Edibles in the landscape - fig

Here is a collection of books, tools and gadgets we use in our homes to help us be as earth friendly as possible.

Edible Landscapes and Rainwater Harvesting booksBooks

  • We love Brad Lancaster’s books on Rainwater Harvesting volume 1 and volume 2. Brad lives in Tucson, Arizona where their annual rainfall is a scant 11 inches and he has managed to create an oasis in this drylands environment.
  • We also love Rosalind Creasy’s Edible Landscaping book showing us all how to include more edible plants in our ornamental landscapes. Watch out for an interview with Rosalind soon!
  • For those interested in greywater, there is no better reference than Art Ludwig’s book – Create an Oasis. Diane installed a ‘laundry to landscape’ greywater system at her house in Carlsbad based on the principles Art discusses in his book.

Rainwater Capture

Koolatron Rain BarrelCollecting the rain that falls from the sky seems to be the biggest piece that is missing in our current approach to landscaping, and that’s why we are such big fans of rain barrels.

    • If you want a very simple, cost effective one, the Good Ideas Big Blue Recycled Rain Barrel is a great option. Sheri has several of these that she is hoping to ‘daisy chain’ together to create an emergency water source should anything ever happen to our city water.
    • For those of you looking for a more traditional look, the Rain Vault Rain Barrel resembles an old fashioned whiskey barrel, but with all the modern conveniences of a rain barrel.
    • If you live in a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) or you are concerned about looks, the Koolatron 55-Gallon Rain Barrel with Sandstone Finish is the best looking one we’ve found. Diane had one of these at her house in Carlsbad. She left it there when she moved house, and now very much regrets it!
    • Once you have your rain barrel, the next step is the Downspout redirect. This one is the best we’ve found as it filters any leaves or debris away from the inlet to the rain barrel.

Gardman 8330 Galvanized Watering Can with Copper Accents, 1.9 GallonWatering Tools

Now that you have captured your rain, you will need to use it. Our favorite way is to use a hose or a watering can, so here our our best picks:

We hope you enjoy our list of resources. We will be adding more as we go along. In the meantime, do let us know if you have any other suggestions.

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Diane Downey and Sheri Menelli specialize in earth-friendly landscaping practices, including vegetable gardening, rainwater capture, soil health, native plants, and efficient irrigation. Diane is a professional landscape designer with over 10 years’ experience, and Sheri is a certified permaculture designer with a six-year-old food forest in her backyard. Combined, they have over two decades of teaching experience. Their classes are taught to the public in the classroom, in the field, and via one-on-one garden coaching sessions.
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