Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Simple Joys of Sustainable Living

Sustainable living has reconnected me with so many simple joys.

Above is the garden I have created by sustainable methods.

There was a shed here when I first brought my home but it began to develop a steep backyards lean under the bulk of a heavy cactus vine.

One day to the relief of the neighbors on either side I realized it was no longer safe and had the shed removed.

I retained broken pieces of the cactus vine, piled then up then topped them with cardboard sheets. The cardboard sheets were finally covered with layers of compost, mulch and earth.

Now a few years later with the addition of further mulch, compost and all my food scraps everything has combined to create a nutrient  rich soil in which I grow both fruit trees and other strong rich foods.

I get such joy from looking at the plants growing in soil I have restored to health through my own efforts. It just feels good.

The small African Pigeon Pea plant pictured above is one of the many food plants providing a continuous source of protein rich peas on the soil I have created.

Nasturtiums and Marigolds add to the garden mix and always bring a smile with their cheerful flowers.

Great to add to a salad as well. I especially love the strong bite of nasturtium leaves. They will gives even the blandest piece of lettuce that extra lift.

Having these flowers in a garden is also an extra treat for the pollinators.

All organic gardens  help to save our bees and having a rich variety of flowering plants keeps the bees happy and healthy. 


Digging my food scraps into the soil means I have always have a surprise growing in some corner of the garden.

Tomatoes and pumpkins are among these surprise plants and who wouldn't mind finding a stray pumpkin or some ripe red tomatoes among the garden mix.

After a home grown tomato the supermarket varieties taste so bland and flat.

The sweet fresh bite of a home grown cherry tomato is more a favorite with the children I know than any sweet.

Nutrient rich soil creates nutrient rich food and these foods are always tasty and delicious.  

Another joy of my sustainable garden is my fledgling relationship with Snappy the Butcher Bird.

I call this a fledgling relationship because Snappy's father definitely did not like me during previous mating seasons.

The house next door exploded and burned down and I do feel this made my birds unsettled and especially reactive.

So bad was the relationship I needed to get in and out of my car under the protection of an umbrella. Snappy One's favorite activity was to dive bomb me the moment I exited the door of my home or car.

It is very hard gardening with an umbrella in one hand so things got a bit rough around my home for several months each spring.

This year I decided to develop a trusting relationship based on Snappy Two's favorite food early in the year so that by the time it was mating season we could be good friends.

So far all has gone well as  I hope you can see from the photos.

But now I am aware of the intelligence and habits of these beautiful little birds I am working hard to maintain our good relationship.

I really have grown to love the Snappy who is pictured here.

In my previous busy life I would never have had the time to listen to the wildlife around me and realize they were wanting to be honored as well as the earth.


A further joy of sustainable living is the joy of growing your own medicine chest.

The Aloe pictured is the very best thing for healing burns and sunburn, and here it is in my own garden.

During radiation for breast cancer it was Aloe Vera that was recommended to stop  redness and burning.

Now in my simple, sustainable garden it is there fresh and waiting for any needed healing moment.



Not everyone will have the opportunity or motivation to create a totally new life as I have done but we can all incorporate simple and sustainable ideas into our lifestyles to be part of the healing our wounded planet needs.








1 comment:

Unknown said...

I believe that the little things can make a big impact on how we feel in our lives, whether it be how we try to solve a problem or heal, or how we integrate joy into our daily living. In consumer culture that markets extravagant catharsis as means for having positive quality of life, not to mention the superficiality of goods, people often don't see that living well can be inexpensive, practical, and something that we can have on daily basis.