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red dwarfs story in pictures

There has never been a grand plan or design for our garden. Our little wild garden, shaped by all its inhabitants including us, has emerged organically over the years. Even while I am sure that this garden wouldn’t have been what it is without our participation, our approach has been that of minimal, gradual changes called for by our needs, and in response to the garden itself. Being what it is, our garden has some mysteries in stock, that it often reveals.

It was while trying to harvest Ivy gourds from a vine that had climbed up a henna tree, that we found a hive of the red dwarf honey bee. Delighted as we were about Ivy gourds, we were more delighted that the red dwarfs had made our henna tree their home.

Apr 10, 2020

I have a small pile of sticks and coconut shells that have accumulated in the garden. As I can’t compost them, I thought I’ll make some biochar to use in the garden. Looking around a bit, I found this low-tech way of making biochar and I think its a good simple way to start.

The allotment garden page where I found this video also has an article about how to charge or activate biochar

Apr 07, 2020

Unlike other natural systems (e.g., a coral reef or tropical rain forest), the agro-ecosystem always contains a particular “keystone” species. That keystone species is Homo sapiens. It is a species that engineers its own environment far more than any other species in history, a fact that would make ignoring its ecology naïve; nevertheless, its “ecology” involves a structure that no other species has ever had. It has the ability (or is it a need?) to communicate ideas from individual to individual, perpetuated to heights that are magnitudes larger than any other organism in the history of life. That is, our species has language with which it creates structures of culture and society, of economics and politics. As the keystone species in the ecosystem, our special nature becomes part of that ecosystem. The agroecosystem is thus endowed with not only traditional subjects of ecology, but also with the immensely complicating aspects of this particular feature of the keystone species.

— John. H. Vandermeer (Preface, The Ecology of Agroecosystems )

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