Harmony Gardens -- Following the Paths of Nature
Calvin and Doris Bey, 8779 W. Forest Hills Dr. Fayetteville, AR 72704.
Problem: The actions of many home owners in the US today leaves much to be desired from a “sustainable living” viewpoint. Many owners are assaulting their yards on a yearly basis with toxic commercial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. On the 50 million acres of lawns in the US, 67 million pounds of chemicals are applied each year. The crime is that these treated areas become deficient in native insects, which are the source of food for 97 percent of the bird species. Is there degradation of the environment? Yes, of course, but the real problem is the irresponsible homeowner decisions. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Solution. At Harmony Gardens, Calvin and Doris Bey subscribe to a different philosophy. Their mode of operation is to follow the paths of Nature. As much as possible, they use a Natural model to guide operations for their lawns, shrubs, trees, and vegetable garden. In their large vegetable garden, they emphasize growing nutrient-dense produce.
They have set up their entire yard as an environmental sanctuary. Its a safe-haven for birds and bees, and you don’t need to worry about nasty pesticides on the tasty vegetables. The yard includes some flowers for the bees, dense shrubbery for nesting of birds, open areas and gourd-nests for swooping purple martins, extensive native hardwood trees, and even pole perches for preying red-shouldered hawks. All of this and more is in sync with growing of nutrient-dense vegetables.
How did this all come about? Looking for a “perfect” place to retire, and without knowing anyone in AR, Calvin and Doris moved to Fayetteville in 2000, bought a couple acres, built an award-winning energy efficient house (Stitt Energy Systems, Inc.), and started a garden. They both grew up on farms near Alpena, Michigan and Sunshine, NC. They met in Berea, KY, were married in 1960, and have lived and gardened, in KY, GA, MD, IL, IA, MS, AK, VA and now AR. They have two daughters, and one grandson.
Education: Doris is a retired RN, and Calvin is a retired USDA Forest Service scientist. He attended a one-room school house for his first 9 years, and was blessed to have a family that encouraged attending college. He received a BS and MS in Forestry from Michigan State, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State.
Gardening Practices: For Calvin, gardening is like running a business. To be successful you need focus, goals, operational guidelines, a willingness to learn, patience, and a passion. Calvin enjoys sharing and teaching others, including teaching intensive Organic (Natural) Gardening classes.
The focus is Nutrient-Dense vegetable production. It starts by developing a healthy soil. That means developing strong biological activity in the soil and adding the correct amounts and balance of macro and micro minerals. The key operational guidelines include minimum tillage, keeping the soil covered at all times, and growing diverse crops throughout the year. In addition, Calvin uses double-digging, raised beds, limited but wise use of compost, companion planting, controlled spacing, structured (energized) water, paramagnetic rock, and planting with some heirloom seeds.
Responsibility: Whatever generation we are in, we all end up with the same ultimate question, “ What will be our personal environmental legacy?” The solution begins as we seriously ponder this question and begin the journey of making changes. The challenge is formidable. If its not for us, then who else will do it.
Our Personal Philosophy
None of us can outsource our responsibility to take care of the earth and ourselves. As we work to breathe life back into the soil, we take one big step to improving our health, and that of others. Only when we accept the whole world as our garden, and taking care of it our personal stewardship responsibility, will we become a community, in oneness with Nature. The clock is ticking. We each have a limited opportunity -- one chance -- one lifetime to do it right.
Living in Harmony with Nature and teaching others to garden the natural (organic) way, with emphasis on practices that lead to NUTRIENT DENSE produce!
Welcome To Our Site
Our intent is simple: to provide useful information on gardening, health and sustainability issues. We will include class and meeting announcements, gardening information, and book reviews. The articles that Calvin writes for Garden Thyme, the Master Gardener Newsletter will be included. We will try to make this site easy to use and relevant.
- Harmony Gardens
- Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States
- Harmony Gardens is the home of Calvin and Doris Bey. As the name implies our goal is to live in harmony with the Laws of Nature. We are concerned about the environment, energy efficiency, organic gardening, alternative health, and sustainability issues. We love our Stitt Energy Systems Inc. energy efficient home, which received a First Place NAHB National Award for 2003. Calvin is a retired USDA Forest Service scientist. Each year he teaches classes in Organic Gardening in February and March and again in September. Doris is a retired RN. Calvin and Doris have put their energy efficient house up for sale (by owner). See first post for description, pictures, and house design.
- ► 2009 (11)