Earth Day shows off Loomis green power

By: Kim Palaferri, Loomis News Correspondent
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Loomis showed its green power on Saturday at the 5th Annual Loomis Earth Day Celebration. Hundreds of people braved the near 90-degree heat to learn how to become more environmentally friendly. Master Gardener Kathryn McRoberts had a booth at the event and brought her animal friends from her sustainable farm to the celebration. McRoberts uses 100 percent of all materials produced at her farm, creating a cycle through sustainable living. The farmer was on hand at the celebration encouraging people to grow their own food, and explained it is quite simple to do it all year. Her farm produces food for her family year round, and she cultivates the seeds for next year’s production. McRoberts even uses the flowers from her arugula and other greens to add flavor and color to her salads. Whatever plant parts don’t get eaten by her family are happily consumed by her chickens and goats. “I think it is important for people to provide for themselves because the economy is not going to spring back any time soon, and so to ease some cost, growing your own food is more affordable, its fresher, seasonal and organic which is healthier option than going out, too," McRoberts said. The event showed that even kids can do their part to help the environment. Local preschool teachers Sherri Hirst, of Lincoln, and Jenni Specht, of Loomis, attended the event and were buying vegetable plants from Del Oro High School’s FFA booth to plant in their preschool garden. They said it’s important their students learn about preserving the environment. They said each school day, thousands of plastic sandwich bags, which are not biodegradable, are brought to school or daycare by children. Those bags end up in the landfill. The women encourage parents not to use disposable storage bags. “With my business, we encourage families to use renewable resources by bringing lunches in reusable containers, and also we ask them not to buy bottles of water,” Hirst said. Instead, she said kids can carry water from home in reusable containers. Both encourage their students to recycle and also compost. “All the leftovers go into the compost and then we use the dirt for the organic garden, which the kids can eat right out of,” Hirst said. Other ways Specht contributes to preserving the earth is by driving an earth friendly, hybrid car. Bee keeper Tom Lewis was on hand at the Earth Day event and he has 34 hives that he keeps on property near Franklin School. He produces a variety of flavored honeys. According to Lewis, bees are a very important part of a healthy environment. Their job, other than to pollinate flowers, is to gather nectar, which they use to make honey. The bees will gather the nectar from whatever flower is blooming, like red clover or wild flowers. Lewis said that eating flavored honeys produced from flowers one might have an allergy to can actually help cure that allergy. “If you have allergies, use wildflower honey, it is loaded with antigens for allergies” he said. He said he also uses the honey as a topical for sores and it works for some people as a sleep aid. The Earth day Celebration made it easy to be inspired to be green.