Pg 8 - The Sunshine Express
Health & Nurturing
by Sandy Lauzon
Bounia and Weeds
She knew her mushrooms, she knew her flowers,
and she knew her weeds. Mushrooms were gath-
ered in the early spring when the New England
woods were wet still from the melting winter
snow on the ground in places. She pointed to the
shape and the under side of the mushroom to see
if there was a black line around the cap. I was al-
lowed to accompany my Dad and my Ukrainian
Grandmother Bounia because I was old enough
to behave and small enough to reach under the
¡°wet¡±, as she called the leaves and pine needles
that hid the succulent mushrooms. Dad carried
the burlap sack that she gently placed the trea-
sured fungi into, and Bounia led the way through
the woods. The mushrooms were gathered for
her delicious meals, brown gravy with beef and
riced potatoes. Mushrooms were very expensive
at the local market, and we had them served only
in the spring.
Bounia tried to teach my
Mom how to make the
mushroom gravy. Mom
would stand beside her
at the kitchen stove hold-
ing a jar of peanut butter
to compare the correct
color and consistency in the cast iron skillet. ¡°Stir,
Clay, stir... make like the color... add the dill...
no good¡±. Unfortunately for Dad, Paul and I, it
hardly ever was.
Flowers were another skill set that none of us
ever mastered. Bounia had a use for everything
she did. Her vegetable garden was also a flower
bed. Again, my young mother, step for step at
Bounia¡¯s side did her best to pay attention and
not criticize. Bounia did not do a garden like
¡°Americans¡±, she did like in the ¡°Old Country¡±
(Ukraine). Certain flowers were planted in the
same place as some of the vegetables. Tomatoes
and marigolds together to keep the worms from
To Earn Funding
Folksville USA, a Cornville, AZ anti-litter orga-
nization, is promoting ¡®America the Beautiful &
BagReadyJobs¡¯ as a teaching, learning and earn-
ing opportunity for our nation¡¯s youth groups.
¡®America the Beautiful and BagReadyJobs¡¯ is the
perfect opportunity for city and town leaders to
challenge their community businesses and resi-
dents to support local youth groups that want to
¡®earn¡¯ their funding.
These young adults are our future role mod-
els and leaders, and will learn skills involving
marketing, sales, performing a service, billing
for their service and being paid for their service.
Recycling activities and exercise are additional
benefits that are realized through this program.
Youth groups will negotiate fees with local busi-
nesses and residents who will pledge funding,
for filling 33 gallon bags to the brim with high-
way litter working with local Adopt-a-Highway
groups, assisting them in their efforts to restore
the beauty to ¡®America the Beautiful¡¯.
The official Adopt-A-Highway group leaders will
confirm in writing the participation of the youth
groups and the quantity of bags they filled. The
youth groups will then provide a copy of the
confirmation to their funding sponsors.
In addition to displaying the trash-filled bags
on the highway for 4 days as part of creating an
awareness and education opportunity, the youth
groups are also required to write a 500 word
report answering the following questions, and
provide a copy to the funding sponsors plus to
their local news media organizations.
The essay questions are: 1- What did you learn?
2- What are the solutions to reversing the occur-
rence of highway litter and increasing recycling?
3- How does highway litter impact the economy
of your community? 4- How does highway litter
reflect on your residents? 5- What are you going
to do to make a difference?
Funding sponsors will ¡®pay¡¯ the youth groups
the agreed upon fees for their services once all
obligations have been fulfilled.
Folksville USA¡¯s ¡®America the Beautiful and
BagReadyJobs¡¯ litter events are being promoted
nationwide on the third Saturday of August and
November. Many Adopt-A-Highway groups se-
lect random dates for their cleanup activities. It is
hoped that the Adopt-A-Highway groups need-
ing help, and youth groups wanting to help, will
be connected through local media organizations.
The contact information for the 50 state Adopt-A-
Highway Coordinators is available by contacting
FolksvilleUSA@gmail.com or by writing Folks-
ville USA, PO Box 1138, Cornville, AZ 86325.
Folksville USA¡¯s founding goal was to coordi-
nate anti-litter volunteer efforts in Arizona. Their
mission now is to restore beauty to highways and
communities all across the United States.
eating the tomatoes; garlic and onions with each
other under the rose bush, I can¡¯t remember
why; tall growing flowers like phlox, hollyhocks
and gladiolas near the peas and beans to shade
them from too much sun. You can imagine my
surprise and delight when I opened my very
first Organic Gardening magazine in the late
sixties to discover that my Bounia was the most
talented gardener ever!
Bounia did not care for ¡°monkey chips¡± (chip
monks) in her garden, nor were weeds well
tolerated. She wanted weeds to be pulled and
the soil aerated weekly. She checked the condi-
tions daily. No sprays or insecticides ever found
their way into Bounia¡¯s garden. That food was
for her family, and she did not use what she did
She had an interesting method that she was
eager to teach me, about the difference between
young vegetable plants and weeds. Weeds have
an unpleasant odor, so I learned to weed with
my nose. If it smelled like a vegetable, don¡¯t
pull it, if it smells funny, it¡¯s a weed.
My brother and the cousins were not at all inter-
ested in Bounia¡¯s garden or her wisdom, but I
just loved being with her and it did not matter
what the chores involved.
New England summers are usually pretty wet,
with gentle rain several days a week. Just in
case it got a little dry, she would supplement
with her rain barrel. That involved my Uncle
Mickey filling the watering can from the rain
barrel because it was too heavy for me or for
Bounia to carry. Her attitude was if this garden
is going to fill your belly, anyone in the fam-
ily could be tagged for any task that required
assistance. That way of thinking would be well
advised to solve lots of current problems facing
Perhaps it¡¯s time to reflect on past ways to keep
what is healthy and to discard what is not. Are
you willing to pull instead of spray? Do you
save this year¡¯s seeds to plant for next year¡¯s
garden? Do you
compost? Are you
water usage? Do you
Do you recycle? Are
you teaching your
children and grand-
children some respect
for our environment?
No one can do every-
thing, but everyone
can do something.
It would make my
Bounia so happy.
(Sandy Lauzon is a
tor located at 200
4th St, in Dolores.