Animals (including birds and wildlife) are a critical component of any sustainable ecosystem, as without their participation and contribution ecological integrity is diminished. Everything gardens in nature, and animals are in a leadership position. Foraging is needed to cycle nutrients, clear fallen fruit, keep weeds down, eat and spread seeds, and eat pests. It turns out food gardens need similar services, and by building timely and creative relationships between domestic/wild animals and food plants, much of the work of producing food can be accomplished through good design. Read more at Permaculture.org
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"In this time of mounting ecological degradation, young people know in their bones that we, as a planetary society, have to transform our industrial growth culture to one that works with nature. They need to understand systems thinking and how our planet and its ecosystems work. They also need to be able to envision a new future that regenerates ecosystems, individuals, and societies. They need to have the skills to design that audaciously hopeful future, and to make it happen."
Education for an audaciously hopeful future
SEEDS worked with six households to design a community garden and orchard in a formerly unused plot of land. While framing the goals, it became clear that the group wanted to communally grow peaches for fresh eating. As a result, SEEDS chose 5 cultivars, which were planted according to ripening time–on the western end of the orchard are the earliest peaches, on the eastern end are the peaches that ripen latest. Management and harvesting is a snap. This picture shows the gorgeous first crop of earliest peaches. One cultivar produced a first crop of over 80 pounds of fruit on just two dwarf trees.