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Native Plants – An Essential Part of Sustainable Growing

Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 10:30 am to 11:30 am

Hysoppus officinalis & Bumble bee

Workshop Description

The soil is a living ecology. Native plants are an essential part of the soil’s above ground ecology. This presentation will look at the soil foodweb and review the cycle of nutrients and energy flow. The presentation will focus on what native means, the classifications native plants, the role of native plants in the soil foodweb, pollinator/bird support and how to choose native plants for your environment.

Topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to the Ecology of the Soil (The Soilfoodweb)
  • Introduction to Native Plants
  • Classification of Native Plants: Sun/Shade, Height, Season, Insect/Pollinator/Bird Support, Soil Support
  • Perennial vs Annual Considerations
  • Benefits of Native Plants to the Growing Environment
  • Take Home List
Larix Laricina and Lady Bug

Speaker: Mary Beerman

Mary Beerman is a professional gardening services, soil consultant and educator. Her company, Mary Living Outside, works primarily with homeowners, organic producers and landscape professionals to develop healthy soils.

Organic and permaculture land care methodologies are used to develop and maintain a complex soil foodweb. Mary focusses on integrating native plants into the landscape to support native pollinators and predators to help maintain sustainable land practices.

Mary’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario and Horticulture and Sustainable Land Use studies from the University of Guelph and Trent University. She apprenticed and worked for 10 years at The Glen Road Organics, focusing on soil fertility, sustainable land care and curating native plants.  She has also studied with Dr. Elaine Ingham at Rodale Institute and Soil Foodweb Inc.

Mary has had a lectureship for 4 years with Durham College’s Horticulture and Food & Farming programs and hosts soil science workshops throughout southern and central Ontario.

Her greenhouse, gardens and soil lab are used for testing soil management practices, native and companion plant associations and effective disease and pest management, sustainable landscape design, seed saving, food production and storage.

Mary Beerman