Arizona

Blogging My Book: A Peek Inside

In my forthcoming book, I’ll elaborate on these three themes:

  1. Nature and the Built Environment. Nearly all of the photos in this book are from my yard during 2018-2022. Nowadays, it’s a mature environment, but it hasn’t always been that way. It had to be created from scratch, and that was a project that involved lots of people helping me. Then I had to wait patiently while the plants took 10 years to mature. I’ve learned a lot about water harvesting and landscaping in an arid climate, and I’ll share key insights with you.

  2. Nature Nourishes. I’m named after my mother’s maternal grandmother, Martha. Mom told me that great grandmother Martha was a World War II victory gardener who fed eight people, and that garden was in Buffalo, New York. Although she died before I was born, great grandmother Martha is my motivation for tackling urban agriculture in another challenging climate, the Sonoran Desert city of Tucson, Arizona, where water sources are crucial and food-producing plants can be downright ornery.

  3. Nature Delights. When it comes to photography, there’s nothing more satisfying than capturing the veins on a leaf, or eavesdropping on bees gathering nectar. Looking for some natural beauty that’s well inside the city limits? And a thriving back-yard bird habitat? You’ll find them here.

But this much more than a nature-themed coffee table book. The word “project” is one of my all-time favorites, and you’ll find a lot of them right here. Among other things, I’ll show you how to harvest and grind mesquite pods into flour, and I’ll share my favorite mesquite cookie recipe.

I’m also a passionate upcycler. What’s upcycling? It’s the act of repurposing worthy objects in ways that are useful or artistic. I’ll show you my favorite project.

In short, I’m proof that you can enjoy nature in the city with a little bit of work on your personal garden (landscape) and the patience to sit and watch nature happen. Even better, you’ll experience the same transformation I have – the nature that surrounds you will become your nature.

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