Here is what an autumn olive thicket looks like up close:
Here is another area I’ve cleared, transitioning from our yard into the forest; previously this was a thicket of autumn olive and thorns:
Using some of the techniques I’m learning from permaculture, I aim to transform it into this:
In the fall I planted apple and peach trees with raspberry and blackberry vines under them. I’ll add sunflowers, strawberries, herbs and other plants, following the permaculture technique for creating a “forest garden”. Instead of recycling our cardboard waste, I am using it to mulch under the trees and plants for weed control, which saves labor (saving labor and producing no waste are both permaculture attributes).
As I separate the pagan chaff from the beauty- and food-producing wheat of permaculture, I will share those lessons here. Looking at ten acres of work feels overwhelming, but the permaculture approach of implementing small, slow solutions is comforting and compatible with both my conservativism and Christian faith.
[This is my second post in an ongoing series, “Separating the wheat from the chaff,” in which I consider the health of our natural world and environment in the context of conservatism and Christianity. The first post was Conservative Christians and the International Day of Forests: separating the wheat from the chaff.]