Garden's for a Future

The Effects of Sound and an Electric Toothbrush on Plant Growth
January 17, 2011, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Patterns in Nature

Recently, I’ve been doing some research on various plants, tomatoes and lettuce, and have stumbled on some interesting ideas.

Lettuce is a vegetative plant that we eat while tomatoes go through a vegetative state followed by a fruiting stage. Tomatoes can self pollinate by the wind, but like most plants they do best with the aide of the noble bee.

So what’s the whole thing about sound and an electric toothbrush?

Well, we’re getting there. First things first, if bees are not present and you want that awesome tomato harvest, I’ve read about shaking your plants. This idea has been passed around about stressing plants so that they produce more fruit to ensure future generations.

I propose a different idea. Shaking a plant mimics the buzzing vibrations of bees and other pollinators. Likewise, people have used sound to promote or inhibit plant growth. Sound also make vibrations within the air that can also mimic the same frequency, pitch, and effect as pollinators. Ideas are going around for different reasons about sound that I’m unfamiliar with, but to me it’s the same as shaking the plant. Likewise, the electric toothbrush also mimics the buzzing and vibrations of such insects. Now imagine a whole hive of bees hovering around a tree or a tomato plant. It triggers a response in the plant to release pollen to begin the process of reproduction.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Why and how would a plant know to release pollen based on vibrations. Well, this is how I see it. Plants and people are not that different. The human equivalent of pollen is sperm. Remember the song Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys? The vibrations of bees, sound, an electric toothbrush and shaking all excite the male flowers on a plant to release pollen. Do you see the similarity?

I’ll let you figure it out from here. That should the you enough information to figure it out.

It is All Good
December 5, 2010, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Patterns in Nature

That’s my Motto.

In nature everything is an opportunity. The same principle should be applied to all general areas in life. At any given moment, there is something to learn or gain even during the worst of times.

A common misconception in our modern way of thinking is the idea of a mistake or a problem.

In life, the design is made so that if you do a mischievous deed you are fed back with a consequence of equal or greater proportion. It all goes back to what you do to others you do unto yourself.

The amazing thing is that when you come to realize the error of your ways, you can correct it and build on it.

This feedback loop allows us to become conscious of our surroundings and how we interact with it. As long as you realize what the response is there is no such thing as a bad action.

However, the continuation of errors or one big error can lead to fatal consequences. This is primarily true with events that take time to develop. A good comparison is the intake of life’s necessities: air, water, and food. Air reaches the bodily organs much faster than liquids and water passes through our system faster than food. The feedback is fairly fast to things that you do to your own body. The opposition is with the environment where the feedback can be fairly slow.

Unfortunately, most people have lost touch with this basic mechanism. They ignore their own bodies and indulge in various items or activities. Much worse, they ignore their environment and how they are interacting with it affecting not only themselves but their community.

The ignorance of this feedback makes a great opportunity turn into waste and pollution.

Upon discovering this simple mechanism, you can gain from every experience in life and in the end,

it is all good.

The Aquaforest
November 23, 2010, 4:46 am
Filed under: Gardening, Patterns in Nature

Water is essential for life.

In nature, fresh water comes as a form of precipitation: rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. As it percolates into the soil, water finds it way into tributaries and joins major river systems. Back in the day, these systems provided for all of life: fish, animals, people, insects, fungi, and so on.

Today, these systems are over-saturated with industrial products. However, I believe the change from pollution to a solution is possible.

Aquaponic systems hold a promising alternative to fish and vegetable production. In my opinion, the aquaponic system is a miniature forest. There is no waste or contamination. Instead, everything is a resource. Water is continually recycled, and nutrients are contained. The downside to these systems is the use of a electrical pump and potentially a controlled environment to ensure growth all year round. Controlling the environment can be done self-sustainably if planned correctly; however, I believe another alternative.

Mankind is co-creating forest ecosystems today. Water systems cannot be that different. Succession occurs in all ecosystems. If we can create an artificial environment for fish inland, it can be done off land with the aide of Nature.

Natural Bonds aka Unbiased Social-Ability
November 19, 2010, 5:36 am
Filed under: History, Marketing, Patterns in Nature

I have a bad habit of putting down a book and re-reading the same portion over and over again till I get past that and really get down to reading.

The book at this moment is Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, excellent story so far, and it reinforces my previous post on Marketting like the HIV Virus.

One story in particular that Gladwell focuses on is the story of Paul Revere and William Dawes. Both set out to tell the populace that the British were coming and to be prepared. Paul Revere’s message spread and his name is known in all American history books. Dawes message on the other hand did not go far at all failing to reach the militia.

What was the difference? Revere was a Connector within his community. He had many weak ties in many areas and  naturally was a sociable person talking to anyone and everyone. Dawes on the other hand was a normal person with a normal social circle.

In nature, the bonds and networks within a forest ecosystem are comparable. Linking within a group of species can be beneficial; however, cooperating outside of your species is survival.

For example, mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi. It forms hair-like strands within the soil and can connect to the plants and wildlife within a forest. This connection fosters benefits to both species. The fungi has a home that provides essential starches and nutrients while the tree or plant can obtain nutrients and water through the mycelial network with a boosted immune system (the fungi will eat away diseased tissue and fight off infection/disease).

