The other day while I was at the farmer’s market, I came upon a small fruit stand. Lined with canning jars full of jams and jellies, the stand was heaping with delicious-smelling, fresh produce. Just behind the oranges, I saw two bright, friendly eyes staring back at me with a smile. The man belted out a “Hallooo!” before getting up and asking what he could get for me.
The man’s name was Jim, and he was a farmer from Reading, Pennsylvania. All the fruit in his stand was homegrown, right on his family’s fourth-generation farm. During our conversation, we got to talking about the rewards of farming. At one point, Jim said, “I like to think that if the world — the ground, the trees, the grass — is happy, then I’ll be happy. If the Earth is happy, then I’m happy.”
Each year on Earth Day, I remember farmers just like Jim — farmers who truly care about the Earth and the livelihood that it provides for them and their families. Because a healthy Earth means healthy watermelons, so get out there and celebrate the Earth!
10 FACTS ABOUT EARTH DAY
- The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.
- Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day while he was working as a U.S. senator.
- Earth Day originated in the U.S. but became recognized worldwide by 1990.
- Every year on April 22, men, women and children collect garbage, plant trees, clean up coral reefs, show movies, sign petitions and plan for a better future for our planet.
- On Earth Day 2009, Disney released a documentary film called “Earth” that followed the migration paths of four animal families.
- Earth Day was renamed officially by the UN in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day.
- Some schools and communities celebrate Earth Day for a whole week to allow for more time for people to focus on the earth and how they can preserve it.
- On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.
- In an Earth Day celebration in 2011, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan by the Earth Day Network.
- In Panama, 100 endangered species of orchids were planted and maintained to prevent their extinction in honor of Earth Day.
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