We started the Kinky Hose Garden Project in April of 2015. Since that time, we have been asked a few questions regarding our goals and purpose. What is it? Who are we? Put simply, we are one man trapped in small-town suburbia who, let’s be honest, kills plants. Mind you, I don’t go around murdering them as I walk by, plucking them from the ground and stomping on them amidst bouts of maniacal laughter. No, it’s more like… involuntary plantslaughter. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. I have even been known to kill plastic plants. Apparently, you need to dust them from time to time. Who knew?
We are also two children, ages 10 an 14, who have never really been exposed to gardening, permaculture, or any concerted attempts at sustainable living. One of the goals of this project is to educate them in the skills, economics, and pleasures involved in growing a garden. Science. Math. Nutrition. Responsibility. Art. It’s all there.
To us, this project is more than just about planting a garden. It is actually about changing our landscape, about exploring, about learning. To that end, we asked ourselves these questions:
- Can three people who are not used to caring for a garden learn how to successfully cultivate a vegetable and herb garden within the confines of a suburban lot and a myriad of busy schedules?
- Can we adopt the principles and tools necessary to move beyond a simple garden and holistically design a sustainable environment that mimics the patterns and relationships within nature?
- Can we create an aesthetic, comfortable, biologically productive space that becomes increasingly self-sustaining, requiring less physical work from us and less dependence on the urban and suburban utility, such as water, groceries, and garbage pickup?
- And lastly, can we do all of this without pissing off the neighbors?
This blog is not intended to provide empirical data on the science of gardening or permaculture. We are not experts. However, sometimes empirical data does not tell the entire story. We believe that a well-written discussion on lessons learned by someone who actually did the work can be quite helpful sometimes. So, that is more in line with what the Kinky Hose Garden Project is about. We will share with you our plans, our processes, our successes, and our failures. We will share what worked, what didn’t, and what we will try the next time. We hope that, on the other end of this project, we will be left with a knowledgebase encompassing many different aspects of ecological gardening, with valuable tools and a variety of perspectives to help us become more resilient and less dependent overall.
The goals of this project are:
- Learn about gardening
- Improve the aesthetics of our property
- Maintain a self-sustaining environment
- Transition away from lawn maintenance
- Reuse waste in the form of compost
- Transition time previously spent on lawn care to productive maintenance of beneficial plantings
- Learn to produce our own food
- Shade the house in summer
- Teach children to be responsible for the family diet
- Teach children the principles and tools necessary to maintain a sustainable environment
- Preserve soil
- Increase property value
- Develop a rainwater collection system
- Achieve aesthetic landscape design
This a big step for people who kill plants, but we intend to prove that our hyperbole concerning our herbicidal past is just that… an exaggeration built on ignorance. We are setting out to learn. We will make mistakes, but we intend to learn from them. We invite you to follow our progress, share what you like, comment on what you see, and maybe even glean a little knowledge for yourselves. You’re invited to watch us and help us as you feel inclined, and we thank you for joining us.