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From: Ann
Bring on the Sunshine

May 2002

Hi Readers!

Do you think it’s safe to say that spring is truly here? In my neck of the woods, we went from winter to heat-wave summer, and then back to cool winter temperatures again in one week! I don’t think this was unusual, because from everything I’ve read, the weather has been wacky all around the country. I admit I was disappointed when we didn’t get some gigundo snowfalls this year, but now my motto is "bring on the sunshine." It’s time to break out the shorts and tank tops and sunscreen!

Each year around this time, I try to schedule my work so that I can take some time off to relax and catch up on personal projects. One of my first priorities is to get my garden started. I’m sticking to my favorites by planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, radishes and peas. Through trial and error, I’ve figured out how much to plant of everything so I don’t have huge surpluses (and so that my neighbors won’t hide when they see me coming to their house with an armload of zucchini!). The garden takes a lot of work, but the delicious, nutritious result is well worth all the weeding and watering.

A good garden needs a lot of water in order to thrive, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be plenty of much-needed rain this spring. Like many people, I’m concerned about the nationwide drought we are experiencing. It’s been a very dry winter, and our reservoirs (where we store our water) are extremely low. The best reason for a snowy winter (other than the fact that I love the snow) is that when it melts in the spring, it fills the rivers and reservoirs. It’s going to take some heavy-duty rain and some serious water conservation to get our water supplies back to where they should be.

While I haven’t figured out how to make it rain, there’s plenty I can do to make sure I don’t waste water. This just involves using some common sense, like turning off the water whenever possible, and fixing any leaks and drips. In BSC#67: Dawn Saves the Planet, Dawn’s friends are surprised when she tells them that one little leaky faucet can waste over three thousand gallons of water a year! Showering instead of bathing uses a lot less water, and full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher are best. And we’ll have to be especially careful about how much water we use on our yards. I was hoping that this was the year I could turn my not-very-green grass (okay, it’s mostly brown grass!) into something a little more lush, but I think that will have to wait until water isn’t scarce.

I’m feeling optimistic, though, because there’s water in my well and some rain in the forecast. Now it’s time to put on my big straw hat and lather up the SPF 45 sunscreen, because I have a date with a needy garden!

Happy reading!

Love, Ann