We are super excited to share a fun little trailer we made. Our 1st movie, about what to expect… coming soon: Video (on youtube), Newsletter (sign up here), new speaking events and employment opportunities!
New Book Release: Practical Permaculture for the Home Landscapes, Your Community and the Whole Earth
Early in 2012, Jessi started collaborating and working on this book Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community and the Whole Earth (Feb 4th 2015) with co-author Dave Boehnlien, Education Director at the Bullock Permaculture Homestead and founder of Terra Phoenix Design as well as the incredibly talented illustrator Paul Kearsley of Homestead Habitats! We can’t wait to share this with the world and have many speaking/teaching engagements planned this year all over the country. Check out the Event Page for a schedule.
This week we were excited to watch a new episode on PBS’s “Growing a Greener World” about Modern Homesteading. NW Bloom owner Jessi Bloom is one of two women featured talking about the work of raising eco-conscious families. Be sure to check out the interview below where Jessi talks about living a common-sense permaculture lifestyle, keeping chickens and making compost!
When our hives got opened the other week we sadly found no signs of life. The jury is still out on whether or not this was the result of a normal winter die off or if there were other things at play. Since 2006 it’s estimated that more than three billion honey bees have died in the United States, and billions more world wide. These deaths are somewhat mysterious and have been termed, colony collapse disorder. While there is no definite known cause research points to the heavy use of pesticides and the loss of biodiversity as some of the major players. Why does this matter?
- Honeybees account for 80% of all insect pollination
- About 1/3 of the foods we depend on require pollination (apples, almonds, tomatoes, blueberries, coffee and many many more)
- USDA says this die off is threatening 100 different commercial crops that depend on pollination
- This threat to crops could result in a ten-fold increase in food prices
This is not a doomsday notice though. There are plenty of things that you can do to help from planting a bee friendly garden, to having your own hives, and of course, taking care of your yard in an organic, pesticide free manner. Creating a garden that will attract and feed honeybees is a fun and simple thing to do, whether it’s in your backyard or in containers, here are a few things to consider:
- Plan so you have things blooming all season
- Plant native plants and flowers, at least mixed in
- Avoid overly hybridized plants as they don’t provide much pollen to feed the bees
- Have a clean water source available
- Plant flowers around your fruit and nut trees to bring in bees and other pollinators
Adding to the biodiversity in your landscape and gardening in an sustainable manner will help the honeybees, as well as help your yard be bountiful and toxin free. Of course, keeping some of these small fuzzy friends is a great contribution as well. You can learn more, get products and take classes at some of our local shops: Keep it Simple Farm and The Bees Neez.
We just finished a really fun wildlife garden for some clients that adore their wild pets, especially the squirrels. This is a great example of how even a small space can be turned into a natural oasis to share with the critters around you.
Some of the main elements we created for this sanctuary include:
- Replacing restrictive (small) deck and concrete slab with a sandset (permeable) flagstone patio
- Two arbors to breakup sightlines of the massive walls of neighboring homes
- Removal of back fence to open to green belt
- “Dry” stream bed to allow for drainage of site runoff from neighbors property and slope
- Stone outcroppings / stairs
- Gravel Paths
- Bubbling stone water feature for the sound of water and a place for wildlife to drink and bath in
- Plantings are a mix of native, edible and ornamentals
“Hi Zac, I just wanted to reiterate how thrilled we are with the way that the back garden (we can’t really call it a yard anymore!) turned out. Everyone on the team was so amazing, from our initial meeting with Jessi, to working with you on the proposal estimate, and finally watching your wonderful team take such care in turn our unappealing hill of dirt into a nature paradise. We were extremely impressed with the skill, dedication and commitment to excellence that everyone had; to say you are meticulous and perfection driven is an understatement. It was a little sad this morning when I returned from my rehearsal and there were no hardworking and smiling faces to be seen! We cannot wait to watch everything grow and mature over the seasons… “
Last week mother nature decided to begin her tease into the spring season. It was 60 degrees and sunny through out the Puget Sound and everyone had huge smiles plastered across their faces. Of course we then promptly received several feet of snow in the mountains and the temperature down here plummeted back down with the onset of clouds and rain. That’s how spring seems to always begin – teasing us with little touches of light and life. The garden is beginning to poke its head out and those little glimpses of color keep us feigning for more. Hang on – she will be here soon!
It’s only February but it is already shaping up to be a busy and very exciting year. N.W. Bloom and Jessi have been making their way into the media all over the place. A few of our gardens are going to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens this spring, so keep your eyes open!
While Jessi is going to be teaching all over the place this spring some upcoming highlights include:
- The Mother Earth News Fair in North Carolina in April, Puyallup at the end of May, Pennsylvania in September and Kansas in October
- The Backyard Wildlife Festival in Tukwila the second weekend of May.
A complete list of speaking events can be found on our speaking events page. We hope that you are as excited as we are for this upcoming season. Whether it’s in the field or in a classroom we hope to see you soon!
The Northwest Flower and Garden Show is here and there are some inspiring gardens on exhibit, and fun vendor booths to visit, as usual. This year’s theme is “Art in Bloom” showcases local art pieces integrated into the gardens, in all sorts of forms. The #NWFGS offers a huge concentration of free seminars and this year they range in topics from landscape design principles to different types of edible gardening to reusing scraps for garden art.
We will not have an exhibit or booth, though Jessi will be teaching at 4:15 p.m. Saturday in the Rainier Room, which if you haven’t heard her speak, you shouldn’t miss it! Here are some pictures to help inspire you to brave the masses and attend this awesome event. It will be worthwhile, we promise!
We are coming into the second year of the WSNLA‘s Sustainable Landscape Professional Certification, now called EcoPro. Jessi will once again be the opening speaker and teaching sustainable design for the February training. Zac and Jessi are maintaining their certifications through continued education, and, of course, a deeply ingrained practice of implementing sustainable practices in all of NW Bloom’s designs, construction, and maintenance. As the industry continues to shift towards more ecological and sustainable practices it’s essential to have credibility to escape “green-washing” and continue to increase the public’s knowledge on the subject, and the EcoPro Certification does just that.
An EcoPro Certified Individual demonstrates a knowledge and practice of the following principles:
• Protect and Conserve Soils
• Conserve Water
• Protect Water and Air Quality
• Protect and Create Wildlife Habitat
• Conserve Energy
• Sustain Healthy Plants
• Use Sustainable Methods and Materials
• Protect and Enhance Human Health and Well-being
The upcoming training will be held at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA. and will run February 18-21st. You can find more information on what it takes to be an EcoPro Certified Sustainable Landscape Professional on the WSNLA’s website. You can also read about the process of creating this certification on a blog post before last year’s training here. If you know anyone that would benefit from this training please let them know so that we can continue to add to the credibility of our profession and our practices. Register Here!
It may be winter but everyone’s brains are beginning to spin with ideas for what they would like to happen in their gardens this upcoming season. It’s always time to gather more knowledge and NW Bloom offers consultations for your yard and property, which is a wonderful way to pick an experts brain and get a perspective that you may not have had with your garden before. As spring approaches rapidly our schedule is filling up and consultations are getting harder to come by, fortunately for all of us, Jessi shares her knowledge not only with individual clients, but with the public through a variety of venues and on a large number of gardening and sustainability topics. You’ll be able to catch her this year speaking locally here in Washington as well as the Mother Earth News Fairs in NC, WA, PA, and KA! All of the event sponsors offer classes on all different topics, be sure to check out our speaking events page to see if there is a topic that interests you.