Category Archives: climate change

The luxury of failure

hobbit house garden June 2014

The hobbit house garden is coming along nicely.

Last year  I sheet mulched the front lawn and planted a guild of perennials around the crabapple on the right that included yarrow, strawberries, horseradish and borage. I put in a tomatoe patch on the left edged by native plants: obedience, virginia mountain mint, blue vervain, new england asters and white echanacea. The native plants weren’t very impressive last year but this year they are really taking off, all chest height and ready to bloom I can’t wait to see all the pollinators that will visit them.

I’m trying all kinds of edible plants in the gardens around the house, I have the luxury of failing. I don’t rely on surplus to sell and if something doesn’t grow I simply buy what I need. That is a privilege I don’t want to squander. Time seems to be on my side as I learn how to grow perennial & annual foods. The hardy kiwis on my back porch won’t bear fruit for 3 more years, but I have the luxury of time, I have enough cash to buy food too.

The UN published a report a while back that emphasized the need to shift away from large scale monoculture farming to small scale polyculture. If you want an idea of what that might look like applied in an urban setting I highly recommend reading Anni Kelsey’s book Edible Perennial Gardening and be sure to check out her blog.

So while the ants, squirrels, skunks, raccoon and hares have been having a heyday in my very edible yard I can rest assured we won’t go hungry thansk to On the Move Organics

Claire delivering my order from On the Move Organics

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I can sequester carbon?

Forest Garden Convergence, video by Eric Toensmeier

Folks familiar with forest gardens will recognize the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens, a heafty 2 volume tome (more of a labour of love), and Paradise Lot (which is a great read).

Eric updated us on exciting things happening with the Apios Institute and forest gardening in general. He is a skilled speaker and covered a breadth of topics from climate change, breeding perennials for taste and carbon sequestering.

I think his focus on experimenting and recording successes and failures of polycultures (a.k.a. plant guilds) is essential. Citizen scientists ( hobbyists like me) can trial and share what has worked for us in our climate and soil and save other’s time.

Forest gardens are hardy, able to withstand changing temperatures and heavy rains that a traditional rows based garden struggle with.

The most interesting part of his talk was how perennials, shrubs and trees are the best way for gardeners to mitigate climate change and provide effective sequestering of carbon. say what????

Yes. You & me, we can do things to help pull carbon out of the atmosphere and put it back in plants & soil. MIND BLOWN.

My mind was blown by 10 am on May 31 at the Forest Garden Convergence. Read up on carbon sequestering here.