Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
I'm five, LOL! I don't care for the name of the book (don't believe in the so-called 'Gaia Hypothosis', but there's a LOT of good information inside of it.
I'm of two minds on the book, myself.
First of all, I loved it. It got me really excited about the notion of permaculture, which in turn led me to seeking out as much information about it as I could find (which indirectly led me here!) For firing up the enthusiasm, it was fantastic.
I have to admit, I cringed a little at some of his plant choices. Probably it's because I live in a totally different climate, and we've had to deal with totally different plant problems, but...Russian olive? Really? In this day and age, someone is still advocating planting Russian olive? Both Russian and autumn olive are on pretty much every "worst invasive plants" list in the United States, up there with tree-of-heaven and purple-loosestrife--planting them for berries is kinda like planting kudzu for a privacy screen. It's not just a plant that fills holes in sunny roadsides, either--it's one of those unfortunate thugs that rapidly invades undisturbed areas and forms monocultural stands, and since it's spread by birds, it's not something you can be sure of containing on your own property, either.
A friend who took one of his seminars said that he also advocated garlic mustard as a compost crop, which is...um....novel, anyway, since practically everything written about garlic mustard includes warnings in all caps not to compost it, since unless your compost heap is on the surface of the sun, the seeds won't cook. Can't speak to the truth of that either way, but...yeah.
And this just isn't something you can fix with a positive attitude towards weeds. I'm all for respecting Nature trying to plug holes, but some of these plants make their own holes--and when you plant a seriously invasive plant, somebody ELSE is going to spend a lot of time killing it when it spreads to their area, and they're probably gonna use all kinds of nasty poisons to do it.
So honestly, as much as I love the book--and I've wedged bookmarks into it and am building a hugulkultur in the backyard as we speak--a lot of his plant choices did bother me. Sure, maybe it's a matter of attitude towards these plants, but it still seems kind of disingenuous to go to so much effort to reduce one's footprint, and then to plant things that mean a lot of other people are drenching the world with herbicides trying to kill it.
I'm not sure if a single grower can KEEP it in balance.
Okay, take bamboo. Bamboo spreads like crazy wildfire, but I believe there are ways to plant it where you accept its rampant growth habit and contain it--and I think it would be irresponsible NOT to grow it in that manner, and certainly the neighbors won't thank you!--but you accept that it's gonna throw crazy runners, you take responsibility for what you planted, you sink baffles, the bamboo stays contained, that's great, I got no problem with that, shine on, you crazy bamboo-lovin' diamond.
Brenda Groth wrote:
there is another opportunistic plant that i love ..but it can take over. It is Aegopodium. I will rake leaves and pine needles up into piles under neath my deep shade areas and put in a few roots of that, and wihtin a year it iwll grow into the entire mulch bed and completely cover the ground under the deep shade trees, and provide food and cover for wildlife. The flowers are similiar to queen annes lace and the leaves are variegated green and cream color and are very dnese..they grow like strawberries from runners..and they grow in that shady area nothing else will grow..you can even eat it..but don't let it loose in the woods..it will take over.