Author: Dustin Bajer

  • Development and the Lifespan of Urban Trees

    Development and the Lifespan of Urban Trees

    Tree Life Expectancy and the Cycle of Urban Development Since trees can live longer than buildings, development has an enormous impact on the lifespan of urban trees. While mature trees increase property value, they’re susceptible to damage from nearby development. Soil compaction from heavy equipment or storing materials, damage to roots from excavation, and regarding…

  • Gardening in the Zombie Apocalypse

    Gardening in the Zombie Apocalypse

    How Gardeners Will Survive the End of the World The zombie apocalypse is upon us, and it’s up to the gardeners to save us. Armed with shovels and a handful of ecological design principles, it’s time to turn this zombie threat into a horticultural opportunity. This isn’t your grandparent’s rose garden. This is gardening in…

  • Creating Garden Microclimates

    Creating Garden Microclimates

    What a Poop Pit Can Teach Us About Garden Microclimates I stumbled upon pineapple pits while researching old botanic gardens. The Heligan Garden in Cornwall, England, was created in the 18th century by the Tremayne family. The garden fell into disrepair after the First World War but was restored in the nineties. During reconstruction, a strange…

  • Cold Hardy Food Forest Plant List

    Cold Hardy Food Forest Plant List

    A Growing Inventory of Cold Hardy Perennial Plants Since 2015, I’ve been propagating and growing tonnes of USDA hardiness zone 1 to 5 perennial plants in my Edmonton backyard and urban farm plot. The list has grown to over 285 species across 152 plant genera. Tagging each species by edible component (fruit, nut, leaf, bark,…

  • Cultivate McCauley

    Cultivate McCauley

    McCauley is Edmonton’s Gardening Community In the Fall of 2014, I found myself looking at a house off Church Street in the inner-city neighbourhood of Edmonton McCauley. I was familiar with the community due to frequent visits to the Italian Centre Shop and Coffee Shop Cafe, Zocalo. I was also familiar with the area’s reputation…

  • When to Plant Your Edmonton Garden

    When to Plant Your Edmonton Garden

    Stop Waiting Until May Frost Day to Plant Your Garden Are you wondering when to plant your garden? Historically, you would plant your Edmonton Garden the third weekend in May, but is that the best time to plant? I’d argue that you can plant your garden much early. Waiting Until After the Last Frost Date…

  • Humans Are Not A Disease On the Planet

    Humans Are Not A Disease On the Planet

    You Are Not A Cancer In response to a comment that humans are cancer on the planet, futurist Stewart Brand replied, “Nah, cancer can’t stop asteroids.” One of the most destructive cultural narratives we hold is that humans are inherently destructive. That we’ll inevitably destroy the Earth and are a blight, disease, or cancer on the planet.…

  • Classroom Container Gardening

    Classroom Container Gardening

    Start A School Garden With Pots and Containers One of the easiest ways to introduce gardening to students is through classroom container gardening. A significant obstacle to growing food in the classroom is finding a permanent space, but pots and containers allow any teacher to start small without a fixed garden space. Container gardening can…

  • Creating A Classroom Aquaponics System

    Creating A Classroom Aquaponics System

    Why Set Up A Classroom Aquaponics System? Lots of classrooms have plants and fish, but not many combine them into a symbiotic classroom aquaponics system. When connected, fish waste provides water and nutrients to the plants while the plants clean the water for the fish. Aquaponics systems contain a complete nitrogen cycle and symbiotic relationships but are…

  • Slow Landscaping – Slow Trees in Fast Cities

    Slow Landscaping – Slow Trees in Fast Cities

    The Long Now Cities are fast-paced, ever-changing places filled with fast fashion, quick commerce, short election cycles, and perpetual development. What does living in the fast lane do to our ability to see the big picture and tackle life’s biggest challenges? How might fast-paced cities influence what musician and producer Brian Eno coined a sense…

  • Decorative Tree Lighting Can Kill Trees

    Decorative Tree Lighting Can Kill Trees

    The Dark Side of Decorative Tree Lighting Edmonton has embraced year-round decorative tree lighting, and it’s hard not to love it! A 2015 Edmonton Journal article states that the City’s forestry department “installed lights on 1000 city-owned trees in six business revitalization zones.” Walking Whyte, Churchill, or Giovanni Caboto amongst twinkling giant elms is magical.…

  • An Edmonton Root Beer Opportunity

    An Edmonton Root Beer Opportunity

    Edmonton Has a Root Beer Deficiency In June 2016, the City of Edmonton enacted an Herbicide Ban with the aim to “eliminate non-essential uses of herbicides on city-owned land.” It’s been a year since, and despite the fact that some people are losing their shit, I’m proud of the City for sticking with their decision – going so far as…