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My “Punny’’ Valentine

By Larraine Roulston :

February hosts the seasonal event when childrens Valentine books and boxes of cut-out cards line the store shelves. Most of these cards will include puns or clichés like these: tigers roaring, “Youre Grrrreat; cuddly kittens meowing, “Youre Just Purrfect for Me”; and squirrelschattering, “Im Nuts Over You.” 

For children and adults who love to utilize paper, scissors, glue, crayons, lace or red wool, its also an opportunity to include the endearing earthworm to the long list of characters, if they have not already done so. Known as Angels of the Earth, worms have 5 pairs of hearts, so you have to love them. With our renewed appreciation of worms that nourish the soil, “Let Me Worm My Way into Your Heart” and “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue; I Have 5 Hearts Beating for You!” both work extremely well.

 Worms are industrious little critters. In the words of Charles Darwin, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” What better time of year to show your

appreciation for their wonderful work than by designing Valentines cards with messages to promote their love and the success of finished compost?

 Love is in the air and in the ground, according to the Unitarian Service Committee, commonly known as USC Canada. The seed group is promoting the idea of making Valentines Day cards that feature veggies. My Punny Valentine’’ USC message lets someone know that

Youve Bean On My Mind, and shows your love with the gift that keeps giving — seeds! Not only has USC provided some clever puns with hearts around beets, peas, lettuce and corn but also their link offers a method to create several do-it-yourself seed packets. Once youve

printed the cards, cut them out and filled in the blanks on the back of the envelopes, you can add seeds to the packets. You may use seeds that you have saved yourself, traded for with friends, or purchased from a farmer or from stores. Whatever the case, they make a great gift of love.

USC Canada notes that the Valentines season coincides with the start of a busy seed season across Canada. Even though snow covers much of the country at this time, seed farmers are preparing to sell their seeds. Often, they sell them at Seedy Saturday events, where farmers, gardeners, community organizations and vendors gather to swap or sell seeds and to give workshops on their use.

 This groups work not only promotes vibrant family farms across Canada but also works to build healthy rural communities and ecosystems around the world. By helping to strengthen the quality and quantity of local seeds, USC promotes its mission to preserve the agricultural biodiversity necessary to feed a growing and increasingly changing planet.

 If choosing store-bought cards, first check that they have recycled content or carry the FSC logo that represents sustainable forests. If you are able to pick up a few packets of seeds to share with your card-giving — whether they be vegetable, fruit or even flower seeds to

help the pollinators — the concept isncorny but rather Ah-Maiseing!’

 Happy Valentines Day.

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 Larraine authors childrens books on composting and pollinating at www.castlecompost.com

About Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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