Has this ever happened to you?
You are driving to a restaurant with an out-of-town guest and suddenly they spot some amazing plant that they love… and naturally, they ask you what it is. Of course you should know the answer to this because it is EVERYWHERE, and you’ve lived in this city for 10 years! But you couldn’t name that plant if your life depended on it.
Makes you feel kinda dumb, huh? Maybe even a little out of touch with where you live, I mean maybe you SHOULD know the names of at least a few of the common plants in your neighborhood. How about names of birds you see every day? Do you know where the moon came up last night or what time the sun went down?
These are all Bioregional questions that many people don’t think about, but which truly make you more connected to where you live.
When I first came across the concept of Bioregionalism I thought, “Wow, this is something I would love dive into sometime, but it’s so much to think about.” Then I forgot about it.
I ran across it again recently, and this time I grabbed on to it, mulling it over in my mind and applying it to my garden, my family, and my city. The ideas it encompassed made sense to me, and I wanted to know more.
If you look up Bioregion in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is defined as “a region whose limits are naturally defined by topographic and biological features (as mountain ranges and ecosystems).” Bioregional-ism takes that definition and expands it to include human interaction within those boundaries.
The Slow Food Movement defines bioregionalism this way:
In general terms bioregionalism refers to living a rooted, connected life – living with an awareness of the ecology, economy and culture of the place where you live, and making decisions that support and enhance these features.
If we are living a life that is rooted and connected to where we live, then…
- We are aware of the seasons, the plants and animals that live with us.
- We know where our water comes from and where our waste goes.
Just knowing these few things will help us to make more intelligent decisions because we are cognizant of how they impact our community and landscape. Take a few minutes to think about some decisions that are affected by that awareness.
If we know the cycle of our seasons, then we can prepare to sow and harvest at the right times. We know when to buy certain things or hire someone to fix our roof. If we know what insects live in our homes and gardens, we can understand how to keep them if they are beneficial, or what deters them if they are not. We may decide that the lizards and birds in our yards are worth protecting because they take care of the bugs for us.
Knowing where our water comes from may cause us to be more aware of the weather on the mountains where our water originates. We will then have a better idea of the upcoming supply. We may decide to hold off on planting high water-use plants, or maybe even install rainwater gathering systems. Knowing where our waste goes possibly could impact what we buy so that we don’t produce as much waste.
That’s just the beginning!
If you want to know what else you don’t know, I’ve created a FREE 30 Day Challenge to make you a master of your Bioregion. The cool thing, is that it doesn’t matter if you live in Phoenix, Arizona, or Lille, France, this challenge will work for you.
Get the FREE 30 Day Bioregional Challenge right now to start really LIVING where you LIVE!
Click this button to begin!
Some of the challenges are easy, while others take a little more thought and research. At times the questions may seem a little out of place, but they aren’t. Just do them all and you will see a bigger picture coming into focus, like putting pieces of a puzzle together. Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list of things to know, but it will give you a bank of knowledge on which to build.
Grab a notebook, because you’ll want to keep a record of everything you learn and do. I look forward to hearing back from you when you are all finished. Now get going!