HUGHESVILLE—A bright, bright sunshiny day brought a throng of visitors to the third annual Earth Day Celebration held on Saturday at a local farm belonging to Annie and Mark Albright where young and old alike could learn about recycling.
By opening their property Bright Hope Farm to the public once a year Annie hopes to bring awareness to the importance of taking care of Earth and preserving it for further generations to enjoy.
Annie, a Master gardener, said that husband Mark taught at State Fair Community College for 14 years in the horticulture program and that she’s always been concerned with keeping the planet clean.
“We love living in the country,” she said. “And my entire life I have just hated going down the highway and seeing trash along the sides of the roads. It’s just really important. We just trash our earth so bad. America produces more waste than any other country in the world.”
One of the activities for the day would be a game she said she would be playing with children that would give them a better understand about landfills and recycling.
“I have a whole bunch of recyclable stuff over there under a tarp. And I’m going to talk to them—I have a sign that says, ‘Pettis County Landfill,’ and I’m going to ask them what a landfill is, and discuss that.”
After the discussion, the tarp would be removed and they would see a heap of discarded plastic and aluminum. Annie said then they would have a relay race to see who could clean up the landfill the fastest by placing the “trash” in tubs or “recycle center.”
“The whole day is talking about recycling, reducing, reusing—taking care of our Earth,” she added. “Cutting down on chemicals. We have Rita (Brown) here and she’s going to talk about honey bees. She has an apiary at her house and she’s also a Master Naturalist. She going to talk about how a third of our nation’s honey bees are dying every year, because of insecticides and pesticides.”
Annie said that not only are honey bees effected but also monarch butterflies whose population is declining.
“They are at the lowest count in history,” she said.
The Albrights originally began the Sedalia Area Farmers Market five years ago, and Mark just recently retired as a board member. In keeping with their philosophy, all of their products produced at Bright Hope are organic.
“We’ve lived here 10 years and have used no chemicals,” she added. “We sell a little bit of produce in the summertime, we sell herbs. I make herbal body products like homemade soaps and herbal salves, lip balms, body scrubs and all natural bug sprays made with essential oils.”
Besides playing the recycling game, on Saturday, children could participate in an Easter egg hunt, ride horses with Lisa Pemberton of Pem Farms, Inc., from Blackburn, or visit the Albright’s various petting zoos filled with a myriad of farm animals including a llama, sheep, goats, emus, rabbits and calves.
Boy Scout Troop 66 provided food and drinks for visitors during the day and vendors such as the SFCC Horticulture Club sold bedding plants while the SAFM had an information booth about their 2014 season.
Earth friendly educational classes on bee keeping, soap making, and herbs were also available for visitors. The Missouri Conservation Department provided 100 free tulip trees to give away. And the Albrights also had a recycle handicap garden made with large tractor tires.
“I got all the tires for Jim’s Tires for free,” she said. “It’s wheel chair accessible, they can roll around it in their wheel chairs and use short-handled tools to work in the raised beds. But everything in it is recycled.”
Earth Day is Tuesday April 22. To learn more about recycling or to request Annie to speak on the subject in the future call 596-3818.