By AMANDA WHEELER
10:13 AM EDT, April 16, 2012
Earth Day is April 22, but I like to try to celebrate Earth Day all year long. I suppose you could say I celebrate Earth Year.
I had a great pre-Earth Day celebration Saturday, when I got some new baby vegetable plants, went on a wildflower hike and helped remove an invasive species.
The day started off with some purchases at the Boyle County High School FFA greenhouse. It was opening day for the greenhouse and it was jam-packed with many varieties of tomato plants, lots of pepper plants and even broccoli, along with all kinds of other plants too numerous to keep track of.
Last year was the first year we grew tomatoes — we had one little bushy tomato plant named Teddy. This year, we purchased three different varieties of tomato plants: German Johnson, Lemon Boy and Super Sweet 100. At $1.50 for each three-pack of tomato plants, it was a great deal; we even wound up with more plants than we wanted and shared the extras with my mother-in-law.
The German Johnson tomatoes will grow very large and are good for slicing.
The Lemon Boys grow to be a medium size tomato that is good for slicing and will hopefully add some nice color to my salads.
The Super Sweet 100’s are cherry tomatoes that I plan on putting in salads — if I can manage not to eat them right as soon as I pick them off the vine.
We got some sweet banana peppers, which I’m looking forward to using on pizzas, sandwiches and salads.
We also got some King Arthur Sweet Bell Peppers, which I’m going to attempt to stir fry and use in creating a homemade Philly cheesesteak sandwich.
The greenhouse had much more than just vegetable plants — the FFA students are also caring for lots of very pretty flowers.
We ended up getting some pretty celosia flowers that are now brightening up our front porch with their pinks, yellows, oranges and magentas.
Right now, our vegetables are all in intermediate pots so we can pull them inside if it’s going to frost overnight.
Soon enough, I hope to be enjoying all kinds of homegrown, good-for-me and good-for-the-environment veggie deliciousness. If anyone has recipes that use any of the veggies I’m growing, email me and I might try out your recipe and write about in a column.
Next week I’ll talk about the second half of my awesome day,when I went on a wildflower walk at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge.
Make sure to celebrate Earth Day. Even if you’re busy on the official Earth Day, pick another day to make your own personal Earth Day.
If you’ve got some time on Earth Day (or Earth Weekend), you can check out local celebrations, including the Earth Day Festival 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Garrard County Fairgrounds.
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