Nature and Wellbeing

Take Mom’s Advice: Find Gratitude In Tough Times

Three generations of Mumfords together at La Jolla Shores celebrating Mother's Day in better times, May 2016: (L to R) daughter Allie, Mom, and yours truly.
Jim Mumford: My mom, Sandy Fowler,  is a cross-cultural psychologist. At age 81, she is the current president of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training And Research (SIETAR USA). Its annual conference is still a ‘go’ in Omaha, Nebraska this October. Mom is working diligently to make sure it’s a success. This blog was originally written by Sandy, and I found it worth sharing with our readers with a few updates – making it the first-ever mother-son blog post for Good Earth Plant Company! How about that, Mom? Sandy Fowler: I would observe that when Jim was young, he didn’t do as good a job at taking my advice as he has lately.… Read More

Dirty Hands Keep Kids Happy While Learning About Nature

Parents used to worry about ways to keep their kids busy and out of trouble during their summer break from school. Now kids are on a never-ending spring into summer break, and it’s up to families to keep their education on track. I’ve never been so glad my kids are young adults now! Learning doesn’t always have to mean books and staying indoors. Encourage your kids to do something that comes naturally. Let them get their hands dirty in fun gardening activities. Take advantage of San Diego’s weather (when the rain clears) to hold a living science class outdoors. There are many age-appropriate opportunities for gardening and art projects that will instill a love of nature that will last a lifetime.… Read More

Nature Is Still Open

The South American Clivia plant in my yard is in full bloom! Photo: Jim Mumford
Has it only been a week since my last blog post? Since then, schools, stores, restaurants, bars, gyms, and many workplaces have closed down to try and stop the coronavirus pandemic from spreading. California residents like me and many other Americans are being asked to shelter in place. We are asked to stay at home except to “provide or receive essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential business or government services.” For those few clients that allow us, we consider their plants and asset worth protecting and we are watering them. You can pick up groceries and prescriptions, take your dog to the vet, or put your trash out for collection.… Read More

Let’s Clear the Air

In the plantscaping business, we've always been concerned about clean indoor enviroments. Photo: Mylene2401/Pixabay
Chances are good you’re spending a lot more time indoors right now. But here is the reality: it’s nothing new. Ongoing research by the Environmental Protection Agency reveals some shocking stats: Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. If you’re very young or older, you tend to spend even more time indoors. There are a lot of reasons people are anxious about health issues today. But some of us have been concerned for a long time. Here’s why: indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than our air outdoors. This comes as a surprise to many people.… Read More

Show Mother Earth The Love on Valentine’s Day

Roses are a popular expression of love on Valentine's Day - but production can be hard on our planet. Photo: Dramm & Echter
Attention Good Earth Plant Company blog readers: Friday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome. If you let this sneak up on you like a lot of people, you’ll be scrambling today to purchase the no-brainer Valentine’s Day favorites: chocolates and flowers, usually roses. Valentine’s Day roses and I go back a long way at Good Earth Plant Company.  For my first 14 years in business,  I ran a flower stand named “Good Earth Plant & Flower Co.” – very different from what we do today after four decades in business. Back in the 1970s and into the early 1990s, our main product was fresh cut flowers, and our biggest sales rush of the year was Valentine’s Day.… Read More

Indoor Plant Trends Coming At You In 2020

We love attending the Tropical Plants International Expo each January, and have lots of cool plant trends to share with you.
We all have our New Year traditions. Mine involves traveling across the country to join my Plantscaping industry colleagues from 45 states and 37 different countries at the Tropical Plants International Expo, AKA TPIE. It’s a blast for me to see all the new concepts and trends in indoor plant production, presentation, and design. There is so much to see, sometimes I worry whether my head might explode! (Spoiler – it didn’t happen). When you have been in business four decades, you see certain concepts and ideas recycled from time to time. We love seeing great old ideas reinvented. We also see the creative use of new technology and new designs.… Read More

Green Medicine from Mother Nature

One way or another, Mother Nature provides many different ways to improve our health and cure our problems. Human beings have relied on plants to treat their illnesses and ailments throughout history. Forty percent of all prescription medication comes from plant extracts or synthetic plant compounds. If you count other types of natural sources such as fungi and molds, nearly three-quarters of all drugs today come from Nature. Worldwide, there are 80,000 types of plants used medicinally, although some are illegal. Nearly 20 percent of them are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss. Aspirin is one of the most common drugs worldwide.… Read More

Time to Let It Shine

When you live in San Diego, you've got plenty of sunshine during the shorter winter days to enjoy for good health. Photo: Monica Volpin, Pixabay
Are you feeling a little blue? You might be tempted to blame it on the hectic nature of the holidays, or seeing too much political talk on TV or social media. But it might not be the only reason you aren’t your usual cheerful self. Several weeks ago, we went through our annual change back from Daylight Time to Standard Time in the United States. Just the one hour of difference means most people are going home from work in the dark, and it also makes us aware we are slowly losing daylight a few minutes at a time until we reach the winter solstice this Saturday, December 21.… Read More

Turn Black Friday into Green Friday This Year

#OptOutside Good Earth Plant Company Thanksgiving Sustainability Living Walls Plants
For five years in a row now, REI has closed its stores on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. It processes no online sales and it paid all its 12,000 employees to spend the day outside with friends and family. How big is Black Friday? It is routinely one of the largest U.S. shopping days, both in stores and online. Adobe Digital Insights Inc. estimates that the single day in 2018 brought in $6.2 billion in online sales in the U.S. We’re completely into the #OptOutside concept at Good Earth Plant Company – we caught on in year number two and told you about it back then.… Read More

Go Green This Halloween – Recycle Your Pumpkins

Don't be an environmental meanie after Halloween: recycle your pumpkins. Photo: Arnica Backstrom / Pixabay
It’s Halloween today, and 180 million Americans of all ages plan to take part in some kind of festivities today. We’re all about it at Good Earth Plant Company, because so much of Halloween connects with nature. Around this time of year, the seasons are making the transition from the last summer harvest to the cooler, darker days of fall and winter. We make the fall time change this Sunday, November 2. Irish immigrants brought their beliefs about nature to the United States. They explained the natural processes they saw happening during the seasons on magical spirits. It’s not surprising when you think about pre-industrial people trying to make sense of the world without sophisticated science.… Read More