Archive for the ‘Landscaping’ Category

Sugar Trees

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

by Catherine Haug, September 23, 2011

Our last gathering of the year was sugar-tapping. See the Gathering Summary: Sugar Tapping with Kathie Lapcevic, October 19, 2011. And in September, Arbor Day featured the Sugar Maple tree (Acer saccharium), which is native to North America (north of Mexico), primarily along the eastern seaboard of the US and Canada. However, as Kathie will explain, while the sugar maple produces far more sugar, even our own mountain maple and white birch trees can be tapped.


Taming Stormwater with Trees

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

by Catherine Haug, September 23, 2011

Bigfork is currently under construction to build a new stormwater system. The project started last year from the top of Grand Drive near the school, to downtown at the intersection with Electric Ave. This year, the system is extended south along Electric Ave to River Street. In future years, it will continue south to the old bridge.

This system involves a series of plastic or fiberglass filtration systems, piping, and manholes under the surface of the streets, to keep toxic substances from entering the Swan River and Bigfork Bay. But did you know there is a better, more natural way to accomplish the same end, and at the same time provide an even more beautiful city landscape? (more…)

Test for hidden poisons in compost, manure, wheat straw

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Test peas affected by herbicide in mulch (yellowing leaves)

[Cat’s NOTE: This post, by ESP gardening presenter Don Bates, concerns herbicide damage to garden crops including tomatoes, peas, beans, lettuce and several other crops. The herbicide can be lurking in compost, manure and wheat straw, as well as airborne from sprays. See also my earlier post: Alert: Poisoned Soil, Compost, Manure]

by Don Bates, July 11

(all photos by Don Bates)

Given that many of our ESP community are gardeners, I thought this to be worth posting. It concerns an herbicide which is nearly ubiquitous, and so, probably off people’s radar.


Gathering Summary: Smart Use of Trees by Sally Janover, October 27, 2010

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Ponderosa Pine & Arrowleaf Balsamroot Understory

by Catherine Haug

Photo of ponderosa and arrowleaf balsamroot understory (from behind Bigfork Post Office) by Brett Thuma

Everywhere she has lived, Sally has planted trees. “They are the royalty of the vegetative world, the big work horses of the environment. One tree does more for the planet than any other single plant.”

Basing her presentation on her background in Permaculture design, Sally talked about the importance of trees in the environment and landscape. She also enlisted input from various members of the Forest Service in the audience.

Presentation Topics

The following topics are covered in more detail in the complete Gathering Summary: Smart Use of Trees, by Sally Janover, 102710 file (updated 1/18/10). (more…)

Sustainable Landscaping Humor

Friday, August 6th, 2010

by Catherine Haug

This little piece is currently circulating via email with the title “Lawn Care.” A little bit of humor helps us in our quest to live sustainably.

And while this is funny, it’s also right-on concerning how un-sustainable suburban landscaping can be. Check it out, a conversation between God and St. Francis:

Lawn Care Humor (

I’ve added this link to the Sustainability links on our home page (right hand column).

Home, Lawn & Garden: Pest Control

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Cat's Garden & Charlie Cat

by Catherine Haug

Right now, not only are my garden seedlings coming up, but also those pesky weeds. How is one ever able to gain control over these invaders, without using toxic chemicals like Roundup?

I addressed this in part last year, in my post Natural Pest & Weed Control. But read on for more ideas. (more…)