In the Garden of Deeden: Mulching

Anyone who has walked a trail in the Amazon is aware of a very subtle, steady, quiet descent of dead leaves and other plant materials from the canopy above. This material covers the soil of the forest floor. Natural mulch! However, you can easily employ mulching in your own garden. Mulching cannot be overrated. By … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Natural Fertilizers

The soils in Amazonia are so notoriously poor in nutrients, that plants have evolved diverse ways of capturing nutrients from dead leaves, stems, bark, fallen fruit and more. So successful are these plants in recycling nutrients that the vast majority of the nutrients in the rainforest are found in the forest biomass, not in the … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Permaculture

Although we are now into January, it is not too soon to be thinking of the coming year’s growing season, and employing permaculture techniques just might be the way you can create your own backyard ecosystem regardless of how small a space you have for gardening. Permaculture is an agricultural strategy that seeks the integration … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Composting

The Amazon rainforest is masterful at recycling plant nutrients.  It has to be. Soils in Amazonia are notoriously poor in nutrients with the vast majority within the biomass of the forest itself.  It is incumbent on the forest to vigorously recycle nutrients. Elsewhere, though, even if soils are rich in nutrients, recycling them is valuable … Read more


En estos últimos 10 años estuve viajando por diferentes afluentes de la Amazonía Peruana en Madre de Dios. En uno de estos viajes tuve la oportunidad de conocer el río Malinowski, un lugar donde los mineros de oro estaban destruyendo la belleza de esta selva y todo lo que estaba a la vista. Donde antes … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Honey Bees Part 1

In 2008, I was in a waiting room and picked up a magazine. In it was an article about colony collapse disorder and its plight on the bee population. Given my love of gardening, it seemed natural that I would become a beekeeper. I met with a colleague’s husband who is a beekeeper, got some … Read more

In the Garden of Deeden: Rain Harvesting with Rain Barrels

The Amazon rainforest is masterful at capturing and dispersing rainfall: bromeliads, pitcher shaped plants, drip tips. But what to do in a northern urban homestead? Water is a precious and limited resource.  In many places, people don’t think much about it. They turn on the tap, and potable water flows out. Increasingly, however, we’re hearing … Read more

A Taste of Summer

A Red-eyed, 17-year, Cicada

Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is widely embraced by ethnic and indigenous communities in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America as a cheap and sustainable source of protein. Introducing more insects into the Western diet as a more sustainable food source is the way of the future.

In the Garden of Deeden: Worms Eat My Garbage

The average American generates about a pound of food waste/day. Have you ever heard of vermicomposting, also known as worm composting? Even as a little girl, I was fascinated with worms – don’t ask me why. However, I did try to save worms I found on the driveway after it rained. Although I started a … Read more