I just started reading the book “The Healthy Garden: Simple Steps For a Greener World.” It’s all about sustainable gardening that’s good for individuals and communities. A simple paragraph in the introduction got me thinking about all of the ways that the choices we make in our gardens can not only save us money but also offer benefits to our neighborhoods and the larger planet around us. Let’s consider some examples.
What Is a Healthy Garden?
Authors Kathleen N. Brenzel and Mary-Kate Mackey have put together an entire large book about healthy gardens. So, obviously, this isn’t a simple question to answer. Basically, though, they define health as balance. They look at ways to grow gardens that are sustained, benefit your own mind and body, and spread out to help the world around you.
Ways Healthy Gardens Help the Planet
Here are some of the ways that they list in that introduction and then go on to share details about throughout the book.
1. Strengthen the Soil
They talk a lot about choosing the right plants. Don’t choose plants that steal all of the water from a dry desert area. Instead, choose plants that are good for the growth all around them. When you do that, you improve the soil. You bring balance to the nature of the area. As a result, the whole ecosystem begins to thrive more.
2. Composting Is Good For The Planet
When you compost, you improve the soil. More that that, though, you also keep organic materials out of landfills. There are already way too many things crowding our landfills. We all know that this waste is bad for the planet. We can do our own small part by composting in our own gardens.
3. Upcycling In The Garden
You can save other stuff from going to the landfill, too, when you choose to use it in your garden. I’ve told you before about the Pine Street Garden which is a little local neighborhood garden where they’ve upcycled cans and bottles into beautiful plant pots for the whole neighborhood to enjoy. We’ve also talked here in the blog about how to use upcycled tires in the garden. You can DIY decor and functional items for the garden and make sure those items don’t go to waste.
4. Grow Food For Yourself and Others
There was once a time when almost everyone grew their own food. These days, we mostly buy our own food. When you grow your own food for yourself and others, you restore health and balance to your own little part of the community. When you and your children understand where your food really comes from, you are less inclined to waste it. When you give garden food to others in need, you improve their lives and health.
5. Feed The Local Wildlife
A friend of mine had a garden that was certified as a local wildlife habitat. She learned how to choose the right plants to provide water sources and food sources to the local wildlife native to her area. Mostly, she fed birds, but she also fed some raccoons and other critters. As your plants come to life, the wildlife comes, then they help spread that new life around the area, and everyone benefits. The planet is better for it.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a long time writer, crafter and author of several books. A resident of San Francisco, she is committed to helping others explore, articulate and share their own individuals stories. When she’s not evaluating investing opportunities Kathryn is an avid knitter, researcher, and blogger.