Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day...reading & reflections!

What a wonderful celebration, a day to reflect on the earth we dig in and all that grows!

This year to commemorate Earth Day, Michelle over at Sage Butterfly has started a wonderful Earth Day Meme called Earth Day Reading Project In which I was invited to participate in, what a treat!

Before I share my books though, I really wanted to take a moment to reflect on the changes I have chosen to make this year as a gardener and as a goodwill ambassador to the planet. While my small little plot is well, very small. And all my neighbors are chemically inclined, I have chosen to take a leap of "greenness" and eliminate pesticides from our property, I am learning to embrace dandelions in knowing that every little bit will help! This year is a year of discovery, in composting, veggie gardening, salvaging, recycling, buying wiser and using less. I often think, can one person really do all that much? It is a big commitment, really is it worth it? But honestly I am excited about these changes and while I might be a small fish in a big pond, at least the water I directly swim in is healthy, safe and clean =)

Here are three books that have inspired me to think and re-think what I am doing, to better tend to my little plot and how a little difference can really make a World of difference!

Cultivating Sacred Space: Gardening for the Soul
By Elizabeth Murray
- I love art, just as much as gardening and when I came across this book gardening for the soul, it brought both of these loves together in one sacred space. This book gave me the inspiration to get out in the garden and start digging, and making the green space thrive...This book is about how the garden restores the soul and feeds all of your senses, and that's echoed beautifully in this book through each of the seasons...My garden is my sacred, special, spiritual, soothing space that I love to watch grow!

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A year of food life.
By Barbara Kingsolver
- This book is one of those books you cant put down and then it ends up changing your life! I never thought I would ever EVER grow my own veg and be so passionate about what I eat, but after reading the inspiration found here, I was eager and excited to try it.
This book chronicles the year that Barbara Kingsolver, along with her husband and two daughters, made a commitment to become locavores–those who eat only locally grown foods. A beautiful book about getting back to the simple joys of growing vegetables.

Gumnut Babies 
By, May Gibbs
- I don't know one Aussie kid who did not grow up listening to the stories and adventures of the cheeky gumnut babies. This book is where I first found my love of nature, the love of protecting plants and the environment, a knowledge of the elements and how harmony is needed to survive (yes even the bad old banksia men!) To this day, Bib & Bub have a special place in my heart. My love of the environment all started from this book at a small age, plus I wanted to grow up and be a flannel flower fairy!...thank you May Gibbs.

Here are just a few inspiring gardening blogs I have recently stumbled across....
And for more amazing blogs, as there is just way to many to list, check out Blotanical....


  1. Julia how sweet to mention my blog...the first book you mention will be on my list since it is how I feel about gardening being my is why I started my blog to write about those spiritual feelings and lessons... Barbara's book is also on the list as a must read...doing your little bit is so important and like you I am learning all the time how to change my space and life for the better...we too have gone chemical free in the is already worth the effort...thank you for a wonderful post and joining in and Happy Earth Day!!

  2. Donna, it's my pleasure as I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. I'd love to hear what you think of the book, all this writing about it has made me want to go read it again =)

  3. Barbara Kingsolver's book is such an inspiration as soon as one begins to read the first few words. I also have read Cultivating Sacred Space and, like you, have found it to be incredibly helpful in bringing the soul into my garden. And what an interesting book, Gumnut Babies. I will have to take a look at it. I love the artist's rendering of these small babies. How great that you are doing so much to live sustainably! (Again, I really enjoyed your Coffee Buzz post.) Thank you very much for participating in The Earth Day Reading Project and Happy Earth Day!

  4. Julia, thanks for the garden book suggestions. I was just thinking that I need to find a great book to read and you've suggested three. I feel some of the same commitment you feel about being good stewards of this earth. Gardening really is a spiritual experience because we are in partnership with God as we help grow and care for all creations on earth. My garden is also a sacred, spiritual, soothing, and rewarding place in which I love to watch things grow! Happy Earth Day!

  5. Thanks so much for the blog love Julia; it's really an honor that you would include me in such fine company! I look forward to reading Cultivating Sacred Space...I've got a lot on my reading list but this sounds like one to move to the top of the list. Hope you have a wonderful Easter and Earth Day!

  6. Hi Julia - dandelions are a good sign of a green gardener. Bees love them and I've found all sorts of recipes as to how to use them. All 3 books are new to me but I certainly share the idea of the garden as sanctuary for the soul. Sometimes chores keep me so busy that I forget to just sit and imbibe.
    Thank you for mentioning my blog - and for highlighting those that are new to me.
    And I wish you a very Happy Easter

  7. Love your choice of reads. The idea of gardening for the soul is right up my alley and is now on my list of must reads! The Gumnut Babies are adorable and remind me of a German book I read when I was a child. I will check that one out for myself and my children. Happy belated Earth Day!

  8. Hi Julie, it sounds like your journey this past year has been similar to my own. It is powerful to know that the actions of one person or one family are significant. I will check out some of these blogs you listed as I'm not familiar with them and I am interested in the book you featured called Animal Vegetable Miracle..sounds like something I should read. Happy Easter, Jenni

  9. Thank you for all your wonderful comments and Michelle thank you for putting together such a thought provoking meme, I loved sharing these books with you all =)

    Ramona & Cat - Hope you love Cultivating sacred spaces, find a sunny place in your yard and curl up with it =)
    Laura - Would love some of those Dandy recipes, I had no idea, I may come to truly love them yet...hehehe!
    Karin - Hope your kiddo's love the gumnut babies, love that you want to share it with them =)
    Jenni - Hope you love the book, would love to know what you think. Cheers to change and making a difference one yard at a time =)

    Happy Easter to you all and thank you so much for your continued support...Hugs Julia xx

  10. Julia, thanks so much for the compliment and I'm so glad to see you participated in this earth day adventure. I'm learning so much through these posts and just can't say enough good about them. I keep hearing about Barbara Kingsolvers book and I'm adding that to the must read list. The gumnut babies brought a big smile to my face. I travelled in Australia for a year when I was younger and although I've never seen this book I certainly recognized the gumnut reference!

  11. It is so great that you put this thought into words: "I often think, can one person really do all that much? It is a big commitment, really is it worth it?" and that you made the leap. I think a lot people get stuck there and don't realize that small changes in everyone's lives are the only thing that will bring about the big changes we need. No big outside force like government is going to fix this for us.


Thanks for stopping by and reading my latest post! I love sharing my gardening adventures and reading your wonderful comments. Happy digging...Cheers Julia!!

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