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Ecological Landscape Design and Organic Lawn Care

There is a growing recognition, that the expanding suburban landscape is having a negative environmental impact. Suburban development often includes vast energy dependant monocultures (perfect, grass lawns). They consume a significant amount of natural resources, (water to keep them green and gasoline to keep them trimmed), and they reduce the amount of habitat available for native wildlife. Over use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides can leach into water supplies and be harmful to children and pets. Trends toward ecological landscaping and organic lawn care are lessening the detrimental effects of these designs. Many landscape designers are recommending native plant species, and even golf course managers are moving toward organic methods.

In practical terms our goal should be to move away from designs that depend on an extensive use of energy, without asking people to give up their lawns entirely. There are a number of options:

* Buffer zones and open space requirements in subdivisions allow for wildlife corridors and bird habitats.

* Leaving a portion of each lot in a natural state will invite birds and beneficial insects into the yard, while reducing the amount of grass to water and mow.

* The use of native plants in the design will greatly reduce the amount of care needed for the plants to thrive.

We should stop worrying about whether our lawns looks like the eighteenth fairway of the local country club. Many of the "weeds" that appear in our lawns are considered to be medicinal, by herbalists, and others attract beneficial insects.

We should stop over watering our lawns. Don't worry about your grass dying. Grass will turn green when it rains. Trust me.

If you must have an all grass lawn, there are organic methods that claim to do as well as chemicals will. It's probably a good idea to test any remedy before applying it to your entire yard. Spot treating problem areas will often be all that is needed.

Ecological Landscaping Considerations

The first and most important thing to consider in an ecological landscape design is an environmental assessment of the site. Is it more like a sunny meadow or shady woodland? Is it wet and marshy or dry and well drained?

Secondly, find out which native plants thrive in your particular environment. This can be easily done by taking a closer look at what is growing in undeveloped areas around you. Look at areas that most closely resemble your site. Species that are flourishing in the wild in similar ecosystems nearby are more likely to do well, with little or no care, than species growing in different ecosystems, not to mention different regions of the country or world.

Some purists would argue that only native species be considered, but I personally feel that non-invasive species from other parts of the world are acceptable if used in the proper environmental setting. Whenever possible choose species that are propagated locally and select varieties that are disease, pest and drought resistant. This will preclude the need for intensive care and excessive watering.

Many native plants are often found growing as part of a larger community of plants. For reasons we don't thoroughly understand, plants appear to form symbiotic relationships with each other. This may be for shade, nutrient contribution or protection from pests to name a few. When studying the local landscape, pay attention to plant relationships. In the wild, vegetation occurs in layers from groundcovers to taller plants and shrubs and often to a tree canopy above. These layers provide a diverse habitat for a variety of wildlife. Recreating these conditions in even a small part of your site will help to enhance the overall health of the environment around you.

In many instances homeowners will wish to deter certain wildlife species, while attracting others. While it may be possible to discern which plants attract different species in the wild, it may not be as easy to determine which plants will deter them. Local landscapers and plant nurseries will often be able to advise you about this.

Wherever you live and whatever your landscape consists of, a little thought about working with the natural environment and a commitment to organic lawn care practices, will save on maintenance cost and benefit the larger community landscape.

Chip Phelan, a contributing editor for Organic Gardening Review, is an organic gardener living in Rhode Island. He has been gardening organically for 30 years while working as a sculptor and photo imager. He has recently created a research garden to experiment with organic and small scale sustainable gardening techniques.

Organic Gardening Review is a resource center for organic gardening enthusiasts and features his efforts and interests in all aspects of organic gardening. Find us on the web: http://www.organicgardening-review.com

Looking for a place to share organic gardening info? Visit our Organic Gardening Discussion Forum at: Organic Gardening Forum

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In The News:

