Natural Health – Under Your Toes – Organic Lawns, Safe Beaches

I love going barefoot, especially in the summer.

Summertime is an invitation for all of us to connect our uncovered feet with our favorite terrain.

Whether it’s using our toes to pull up blades of grass or wiggling our feet in sandy beaches – there is a pleasurable, intimate, and healthy connection that we make with the earth. . . unless it’s tainted with unhealthy bacteria or chemicals.

It is not easy to know where to safely put our bare feet, except in our own controlled environment like our back yards.

Public places are especially difficult to know unless they have the good sense to let people know if the area has been treated with something or if the area is unsafe.

Beaches can have high levels of undesirable bacteria (usually e.coli) and we might not know it until the municipality closes it down. Water can be unsafe for swimming and unnatural bacteria can affect the shoreline and the sand.

Many lawns and public grassy areas can be loaded with chemicals to kill weeds and make the grass grow greener and thicker. Sometimes we are forewarned with little white flags bearing the universal NO symbol over icons of pets and children. In other words – “the chemicals placed on the lawn are harmful”.

I am much more aware of this now that I have my dog Prin whom I walk in neighborhoods and parks. I appreciate those little white flags because I know when to stay away. I love seeing grassy areas that have weeds and clover where I know I can safely let Prin and my bared feet run loose.

I’ve been reading about organic lawn care. Although I have a natural lawn care service that is pesticide and chemical free, I know from my experience with essential oils and eating cultured foods that there are a variety of ways that we can “let nature take care of nature”.

At the Young Living Farms out in Mona, Utah, where acres and acres of organic farming abound, we can witness goats eating weeds. There is a secret recipe of essential oils specifically for killing bugs and weeds which is called the “ho, ho, ho” formula. If any of you HSL readers out there who are YL fanatics like me know what is in this formula – please email me. I actually don’t think it is a secret recipe – I believe YL would be very open to sharing this – but for some reason it has picked up that reputation.

Now most of us aren’t about to go out and buy goats, but we might consider composting (compost is a mixture of varying decaying organic substances used for fertilizing soil.

Organic landscapers and professional lawn care companies who are using natural mixtures of compost teas and potions of good bacteria are “sprouting up” in various areas.

A 2004 survey from the National Gardening Association showed that 5% of us are using organic means for fertilizers, and weed and insect control. They expect that number to double to 10% by 2009.

Tips for organic lawn care:

–Let your grass grow higher (3 ” blades)
–Twice a year mow low (2 “)
–Leave grass clippings on lawn
–Water between 12:00 midnight and 8 AM every few days

–Weed control:
—-Over-seed the lawn in the spring
—-Pull weeds by hand, or use a fish-tail weeder
—-Spot-treat weeds with an equal mix of vinegar and water
—-Re-seed bare areas where weeds have been pulled.

–Attract or purchase natural enemies:
—-Lure birds with sunflowers and zinnias
—-Buy ladybugs at a garden supply store
—-Get a toad for your garden

Tips to help keep our beaches clean:

–Report pollution sources
–Be a responsible beachgoer – bring trash bags
–Don’t feed the birds or other animals
–Don’t empty waste in water if boating