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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Plastic Grass?

While at the local farmer's market last weekend, I stopped by a wool and yarn booth to admire the woman's art. In passing, the woman pointed out a basket of green wool that had been loosely pressed together into rough roundish forms. "This is Easter basket liner, an alternative to the plastic green stuff." I thought that it was a great alternative! I hate that plastic green stuff. My mother would complain about the plastic strands, (which always seemed to escape and get everywhere) for weeks.
But when I told John about the wool liner he looked at me with that 'daft hippy' glare and said, "Why not just use grass."
Grass! How ingenious! Why hadn't I thought of that before! So I found some nice tall grass at the edge of the yard and garnished it with some lawn flowers.
How did the tradition of padding our Easter baskets turn from grass, which is freely growing everywhere, to plastic green stuff, which takes a lot of dirty energy to produce and will be in landfills long after we are gone? I am sure it is because many people live in apartments where they do not have a lawn. Nevertheless, I am from the country, and still my nature-loving parents always stuffed my basket with green plastic. I am ashamed that it took me so long to realize something so simple could replace something so complicated.

This year I also dyed Easter eggs with natural dyes. Red cabbage, beets, and onion with a little cumin or turmeric all worked pretty well. You can find recipes online but basically just boil the vegetable, strain the water into a cup, and then add a few tablespoons of white vinegar and salt. The results are not as sunning and brilliant. But then again, pastels are traditional for Easter!

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