Inspiration – Gary Nabhan

I read Gary Nabhan’s book Coming Home to Eat in 2002 or so.  It inspired me to be a better gardener and forage for more than mushrooms in the wild.  For one year he ate only what he could grow, forage, hunt or fish within his 220 miles of his home.  I can’t remember the reason for the 220 mile boundary but it was a fascinating book that came out well before Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, another good read.  You can imagine how eagerly I awaited his keynote address at the Native Seed Conference this year.  He also authored The Forgotten Pollinators with Stephen Buchman in 1996, a little more strident but no less important, and has written several other books I need to read.

Currently he is working with a unique L3C profit/non-profit called the Borderlands Habitat Restoration Project.  They focus on three avenues of restoration: the physical environment, food chains, and reconnecting people with the land by engaging the public in restoration activities.  He believes that restoration succeeds from the bottom up: restore healthy soil, healthy waterways, and diverse vegetation communities.  Fill the floristic gaps for pollinators and the restoration of pollinators may improve the status of some endangered plants.  In pursuit of this goal they are working with the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education  Program (SARE) to establish bee friendly farms.  I came away from his address more determined to develop a season long pollinator mix and to not assume that the environment we live in cannot be improved.

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