature’s Garden. Visit Alison’s blog for thought-provoking conversations, tips, and interesting tid-bits about nature, gardening, sustainability, and learning.

How do you make your day-to-day life a littler greener?

Firstly, I think it’s essential to have contact with nature and have a sense of place. The feeling of connectedness with others, with community, and with nature is what keeps me working toward being a little greener. I was raised in an essentially frugal family. I do things like keeping my mileage down, air drying laundry, eating only 4oz of meat a day and setting the thermostat low in winter, warm in summer; I love wearing sweaters, which helps! These all result in savings for me as well as for the environment. On top of that I grow a vegetable garden and subscribe to a farmer’s alliance (similar to CSA).

My husband and I have agonized over the myriad of schooling options for our daughters. Public schools, private schools, home schooling. What have been the benefits you’ve seen in home schooling your children?

When my kids were younger we would meet other homeschoolers at the park once a week and stay until the schools got out. Those were great outdoor times for us. Like you say though, responsible parents agonize over educational choices. I don’t think choices are set in stone though. My kids have been in public school as well as Montessori and homeschool. I tend to go with what feels right at a particular point in time for a particular child. As to the benefits of home schooling, there’s a lot of flexibility to find something that works. There is so much choice now for materials, but there’s a fair bit of trial and error involved. I feel very fortunate to spend so much time with my kids and watch them develop. They love to learn and I enjoy being with them, which to me is what it’s all about.

I really enjoy your site, Loving Nature’s Garden. On it, you mention you love good food. What is one of your favorite recipes?

Thanks, I’m so glad you enjoy my site. I like to cook meals with minimal ingredients. Here is a simple soup I make quite regularly. 

  • 6 cups of stock – chicken or vegetable
  • 2 small or one large green onion (washed and sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

Basically you just warm up the stock, then throw in the corn. When the corn is warmed up add the other 2 ingredients and serve. I rarely make things exactly the same way twice – I might throw in some parsley from the garden, or anything else suitable which is on-hand.

You are originally from Scotland. Are there any challenges to living sustainably that you’ve noticed, specific to the U.S., that you didn’t have to deal with in Scotland?

Yes, in Scotland public transport is very available and I used it a lot. I got my first car when I was 25 years old; I only felt I needed it because it was hard carrying a kayak though the streets of Edinburgh to the train station. I think one of the biggest challenges to sustainability in the U.S. is the sheer scale of our country. Things in Scotland are closer, homes are smaller, and the year-round temperature range in Scotland is significantly less. This all translates to more energy use in the U.S. for a similar lifestyle. Overall I’d also say that the Scots are just a bit less concerned with appearance and more with functionality and frugality, which is good for achieving sustainability. The Scots are a kind of down-to-earth, practical race. On the other hand, America has huge strength in diversity and innovation. Once we set our minds and hearts to something we can’t be stopped. I think there is great reason to be hopeful of a sustainable future once we all start doing our part.