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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

« Sidetracked from Garden Blogging by a Health Care System | Main | A Blue Delphinium Will Make me High. »

Care about the Planet? Who Ya Gonna Call? Urban Zucchini Mama! daughter Shari runs an environmentally friendly household. Every product that she buys does not knowingly pose a threat to our health or the planet.

This past year, she switched over entirely to locally raised, humanely treated and predominantly grass-fed beef that she buys weekly at her town’s farmers market or has delivered by the farmers themselves. Between May and December, she visits the last working farm in her own town, where she buys fresh laid eggs, literally collected that day. She’s also a member of a CSA year-round, and a basket of locally grown produce arrives at her door weekly. The farm she has chosen is part of a cooperative of East Coast farmers who work together to bring folks primarily organic produce. When organic is not available, they seek out conventional farms who use the safest practices possible.

No health or beauty aids are allowed in her house unless they are made with safe ingredients. That eliminates virtually every single health and beauty aid sold in conventional supermarkets and pharmacies. She has introduced us to the Environmental Working Group, and we now regularly visit their Skin Deep database before buying any cosmetic products (especially sun block). We had no idea that some conventional skin creams, for example, contain hormones that can cause breasts to develop in pre-pubescent boys? Scary isn’t it?

Long before it became trendy in the gardening community to diss the traditional lawn, her husband discovered that native fescue grass required less water and fertilizer than the blue grass he had been cultivating unsuccessfully. So their lawn has been environmentally friendly for years now. Even when he suspends care for the lawn during his summer vacation, the grass barely suffers from neglect. There’s something to be said on behalf of such lawns. It has been public knowledge for some time but few cared to discover the information about fescue until our east coast summers became hotter, the sun began scorching polite blue grass lawns, information surfaced about the consequences of the excessive use of fertilizers, and most important of all, the realization that water had become a precious commodity in some parts of North America.

If any of the above tid-bits have piqued your interest, perhaps you might enjoy reading Shari’s blog on how to raise a family that respects the planet and our bodies, taking budget and urban restrictions into account. Shari was Toy and Gear Advisor for and for eight years, so she has ample experience reviewing and researching products. She is also the author of two children’s books, and is currently working on a novel. Because she is a full-time mom and author, she doesn’t write quite as often as her dear ol’ dad, but if you stick with her, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out her website, called: Urban Zucchini Mama.   

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Reader Comments (6)

I am very interested in the kinds of things your daughter writes about and I just subscribed on WordPress. It's funny, am I the only one who wishes that bloggers posted less frequently? I know it's heresy but once a week at the most would be good for me.

Based upon my own observations, I believe that successful bloggers, i.e. those who have built up a large readership based upon rich content and strong, reciprocal online social interaction, are able to post once a week without affecting their following. There are only a few and I think you are one of them.
Also, Google Reader and the Feeds play an important role in maintaining the prominence of the once a week bloggers.

January 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterAllan

Brava! Your daughters life choices makes me hopeful Allan! What a wonderful post in honor of your terrific daughter. I am off to visit her blog.

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolflowerhill

The latest issue of How to Find Great Plants is here and your callirhoe post is featured. Thanks so much for participating, I hope you will again next month. Here’s the issue:

I'll definitely check out Urban Zucchini Mama, it sounds right up my alley!

February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEliza @ Appalachian Feet

You must be very proud of your daughter! Her lifestyle will certainly inspire many people. I will check out her blog!

February 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdebsgarden

Hi Allan, I do strive to be a good recycler and am always thinking of the environment in my day to day activities. I think your daughter however has taken things to the next level and has raised the bar for the rest of us. Such dedication is inspiring.

February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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