Spring Hopes Eternal 1

Sun, warmth, light, green, regeneration, rebirth… Spring is perennially my favorite season. For me it’s about becoming immersed in fresh growth and new beginnings… getting back in touch with nature in its regenerative fullness.

I’ve grown peppers and plants and a moderately diverse variety of veggies at home for years now, via that time-tested technique called “Spending Big Bucks On Established Plants at The Garden Store and Sticking Them In A Pot.TM” (Bonus Feature: no green thumb required!). This year we’re taking one tentative step closer to nature: starting everything from seed. (“That’s…one small step for man; one giant leap for vegetablekind.”) By the time this issue hits the presses and sprouts online, I’ll either be preparing some of our thriving seedlings to move outdoors, or driving on back to the Garden Store, hat (and wallet) in hand for round two.

In January, local conservation group Conserve Lake County merged into Openlands. With their united capacity, they are better equipped to protect open space and expand conservation programs to serve Lake County residents. The popular Conservation@Home program continues this year under Openlands; Lake County property owners can now book their own free on-site consultation, and walk their property with an ecologist to identify conservation-friendly projects that fit their goals and lifestyle. A one-of-a-kind home that set a benchmark-high score with Conservation@Home is featured in this issue; thanks to Joe Barry and Georgia Cawley for opening their “one-with-nature” home to us. (Note: Joe and Georgia are moving on to build a new home totally off-grid on some acreage in Hawaii, restoring Ohia and Koa woodland and starting an organic farm. To quote Wayne and Garth: “We’re not worthy!”)

The rest of this month’s stories, focused on living healthily, responsibly and sustainably, are chock-full of natural goodness as well:

+ Health and fitness expert Sean Lee helps us appreciate five great reasons to shop your local Farmers Market.

+ Publisher Michael Beightol puts the pedal to the metal with how you can “Drive What Larry Drives.”

+ Travel professional Sue Shimkus takes you to Europe, where nature’s glory and human history epically collide (and even collude).

+ Partners For Progress board member Karen Warlin shares the Miracles on Milton Road – a true tale of how talented hippotherapists work with heroic horses to help heal humans with a variety of challenges.

As Kermit reminds us, “It ain’t easy bein’ green.”

But what a way to grow!

See you around town,

Stephen Neilson, Editor

Stephen.Neilson@LifesylePubs.com

ON THE COVER  Partners For Progress therapy horse

PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEPHEN NEILSON