My family… we’re country folk. We know a lot about plants and soil, bugs and birds, and animals. So when my dad said to me this summer that he thought his garden was doing better this year, it was really nothing new. It was surprising, however, because my dad has been really sick this year and unable to do much with the garden, short of getting it planted in the ground. I went over and looked at it. It was covered in ‘weeds.’ Things were growing: vegetables, flowers, herbs. No nice, neat, orderly rows that one would expect in a “typical” garden, but it was working, nonetheless. After a nice visit, my son and I took some vegetables and drove back to suburbia.
A few weeks later, I was reading Janine Benyus’ book, Innovation Inspired by Nature. The first few chapters discuss the land, feeding the world, and growing things; the term “polyculture” came up several times. The definition, according to Oxford Dictionary, is the simultaneous cultivation or exploitation of several crops or kinds of animals. Growing multiple species in a garden plot is actually beneficial. We’ll talk ab….