Ecology

Biodiversity, Systems, Complexity
Evolution, Organization


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Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo

Quotations for Gardeners, Walkers, and Lovers of the Green Way
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California

 

"Everything is connected to everything else.
Everything must go somewhere.
Nature knows best.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
If you don't put something in the ecology, it's not there."
-  Barry Commoner, Five Laws of Ecology

 

"If you want to see an endangered species, get up and look in the mirror."
-  John Young, former Apollo astronaut

 

"The study of Nature is intercourse with the Highest Mind."
-  Louis Agassiz

 

"For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria."
-  Richard Dawkins  

 

"Each portion of matter may be conceived of as a garden full of plants, and as a pond full of fishes.  But each branch of the plant, each member of the animal, each drop of its humors, is also such a garden or such a pond."
-  Leibniz 

 

"Our moral and ethical responsibility is to protect other species in the spirit of husbandry rather than destroy them in and attitude of conquest."
-  Charles Southwick 

 

"Gardeners are key land managers.    Our choices therefore lie not in whether but in how we manage the land.  We would all agree that we must do it in an ecologically responsible way."
-  George Seddon 

 

"This we know... the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth.  All things are connected, like the blood which connects one family.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.  Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it.  Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
-  Chief Seattle, 1854

 

Illustrated Guides to Food Plants 
Green Inheritance: Saving the Plants of the World by Anthony Huxley 
Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben Eric van Wyk 
Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Food Plants by National Geographic 
Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Matthew Biggs 
Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide by Ben Eric van Wyk 
The New Oxford Book of Food Plants by John Vaughan 
The New Oxford Book of Food Plants by Elizabeth Schneider  

 

                                           

 

"Nature is what she is - amoral and persistent."
-  Stephen Jay Gould 

 

"It's the flock, the grove, that matters.  Our responsibility is to species, not to specimens; to communities, not to individuals."
-  Sara Stein, Noah's Garden  

 

"Everyone lives downstream from someone else."
-  Author Unknown

 

"Wildness can be a way of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope."
-  Wallace Stenger  

 

"Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to
a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
-  Author Unknown

 

"An agricultural adage says the tiny animals that live below the surface of a healthy pasture weigh more than the cows grazing above it.   In a catalogue selling composting equipment I read that two handfuls of healthy soil contain more living organisms than there are people on the earth.  What these beings are and what they can be doing is difficult to even begin to comprehend, but it helps to realize that even thought they are many, they work as one."
-  Carol Williams, Bringing a Garden to Life, 1998

 

"Unfortunately, our affluent society has also been an effluent society."
-  Hubert H. Humphrey

 

Biodiversity: An Introduction by Kevin Gaston 
The Diversity of Life (Questions of Science) by Edward O. Wilson  
Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela 
Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity by Eric Chivian
Plant Diversity (The Green World) by Andrew Hipp
Demons in Eden: The Paradox of Plant Diversity by Johathan Silvertown

 

                                  

 

 

"After all, this is a world of rock and water and air. It is elemental.  It is not ours."
-  Janet Kauffman 

 

If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in the water.
-   Loren Eisley

 

"In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty." 
-  Imbesi's Conservation of Filth Law 

 

"A diverse ecosystem will also be resilient, because it contains many species with overlapping ecological functions that can partially replace one another. When a particular species is destroyed by a severe disturbance so that a link in the network is broken, a diverse community will be able to survive and reorganize itself... In other words, the more complex the network is, the more complex its pattern of interconnections, the more resilient it will be."
-  Fritjof Capra  

 

   

 

"A garden is an awful responsibility. You never know what you may be aiding to grow in it."
-  Charles Dudley Warner

 

"It was not that the jagged precipices were lofty, that the encircling woods were the dimmest shade, or that the waters were profoundly deep; but that over all, rocks, wood, and water, brooded the spirit of repose, and the silent energy of nature stirred the soul to its inmost depths."
-  Thomas Cole 

 

"By 2025, at least 3.5 billion people - about half the world's populations - will live in areas without enough
water for agriculture, industry, and human needs...  Worldwide, water quality conditions appear to have
degraded in almost all regions with intensive agriculture and in large urban and industrial areas."
-  World Resources Institute

 

"Natural objects themselves, even when they make no claim to beauty, excite the feelings, and occupy the imagination.  Nature pleases, attracts, delights, merely because it is nature.  We recognize in it an Infinite Power.
-  Karl Wilhelm Humboldt 

 

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise."
-  Aldo Leopold 

 

"We are all fools!  Blinded with greed, we rape the earth and declare ourselves its masters.  We glut ourselves with the riches, cut the forests down like wheat, and jingling our dollars cannot hear the voice of intolerable unrest within us.  Beware America!  The earth too has a voice which someday we must answer." 
-   Frank Waters, The Dust Within the Rock, , 1940

 

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"Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress."
-  Author Unknown 

 

"When all is said and done, is there any more wonderful sight, any moment when man's reason is nearer to some sort of contact with the nature of the world than the sowing of seeds, the planting of cuttings, the transplanting of shrubs or the grafting of slips?"
-  St. Augustine

 

"Nothing can be created out of nothing.
"Nil posse creari De nilo."
-  Lucretius,  99 -  55 B.C.

