When you think of Hoosier cuisine, how many native plant foods come to mind? Check out this article to learn about the history of native food plants in Indiana.
A brush fence serves multiple useful functions, it looks nice and tidy, and it requires only a few inexpensive materials. If you find yourself with an overabundance of cut limbs and brush, consider this interesting and easy to DIY solution that yields privacy, wildlife habitat, compost, and more. Read the article for complete instructions on how to build your own brush fence for under $100.
I wasn’t much interested in native plants until I came to live on this land. I knew that native plants were good for the wildlife, and that they could be pretty, but I was only interested in edible plants. I could imagine native plants in the landscaping, because I had seen them there, but I never imagined them in food production. I had never seen them in orchards, I had never seen them in vegetable gardens, and I rarely saw them in garden catalogues. Little by little, the native plants won me over. Did you know many of them are edible? Read the full article to learn more!
Permaculture was one of the first sustainability models that I encountered in my early days of adulthood, when I was learning to tend my very first garden. I fell in love with the abundance, the layers of fruits and vegetables and vines and herbs, the home scale, and the can-do attitude of it. My permaculture has been expressed in different ways throughout the decades that followed, but it has been part of my life ever since. I’ve practiced permaculture on apartment balconies, in office towers, in community gardens, front yards, and now on a farm scale. The teachings of permaculture are a valuable tool in any Earth-lover’s kit. Whether you are managing big land, a small garden, or an apartment, permaculture can bring more abundance to your life through creativity and a well-engineered design. Click the title to read the full article.
Autumn leaves are the essence of abundance. In my part of the world, we have an almost unimaginable bounty of fallen leaves right now. We have so many fallen leaves, most people throw them away. We have so many fallen leaves that they can feel like a nuisance. But every single leaf contains multitudes. A leaf can be mulch, a leaf can be compost, a leaf can nurture new life in many forms. Like the Zen proverb “Chop wood, carry water” teaches us, dedicating ourselves wholeheartedly to the task at hand is infinitely powerful. For today, I’m going to rake leaves and make compost. Whatever tomorrow brings, today’s actions will serve to create more abundance than I had yesterday.
In the garden, a baby snake taught me a powerful lesson. If I want to live in a vibrant, healed planet, I need to be brave enough to love all the creatures who make it so. Even the ones who make me a little uncomfortable.
The first year I took my land out of industrial corn/soy production, Butterweed, Daisy Fleabane, and Giant Ragweed took over. I tried to grow cover crops that year, and the Giant Ragweed was particularly difficult to work around. I was still trying to figure out what to do about these “problems” when they just…vanished. Now I have a lot of grasses and goldenrod, dandelion and violet, and lesser amounts of vine and tree volunteers. Even these plants are temporary, and eventually they’ll make way for the next stage of growth. It’s just another stage of succession in the land’s march back to its highest self.
Raccoons might be my favorite animals. I identify with them on a deep soul level, and I truly admire their adaptability, ingenuity, and curiousity. Their impressive cleverness is precisely what puts them into frequent conflict with the human world, a society that ironically prizes intelligence above all else. Raccoons find a way to survive and thrive no matter the circumstances, but tensions ease when there’s plenty for all. This article is about raccoons, mulberry trees, and cultivating greater abundance in our shared world.
The design patterns, goals, and ethics of permaculture can be practiced just about anywhere in the world. Plants, however, are best when they are local. In this article, I will share some of my favorite native plants to fill several important permaculture niches. By growing, tending, and using native plants, we can develop a more intimate relationship with our own bioregion. We gain an opportunity to nurture an even deeper form of abundance, one that nurtures us as well as the birds, insects, wildlife, fungi, and micribiota that co-evolved with the plants of our place.
Poison Ivy might be the most hated plant around. Although it is a difficult plant to love, this plant has some surprising virtues, and plays an important role in native landscapes. The thing is, this plant is not really here for human beings. It’s here for everybody else. Read the full article to learn more about native plant species Toxicodendron radicans, and its beneficial role for wildlife, insects, and soil.