4. Permaculture Guild and Native Meadow
Besides feeding our community, we also want to contribute to the ecosystem of water, land, and animal health that extends from our backyards, through the Metroparks, down the rivers and even into Lake Erie and beyond. This small space shows several examples of our philosophy of land stewardship. You are standing in front of a permaculture guild, which is an intentionally structured space that includes fruit trees, shrubs, vines, and native plants, that all work together to support each other. For example, the native flowers attract insects and bees which help to pollinate the peaches, pears, and berries, while spreading plants like blackberries and nasturtium act as a groundcover and keep weed pressure down. Permaculture guilds uniquely balance feeding humans (with the fruit they produce), feeding bugs and other creatures (through the flowers, and through the eventual plant decay), and feeding the earth (through the nutrients that are returned to the soil.)
To your left along the fence is our native meadow. We have planted a range of native plants and grasses including Rudbeckia hirta – Black-eyed Susan, Elymus canadensis – Nodding Wild Rye, and Chasmanthium latifolium – River Oats. This is useful because it helps prevent erosion through the deep rooted native plants, filters the water entering the hollow to prevent flooding, and provides a habitat for small animals.
Check it out!
Along the side of the hollow near the big greenhouse there are a range of native flowers that support our local pollinator population, including milkweed, which is essential for monarch butterflies.