Ecological Debt Day is a day intended to remind people of the impact of a modern life-style on the planet! It also serves as a useful reminder that humans are living beyond their means. So, today, take little steps in working towards a more sustainable living, anything from using less water to saving bats can make a difference!
What is the best way to educate young people? Experiential learning. I think what’s really exciting about that is that saying to young people: this is your world man, take it! take responsibility, become activated, power yourself with information and education. For me, reverence, gratitude, and compassion. If you have these three things, ocean destruction will cease. This is not a doom and gloom scenario, this is a story about hope, this is a story about saving our waters, our oceans, our seas. Just like so we all said, there is no green without blue.
I took a free workshop on California Friendly Landscaping, offered by the San Dieguito Water District to get tips and insight to help in the design, layout, and goal of having a more drought tolerant landscape. The first thing that was evident was that we needed to get rid of our yard that was sucking up water and not really giving us anything in return. I have some friends who have fake grass and it looks and feels nice but I really liked the look of the decomposed granite that they showed us in several landscape examples. It comes in so many different colors that you could really get creative with and the big thing is it’s permeable! Which means the water can work it’s way through it and get down to the soil instead of running off down the street and into the drains. So decision 1 was made, the grass would be gone and we were getting DG.
Next up I wanted to build a raised garden bed so I could grown root vegetables that I am not able to grow in my hydroponics. Through the class I learned how to figured out the best location in your yard to build one, and what direction to have your garden running. A big thing we needed though was more sun in our yard. The Birds of Paradise we had planted along the back fence amongst the existing trees when we first moved in had gown so tall that they completely blocked out the sun. Originally planted to provide screening from our back neighbors we now had very little sun in the back yard. I thought the best solution would be to remove them and then plant fruit trees in that space. I figured if we were going to need trees for screening that were going to have to be watered we might as well get some edibles from them! Originally the back row of trees had been retained by stacks of railroad ties, not very attractive and would not go well with a cement deck so we decided to replace that as well. I wanted to do a poured concrete wall but jeepers that is expensive! So we decided on cinder blocks and then we could use those to build the raised garden beds as well.
Moving on to the deck design we wanted to extend the deck all the way to the retaining wall and build it out of poured concrete. My only concern was that that would be a really big slab of non-permeable surface but we found a solution. Although poured as one slab the deck would be divided into 4 sections with a 4 inch “gutter” between that we would drill holes in every few feet then cover with peoples giving water several entry ways into the ground.
Our plan was to mostly plant edibles but we also thought that a whole wall of fruit trees might be a little uninviting so to break it up I wanted to build 3 separate succulent walls. Succulents and cacti are the perfect native and drought tolerant plant to include in your landscaping to add color without the need for excessive watering.
Another aspect of the design is steel. I really like the look of rusted steel and since all anything wants to do around here is rust I thought it would be a great material to use in our yard. JP built and welded two huge planter boxes to sit under our kitchen window to grow berries in and then I searched the internet for steel headers that I could use to divide the DG colors and be the edging for our palm trees and aloe trees.
There you have it, we had our ideas, vision, and a plotted out design now let’s see if we can bring this vision to life!
Asymetric Media and Patagonia hosted an invitation-only event this past Wednesday, September 21 to bring together political, environmental and media stakeholders from the GTA to learn about the potential blow to water quality and availability from the proposed Mega Quarry north of Toronto. During this event, Asymetric’s Jason van Bruggen also premiered the short film SAVE OUR WATER, that is posted below. The event was a huge success and was well attended by such personalities as Maude Barlow (international bestselling author of Blue Covenant), Andy Barrie (Retired CBC Metro Morning Host), and Former Toronto Mayor, David Miller, who was eager to show his support for the fight against the Mega Quarry.