Spring is here and my attention naturally turns to the outdoors. I like to enjoy the wonder and beauty of our earth, fresh air and pure food.
I am very thankful to God for this world. In honor of our miraculous planet, and Earth Day, I would like to share some thoughts that are on my heart.
“I willingly join in spirit all who are grateful to the Lord for the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands, renewing the pressing invitation to respect the natural environment, a precious resource entrusted to our stewardship”. – Pope Benedict XVI
To show our gratitude, along these lines, my friends and I enjoy planting trees and raising vegetables. Some of us have recently installed solar panels on our property. The panels are producing well for us. In addition to saving the environment, my family is saving money on electric bills. I know, ‘a drop in the bucket’ compared to what needs to be done but it’s my ‘bucket’. “Scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human actions in any one place or region can have worldwide effects.” 
In Praise of Human Activities that Build Up and Sustain the Earth
Vandana Shiva, is an insightful woman who had the vision over 25 years ago to save seeds. She had “an ethical urge to defend life’s evolution, life diversity and the freedom of life…”. She created seed banks when she realized big corporations were going to make seeds their intellectual property by “marrying seeds to chemicals”… and they have.  I do not agree with all her philosophies but in this, she did have some good foresight.
Henry Doubleday also saw the need to preserve heirloom seeds. He set up the Heritage Seed Library decades ago to preserve seeds of as many of the older cultivars as possible to prevent their catastrophic loss.
The Dangers of GMO
Preserving the purity of their product, growing crops free from contamination by genetically modified crops and the pesticides used on biotech versions is a concern and getting more difficult and more costly for U.S. farmers.
“Food & Water Watch is calling for USDA to start tracking and analyzing incidences of contamination and associated economic losses at all levels of the supply chain”. And the group also is also asking for USDA to “hold biotech seed companies financially accountable for losses associated with GMO contamination”. 
“If they control seed, they control food. They know it. It’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs, it’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world.” ~ Vandana Shiva
Genetically modified organisms have been banned in many countries around the world.  I look for the NON GMO and USDA Organic label when I shop.
For the most part, my family and I live a plant-based lifestyle. My sister, Alane, and my nephew, Marco Degli Esposti, recently started a business cultivating fresh sprouts and wheat grass juice for natural food markets and home delivery. It’s a labor of love for them. They are both enthusiastic about the proven health and healing benefits of fresh vegetable juices and nutrient dense sprouts.
A World Without Bees?
Since 2006, more than 10 million bee hives have been lost, losses far exceeding the historical rate. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating a good portion of our crops and their dwindling population will have adverse effects on our food supply. As a new report from the US Department of Agriculture details, “scientists are still struggling to pinpoint the cause of so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and time is running out. “ “Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops,” the report states. It is a “threat to both beekeepers and to those agricultural crops that rely upon pollination as a production input”. 
Suspects causing bee death have included pesticides, fungicides, disease-bearing parasites, and poor nutrition. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on a reason why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once. 
My respect for the important part honey bees play in circle of life on this planet makes me wonder if the collapse of their colonies will cause a ripple effect through all of nature.
Home is Where Your Heart is
I am blessed to live in an area with open space and many maintained hiking trails. Walking in nature, restores my spirit and provides me the opportunity to lift my heart to God in appreciation and prayer for His creation.
My daughter, Lindsay and her friends don’t want to imagine a world devoid of the magnificent natural wonders I enjoy regularly. We are all responsible for sustaining the earth for the next generation and should be involved in doing that one way or another.
Blessings, Linda Eichberg
“The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good”. Genesis 1:12
“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” Psalm 57:11
1) The Environment by Pope Benedict XVI – http://www.amazon.com/The-Environment-Pope-Benedict-XVI/dp/1612786286/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1334934661&sr=8-4
Copyright, Linda Eichberg, all materials contained within this blog may not be used without expressed written permission.