There is a common misconception that to rewild our gardens, we have to allow them to return to Nature, leaving us no space to grow food. It’s not true. Rewilding isn’t limited to restoring wild landscapes and the habitat for keystone species like wolves, otters, and condors. As rewilding is also about restoring natural processes, we can also make our veggie gardens, orchards and fields ‘wilder’ by repairing their ecosystems.

Asking ourselves, “Is what I am doing eco-logical?” we start to realise the potential of these locally adapted and highly-evolved ecosystems to give us more support with growing food. Whether we see ourselves as permaculturists, regenerative farmers, or organic gardeners, or use conservation agriculture, syntrophic, or nature-friendly growing practices, we replace fertilisers, pest controls, etc., with Nature’s free ecological services. Our gardens will be in better shape than they are now. More resilient to the challenges of our changing and unstable climate.

Getting the ecosystems in our gardens to the point where Nature manages everything will be challenging because we direct most of the productivity towards growing food for human consumption. But there is definitely room for improvement!

Image showing benefits of learning from Nature

By rewilding our soil, our plants will get silver service catering courtesy of our biodiverse communities of soil organisms rather than via the inadequate compost and other inputs we apply, and we’ll grow healthy crops and wholesome food. Above ground, we’ll create functional biodiversity using companion plants and ecological support species to improve our growing conditions, for example, by growing a diversity of plants to attract beneficial insects and birds.

Rewilding our gardens will give us the joy of bringing nature back into our suburbs. The birds, small mammals and insects that used to be common will be commonplace once more. With stronger ecological foundations, we’ll find it easier to support the recovery of endangered species with specialist habitat requirements.

Considering the benefits, it’s surprising everyone isn’t rewilding the ecosystems in their gardens!

Resources from Learning from Nature to get Started!

Quick reads:

  1. What is Healthy Soil?
  2. Grow Food Eco-logically

How to build healthy soil - ecologically

Get everything you need to know to use this eco-logical approach to rewild your garden with the Eco-logical Gardening Handbook

Front cover regenerative gardening


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