Proof #1 My So-Called-Lawn
For the last 11 years, we had a south-facing, sloped lawn that we did not water, fertilize, or use herbicides on. We left it to Nature, other than grass-cyclng (mulching) when we cut (leaving a longer length), we weeded the dandelions (ideally after they bloomed for the pollinators, but before the seeded for the wind-spread), we left the clover to grow (its awesome for everything), we left the fairy-ring to cross (a nature-win), and we left the different grass species to cycle through the seasons.
We had (see #3) a very healthy, hippie front lawn.
Proof #2 My Front-Yard Kitchen Garden
We now have 3 gorgeous cedar raised beds that are stunning through the growing seasons. At first, I was just some hippie growing some food on her front lawn (for shame!), but then the companion flowers bloom, and the scarlet runner beans run up the lattices, and the squash spill over and lush up everything, and the perennial strawberries are everbearing, etc etc.
In time, passer-bys would comment on the beauty and bounty of the garden boxes. Kids would come up for some strawberries or tomatoes. Then their parents would, with a side of “basil, please”. I would have abundance, and soon was sharing lettuce heads or squash with neighbours.
I grow food and community.
Proof #3 Sheet-Mulched Front Yard!
Shock - questions - interest: is what I experienced through the process of sheet-mulching my-so-called-lawn:
Cars driving by sloooooowly the first day
The next day, their window rolls down, “Uhmmmm, what are you doing?” Passerbys, including neighbours, runners, students walking to school ask the same question.
Explaining this was a way to remove a lawn while developing the soil ecology of the landscape, well, it quite frankly, exploded their minds!
Over the weeks, they would check on the progress and ask more questions. They are curious were things are going to go from here… Well, so am I!
Proof #4 The Home Jungle
My south facing, full-length, bow windows are the best spot for my year round jungle, of tropical plants, of edible plants, and of my seeding production.
Seen from the street, neighbours enjoy the green scene in winter and guests enter my home in anticipation of the indoor ecosystem!
Gardening Within is more than the plants, it is a growing, blossoming, fruition, and rest cycle that we all need within and living with plants reinforces this instinctual process…
Definitely sound like a crazy-hippie… but it is truth.
Proof #5 Driven to Waste-Less
One of my neighbours-became-friend asked me what drove me… he sees our recycling, upcycling, repurposing, lack of bins of garbage/compost/recycle days, as well as my gardens and our sustainable landscape practices… AKA my environmentalist/minimalist/hippie ways!
The answer was simple for me. But it was the question that was more important… he NOTICED! Aaaand also, he questioned it?
Firstly, he noticed. Well, AAAH-HA! I am making others more aware! Inspired; I hope.
Secondly, he questioned. Well, WTH. How can anyone question taking care of our Earth? Not wasting?
Then I realized… the question wasn’t about my actions… it was about my DRIVE and my INNER-FIRE.
Thinking about it further, I realize, others DESIRE to be less wasteful & more in-tune with the Earth, but don’t necessarily have the drive or the energy.
Let me tell you, once you make the changes to live a low-negative-impact life (taking better care of ourselves and our Earth), you will taste the drive, you will feel the energy.
To Sum: This neighbour ain’t such a crazy-hippie after all!
Well, that is yet to be proven.