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Integrating Animals for a Sustainable Garden

Integrating Animals for a Sustainable Garden

If you would like your garden to be more sustainable and you have the time and inclination to look after an animal, then this book is for you. In its pages, I describe how animals can be successfully integrated into a garden to reduce labour, control pests and reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.

Whether you have a garden that spans acres or a windowsill, there is something in here for you.

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Praise

picture of the five star rating from Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite

You thought you were doing good by having a compost heap in your backyard...HA! Just wait until you see what Kelly has in store for you with Integrating Animals for a Sustainable Garden. Over the last few decades, the human race has made massive changes in the way we see the environment and our place within it. We see more and more the increase in green practices so that we don't strip from our land what we need to survive. Sustainability is the idea that we can utilize the natural forces at work in our world to create better, more eco-friendly, and sustainable practices to live and survive. Things like manufactured fertilizer requires massive amounts of energy and chemicals to produce and it could have adverse effects on our environment. This book shows us how animals can be used throughout our gardens to make them more sustainable and less dependent on outside things to survive.

Sustainability is a huge deal for me. My man and I have run the gamut of sustainable practices, from installing a more eco-friendly washer that requires no laundry detergent, to investing in radiant flooring so that we don't waste heat, electricity, and water unnecessarily. We compost, we garden...like I said...the whole gamut. The one thing I didn't really think about was to use animals in my gardening because...HELLOO they are natural and can really help with the sustainability! Kelly has opened my eyes and I am very happy about it. I read this one with the boyfriend - it was short so his attention span didn't wander too far - and we have plans to start practicing some of the ideas as the weather warms up and we start working on our gardens this spring.

Table of Contents

Integrating Animals for a Sustainable Garden

  • Introduction
    • Why Have Animals in your Garden?
      • Pest Control
      • Recycling
      • Reduction in Labour
      • Fertilising
      • Food Source
      • Pollination
    • The Animals
      • Beneficial Insects
      • Worms
      • Fish
      • Cavies
      • Rabbits
      • Chickens
      • Ducks
      • Geese and Turkeys
      • Goats
      • Sheep
      • Pigs
      • Alpacas and Llamas
      • Cows
      • Horses
    • Toxic food
    • Recycling food scraps

Integrating Animals for a Sustainable Garden

Introduction

As we become more conscious of our impact on the environment, gardeners become increasingly interested in methods of gardening that require fewer inputs - inputs such as synthetic fertilisers (the manufacture of which can require large amounts of energy and can contribute significantly to pollution; and the use of which can result in pollution of natural waterways and degradation of soils) and synthetic pesticides and herbicides (which can pollute waterways and eradicate beneficial insects and other microorganisms).

Cost of living increases in many countries also prompt gardeners to look for ways to garden in more cost effective ways. Often, gardeners try to improve their yields and grow more of their own food to reduce their reliance on supermarkets.

Together, these concepts create a practical definition of sustainable gardening.

Why Have Animals in your Garden?

There are many reasons to have animals in your household. They are of course often pets and they offer companionship and teach children responsibilities for example. They can however, also fulfil a number of very important functions in your garden:

  • Pest control
  • Recycling
  • Reduction in labour
  • Fertilising
  • Food source
  • Pollination

Pest Control

Many animals eat a variety of insects so can offer free pest control in your garden. Chickens and ducks for instance love to eat snails and pest beetles.

Recycling

Many animals are also a great aid to recycling house hold scraps and garden waste. Many pets will eat a variety of kitchen scraps as well as grass clippings and left over crop and ornamental plant matter. In return for this, they produce lots of manure to enrich your soil. Worms will also turn waste paper into a valuable fertiliser.

Reduction in Labour

Some animals can do part of the hard garden work for you. Pigs will frequently turn compost heaps, chickens will clean up garden beds at the end of a crop cycle ready for replanting and cavies will mow your lawn for you.

Fertilising

As mentioned previously, animals produce manure that can act as a great fertiliser for your garden. Worms are especially good at turning waste into fertiliser. Any animal that can be housed temporarily in different areas of your garden will even spread the fertiliser for you. Some animals also require bedding material that gets soiled with lots of manure and urine, making it a fantastic source of organic matter and fertiliser for your garden.

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