The end of the school year is just about here. It will soon be time for locker clean-out in many area schools. You can help to prevent a lot of waste and make this ritual an eco-friendly project. Here are some tips from the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County along with a PDF you can download to help you and your schools with this process. According to SWANCC this can be the biggest waste day of the entire school year.
Public Green Blog
The plants have been enjoying some fresh air and sunshine. And they have also been experiencing some cool (under 50 degrees) nighttime temperatures and some elevated wind conditions. They are almost hardened off completely and we are planning to plant them out next week. Today is the first day they were in the sun for most of the day.
Do you often find yourself standing in the produce section of the market, wondering which fruits and vegetables are most contaminated with pesticides? Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases information on which fruits and vegetables are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides, broken down in two helpful lists, thus making it easier for consumers to decide between purchasing organic or conventionally grown produce. This shopper’s guide was recently updated for 2014 and is available on the EWG website. After you take a look at the shopper’s guide, take some time to read through the report for more information.
Yesterday the plants were removed from the light table in the lobby of the Library. They were taken to the home of a Green Committee member to be “hardened off” and become acclimated to conditions outside so they can be planted in the next two weeks or so.
The seedlings will be taken outside for a few hours a day to start, out of direct sunlight. Gradually we will increase the number of hours outside and start to put them in the sun for increasingly longer intervals.
A good rule of thumb for judging when to plant outside in the garden is when the night time temperatures consistently stay above 50 degrees. These plants will be kept indoors at night until that threshold is reached.
The entire process generally takes about two weeks.
We received our shipment of Earthboxes late last week. We ordered 5 of them: 4 for our planting project and one to raffle at the Green Farmers’ Market on August 17. We are planning on beginning the hardening off process next week: the seedlings need to be brought outside for a few hours a day to get gradually acclimated to being outside. I think they are ready for the transition! Some of the pepper plants already have tiny peppers growing.
Drop by Euclid Elementary School, 1211 N. Wheeling Rd on Saturday, May 10 between 9:00a.m. and 12:00p.m. to celebrate the opening of El Jardin de los Suenos Community Garden. Come ready to work in the garden! There will be gardening experts available for advice and fun family activities. Bring food to share. For more info: Community Garden Open House.
April 28-May 2 has been designated by the U. S. EPA and proclaimed by Governor Pat Quinn as Air Quality Awareness Week. The objective is to educate the public about air quality and to encourage them to monitor their local air quality forecasts. In conjunction with this initiative, Director of the Illinois EPA, Lisa Bonnett, has announced the expansion of the Illinois Air Quality Flag Program. Participants in this program fly a color-coded fly to alert local residents as to that day’s air quality forecast. For more information: Illinois EPA Kick-off Air Quality Awareness Week.
We ordered the EarthBoxes yesterday and will have 4 of them outside on the southwest corner of the Library grounds. We have been monitoring the spot and it gets loads of full sun for many hours per day. But we still have at least 3 weeks to go before we can even think about planting them out.