Here it is the beginning of July and I’m tied up in everything but my failing garden. Bad weather has plagued the spring, but the asparagus seemed to like it. It did better this year than it ever has and we had about 20 pounds of produce from our 21 plants. I planted the vegetable garden the first week of June, but many of the vegetables did not come up. Some were new packets of seeds and still did not sprout. The weeds, on the other hand, are thriving. My flower gardens are over growing their bounds. I weed in spurts between other projects.

While gardening is good moderate exercise, three years ago I had a terrible pain in my hip and groin down to my knee. The doctor had an ex-ray taken and then asked me if I knew when my hip had been injured. Yes, in a car accident in 1979. He told me that was causing the pain and if I wanted to keep using it, I’d better exercise. I didn’t do anything for one year, then used our old rowing machine to work out for over a year. At 4000 strokes a week I ended up wearing out the pull rope and replacing it was more expensive than the machine. Since I’ve worn out my rowing machine, I’ve been walking. I’m up to two miles at 40 minutes five or six days a week, which is over the CDC  recommendation of 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity.” I plan to buy a new rowing machine in October to use during the winter months.

One thing I’ve noticed while walking is the amount of trash thrown out on the roadside. Interestingly, all states have anti-littering regulations, but they are all different in what is litter and penalties applied. In Michigan it is a civil infraction and any amounts less than one cubic foot are fined up to $800; amounts greater than one cubic foot but less than three cubic feet are fined up to $1,500. So ethically, we all know littering is illegal, but many people make moral choices to ignore this and throw the unwanted out the window. I regularly find empty beer cans along side the road even with Michigan’s 10¢ refund for returns. I’m sure this dumpster is also breaking the no drinking and driving law. On July 4th in my 1 mile trek down the road and return I picked up two plastic grocery bags of mostly plastic trash. At least their were no dirty diapers to collect.

What many residents don’t realize is that every square inch of Michigan is part of the Great Lakes watershed. And while plastic doesn’t break down for many years, it does break into microplastics that litter the world’s waters. The heavy tractor the village or county uses to mow the road sides breaks the plastic up into small pieces (as well as the road’s asphalt edge). The Great Lakes now have large percentages of microplastics. Matter of fact, a new study  says everyone is now pooping microplastics, so I’m glad I’m doing the little tiny bit I can to help prevent more plastic (and other trash) seeping into Lake Michigan.