Creating Relationship between Self-reliance and Active Regeneration

As I plan my garden spaces, as I clear scrub to make room for food producing plants I often find myself in an ethical dilemma. Part of me wants to honour mother earth, preserving the natural habitats I see around me. Another part of me knows that many of those native species on the land I care for do not support my human need for sustenance. How I balance these two conflicting needs will impact my decision moving forward.

after the removal of the invasive lily of the valley, this will become an herbal tea garden

Self-reliance without addressing the regeneration needs of the land I interact with will lead me to being a “user” of the land as so many of the destructive forces of economy do around the world today. I will become a part of the very problem I see as leading to the challenges we humans will inevitably face with climate change and the degradation of food producing lands. So repeating the same process even if on a smaller scale is not the answer. I have to seek and learn a different type of relationship with the land than what I am familiar with because of the exposure I have had up until now.

There are other ways of growing and creating enough abundance to live off the land that are in harmony with the natural forces. These are the practices I want to discover, to learn about and to bring into practice.

Today I read this article on the druid garden web site ( which gives me some idea that the practices that I have been planning to introduce into my garden actually fall into the regenerative category. I want to be instrumental in bringing native plants typically associate with foraging into my permaculture / forest garden. I want to create a landscape that is conducive to the wildlife in my area while at the same time being able to harvest foods for my table. I want to oversee the removal of the last of the pines that were planted after the deforestation of the native woodlands and replace them with a mix of native trees and fruit bearing trees.

I realize I have more research and studies to do, but I am heartened to know that I am on the right path because I am aware of the concerns and have a desire to learn and do better.

Renate Dundys Marrello

Reflections on Life after Retirement