Sustainability Series

Written by Cafe Campesino on Jul 8, 2010 in NEWSLETTER, Sustainability |
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SUSTAINABILITY SERIES – EDIBLE LANDSCAPING

We have all been told at some point, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too.’  And that may be true, but you can have a beautiful flowering landscape and eat that!  Edible landscaping is a way to maximize the use of yard space while creating a beautiful, peaceful, and productive landscape. Fruit trees, berry bushes, vegetables, grape vines, herbs, and medicinal plants can all be substituted into any landscape providing value beyond the aesthetics of traditional ornamentals and flower beds. Better yet, not all edibles have to be consumed to add benefit to your landscape. There are several vegetables and herbs, if allowed to grow past the harvest period, that can serve as pest deterrents, beneficial insect attractants, and soil builders for other plant groupings. Varieties of radish, carrots, onions, garlic, members of the legume family, and most flowering herbs are just a few companion plants that have these properties.

Here in Americus, we have been fortunate to have landscaping assistance from Mary Gramling, a dedicated volunteer with an incredible green thumb! She has helped us establish around the Cafe an easy to manage landscape that combines edibles with native and drought tolerant perennials to create a blooming atmosphere where you can sometimes find a small snack! “Thank you” Ms. Mary, for all of your hard work! Our edible design includes in-ground plantings, small container gardens and several scattered pots of tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, avocado, coffee, basil, oregano, yarrow, nasturtium, and mint. Most recently, Joe added a touch of sweetness with the addition of a peach tree and some blueberries.  Marco (and the water hose) helps keep it all alive in the south GA heat!
With food concerns of source, safety, and security on the rise, it is more important than ever to make a conscious effort to reconnect with our land. For many, this can be a simple change of what you’re planting – squash, okra, and tomatoes where you once planted periwinkles, petunias and pansies. For others, it may mean adding small containers of peppers and eggplant on the deck of your apartment. Edible landscaping takes advantage of the resources you input and gives back a tasty treat!

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