This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

on ecological landscaping

I have been reading about different landscaping ideas, since I'm replanting my front yard. Here's a thought-provoking article that Victoria sent me:

Native Plants: Restoring to an Idea
by Toby Hemenway (

".... If I grow some of my own food, that means that somewhere out in the country, a farmer won’t have to plow so close to the riverbank, or could let some of that back field go wild. That land has a far better chance of functioning as an ecosystem than my yard will....Much of our efforts in eliminating exotics [by using natural landscaping in our yards] is a complete waste of resources at best.... Let’s be honest at what we are restoring to.... If we want to get rid of an invasive exotic, let’s get rid of some monocultured corn, and let a bit of farmland return to being a real ecosystem....."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a really good point Skippy! I write a lot about shopping and cooking in season, but growing, shopping, and cooking in season is definitely the triple threat of conservation. Maybe it could be a new slogan like reduce, recycle, reuse. Anyway, I love your blog setup. It's really nice, and I want to invite you to come check mine out.

February 16, 2010 3:35 PM

Anonymous Eliza said...

That's a wonderful article, thanks for pointing it out! I am going to enjoy thinking of monoculture corn as an invasive exotic.

I love having even more reasons to grow my own food. :)

February 16, 2010 3:46 PM


Wild is where it is at -- not industrial yards! -- barbara

February 16, 2010 7:27 PM

Anonymous Risa Edelstein said...

Toby Hemenway is the keynote speaker at the Ecological Landscaping Association's annual conference on Feb 25th. It's a great event and this year there is everything from permaculture to chickens in the landscape to native plants. Don't miss it. Info at:

February 16, 2010 8:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If I grow some of my own food, that means that somewhere out in the country, a farmer won’t have to plow so close to the riverbank" Mexico, Honduras, Columbia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, India, Burma, Thailand, China and all the other countries we import our food from!

February 17, 2010 11:51 AM

Blogger sweetlocal said...

He will be at Tufts in Medford MA on 2/27

February 17, 2010 9:23 PM


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