Monday, March 26

World Changing: a User's Guide to the 21st Century

World Changing is the next book for us and I'm going to buy it from our local independent bookstore rather than Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

World Changing: A User's Guide to to 21st Century,
is being hailed as the "Whole Earth Catalog for this millennium" (how many of my readers still have Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog on your bookshelves? Do you remember when it first came out in the late 60s? -- I think it was '68 -- now that was a world changing publication (I mean the first Whole Earth Catalog along with it's succeeding versions ...)

Al Gore wrote the forward. Here's a quote:

To build that future, we need a generation of everyday heroes, people who – whatever their walks of life – have the courage to think in fresh ways and to act to meet this planetary crisis head-on. This book belongs in the library of every person who aspires to be part of that generation. -- Al Gore

Check out the World Changing website - it's full of good stuff, very do-able ideas. If you want to do your part to "save the planet" and just need a bunch of good ideas to get you started, this site has it all -- and a weekly newsletter you can sign up for.


Justin said...

I haven't made it over in a while Maureen, so I had some catching up to do this morning. Great stuff you've been writing, and I'll definitely have to come back and do some more research on the native grasses when I get some time. Ever since I've moved in here I haven't had much of a lawn because I, like you I presume, just can't see the sense in not only wasting the water, but the time and money to have what most people would consider a nice lawn. What I consider a nice lawn and what most other people do is two entirely seperate things.

My plan is to lanscape my entire place eventually with mostly self sufficient plants of various types - low maintenance, don't need much if any additional water, resistant to native insects so that chemicals aren't necessary, and as many as possible that produce something edible or at least something prettier than plain old grass.

I've already got a nice patch of self sustaining winter onions that have grown entirely on their own for several years, but I'm planning on expanding on them with a nice border of berry bushes (raspberries and blueberries most likely), a nice sized strawberry patch, and anything else I can find that pretty much grows on its own and doesn't need much more than an occasional trim and the pulling of a few weeds. I've got a nice patch of tulips and daffodils that spring up every year in my vegetable garden as well, or at least it used to be a vegetable garden before the engine blew up on my rototiller, LOL. I like them because they get done blooming right about time to plant the garden, and every time I till it up the bulbs get spread out more and more. Eventually, I hope to have just one big patch of flowers every spring.

A few years ago I tried planting a patch of native wildflowers with the hopes that they would reseed themselves every year, but since I didn't put a sufficient border around them the weeds took back over the next year and choked them out. Oh well, live and learn I guess. I still haven't given up on the idea though.

maureen said...

Wow! Justin, now that's what I call a "pithy thought!" Thanks for reading and commenting so thoughtfully. I knew we had more in common than some of our overlapping musical tastes ;-D

Your landscape plans sound exciting. I bet when you do carry out your ideas, your garden/landscape will be inspiring to your neighbors. Those things have a way of spreading through a community once people see that it IS possible to create a water-conserving, natural landscape that doesn't look weedy.

Lawns are the strangest things -- there are occasionally good reasons to have a small lawn, but inho never a good reason for a perfectly green, monoculture, waterguzzling large lawn. So I do have my bias, and most of my clients know that about me.

What you describe as your eventual landscape is really something along the lines of Permaculture I wrote several blog posts over a year ago, on permaculture design ... if I could only find it now. There is so much on the web about permaculture, but you have to take it all with a grain of salt (as everything you read on the web) and adapt the ideas to our Montana climate. It is very possible to make a completely edible garden that is also a beauty to behold. I wish you luck, if you ever have specific questions, fire away -- I love helping people come up with ways to make more sustainable gardens.

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Justin said...

Glad you liked my ideas. As I've mentioned before, just because I ride an ATV, doesn't mean that I'm the type that believes in running roughshod over the environment. That's a stereotype that needs to go the way of the . . . . . the way of the . . . . . well . . . . . something that's gone! I recreate in the woods because I love the woods, not because I want to destroy them. It's hard to effectively protect something that you've never seen.

I definitely do not believe in wasting precious resources such as water simply to impress one's neighbors, and I'm not a big fan of dousing my personal space in dangerous chemicals either. I LOVE doable and feasible environmentalism, and I personally can't see why anyone wouldn't - it's just plain common sense. Even a dog is smart enough not to crap where it sleeps, if only humans were thusly equipped.

I don't know about inspiring my neighbors though. They'd have to move too many of their junk cars to find places to plant stuff, and the vapors from their meth labs would probably wilt the plants. ;)