Saturday, June 4, 2011

EIEIO! World Environment Day Eve and Danielle Rosa Making a Difference

Tomorrow, June 5th, is World Environment Day (WED), and, according to Wikipedia, it is a day which, since 1973, has offered a mission that "stimulates awareness of the environment, and enhances political action", taking on different themes in a given year, and giving different countries the opportunity to be the host. For example, in 2009, the theme was Your Planet Needs You — UNite to Combat Climate Change, with Mexico serving as the host, and, in 2008, the theme was CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy, with New Zealand hosting, and, in 2007, the topic was Melting Ice — a Hot Topic, which was hosted in Norway. For a list of themes and host countries, going back to 1974, dear reader, please, refer to the Wikipedia link mentioned earlier in this post.

I have chosen to mention WED in today's blog entry because folks who refer to blogs that discuss gardening, such as mine, often have an interest in the environment, and, that being the case, I would guess that many of you readers are aware of  WED. Therefore, I will leave the details of past issues that WED has raised, as well as the given host countries who participated in WED's promoting awareness on environmental concerns, to focus on my thought for today's blog post, which is, on this eve of WED, to give a shout out to Danielle Rosa, who has taken the opportunity to make the environment a better place in ways that do not always bring as much recognition as they do when efforts are made on a global scale. It is my hope that Danielle's actions will inspire others to do the same.

Danielle Rosa is the youngest daughter of Patricia Rosa, a textile designer and quilt maker, who recently attributed much of her inspiration to nature's colors. You may recall, dear reader, that I mentioned this fact in a previous blog entry (on April 19th 2011), and, if you'd like to refer to that blog post, please click here. In that post, I made mention of Ms. Rosa's daughter, Danielle, and now, Danielle, and her recent gardening endeavors, is the topic for today's post.
Rosa started a non-paying internship last November (2010) at the Riker's Island Horticulture Program for Inmates, which is often referred to as "Riker's Island had a farm, EIEIO (and still does)" and is the basis for James Jilner's book, Doing Time in the Garden. With WED in the wings, awaiting its yearly event, it is important to focus on other efforts being made by folks to help the marginalized appreciate the environment, and the program at Riker's Island is just one of many ways people are doing this. In any event, Danielle worked there for three days a week, and at that time, she did not know a thing about gardening.

According to her mother, at the very mention of yard work, Danielle "would disappear" , but, evidently, this past February (2011), Danielle came to her mother with the idea of helping her to make the family garden bigger. According to Patricia Rosa, Danielle talked about all the things they could grow. She also spoke of how she wanted to start some seeds indoors six weeks before planting time.

Ultimately, as a Mother's Day gift to Patricia Rosa, Danielle supplied all the labor to reframe the garden, dig out all the grass, and she took care of the soil details. She not only purchased it, but she put all the new soil in the garden. "Lucky for us, at this point, my son-in-law loaned us a tiller that mixed up the new and existing soil for us," says Patricia Rosa when referring to Danielle's gardening endeavors. The photograph at the top of this post shows the Rosa family garden after Danielle's garden make-over, and it was taken in May, after it was first planted.

Participating in groups like the ones at Riker's Island, or planting a garden for a loved one such as Danielle Rosa has done are two more ways to honor the mission of WED.

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