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Solarpunk Garden Ideas (And Other Excuses For Not Mowing Your Lawn)

 

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Solarpunk is defined as relating to or denoting a style of tribal architecture, music, and art of the 21st century that follows a mannerism and is characterized by sustainability. In architecture, this period is exemplified by the Marina Bay Sands buildings in Singapore and in the fine arts it is represented by the tattoo art of @Leonardo_Tattoos.

We are currently living through a lethal pandemic affecting more than 180 countries. There are many reasons to fear, but this article is not about that. It’s about the opposite. The solarpunk movement is a cultural answer to the panic that besieges our era. Here are a few simple ways you can manifest hope into your everyday life.

Solar-powered Irrigation

How much do you hate your utility company? It is the dream of many Americans to live “off-the-grid.” Not only would this save you thousands each year, but it also brings many feelings of independence and freedom. 

Living off-grid is rewarding but tough. It requires a lot of craftiness. One project you will inevitably find yourself drawn to upon making the decision to go off-grid is an irrigation system that makes gardening “automatic.”

Closed horticulture and agri-systems don’t just need water, they need flowing, carefully controlled water. This is referred to as irrigation. Modern farms use pumps to shuffle water around, but these pumps often come with two catches. 

One: they have many moving parts that require maintenance. 

Two: they operate using fuel like propane or gasoline.

For the sake of leaving the planet better than when we found it, a solar-powered pump could be a great solution.   

Russian Dachas

Russians have a rich tradition of urban agriculture. 

The population of Russia is 100 million. Of these, the Russian Gardener’s Association estimates that a million engage in gardening activities with the purpose of producing food. Even in the world’s largest country, a 60% gardener majority is not possible without some city folks taking an interest.

Even in the largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, more than half of the population has an arable plot. These people are called gardener-inhabitants, or datchniki.

This gardener culture saw its origin around 1917, when the Russian government established communist ownership over the production of food. These gardens were originally criminalized, but instead of destroying them, the Soviet state eventually took over their management when it realized the undeniable efficiency of these plots. Check out more gardening tips here.

Compost and Soil Health

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Organic scraps like banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells are not actually trash. The dictionary definition of trash is “anything useless, worthless, or discarded.” There’s nothing to stop you from casually discarding your broken eggshells, but they are certainly not worthless. 

These organic disposables are actually stored energy for our planet. 

One thing you can do to make your home more planet-friendly is to make your own soil. Making your own soil kills two or three birds with one stone. There is no better way to take action to ensure your neighborhood’s carbon footprint remains low while reaping personal, social, and economic benefits. 

If you are concerned about the planet’s changing climate and how human beings can live in harmony with nature for centuries to come, one thing is for sure, energy efficiency starts in our house. 

Fruit Walls

Crops grown in heated greenhouses have 10 to 20 times the energy demands of crops grown in an open field. 

According to Lowtech Magazine, “a heated greenhouse requires around 40 megajoules of energy to grow one kilogram of fresh produce, such as tomatoes and peppers. [source – page 15] This makes greenhouse-grown crops as energy-intensive as pork meat (40-45 MJ/kg in the USA)”

Modern greenhouses are the opposite of the technology they evolved from.

Before the United States became an independent country, European “greenhouses” looked very different from how they do now. For one thing, they did not have roofs — only walls. This ecological design makes sense for a society that produced all its energy from coal and wood fire. 

With the specter of climate change looming over the horizon, energy-efficient practices like fruit walls once again make sense. 

The way this works is you build walls around your garden out of some heat-storing material like clay. A roof over these “fruit walls” can help humidity and heat control even more. Don’t overthink it. This roof doesn’t have to be complicated. Some sturdy curtains that still let light in will work fine. 

Conclusion

Solarpunk is a style that combines ancient wisdom and futuristic technology. What we hear every day on the news might make our predicament seem unsolvable and inescapable, but hope is key. Solarpunk is simply one way a non-dystopian future might look. 

Comments

  1. Mary A Ambrosino says

    What great ideas especially for these trying times. There are several ideas I am going to try.

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