Tips, principles and practices for the organic vegetable gardener.
Bill Kohlhaase, Planet Natural
Sustainability is a movement that embraces all facets of human endeavor. “Sustainable” means to perpetuate existence as well as to provide sustenance and nourishment. Today, the word is attached to everything from forestry to ceiling tile.
Sustainability is most often associated with the environment and specifically to our landscapes and gardens. What is a sustainable garden? It is an organic garden taken a step further.
Following organic gardening practices will sustain soils and plants while it nourishes and sustains your family, both physically and aesthetically. Organic gardening also points us towards other gardening practices that pursue the goal of sustainability by conserving resources.
Sustainability isn’t a commodity as much as it is a lifestyle. It has immediate as well as long-term rewards. Generally, sustainability is forward-thinking, looking ahead to secure a future for you and yours, getting things to last, making things better than you’ve found them. When one chooses to preserve and protect resources, to make as little negative impact on the earth as possible, to nurture the planet as well as those around us, one has chosen the path of sustainability
Sustainable gardening is one of the most important and effective sustainability practices that we can follow. Its practice and benefits include respecting, and improving the soils, using native plants, shrubs and trees to create beautiful landscapes, feeding one’s family fresh, organically-grown fruits, berries and vegetables and utilizing every renewable resource that nature provides, from rain water to gravel.
Look to the American Sustainable Sites Initiative, a collaborative effort of the U.S. Botanic Garden, American Society of Landscape Architects and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, to define sustainability in terms of gardening. The organization says sustainability seeks to… “protect, restore and enhance the ability of landscapes to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans and other organisms.” Substitute the word “gardening” for “landscape” — they mean much the same thing — and you have the perfect understanding of what it means to be a sustainable gardener.