The Geeks quickly recognized that there was an unfulfilled need in Indiana for quality, green landscaping with reports of massive bee die-offs more species put into endangered status, invasive plants taking over en masse, and continued deforestation. Our company actively works to provide beautiful landscaping that is also environmentally friendly and produces necessary food sources and habitat for threatened wildlife. As Indiana has grown more green friendly, so have we. We continuously strive to provide our clientele with the best, forward thinking, and ecological products and landscape services available.
WHY NATIVE PLANTS?
By using native plants and trees that fit into the natural ecosystem, our landscape designs can offer substantial health benefits to the surrounding environment. By working with nature’s positive feedback loop, it allows local flora and fauna (plants and animals) to survive and thrive. This mindset goes against traditional designs that favor ornamentals and exotic species that can deprive natural pollinators of the resources they need to keep the ecological balance in order.
Invasive species may have beautiful blooms, but their harmful effects on wild areas is a threat that can be contained and prevented entirely! In addition to encouraging pollinator presence and reducing the loss of natural land areas to invasive species, native plants are also accustomed to the local climate, which aids in plant longevity. Plus, they are drought and disease resistant. We love talking nerdy about native plants; if you want to learn more about native plant usage, follow our blog!
Biological carbon sequestration occurs when plants, soils, and aquatic environments capture and store carbon from the atmosphere for a long-term period. This process helps to reduce the overall amount of carbon in the atmosphere and mitigate the effects of climate change. Thus, native plants and grasses can help trap more carbon and reduce the negative impact worldwide.
The Geeks are supportive of Project Drawdown and model our practices on their recommendations for carbon sequestration. Through the planning and introduction of native plants and materials that help to trap carbon, reduce energy, restore wilderness, and reduce waste, we pride ourselves on being local industry leaders in biological carbon sequestration.
MAKING CHEMICAL-FREE CHOICES
What we put into the ground matters for what we reap from it and that’s why Greenscape Geeks chooses to be chemical free. Phosphorous and nitrogen from lawn chemicals and fertilizers enter into water supplies through rain and storm drain runoff and can lead to eutrophication. This over-abundance of phosphorous and nitrogen can also leech into drinking water tables. According to the University of Vermont high concentrations of these elements in our drinking water cause conditions like methemoglobinemia that prevents infants from properly absorbing oxygen.
We also advocate organic alternatives to pesticides and use organic mulch in our projects. Standard commercial mulch comes packed full of dyes and chemical seals to make the product more attractive and slow the rate of decay. While pretty on the outside, the inside delivers an unnecessary dose of chemicals into the soil. We get all of our natural mulch from local suppliers with a proper nutrient scale that works in tandem with the existing soil.
URBAN AGRICULTURE: GROWING MORE WITH LESS
50% of land in the United States is used for some form of agriculture. 1/3 of this food goes to waste with an annual loss equivalent to 1 trillion in losses. Urban farming can assist in reducing these numbers with less wasted produce, reduced deforestation, and building a tighter knit community!
Greenscape Geeks is a strong advocate of community sponsored agriculture, whether it be through a non-profit community garden, beekeeping, or animal husbandry. We provide consultation services as well as installation for your urban farm dreams. With as little as a 1/4 of an acre, you can have a high-yield urban garden of your own.
PRINCIPLES OF PERMACULTURE
Permaculture is a term coined and a concept formed in 1978 that has led to a modern review of the systems that Mother Nature has used for millennia. These systems work together with the people, land, resources, and local environment in a way that allows all parties involved to benefit.
The concept begins with the idea of integration of many systems and programs: non-invasive agriculture, agroforestry, aquaculture, hydrology, natural landscaping, and waste management, to name a few. This marriage of systems allows people to make the best use of available resources while conserving those that are at higher risk of depletion. Combining systems willy-nilly is a sure-fire way to waste time and money, so David Holmgren and Bill Mollison came up with 12 solid principles to carefully consider when humans want to interact with their environment.
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and Store Energy
- Obtain a Yield
- Apply Self-regulation and respond to feedback
- Use renewable resources
- Produce no Waste
- Design from pattern to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use the edges
- Creatively use and respond to change
Following these rules can help drastically minimize waste and improve recycling while reducing humanity’s carbon footprint.
BLUEPRINTS FOR GREEN LIVING
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nearly 9 billion gallons of water a year is used for outdoor residential use, with irrigation systems accounting for 30% of the water used. When we talk about managing storm runoff-which can taint aquatic ecology many miles away-we mention the use of green landscape infrastructure, such as bio swales, drip irrigation, xeriscaping, and rain garden installations to defray the large scale energy costs associated with complex water-management systems.
Water management is a crucial part of creating sustainable landscapes, and associated costs can be a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, local government partnerships with non-profits and environmental committee rebate programs help with the cost. Reach out to your local municipality, typically a soil and water conservation district, to find out they are offering to help manage storm water runoff and water utilities.
SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES FOR PERPETUAL HEALTH
We believe that landscapes, whether residential or commercial, can contain beauty and prosperity at no negative cost to those that live or work there. It’s easy to overlook the crucial role of flowers, insects, and birds in providing a bountiful return year after year. Small creatures work behind the scenes exhaustively to keep a delicate balance in order, but they need homes and shelter just like we do.
Only certain plants provide butterflies, bees, birds and other beneficial insects with the necessary habitat to survive, pollinate our crops, and eat pests. Purchasing plants from certain big box stores and other unreliable nurseries can be harmful, as neonicotinoid insecticides may be present and could kill the helpful variety of insects and pollinators. Planting with Greenscape Geeks means you’re getting native species of plants and stonework that is ethically sourced.
We also like to promote health and wellness for our bodies by encouraging people to eat locally grown, pesticide-free foods. If our client wants to start a food garden, we offer consultations too. What better way to save money and know exactly what went into your food than to grow your own? Our raised garden bed services include building kits and educational materials to help people grow fresh vegetables of their own; passing along garden knowledge is vital in building community sponsored urban agriculture and an atmosphere of environmental stewardship.
“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.
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