Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I have a biology degree. I'm not using it in my job nor do I ever intend to use it, but I got it because I love the natural world and and very curious. And I still love to run experiments. For example, tonight I experimented with pulling runners out of my strawberry bed and planting them in front, hoping they'll eventually provide a dual-use ground cover for my berry bushes in the front yard.

On a grander scale, I am planning to build an eco-system in the rest of my front yard! I've been reading a few books on permaculture, the most useful being Gaia's Garden. I'm only partway through it, but already I'm excited about building a perennial food garden that sustains itself. That means it retains water, provides its own nutrients through living mulches and nitrogen-fixing plants, provides species that attract beneficial insects, and provides food for our family. It sounds very intricate and I'm very excited to continue to learn about this topic and see how it works in my own yard. If I'm able to do it properly, it should be very low-maintenance, which would be amazing!

The trickiest part is that I hope to spend less than $100 on the whole thing. Can I do it? We'll see! My first step will be to cover the weedy lawn with cardboard and mulch to kill it. Then I'm supposed to plant some sort of nitrogen-fixing cover crop to build up the soil. I have a few clover seeds still, but certainly not enough for my whole lawn. Any ideas?

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