I’m going to be writing a series of posts to introduce you to each of our team members because they are an amazing group, and I want you to meet all of them and learn about all the wonderful things they are doing.
I’m a little sad to be writing this first post in the series today, though, because Ellen Sousa will be taking a hiatus from the team while she finishes her new book. I will miss her terribly, but wait with bated breath to see the book when it’s finished.
Ellen Sousa gardens, farms, writes and teaches from Turkey Hill Brook Farm, a small horse farm in the Worcester Hills of central Massachusetts. Author of The Green Garden: The New England Guide to Planning, Planting and Maintaining an Eco-Friendly Habitat Garden, published by Bunker Hill Publishing. She also blogs about habitat and earth-friendly gardening in New England and is on the team at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. Follow @THBfarm on twitter.
Ellen Sousa: Team Beautiful Wildlife Garden
Ellen Sousa was part of the founding team at my first team endeavor over three years ago, when I created Beautiful Wildlife Garden. I had met Ellen on Twitter, and was so delighted to meet another passionate wildlife gardener. I was so thrilled when she agreed to begin this journey with me!
Ellen was also part of the team when I launched Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens almost two years ago, and we have been enjoying her thoughtful insights ever since.
Ellen Sousa: Author of The Green Garden
Designed and written in a practical no nonsense comprehensive style The Green Garden is an inspirational guidebook. If you are looking for low-cost, beautiful and earth-friendly ways to “green” those landscapes and outdoor spaces and supply an adequate habitat for a whole variety of declining species, including birds, native pollinators, honey bees, amphibians and turtles, this book will be invaluable.
Favorite Posts Written By Ellen Sousa
After 3 years of posts by Ellen at 2 different sites, it’s really hard to choose my favorites, but I’ll give it a shot.
Front yard gardens, balcony veggie gardens, community gardens, victory gardens… growing your own food is making an enormous resurgence these days – as the economy and fuel prices makes fresh food flown in from other places prohibitively expensive. Most traditional vegetable crops grown in New England are native to other parts of the world, but what did indigenous people eat before European settlers cleared the forests and began tilling the soil for wheat and potatoes in the 1600s?
Dear Readers, if I have not contributed much to Beautiful Wildlife Garden over the past few weeks, here is just one of the reasons why: The freak Halloween nor’easter that hit New England on October 29th dumped 18″ of wet snow on our farm, wiped out our power for nearly a week, and caused extensive damage across the region. We will be cleaning up from this for many months…We lost several trees that we were very fond of…including the beautiful red maple that was a focal point of our small farm (seen below in happier days)
“Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.” ~Michel de Montaigne When we moved to our small farm in Massachusetts, one of the huge draws was a farm pond at the bottom of the pasture. I had big plans for “restoring” this area. Horses had destroyed part of the shoreline and there was little growing there except a small willow, a wild elderberry, lots of barnyard grass and the beginnings of a bramble thicket. We used electric fencing to create an area of shoreline off-limit to horses, that I planned to devote to native plants and shrubs for wildlife. A wet meadow… quite simply a wildlife gardener’s dream!
Do you grow vegetables at home? If so, I’m sure you don’t welcome wildlife into your veggie patches. Rabbits, groundhogs, deer, slugs, you name it, there’s some animal just waiting to devour your plantings and destroy all your hard work. Fencing (or a resident dog on duty 24/7) is usually the only way to keep the four-footed animals out, but what about the tomato hornworms, the slugs and the beetles that can’t be kept out with fencing?
Were you aware that USDA is sponsoring research at the University of Connecticut to develop sterile varieties of Winged Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) and Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) — both non-native plants spreading aggressively into natural and agricultural areas in many parts of the USA. Sounds like a good idea, right? But history shows that this theory hasn’t worked well for other ornamental invasives.
Nurturing wildlife habitat and using a chemically-based lawncare program are not, and cannot be, mutually compatible. And even if you don’t care about wildlife or the pollution to the ponds, lakes and bays caused by runoff of lawn fertilizers, it’s worth paying attention to the growing number of studies showing alarming links between the use of Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup and a variety of human health problems – including birth defects, learning disabilities in children, placental cell death, male infertility and a number of cancers.
Get to Know Ellen Sousa
Subscribe to Ellen’s blog: The New England Habitat Gardening Blog
Give a “like” to Ellen’s Facebook page
Follow Ellen on Twitter
And listen to my interview with Ellen Sousa about her passion for Wildlife Gardening
And, wish Ellen all the best as she completes her next book!
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
© 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us