Category: Friendly Landscapes

In this time of uncertain weather patterns, climate crisis, rising waters, species extinction, and community disruption, we seek greater understanding of the essential relationships between soil, plants, insects, birds, other animals, and human communities. And since the use of fossil fuels by human beings must inevitably be reduced, we seek to promote more local growing of food.

  • Bee on yellow flowers

    Permaculture: The Art of Designing Beneficial Relationships

    By Carol Barta. Permaculture is said to be “the art of designing beneficial relationships.” Permaculture is a design science rooted in the observation of natural systems, the wisdom of traditional farming methods, and systems thinking. It uses both ancient wisdom and modern scientific and technical knowledge to create sustainable habitats…

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  • Introduction to Permaculture

    The word “Permaculture” comes from two-word combinations: permanent and agriculture and permanent and culture. It is a design system that could potentially revolutionize what we call civilization. Largely used in homesteading or home and community gardens, rather than in large agricultural acreages, permaculture includes perennial vegetables and fruits, both bush and tree. In regards to culture,…

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  • Butterflies on flowers and grasses with water in background

    Planning, Planting, and Managing Your Butterfly and Pollinator Garden

    NATIVE PLANT SELECTION, LAYOUT GUIDELINES, AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR BUTTERFLY AND NATIVE POLLINATOR GARDENS Step 1: Location. Choose an appropriate spot for your garden. Step 2a: Strategies to Create Positive Public Perception Before Planting Consider the public perception of your native garden planting before you begin. Discuss your native garden…

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  • Choosing Native Plants for Pollinators in Your Area

    As Sophie explained in her article, Shrinking or Transforming Your Lawn, it is important to use plants from your native area so that the ecosystem will flourish. The non-profit organization Pollinator Partnership promotes the health of pollinators through conservation, education, and research. You can use the tool on their website…

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  • Pumpkin on vine

    Ecological Principles of Permaculture

    Three important ecological principles of permaculture are The role that each organism plays, the niche it occupies; Understanding succession in natural ecosystems and using it to heal the soil and bring forth both annual and perennial crops; Including as much diversity in the garden space as possible, both…

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  • Important Reasons to Use Native Plants

    Important Facts. Native plants are adapted to the local area and its climate.  Unfortunately, many of our beautiful non-native garden flowers provide little or no food for honeybees, native pollinators, songbirds, and other wildlife.  Non-native plants have the potential to become invasive species – weeds that spread rapidly and often…

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  • Practical Permaculture Methods: Start Today!

    Permaculture, as much as possible, is an imitation of nature. Nature does not like bare soil; it is quickly filled up. A permaculture garden, except for paths, is filled chock-full with growing life. Soil is alive and miraculous. Rocks and organic matter decompose with the help of microscopic animals and…

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  • Planning a Permaculture Garden

    Planning a permaculture garden is important; although much learning comes from experimenting with ideas. For instance, I tried planting potatoes in a “hugelkultur,” a pile of small sticks with a lot of compost over them (probably not enough in my case), and the yields were definitely smaller than planting them…

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  • Birds, Plants, and Insects: What They Need

    Today we are discovering new things every day about the relationships between plants and insects and humans. Chickadee babies eat thousands of caterpillars that their hard-working parents bring them.  Around industrial farms, the insects have been killed with pesticides and there aren’t any caterpillars available. Even in our…

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  • Shrinking or Transforming Your Lawn

    Centuries ago, wealthy landowners in England, with lots of land and lots of sheep, pastured the sheep in front of their mansions and invented the present-day lawn. Eventually, more people adopted the practice of lawns, not with sheep, but with newly invented lawnmowers. Today, maintaining the lawns around our homes…

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  • Yellow Prairie Flower in field

    Quakers Caring for God’s Creation: A Kessler Family Journey

    By Jim Kessler. SERENDIPITOUS moments are transformative intellectually and spiritually. In 1970, close to the first Earth Day, I was finishing a Masters in Biology at the University of Northern Iowa. I bought a Sierra Club book entitled A Moment in the Sun. Its clear description of the environmental crisis…

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  • Sign of Menominee Nation

    Flows Repeatedly: Learnings from the Menominee Nation

    By Tom Small. NAPANOH PEMECWAN—Menominee for “flows repeatedly.” In nature, there is no foreground or background, no hierarchy, only relations, patterns of change and repetition. Train yourself to see the repeated patterns, to understand, feel, and identify with the flow. With these two Menominee words and their implications, Jeff Grignon,…

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  • Seven people stand in soil

    Cultivating the Next Generation of Naturalists

    Fayetteville Arkansas Quakers Create Native Plant Garden for Ozark Natural Science Center By Eric Fuselier. The Fayetteville Monthly Meeting recently planted a native plant garden at the Ozark Natural Science Center (ONSC) located south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This native plant garden was a gift to ONSC, which is a…

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  • Green sweat bee on New England aster. Photo by Dave Crawford

    How to Help Pollinators in Your Own Neighborhood

    By Dave Crawford. Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass, 2014) suggests humans can restore natural landscapes as a gift to Earth in exchange for the gifts nature provides to humans. She suggests that Earth might say “thank you” to humans for doing this.  I’ve done this in my yard, and Earth…

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  • Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: Monthly Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas Creates New Habitat for Wildlife

    By Eric Fuselier. LAST YEAR FAYETTEVILLE Monthly Meeting’s Quaker Earthcare Witness Committee started a project to improve the grounds at our meetinghouse, the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology, to include more habitat for wildlife, with the ultimate goal of the Center becoming certified as a wildlife habitat by…

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