Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Difference

These homes sit side by side...

This is how our yard looked at first.  The home has the same footprint and lot dimensions as ours.

The yard shown above uses more water than the one below, has to use herbicides and petroleum based fertilizer to attain the color and health of the "crop", and takes more time and money to maintain.  They have to buy, use, and maintain a lawn mower as well as hand tools.  It produces not one edible item.

The photos below show a similar yard changed to a greener style of usage.

It looks far different from the street and...

...once you are inside, it is a beautiful, restful, and productive place to be.

This yard can easily produce 1/2 ton of fruits and vegetables over the growing season.  Harvesting one ton of edibles in a year is not unreasonable.   The growing area is less than 3,000 square feet.  Part of this is in non-harvested ornamentals, plants that attract beneficial insects, and plants that provide fertilizer to others sharing their root space.  The rest of the property is driveway, sidewalk, patio, pathways, sitting area, fireplace, work shed and house. 

Only hand tools are used.  


Philosophy and insight:

The Secret Garden by David Bodanis
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan


Sunset Western Garden Book 
The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping by Roger Morse
Mastering the Art of Beekeeping by Ormond Abie

Life cycles:

Destructive and Useful Insects by Metcalf, Flint, and Metcalf


Google it.  Info from universities, colleges, university extension services, or groups not trying to sell you something is worth the most.