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Green Tip

Idling Your Car

On cold mornings, it is tempting to go out and "warm up" your vehicle before driving to work. But did you know that idling your vehicle for more than 10 seconds can use more fuel than restarting your engine, and that idling your vehicle for 10 minutes uses as much fuel as it takes to travel five miles? Idling can be a waste of natural resources, generate excessive noise and be a cause of air pollution that can be harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems. Several states, such as Massachusetts, have car idling laws under which a person can be fined as much as $500 if he or she idles a vehicle for more than five minutes unless it is an emergency situation or stuck in traffic. So help us all breathe a little easier and keep idling down to a bare minimum.

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What's In Your Garden?

What's In Your Garden?

Chocolate aficionados take note: A plant that tastes like a peppermint patty that is actually growing on campus? That may sound too good to be true, but visit the U of M’s on-campus garden and take a sample of the chocolate mint plant that is one of many varieties of vegetables and herbs found in the green area next to the Fieldhouse just off Zach Curlin.

“It definitely has a distinct chocolate taste to it. It is just one of many surprises found in the garden,” said University of Memphis editor Greg Russell after he recently visited the garden initiative, dubbed TIGUrS. “There is also an apple mint plant. I imagine you can make some fantastic tea from those leaves.” Most of the garden was planted in the past month, but that might be hard to tell: several plants have already sprouted huge leaves and vines. The garden takes on a different look with each passing week as the weather warms.

Fruit trees will soon be planted, too.

What makes the garden so unique is that once the crops are ready to be harvested, anyone with a use for them can take them at no cost. And if you want to volunteer for the garden, contact Karyl Buddington at 678-2359 or kbudding@memphis.edu.

So what is in your garden?

  • lincoln peas
  • roma tomatoes
  • wine pink tomatoes
  • asian cucumbers
  • white sweet potatoes
  • jaletino peppers
  • yellow and red onions
  • salsa peppers
  • sweet banana peppers
  • fairy tale eggplant
  • black beauty eggplant
  • summer squash zuccini
  • bitter gourd
  • crookneck summer squash
  • okra
  • popcorn
  • basil (cinnamon, purple ruffle, and boxwood)
  • mint (chocolate, spearmint, and apple)
  • cilantro
  • carrots
  • lettuce mix
  • radish
  • lemon balm
  • bush beans
  • strawberries
  • sunflowers
  • sugar snap peas

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Last Updated: 1/9/13