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The Edible Landscaping Revolution

It is said that perfect ideas come from spirit and that when they do, they awaken several persons simultaneously with the same idea, suggesting, of course, that nothing of true worth should have a personal copyright or patent but we live precariously juxtaposed between Heaven and Earth so the rules of the one world may differ at times from the rules of the other. This said, it is my deepest belief that we are all essentially immortal but we cannot manifest this truth because we are not in perfect harmony with both Spirit and Matter.

When I first took out the domain name for this site, all the names that I thought I wanted were already taken, dispelling once and for all the notion that I was the first to conceive of the concept of converting all purely decorative landscaping to functional, organic, sustainable, and beautiful miniature paradises. Little did I realize that the name I did take out is perfect because the process of converting conventional landscaping to something quite extraordinary takes not only a great deal of research and thought, but also labor and intention. I am at the very beginning of transforming about half an acre in the Pacific Northwest to something practical and aesthetic and already I am sensing the magical places in which Spirit and Matter connect. Moreover, wherever they are perfectly joined, we have sustainability which, in the world of Nature, is parallel to my faith in immortality. I am therefore reveling in the process, enjoying it immensely despite using quite a bit more Epsom salt in my bath water, and feeling — as a healer — what it is to heal the land and through this the products of the land. To say I am inspired would be an understatement, but I have put immense time and attention into this small project, not because my garden is special but because the blueprint for conversion is important.

Gardens ought to be highly personal and yet suitable to the climate and culture of the cultivator. Last year, I was concerned for the bees and planted mainly flowers that the bees could utilize. This year, I have expanded the intent to include regeneration of the soil. Being an herbalist, I am interested in both medicinal plants and food — and because I have birds, I am keen to grow their food and to devote a portion of the land to wild birds, rabbits, squirrels, moles, mice, deer, bears, and other creatures that visit from time to time. I am acutely aware that they also need to eat and they seem to know that I am happy to share with them.

Before going into the transformation itself, I would like to emphasize that there is absolutely nothing special about my land. In fact, it is a bit of a rescue situation since the soil is terrible, meaning the starting point was more or less similar to what many others would encounter except that since moving here eight years ago, no fertilizers or pesticides or chemicals of any type have been used on any of the plants or lawn.

I am deliberately starting with a picture taken when the snow was falling because a few months from now, we can expect a totally different view. You can, however, see that once I embraced the intent to convert my lawn, I let it do whatever it wanted to do and this has resulted in lots of "weeds" and vast improvements in the soil quality. However, I have, for the most part, decided to rely as much as possible on the Fukuoka permaculture methods, meaning that nearly everything will simply be put on top of what already exists. As you can see, there are natural stands of evergreens. There are salal berries growing underneath and Sky loves these berries so much that he asked me to bring him more of them. The wild animals also eat them. My goal is to work with Nature, not against Her, and follow the contours of the "forest" but add plants that I believe will provide a variety of food, medicine, and soil improvement for myself and those who are impacted by my decisions.

Many blessings,

Mother's Day 2009


Lawn Conversion