Ecosystem Restoration

OCA: ONE TINY PIECE OF OUR BIG PUZZLE

This week UW-Madison ethnobotanist Eve Emshwiller taught me to care deeply about oca, a funky little tuber that I will probably never see. Botany seems like a conflicted field to me.  Some researchers are working to develop “perfect” varieties of plants that can be grown in vast monocultures, while other […]

Milkweed, Monarchs and Me

One of the first plants I think I could identify as a child was milkweed.  That was before I even associated its fireworks flowers with its flying fairy seeds.  I was attracted to its dramatic pods that could be opened to reveal the precise rows of seeds sleeping with their […]

Conversational Prairie 101

Because our little barn is a timber frame structure covered with slabs of oak weathering to a silvery patina, I like to think it looks like it belongs where it is.  (See my post, Building our Timberframe Barn here .  But when it was being built, the site looked like […]

Prairie Grasses I’m Dreaming Of

People say sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.  It’s even more true that you can’t see the prairie for the grasses.  But we really should see those grasses.  Ornamental grasses are gaining respect in landscaping, and truly, what is more beautiful than a sea of grass flowing […]

Why Whole Trees?

GUEST POST BY DELLA HANSMANN If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve seen the term “whole trees” a number of times.  Doug and Denise have decided that they want their new home to be a whole tree house.  They won’t be living in the air, however.  Here’s […]