Picture from early May - all much bigger now

A little Garden out back

Sustainable. Maybe this is an idea whose time has FINALLY truly come. Yes it’s something we all have heard batted around in the media, but how many of us were actually living it day-to-day? When I was young and idealistic in college, I remember thinking that everyone must know these principles – that you must give back to and nourish the system you are part of.

I have an idea. That even as good as or better than buying local and organic (two very important concepts I support wholeheartedly) that we each have mini-farms in our backyards. To me some of the most distressing things happening around me is watching people spray poisons on their perfectly fertile lawns, poisons which are going to end up somewhere else once it rains, poisons that interrupt the lives of wildlife or beneficial insects who happen to wander in from outside the perimeter, who might in fact be happily visiting my organic, sustainable happy little mini-farm before they decide to wander off without awareness of what property lines mean in terms of differing philosophies and different applications of those philosophies.

Why would you poison things to then encourage a uniform monoculture of a Kentucky grass that we can’t eat, utilize or benefit from? We even then have to mow it every week for half the year, sweating away in a mind numbing racket of motor and blades spinning. What if this same sterile lawn were transformed into a mini-farm, a garden, a cacophony of species and color and edible usable delights? What if there were plants that grew easily and naturally with very little effort and no need to poison everything in an effort to keep out undesirables? What if you simply cooked and ate the “weeds” or used them, dried and steeped for a nourishing tea or distributed dry throughout your cabinets, to repel ants from the kitchen? Lemon balm is great for that.

How about if you had liver tonics in the spring and fall from these weeds, as well as salad greens all spring summer and fall, and hair tonics to bring more shine to your mane? Dandelion is one of the most nutritious, packed with minerals and vitamins plant I know of. Plus, you can’t beat that yellow flower for cheerfulness after a long winter! Mood elevator! Who needs pills!

I’ve realized lately that maybe the average person doesn’t know as much about these things as I assumed so many years ago when I was learning and thought everyone around me must be learning about these things too, or they must already know them.
Cause no-one would want to miss out on how to live in harmony, connected, tuned in and utilizing everything around them, saving money and time and effort and oh yes, by the way its good for the ecosystem too. The one we live, eat and breathe in, play in and raise our children in. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Stinging Nettles are a great source of nourishment

Stinging Nettle garden - perennial and self seeding.