Sustainable Botany

Sustainable Agriculture, Botany and Design

We encounter agriculture everyday because any kind of food relies solely on the things that we grow straight out of the Earth. Therefore we consume the nutrients that build that plant from the Earth. So, we must use organic and pesticide free agricultural techniques. This is accomplished through garden biodiversity and diligent maintenance.

Sustainable = Meeting current demands without sacrificing future demand.

The most successful sustainable farm is operated through means of community. Take grasshoppers. These pests can ravage an entire garden. I could sit all day and pick out grasshoppers from my garden, but I will be there ALL DAY. If my family and neighbors help me pick out grasshoppers, I might actually get something else done!

Positive aspects of gardening:

  • Eat local (reduce CO2 footprint)
  • Know origin of food
  • Know if food is organic or not
  • Self-sufficient
  • Enjoyment (finding zen)
  • Reduce waste
  • Fresh, therefore tastes better
  • Convenient
  • Selection and choice of variety
  • Awareness and connection to other life and ecosystems
  • Hard work

Negative aspects of gardening:

  • If you think hard enough, there are none
  • Expensive to operate
  • Time consuming
  • Less-instantaneous
  • Cannot grow everything everywhere
  • Hard work
BIO 345 Sustainable Botany class, Summer 2013
BIO 345 Sustainable Botany class, Summer 2013

The best southwestern garden manual: AZ Master Gardener

BIO 345 - Professor's Garden
BIO 345 – Professor’s Garden

The ideal garden, more of a mini farm. Enough produce for the whole family, and then some to sell on the side at the market or to give to students. I hope to have a garden like this someday wherever I may live in the world.

A community garden is an excellent way to foster organic and local agriculture while even educating the public of simple gardening techniques and features to advanced botany and sustainability.

My Yard

This year has been stellar for my garden! I’m so excited to see how my harvest does throughout the year. I have planted carrots, butter head and assorted lettuces, pumpkins, spinach, Swiss chard, strawberries, grapes and tomatoes.

(Updated June 30th, 2015)


Front Yard Flower Garden – Purple Tulips in Spring

This flower plot is the same plot that is pictured and described below. It has taken nearly two years but these flower beds are beginning to flourish. More plants will still be installed in this plot in the future, pictures to come.

This is a lilac shrub that I transplanted from the front yard to the backyard. This new location will allow the lilac to grow larger and creates a beautiful scene for the back deck access.

(Updated April 23, 2015)


My Tahoe yard is quite large and many areas need some maintenance. The front yard for example has several utilities (Fire Hydrant, Water and Sewage) access are located in the green mess of rocks just in front of the lawn. I began by reshaping some of the flower beds.

Project Overhaul - After
Project Overhaul – After

It took almost 2 weeks by myself, but moving those rocks really helped. I created 5 separate flowerbeds (Geraniums to the front right) which have been sown with a diverse crowd of seeds. I dug out an access point for the fire hydrant and placed gravel in front and along the driveway to avoid erosion of the soil and to aid water drainage. My amateur rock staircase leads from the fire hydrant around the right side of the tree, up to the Water/Sewage access holes and finally up to the lawn. I’m excited for the snow to melt this spring so I can finally start seeing plant life take over those brown plots.

Front Yard – Project Overhaul – Final Product – View from lawn

The picture above captures the garden plot from the lawn. The boulders sitting to the right had been dug out of the front garden patch.

Backyard Veggie garden

My New Garden in Lake Tahoe, Fall 2013

The flower bed to the upper left by the house contains Pink Cone Flowers and Lillies. The bed supported by rock directly in front of the grass has been planted with rosemary, wildflowers. Kale, swiss chard, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, spinach will be planted here in spring. The bed at the bottom of the stair case contains a blueberry bush and a red bush and will be planted with wildflowers, bulbs and other extra seeds.  Not pictured to the left is a wildflower garden. Spring 2014 will be its first growing season. 🙂