One of my most puzzling memories as a child was that of an occasional Baltimore A-rabber going through the streets hawking not fruit, but Tooop-Sooooill! Why in heaven’s name would anyone need topsoil, I wondered, looking at the manicured lawns on our street. The grass was growing in dirt, it seemed very happy (most of the … More The Secret Under the Grass
That was the question! In the past months, I’ve been asking that question all over the place: …Going back to the report from a 2011 property water audit by Blue Water Baltimore, which identified some of the sources of the water and laid out preliminary ways to address them: more rain barrels, new rain gardens, permeable pavement… …Brainstorming … More What to Do with All That Water?
I went out this evening, late-ish sunset, the sky still glowing on a balmy night, the fireflies dancing above the lawns, and saw no children on a block where I know there are many. It’s finally sinking in, the level to which children today have been divorced from the natural world between structured play and … More Legacy of the Land
Permaculturists aren’t made quickly. You don’t walk into a permaculture intensive one day and pop out 72 hours later as an instant professional. No surprise there, when you consider that those 72 hours are basically spent learning how to observe, recognize, and replicate natural patterns and living ecosystems to feed and nurture humans, plants, and wildlife…and … More Something There Is in Nature That Doesn’t Love a Wall*
I should start by saying that, as suburban properties go, mine is pretty average by mainstream standards. Located in a well-established, nearly century-old neighborhood (and signed by the developer!), I have roughly 1/10 of an acre sloping both from side to side and from front to back. Without a garage or driveway of my own – but … More An Ordinary, Magical Property
Why does anyone get into permaculture? I could list many reasons, starting with three – to provide long-term food in a way that restores the land rather than depleting it; to work with, rather than against, natural processes (thus reducing the workload greatly); to create a self-sustaining mini-ecosystem that supports many forms of life, not just human… For me, … More Why Partner the Water?