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August 2020 GreenFriends North America Newsletter
Welcome to the Summer 2020 GreenFriends newsletter!

In this edition we have more gardening articles, some wildlife stories and a Parent and Children’s Corner.

We look at the ways we interact with the earth and the fellow beings we share it with. We consider more approaches to gardening from large scale projects to balcony gardens, as well as ponder the lessons gardening brings. We also explore our relationship with wildlife and share some environmental resources and activities to support parents’ educational efforts surrounding Nature, plus tips on how to reduce our everyday waste.

"The attitude of mutual understanding and respect between humans and nature must be incorporated into society." - Amma

Lessons I Learned from Gardening
Peonies with stakes
Every part of the gardening process teaches us patience. For most plants, starting seeds require weeks to months of patiently waiting for the first shoots to appear. There is so much joy and hope when seeing those tiny little green shoots sticking out the soil. In the cold and often gloomy New England springs, those first signs of life bring me much joy. In the fast paced world we have become accustomed to living in, plants and vegetables teach us that everything happens in its due course.

Read more.about the lessons gardening can teach us...

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Milk Crate Composting: Easy and Effective Ideas for Backyards & Balconies

Stirring the compost
I’m lucky enough to live in a city with industrial compost - Toronto, Canada. I was merrily composting using my city’s service for years, but then I moved into a building complex, where I learned that apartment buildings have the option to opt-out of city compost. What?! My composting days came to a sudden halt.

Read more about my creative and successful solution of milk crate composting…

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Bluebirds of Happiness

Mountain Bluebird
The call to action to start a garden in the San Luis Valley of Colorado seemed like a conscious act of kindness - even the responsible thing to do. While carefully exploring the perfect site for setting up our raised beds, we discovered a pair of nesting mountain bluebirds just a few feet away in the elevated penthouse of our propane tank.

Would we be able to co-exist with the bluebirds and grow a garden?

Read more about what happened next…

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Daily Ponderings at the Amma Center of New Mexico Garden

Let this be a sign
It is a joy and a privilege to live in our little oasis at 7600' here among the juniper and pine forests of the dry, New Mexico, high desert” writes an ashram sevite. Read here about a gardener’s daily ponderings at the Amma Center New Mexico.

Read about the garden at Amma Center of New Mexico...

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The Turtle Stories of the Amrita Nature Sanctuary - Part I

Baby turtele just out of the egg
While digging holes to plant trees at the Amrita Nature Sanctuary and Organic Gardens, a few miles from the Amritapuri ashram, two eggs were found buried in the soil. We gathered around, unsure of what kind of eggs we had found and worried as they had been slightly cracked. As we held them, two tiny turtles started to emerge one after the other..

Read about the turtles at the Amrita Nature Sanctuary...

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An Inquiry into the Lotus Garden at the San Ramon Ashram

San Ramon ashram garden
GreenFriends interviews Amartya, the master gardener for the garden at the MA Center ashram in San Ramon. In this wide ranging intereview, Amartya explains the inspiration for the garden watering methods, what they decided to plant and where, dealing with pests and more.

Read more about the Lotus Garden…

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Going Zero Waste - Strategies to Reduce and Recycle Packaging

Zero waste products
As things heat up in the world and Mother Nature seeks to heal herself by keeping us indoors, Amma says it is important to learn how to live in harmony with nature. This insightful article explores ways to cut down our production of waste and live a more environmentally balanced lifestyle.

Read about going zero waste...

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Parents and Children’s Corner

Romain scraps
GreenFriends would like to offer support for the many parents who are working from home or homeschooling their children during the pandemic. Here, we provide environmental resources and nature activities to support parents’ educational efforts surrounding Nature that Amma stresses as so important.

Read about environmental resources and nature activities for kids…

Amma's Words
Amma thrwoing flower petals
As the pandemic marches on, we are called upon to examine how we live our lives and what our relationship is with Nature. Amma and others have said that the virus is Nature’s reaction to the abuse we have heaped upon Her. In one of her recent talks, Amma said,

"This is a time of awakening. Humans have the strength, courage, goodness and love within themselves to overcome and survive any disaster. All that is needed is to wake up. This is not the time to succumb to fear and disappointment. On the other hand, this is the time to awaken our powers of discrimination and awareness."

"What should be our attitude towards future generations? Our goal should not be to fulfill our selfish desires. If we use the earth’s resources so that they will still be there for the future generations, then the needs of both generations can be satisfied..."

We invite each of you Green Friends to share your ideas and experiences with your own gardening efforts as well as experiences with animals. Please send your stories, comments and feedback to info@greenfriendsna.org.

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