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Quote of the Day: John Muir

November 14th, 2010

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir

The more I read about insects, soil, plants, and microorganisms, I realize we know little about the complex web that they all form. We’re often so quick to categorize something as a pest or a disease without thinking about the reason that it’s happening and how this problem is related to not only, our small gardens, but also nature as a whole.

The longer I garden, the less I step in and try to “fix” things, I try to let nature run it’s course. I started by simply doing away with any chemicals in my garden, then I moved on to not using any organic options either for pests or diseases. I now focus on feeding the soil, along with encouraging insects and birds. I do this by growing a wide variety of plants, many native and trying to grow the soil slowly and naturally without adding a lot extra amendments. This has made a HUGE impact my little garden, I have found that the less I step in, the more vibrant my garden becomes, the wider variety of native plants, insects and birds I see and the fewer problems I encounter. Tugging at or nurturing one part of nature really does affect everything else.

In what ways have you noticed the complex system of the natural world in your garden?

4 Comments to “Quote of the Day: John Muir”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile and BasketCase2, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: #Quote of the Day: John Muir #johnmuirquote #naturequote #organic […]

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  2. Seren Dippity on November 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    We have had a plague of grasshoppers the last several summers, I have to screen seedlings until they are large enough to handle them a bit and some things I just can’t save. One ornamental flowering tree looked dead all summer because the grasshoppers kept eating every bud it put out. This summer though I notice a huge increase in spiders. Golden Orb weavers, plain brown garden spiders and webs that I never even saw the occupant. Some mornings I’d go outside and the grass would be covered in webs sparkling with dew. I’ve never seen that before. I finally realize they were after the grasshoppers. Go get ’em!

    Not exactly a natural system but it is funny to watch the birds chasing grasshoppers behind the tractor that mows the empty lot next to us. Its like he’s a pied piper with a following!

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  3. Shannon on November 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Interesting.. I have always lived in the country until i went to college. Now i live in the city and i can’t stand it. All the chemicals that everyone uses on thier lawns, the terrible soil contitions and the absolute lack of animals. I mean the rabbits of course are there and so are squrriels but nothing else. The lack of variety is stifeling, i miss the noise and constant business of the country. I can’t wait until i can move back out in the counrty!

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  4. Val on November 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    What a beautiful post! Wonderful picture and quote. :)



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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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