Tracking the progress of the third party testing we at PES are coordinating along with U-Plug Products LLC, of their 2 kW U-Plug magnet motor that is a 24"x6" portable cylinder weighing 20 pounds, expected to cost 2,000 USD. We want to run it three times longer (21 hours) than what the best batteries available could provide. (PESWiki; February-April 2016)
Pre-launch video announces a new LENR website coming March 1, 2016 at http://LookingForHeat.com The video is very well done as an entertaining piece that hopefully will go viral. (Free Energy Blog; February 21, 2016)
It's not easy to find a qualified testing agency that is also willing to sign off on something that appears to defy our existing understanding of the laws of physics. U-Plug has agreed to allow for a group of us scientists, including at least 3 PhDs to go test their unit and publish our report. (PESN; February 20, 2016)
So that this is quite clear, this is a test on a Regular Torch. NOT the ELFE flashlight. This is to compare them. 2 x NiMH AA 1.2v Battery's in a Regular Torch with a Halogen Bulb. Load is 2.8v and 0.85amps. (PESN; February 17, 2016)
Video explains the scientific principles behind how the ELFE flashlight harnesses endless free energy from the environment (Earth's magnetic field), which works better in some regions than others. It also shows the insides the torch. Uses the word "antennae," as one of the components. (PESN; February 14, 2016)
"The OPhone contains a capacitor that directly powers our phone. During extensive use this capacitor may become discharged, however this capacitor is being constantly trickle charged by Orbo. So after a period of time the capacitor will be recharged and the phone will be functional again. In essence the phone is charging itself." (Free Energy Blog; February 13, 2016)
The company that has figured out how to harness the earth's magnetic field to produce usable power and has been selling the ELFE flashlight (two more customer reports), is now developing a 3 kW generator. In two weeks, they are holding a business meeting for international distributors. (PESN; February 12, 2016)
Illinois company is gearing up to manufacture a 2 kW (115 volts, 17.3 amps) magnet motor that is load-following, portable, 24"x6" tube, weighing 20 pounds, very quiet, with 3-year warranty but expected to last at least 20 years with zero maintenance. Third-party tested. MSRP 2000 USD, beginning March, 2016, through distributors. (PESWiki; February 11, 2016)
The government agent who worked on this technology five decades ago, that is similar to Professor Steven E. Jones' Joule Ringer, thinks it is conceivable that we could eventually scale this solid state technology up to have a device the size and price of an air conditioner providing 20 kw. (PESWiki; February 9, 2016)
Nagendra Singh in Mumbai, India, informs us that they have built five of these and have two running for customers presently, in the 40 kVA range. "Presently it is too [expensive], costing 3200 USD per kva below 30 kva." (PESWiki; February 8, 2016)
The SunCell is described as a solid state "Sun in a Box." A 200 kW module would weigh around 250 pounds, with energy production cost being around 1 cent/kwh, so return on investment could be ten days. They are expected to be available commercially by Q1, 2017. (PESN; January 6, 2015)
"Today I received my Elfe Flashlight and it works. Time will tell if it meets the claims of automatically recharging, when depleted. If it holds, the claims a real breakthrough in FE technologie would have been accomplished." -- German customer (PESWiki; February 6, 2016)
The phone battery indicator stays near full even with heavy usage throughout the day. (The battery is charged by the internal OCube that pulls energy from the wheelwork of nature, solid state). (PESWiki; February 5, 2016)
The capacity of the Proton-3ND (Proton -3 Nano Diffusion) battery is projected to be 44 times the capacity of lithium batteries. Electric vehicles with these batteries would have more power and much more mileage at no extra charge. (PESN; January 4, 2016)
HH2 water fuel cell creates pure hydrogen off a 9-volt battery. This was a big diesel HH2 cell that was tested on a 16-liter Cat engine for CARB testing; yet it ran on very low amps and a low 9 volts. (PESWiki; February 3, 2016)
A former U.S. Government worker describes his effort to bring to public awareness (by highlighting things presently in the public domain) energy and anti-gravity technologies that the government had operational 50 years ago but has kept from the public. (PESN; February 2, 2016)
Imagine an incandescent bulb that is actually more efficient than LEDs! Well, it actually exists (MIT) and it does so by recycling light. (Free Energy Blog; February 2, 2016)
SMBC-Comics.com has posted a fun spoof on our skeptics. (Free Energy Blog; February 1, 2016)
"OK, so a lot of people are asking what's the difference between an Orbo power cell and traditional batteries." Batteries store energy, Orbo generates energy, then trickle charges a lithium ion battery.] (Free Energy Blog; February 1, 2016)
Mr. Keshe is as misleading in the field of free energy as he is regarding me. That has been my experience the years I've been exposedto his work. He takes something and blows it so far out of proportion that it barely resembles the fact from which it was extrapolated into infinity. He demands: "Close PESWiki now." (PESWiki; January 31, 2016)
They have achieved solid state operation using an electromagnetic pump to spray the molten silver between the electrodes for the 1000/second continuous pulsing for continuous power production. (Free Energy Blog; January 29, 2016)

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