Running up the four flights of stairs to my office today, my hurried footsteps were joined by a friend who, like me, enjoys a morning sprint. With spring in the air, and sunlight teasing the freshly fallen snow, Paul shared exciting news – “my sugar snaps are greening!” As he guided me through i-phone images of his indoor/outdoor garden, I had to admire the sustainable ethic that this environmentalist not only teaches at Towson University, but lives. Paul, who prefers to cycle rather than drive, is truly a “shomer adama”, a guardian of the earth.
I, too, will plant a garden, but only when the snow has melted and the soil has warmed. And my dream of self-sufficiently will remain just that. Nonetheless, I remain grateful to those that plan and plant ahead of the season so that I can have luxury of buying fresh produce from local farms. Here in Baltimore, we are fortunate to have a network of farmer’s markets that enable shoppers on every schedule to support local growers. http://www.mda.state.md.us/md_products/farmers_market_dir.php. (Towson folks, the Thursday market on Allegheny is just a few block away!)
Reflecting on the coffee that is as essential to my daily diet as fresh vegetables, I realize that for most of us, self-sufficiency is not a realistic goal. My coffee beans (shade grown, bird-friendly) will still come from another country. But, at least for today, Paul has inspired me to get started just a little earlier on my modest backyard garden. Home-grown salad, anyone?