Labor Day arrives on the late and lazy side in 2015, on the last possible day of the calendar: Monday, September 7.
Have you made your plans? Or are you still waiting until the tourists go home to reclaim your spot at the beach? Why not take advantage of the long weekend and the great weather to invest time in working in the garden that will pay off big later.
Nine suggestions from Good Earth Plant Company:
- Plant some garlic or radicchio, both excellent cool-weather crops.
- Install a birdbath to see the birds through the dry Southern California vall.
- Start a compost pile to create some organic fertilize for next spring’s garden.
- Start your fall garden cleanup so your soil will be ready and healthy next spring.
- Do you have limited space? Live in a condo or apartment? Plant a balcony garden with late season vegetables or herbs. (Try one of our hydroponic systems or Tower Gardens).
- Try your hand at canning. Even if you aren’t the most skilled cook, most people can preserve summer fruits and vegetables with a few basic supplies and instructions.
- Make refrigerator pickles. It is ridiculously easy, and this method works with many summer veggies. See the instructions here. Or if you are REALLY lazy (I think of it as efficient), hang onto your empty pickle jar full of juice, and put sliced cucumbers, carrots, onions or your favorite in the jar, and return to the refrigerator to absorb the juices.
- Clean with vinegar. It is a cheap, easy, and environmentally safe alternative to most harsh chemical cleaning products. For basic cleanups, use one part vinegar to nine parts water. This will kill most germs and cut most grease. It also costs far less than commercial solutions.
- Relax and enjoy nature. If your weekends are full of back to back errands, family sporting events, or other obligations, Labor Day weekend might be a rare opportunity for you to have at least a little time to unwind. One of the best ways to signal to yourself that it’s time to relax is to spend some time in nature. The simplest way is to hang around outside. Put a chair in the shade and read or listen to the sounds of birds and the wind in the trees. Grab a cool beverage. Or take a walk through a shady place. If you are more ambitious, make it a hike. Be sure you don’t forget the sunscreen or you could remember your outing for all the wrong reasons.
The more we study the human relationship to nature, the more we recognize how important it is for us to regularly connect with the natural world around us. Researchers are amassing a body of evidence, proving what we instinctively know to be true: nature is good for us and has both long and short term mental and physical health benefits.
“Nature-based recreation” has decreased 25 percent in the last 40 years. We spend more time inside and are increasingly more sedentary, way too much. Getting outside and active on Labor Day Weekend is a good start toward reversing this trend, and it doesn’t have to be much work at all. Happy Labor Day!