Sustainable, edible landscaping is a hot topic today from at least four perspectives:
- Are we providing food in a way that builds soil for future generations?
- What will that food availability look like?
- What are the consequences of pesticide contamination in our food supply,
- Finally, what are the consequences of over-developed land-use practices?
We are rethinking land use. While turning a lawn into meadow is a favorite topic of mine there are a plethora of ideas flooding our internet channels on how to do just that: create sustainable landscapes that serve vital purposes for the planet and ourselves and other species.
Sustain, in its simplest form, means “to give support to or relief to.” Sustainability, in landscaping, contains in its core, principles, efforts, and practices that enhance water and soil conservation, rebuilding wildlife habitat and prevention of further land degradation and provide food.
Fact: land degradation jeopardizes biodiversity. Doug Tallamy, in Bringing Nature Home, reminds us that 4000+ species are in danger today.
Fact: World forest cover continues to decline at an alarming rate.
Fact: Communities in the western part of the US face severe water restrictions due to intense development. Overdevelopment and the use of showy botanicals, often not native to the region, decrease food, water, and shelter for many species and I include humans in that mix.
The desertification of the planet (over 1/3 of our planet has been turned into the desert) creates food shortage problems.
The good news is “more than two billion hectares of land worldwide offer opportunities for restoration through forest and landscape restoration.” Calamity, hardship, trials often create the soil for innovation and that is happening today in the use of land. For example: while city rooftops have been known to contain gardens, designers, architects, and engineers are looking at ways to convert flat building box store rooftops into gardens that produce the food they can sell. Front lawns are being turned into diverse landscapes that can produce food.
We are only limited by our imaginations. It seems to me there is a renaissance occurring planet-wide. Renaissance implies a renewal of life, vigor, interest, a rebirth, a revival. My podcast guest this week, Bettylou Sandy reminds us that our front lawns can be transformed into pleasant gardens with food. Start with one idea and section at a time. Get to know your land through the seasons and weather conditions specific to your area. This knowledge base will lead to your success.
Pinterest abounds in ideas, great visuals that take us to great articles.
What are your ideas? Have you changed your backyard into a more diverse landscape? Share your ideas, share your pictures. I would love to hear from you. Happy Gardening.