Monday, January 10th, 2011...12:00 am

More Thoughts about an Eco-Friendly Christmas

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turnips by ted_major

TheGardenLady received these comments, from  Donna and one lady who did not give her name .

I too noted that real trees are more eco-friendly. It appears there is a lot more information on this subject being presented each day. I am always glad to find more support for the real trees. My friend is a Christmas tree grower and has been telling me this for years. Love the trees you found too. So clever. (Donna)

Unfortunately I had a very un eco-friendly Christmas this year, artificial tree (which is at least six years old), but the worst bit for me was that I had to buy all the vegetables for the Dinner this is the first time I can remember that we have had to do this. The vegetable plot we have normally provides all we need but this year due to the unusual weather I was not able to harvest anything so had to resort to shop bought produce which was not very tasty either. (Anonymous)

TheGardenLady loves to hear from her readers.  I was especially  interested in the comments about having an eco-friendly Christmas.

I appreciate the comment from Donna who enjoyed the Christmas photos and TheGardenLady’s support of real trees. Thank you.

I was saddened to read that one lady was unhappy this Christmas because she felt that hers was not an eco-friendly holiday because she did not have a real tree, but used her 6 year old plastic one. And she was unhappy because her vegetable patch was covered with snow so that she had to buy vegetables. I imagine that she lives in a part of the UK where snow is unusual.

The fact that you used a 6 year old plastic tree shows that you are very eco-friendly. You did not throw out a perfectly good plastic tree that you bought before much of the scientific information was showing the benefits of the real tree. By re-using what you had shows your concern for the environment.

And the fact that this year you could not use your own vegetables is disappointing, but it should not have spoiled your Christmas. Of course, there is nothing so wonderful as your own harvested fresh vegetables. But you should count your blessings. You were able to afford fresh vegetables and were helping to support farmers in these harsh economic times.

Another blessing is learning. A lesson you have learned- that snow is a possibility even where you live- is that in your 2011 garden you can plan for just such a contingency as snow by planting vegetables that are snow hardy. Perhaps you should put in a few turnips which can be harvested all winter.  See here.  My mother loved turnips for that reason.

And a yummy dish for the holidays is mashed potatoes and turnips (see here) – some people make the dish with garlic or horseradish (horseradish is best harvested late in the fall).  See here.  If you had grown potatoes you could have harvested them late and held them for Christmas. There are other vegetables like cabbage, chard, head lettuce, carrots, Brussels sprouts and sunchokes that can be harvested under a blanket of snow if you can dig the earth. Or you could check long term weather forecasts and if you see that snow is predicted you can run out to harvest these vegetables before any snow arrives to hold until Christmas. By raising cold hardy vegetables, you won’t be without your own freshly harvested produce if the weather is bad. Our ancestors learned to do this because they had to rely on their own ingenuity.

So don’t despair that your Christmas this year wasn’t up to your eco-friendly standards. Count your blessings and may 2011 be a happy and eco-friendly year for all.

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