Today I launch an ongoing resource for the Okanagan, as we collectively work towards a sustainable future, out of our unsustainable present. This and future posts will be collected under the heading “100 Sustainable Paths for the Okanagan” above.
Water, land and space are at a premium in this fragile environment. There are things we can do. They might be large innovations or small ones, but together they add up to a living future. Send me your ideas. Once we get to 100, we can publish them, and go on to the next 100. So, to begin:
- Scotch Thistle
Currently scotch thistle, an invasive plant, is poisoned with government money, for the damage it can do to the cattle industry.We have arrived at the point at which the benefits of growing scotch thistle exceed those of maintaining the cattle industry, and the costs of the aggressive poisoning of these plants and the toll that takes on wild pollinators.
The solution is an agricultural and food industry based around the miniature but delicious artichoke hearts in each thistle head. Spontaneous seeding of remaining cattle land can be managed.
Advantage: this agricultural crop requires no water and maintains endangered but vital bee populations. The potential for breeding larger heads exists, but is by no means necessary. As a bonus, predation by deer, and the ecosystem disruption of deer fencing, is pretty much nil.