In the spirit and practice of breaking things down into manageable next steps, I thought I would focus very locally for my initial biophilic design research. Throughout the years I’ve collected books, magazines, URL’s on environmental/sustainable topics that interest me that I would read later – when I had more time. Well, based on what I learned writing my Time, Brain Damage and Choices post, I can’t really expect to have more time in the future than I have right now.
I have a fairly large space in my backyard, so why not use it to run some experiments? I can use these little mini-projects to focus my research and put what I learn into practice.
- Solar Electricity – I have a south-facing roof on my garage that I think would be perfect for a few solar panels. This is a timely project since there is currently a “solarize” initiative in my neighborhood!
- Eco-Roofing – I’m planning to modify my existing deck and add shelter, why not eco-roofing? I’m passionate about this subject and would love to get my hands dirty on a project.
- Rainwater Collection – I already have 3 large rain barrels, but I have new area in back of my new garage where I could build an elevated system and use drip irrigation into my new garden.
- Food Production– I’m planning to devote most of the backyard to raised beds for growing food most of the year. This is already a very engaging project! Some of the mini-projects will include:
- Irrigation Planning & Building
- Raised Bed Design & Building
- Plant Selection & Companion Planting
- Starting Seeds (Inside & Outside)
- Seed Saving & Sharing
- Hoop Housing
- Cold Boxes
- Canning & Preserving (assuming anything grows)
- Composting – I’m lucky enough to live in a city that has weekly curbside composting, but given my big plans for the food production part of my yard, I will need to spend more time composting.
- Bird, Bee & Butterfly Habitat – This has been a long-time interest of mine, I want all non-veggie plant selections to encourage local habitat.
Overall, I want to include principles like running water, re-use, and recycling throughout all the projects. I want to try to keep my new materials purchase down, take advantage of sources like the Rebuilding Center, Scrap, and, my own backyard. I have a deck I’m going to deconstruct, about a million red bricks (not kidding) from some old paths, and thousands upon thousands of good size rocks.
OK – I have my rough plan – now it’s time to get to work!