Category: Ecology

  • The Watershed Diet

    The Watershed Diet

    You Are Where You Eat If you are what you eat and you’re mostly water, shouldn’t we spend more time thinking about the source of that water? Move over 100-mile diet, let’s explore the watershed diet. A watershed is the area of land that captures, soaks up, and channels water toward increasingly large bodies of water. We think…

  • Cloned Fruit And The Magic of Grafting

    Cloned Fruit And The Magic of Grafting

    Why Do We Eat So Many Cloned Plants? In 1868, Maria Ann Smith spotted an interesting apple seedling growing by a creek on her property. As the plant aged, it produced apples with green skin and tart flesh. Maria Ann Smith’s apple has been propagated thousands of times over the last 150 years. You know…

  • Nature Is A Verb – Your Parking Spot Wants To Be A Forest

    Nature Is A Verb – Your Parking Spot Wants To Be A Forest

    Nature Is A Verb Imagine a parking lot: hot, grey, dry, and dead. Parking lots are uninteresting, uninviting, and inhospitable to life. And they are turning into forests. Nature is a verb. Even the most meticulously paved asphalt has imperfections. Expanding and contracting with the rise and fall of the sun, asphalt forms cracks. It’s even…

  • School Urban Agriculture Supports Local Food

    School Urban Agriculture Supports Local Food

    Growing Food in Schools To Kickstart Urban Agriculture One of the best ways to kickstart a local movement is to provide early access to training. I saw this firsthand when culinary teacher and Pastry Chef Kelly Hobbs’ culinary students won more than 28 awards between 2009 and 2017. After graduation, a sizable number of them enrolled in…

  • The Nature of Cities

    The Nature of Cities

    Why Cities are Good for the Environment Contrary to our cultural narrative, cities are good for nature. Why? Because cities are natural and governed by the same processes that create ecological systems. In fact, cities may be the most useful tool we have for tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems. One study out of Yale University reported:…

  • Gardening in Edmonton

    Gardening in Edmonton

    Tending The Landscape I want to acknowledge the First Nations communities that have long lived and tended the land on which Edmonton stands. From passive actors, indigenous communities were active participants who managed the landscape in ways that increased biodiversity and tipped ecologies in ways that benefited culturally significant plants and animals. For First Nations…

  • School Garden Challenges and How to Avoid Them

    School Garden Challenges and How to Avoid Them

    Avoid These 4 Common School Garden Challenges Over the past decant, I’ve seen a significant increase in schools interested in school gardens. Traditionally run as extra-curricular activities or horticulture classes, the school garden is a tool for differentiated instruction, problem-solving, and cross-curricular learning. And while I’d love to see a garden in every school, they’re…

  • Fish Tank Aquaponics System

    Fish Tank Aquaponics System

    DIY Home Aquaponics With Off The Shelf Parts From 2012 to 2016, students and I designed, built, and ran an aquaponics system at Jasper Place High School. While the system worked well, and we learned a lot, it would be too cumbersome and expensive for the average home. So I started wondering, if I were to…

  • The World’s Best Lawn Mower

    The World’s Best Lawn Mower

    The Original And Best Lawn Mower On The Market You can’t beat one of these when it comes to getting that perfect cut and keeping a healthy, natural lawn – imagine a grass-powered lawn mower with a fertilizer attachment. Grasses co-evolved with the herbivores that ate them. Grasses grow from their bases, unlike most plants.…

  • 5 Ways To Water Your Garden

    5 Ways To Water Your Garden

    Water Your Garden Without Turning On The Tap Actively and continuously needing to water your garden is a sign that you may have overlooked some simple but powerful water harvesting techniques. Here are five ways to water your garden without turning on the tap. 1. Plant Your Water Before You Plant Your Garden Most people decide…

  • Why The Magpie Should Be Edmonton’s Offical Bird

    Why The Magpie Should Be Edmonton’s Offical Bird

    11 Reasons Why the Magie Should Be Edmonton’s Offical Bird No other Edmonton resident is more controversial than the ubiquitous Magpie (Pica hudsonia). While many Edmontonians resent its 4 am wake-up calls, many of us find the Edmonton magpie fascinating. It’s the bird that Bird Studies Canada refers to as a “charming and charismatic species…easily recognized by its…

  • Animal House Plans: A Birdhouse, Bat Box, and Bee Hotel In One

    Animal House Plans: A Birdhouse, Bat Box, and Bee Hotel In One

    One Design Modified For Three Animals I’ve been wanting to attract more animals to my backyard and was researching different ways to go about it. Besides being a joy to watch, animals provide critical ecological functions such as pest control and pollination. A birdhouse was an obvious place to start, but I realized I could modify…