Another key note is the mycelial connection to all living plants within a forest especially the elderly. Their experience and growth nurtures the younger plants until they can survive on their own and one day give it back.

That’s all for now.

Invasives (part 2): A Change in Paradigm and the World
November 17, 2010, 6:36 am
Filed under: History, Patterns in Nature

Reflecting back on the previous post, the introduction of citrus plants and horses are examples of a foreign plant and animal that did not devastate the native ecosystem. There are more examples, but I’ll let you do that research on your own. From here, I’ll continue the debate of invasives species; plant, animal, and human.

Today, the introduction of new species can and does devastate the environment. So what is happening?

For one, the increased amount of travel increases the opportunity for foreign substances to come into a country via boat or plane. Other factors to consider is the decline in biodiversity in our local environments and the continual successional setbacks in nature.

The destruction of the environment also eliminates homes for predatory animals allowing other animals to infiltrate and leaving the job for us to take care of. The same can be said for plants. If we do not allow systems to regenerate, the opportunity for plants adapted to such environments becomes inevitable.

For example, the constant stream of nitrogen rich fertilizers, industrial and human waste are altering the land and water ecosystems. In the Chesapeake Bay, these pollutants are creating a hypoxic environment where virtually no oxygen is available for most aquatic life. Instead, animals that are adapted to this environment are becoming more prevalent such as jellyfish in replacement of fish, crabs, oysters, and bass. Other examples of such environments are dead zones where NO LIFE can exist.

Moving on, lets focus for a moment on immigrants in any country.

The argument is the same. We’ve created this environment. People are naturally protective of their belongings and thwart any change to their personal environment. This is much like a dog or animal marking their territory. In a productive and over-abundant society, the idea of invasion is minimized to a selective few if any. The key is when resources are abundant the need for fighting is mostly diminished. When resources are scarce, animals and people tend to fight for it; hand to hand combat, community boundaries, racial clashes, ethnic cleansing, religious segregation, etc. The argument changes in relation to reproduction; everybody fights.

In addition, the consumer society demanding low, affordable prices to continue our consumption of natural resources and industries having to be profitable to continue operations and their life add to the effects of “invasive” environments. Overall, this endless consumption and motive for profit neglects environmental issues and basic human rights. Back in the day, when people did not get along for any reason they could move to another part of the town, the country, and today the world. Currently, the opportunity for movement is decreasing. What’s the solution?

Easy, we need to learn to solve our petty problems and get down to the real issues through peaceful negotiations, or  we kill each other till we have a winner, or we kill each other till everyone and everything is dead. Either way, the path to reconstruction needs to be unpaved, but it will be inevitable regardless. Remember nature has survived several extinctions; it will survive with or without us.

All in all, the invasive environment is the result of our ignorant actions towards nature. If our societies were abundant and rich with a natural environment that provided fresh water and food, there would be no invasive plants, animals or people. We could share the overabundance with our neighbors, friends, and animals.

Wouldn’t that be worth working for?

no No NO!?!. . .


Pattern Recognition: Unlocking the Fertility of the Universe
November 3, 2010, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Patterns in Nature

I’ve read a few books in the past few months and the reoccurring theme is prevalent in all of them and in Nature, patterns.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Oriental people were inherently good at mathematics due to the recognition of a pattern within their language. The way it works is by saying a math equation for numbers above ten. Twenty is “two tens” and twenty one is “two tens one.” In this way, those who learn the language are learning how to properly add and multiply. So Asians are not really good at math, it’s just that their language allows them to see an inherent pattern.
In Nature, Bill Mollisson acknowledges that there are patterns in our ecosystems that produce self-sufficient and stable environments. If we work with this pattern we can work with the unstoppable force of Nature to co-creased these systems.
Again and again the idea of patterns creates the potential of unlocking the infinite potential in anything.
So I’ll leave with this note. Be observant of the world around you. There is opportunity everywhere. If you really want to make a difference and create change in this world, all you have to do is see how others before you did such things and expand on those ideas (like a spiral).
It’s most likely that the things you should be focusing on are right in your face staring at you, and the only thing holding you back is you.

Free Labor to Help Maintain Your Garden
March 17, 2010, 3:49 am
Filed under: Gardening, Patterns in Nature
Most gardens require routine maintenance and labor that add up to countless hours in the back breaking sun plus a good sum of money. From plowing, fertilizing, and planting, maintaining a yard or a garden can end up being a huge investment of time and energy for most people. After all the sweat that is invested in mowing the yard or raking the leaves, we are doomed to the same tasks every year.

The solution is to stop. It will take care of itself if you leave it alone.

Think for a moment what happens in the natural world. Does grass grow tall forever? Do leaves pile up to make the largest piles ever?

Over time, the landscape of your front lawn or back yard evolves to become a natural forest. The grass eventually dies off and is replaced by small shrubs and taller weeds. Trees then start to shade out the smaller plants and show their dominance over the landscape. The leaves that are shed decompose back into the soil adding to the fertility of the land.

By taking the same patterns from nature, people can learn to create landscapes with minimal maintenance. Perennial plants will regrow year after year eliminating the need to replant. Some annuals disperse so many seeds into the surrounding area that they tend to replant themselves.

Working with nature has limitless rewards that are free.

To begin the process, it helps to listen to the land and observe the natural environment. The patterns in nature have evolved over millions of years. Take advantage of it.

It’s free labor at its best.