Rules of Thumb, 30x30, and the Laws of Nature

Spring Landscape (Rain), A. Krehbiel My mother had a commonplace book in which she recorded, by hand, in beautiful cursive, proverbs, sayings, and quotes that struck her as interesting, thought provoking, or wise. I also love sayings, and quotes, and mantras, but mostly I’ve collected rules of thumb, those short pithy statements that condense ways of dealing with life on earth in the same way that proverbs give advice on how to behave in prudent, trouble-avoiding ways.  Rules of thumb exist for every field of human endeavor. There are the general ones, such as the 80% rule, or Pareto Principle, that gets applied in sometimes surprising ways—"eighty percent of every thing is trash,” someone will say, or another will say that “80% of your output comes from 20% of your efforts,” for example. The 80/20 ratio is useful in all sorts of contexts. For example, in a perennial garden, the general rule (backed up by scientific evidence) is that about 75-80% of the plants should be native (lo

It's Time for Your Lawn to Make Peace with the Earth!

That's the title of a short, informal presentation about the polyculture lawn I'll be giving on Sunday. I'll have samples of compost, a compost screen and clover seed with me. Too bad I can't bring along some birds, butterflies and bees! Details are posted on the "Talks" page tabbed above.

Comments

Unknown said…
So glad you're taking your message on the road. Have you received good feedback? How did you start your talk series?

Best of luck,

Thomas
Hi Thomas,

Thanks. The talk went really well.

I began by asking people what they think about when they think of a beautiful lawn. This sparked much good discussion and brought up childhood memories and associations. I then talked about the lawn in history (short), some different ways to think about beauty, and why the ecological lawn is better. Also ecological lawn care.

People seemed pretty enthused.

I started giving talks when I worked for the garden center. Garden clubs are always looking for speakers.

These days I try to do a few talks a year, often gratis. Usually someone I know invites me to speak. The groups are always small, but participants seem to respond well.

I'm thinking of applying to give a presentation at the next Chicago Wilderness Wild Things Conference in 2013, which would be a big step up.