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Believe in golden rule: reduce, reuse and recycle

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By Cheryl Steenerson

Wow! There’s only two more Saturdays in August and a realization just dawned on me.
For the last decade or so I have run my produce stand from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That’s my idea of summer. After Labor Day, I switch over to tutoring on Saturdays. So, besides the holiday breaks I’m always working, off the farm, six days a week. This year is going to be different.
Now that I work a daytime job, I no longer have to tutor on Saturdays. I can do that after work, during the week. Which means that I will have Saturdays off until Memorial Day comes around again! I can play on Saturdays!  Look out world!
In the meantime, I’m a pickin’ and a grinnin’! Though my squash may be dwindling, my cukes, beans and tomatoes are going great guns and my canning work is about to begin. Labor Day weekend will really be a working weekend because I have the last Saturday at the stand and I hope to finish all of my canning by that Monday. I’m going to be one tired puppy.
Speaking of puppies, this Monday is National Dog Day. A day to appreciate those tail wagging bundles of hair that will walk the floors (or hills) with you day or night. They will cuddle and romp and always greet you with a smile and a kiss, no matter how you smell or look. Spoil them especially well on Monday.
Since I’m out of their all-time favorites, strawberries and raspberries, mine will get an ear of corn and a piece of honey wheat bread as treats. Dogs have a sweet tooth too, and it’s better for them than cake. They have worked hard on the farm this summer. While they could do nothing about the flooding in the garden, they sure kept the deer out. They also did a fine job of clean up and recycling.
Recycling is a golden rule in this house. I believe in the three R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle and I am proud to say that Anderson County is on it’s way to greatly improved recycling. Though the curbside pickup is no longer, the recycle bins are now conveniently located through out the county.
Until I talked to my friend David Steedly, I had no idea of the variety of items that the county will now be recycling. At the bins you can drop off cans, cardboard, plastic and soon glass. If you go out to the County Recycling Center, right next to the Humane Society off Versailles Road, you can drop off old carpet, vinyl siding, TVs and even tires. They’re open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
While I hope that we are all recycling our yard and kitchen waste in the compost pile, we humans still generate a lot of waste, 4.6 pounds a day to be exact. Only 0.2 pounds of that gets recycled by us. We can do better!
Landfills just hide our garbage. It does nothing good for the land. Recycling does. Since we only have the one planet, I’m a big believer in protecting it. The kids are all recycling at school, so you better set up a system in your house now, or they’ll be asking why you’re not.
Our land feeds us, provides shelter and warmth. I’d like it to keep doing that for a long, long time. If you can’t find a recycling bin, just call the County Judge’s office, 839-3471, and ask. This is the time of year when we clean up from summer and get ready for winter. Reduce and reuse what you can, recycle what you don’t. It’s that simple.
It’s the land that gave us all the great vegetables that we’ve been enjoying this summer, so think of it as a way of saying thanks. Now get out there and enjoy the outdoors! Relish in the sunshine and green that surrounds us and if all that dog cuddling on Monday results in hair all over you, just stand near a garden bed when you brush off. It adds nitrogen to the soil. Happy Growing.

Cheryl Steenerson is the gardening columnist for The Anderson News. She can be reached via e-mail at paysteen@shelbybb.net.