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Permaculture Ideas

In my Introduction to Landscape Architecture class, I decided to present a paper about Permaculture. I stood out like a black thumb though, as the tradition behind landscape architecture is decidedly more architecture and surprisingly less landscape. (We are required to take only two classes about plant ID and horticulture out of three years.) So students come to the profession with previous knowledge of garden practices, or learn on the fly.

In permaculture, landscape design and philosophy are married from the beginning. All systems are considered "cradle to cradle" to encourage thought about the resources required throughout the life of the product, I,e. creating, maintaining, disposing.

Creating compost from paper, brown leaves, and green kitchen wasted or green yard clippings is a good start. But it takes a lot of that stuff to "melt" down into compost, and a lot of time. I get much more benefit from a worm bin! Usually I'll hook a paper bag from the store onto the end of my teeny tiny kitchen island, and scrape chopping scraps into it for a couple days before I feed the whole thing to the worms. Layering food (no spicy or acidic items) with shredded paper from my office, the worms create castings which are like gold for the soil, and "tea", which is like liquid gold for the plants.

I love having my own eco-system at home where unconsumed food I buy turns into fertilizer for plants and edibles that I grow. It all started with the first strawberry I ate from my garden, and it continues to inspire me every single day.

The first strawberry

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