How To Start…. What to plant?
Think of what you eat everyday, the basic ingredients in your kitchen... start small, how about garlic and onions, salad leaves and herbs, maybe some squashes or beans? How about a raspberry bush! You don't need to be self-sufficient in everything, pick what's best for you!
Growing even one of the things you eat will be beneficial for your health, your pocket and it is the very beginning of the path to zero waste living.
Where to do it …. Who’s with me?
Well… Think of any area that is not in use, any lawn that could be spared from being mowed, any hedgerow that could be left thriving. Let's not forget that any existing "wild pocket" is already a treasure of biodiversity, even if it is “just” brambles, thistles and nettles, consider thinning rather than stripping it all off in one go… some of the rewilding actions will take a few years to really show the results, but patience is a virtue, and leaving things managing themselves as much as possible means less work for us!
1. At home … you are the master of your own surroundings, How about a herb planter or patch, or your very own soup garden? Check out the great resources from “Grow it Yourself!” they started this project last year during the lockdown and a lot of people are now eating their home-grown food with great satisfaction!
2. In the neighborhood… What can you do in your estate or street with your neighbours? Is there any green lawn that could become a vegetable patch? What about a small orchard? Could you create a pollinator patch or corridor?
3. In public areas around where you live… What about growing food or plants in suitable public areas around where you live? Create a permaculture pocket… a “self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems”.
Find your local edible group and join forces with other groups like Tidy Towns to revamp the green lawns around your neighbourhood! Check out the great work from Irish Seed Savers and https://permaculture.ie/
4. In and around schools, sports clubs, churches... wherever possible! Food and Environment, physical and mental health, all is connected and the best way to teach is to just do it in practice. We believe our children need this education now more than ever, it is their future!
Many schools in Ireland have already initiated their vegetable patches, raised beds, monk's gardens... even put up poly tunnels! Students are learning about soil, acquiring very important skills, not to mention they are enjoying tasting the harvest!! We believe these are experiences that would enrich every school!