 

Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life Through Creative Journaling   
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth    
How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook  
Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words  
Nature Journaling: Learning to Observe and Connect with the World Around You
Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within  
Mixed-Media Nature Journals: New Techniques for Exploring Nature, Life, and Memories
Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling - Basics and Beyond  
Inner Journeying Through Art-Journaling: Learning to See And Record Your Life As a Work of Art  

 

                             

 

 

"Human beings are made up mostly of water, in roughly the same percentage as water is to the surface of the earth.  Our tissues and membranes, our brains and hearts, our sweat and tears--all reflect the same recipe for life, in which efficient use is made of those ingredients available on the surface of the earth.  We are 23 percent carbon, 2.6 percent nitrogen, 1.4 percent calcium, 1.1 percent phosphorous, with tiny amounts of roughly three dozen other elements.  But above all we are oxygen (61 percent) and hydrogen (10 percent), fused together in the unique molecular combination known as water, which makes up 71 percent of the human body."
-  Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

 

"Of all the lands in the world's temperate zones, China has the greatest number of plant species; the eastern United States has the next largest number."
-  Edwin T. Morris

 

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
-  Aldo Leopold

 

"Making simple matters complex or complex matters simple are both bad gardening techniques. 
Simplifying our relations to things sometimes allows us to live more complex intellectual and emotional lives.  Repetition and diversification are Nature's formulas. 
Simplifying and simplicity are never simple matters. 
The empty garden is already full.    
Some animals are always busy cleaning up the dung and the dead. 
The happiest gardeners have simply learned how to relax.  
The simplest garden is never simple. 
You can sometimes get a handle on life, but it often breaks. 
Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. 
It takes four seasons to know one year. 
Complexity is closer to the Truth.  
Dearly respect the lifestyle of worms. 
Diversity, multiplicity, relations, combinations, mixtures, complexity  ...  rarely just one process or one thing.  Location, location, location ... is also true for plants. 
Never just One: fruit, a hoe, the moving Sun."  
-  Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions

 

"The Mississippi River carries the mud of thirty states and two provinces 2,000 miles south to the delta and deposits 500 million tons of it there every year.  The business of the Mississippi, which it will accomplish in time, is methodically to transport all of Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico."
-  Charles Kuralt

 

"The ecological crisis is doing what no other crisis in history has ever done - challenging us to a realization of a new humanity."
-  Jean Houston

 

Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos by M. Mitchell Waldrop  
Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell 
Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life by Steven Strogatz 
Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory by Neil Johnson  
Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means by Albert L. Barabasi 

 

                             

 

 

"Life emerged, I suggest, not simple, but complex and whole, and has  remained complex and whole ever since—not because of a mysterious élan vital, but thanks to the simple, profound transformation of dead molecules into an organization by which each molecule's formation is catalyzed by some other molecule in the organization.  The secret of life, the wellspring of reproduction, is not to be found in the beauty of Watson-Crick pairing, but in the achievement of collective catalytic closure.  So, in another sense, life—complex, whole, emergent—is simple after all, a natural outgrowth of the world in which we live."
-   Stuart Kauffman, At Home in the Universe, p. 47  

 

"Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we."
-  Michel De Montaigne

 

"Soil . . . scoop up a handful of the magic stuff.   Look at it closely. What wonders it holds as it lies there in your palm.  Tiny sharp grains of sand, little faggots of wood and leaf fiber, infinitely small round pieces of marble, fragments of shell, specks of black carbon, a section of vertebrae from some minute creature.  And mingling with it all the dust of countless generations of plants and flowers, trees, animals and – yes – our own, age-long forgotten forebears, gardeners of long ago.  Can this incredible composition be the common soil?"
-  Stuart Maddox Masters, The Seasons Through 

 

"Nearly 97% of the world's water is salty or otherwise undrinkable.  Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers.  Only 1% can be used for all agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community and personal needs."
Drinking Water Week   

 

"It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves.  There is none such.  It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find in the wilds of Labrador a greater wildness than in some recess of Concord."
-  Henry David Thoreau

 

"Nature soon takes over if the gardener is absent."
-  Penepole Hobhouse

 

"If all the world's water were fit into a gallon jug, the fresh water available for us to use would equal only about one tablespoon.  A corn field of one acre gives off 4,000 gallons of water per day in evaporation. It takes about 6 gallons of water to grow a single serving of lettuce.  More than 2,600 gallons is required to produce a single serving of steak."
Water Facts

 

"Nature is the most thrifty thing in the world; she never wastes anything; she undergoes change, but there's no annihilation - the essence remains."
-  T. Binney

 

 

  
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
 
Winter Spring Summer Fall
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December 

 

 

"Nature is not a place to visit, it is home."
-  Gary Snyder

 

The Three Laws of Ecology:
First Law:  All forms of life are interdependent and interrelated. 
When one is disturbed or harmed, all are disturbed or harmed.
Second Law:  The stability of ecosystems is dependent upon their diversity.
Greater diversity means more stability. 
Eliminating some life forms reduces stability of the whole ecosphere.
Third Law:  We must conserve natural resources.
-  Adapted from Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace  

 

Seeds and Cuttings
Hydrofarm Hot House Seed Starter 11-by-22-Inch   
Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Shrubs, and Trees 
Hydrofarm Jump Start Indoor Grow Light System 
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free  
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners  
Hydrofarm Germination Station with Heat Mat  
American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual    
Burpee Seed Starter: A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and Outdoors
Plant Propagator's Bible
The New Seed Starter's Handbook
RION MLT3 Mini Lean-To Greenhouse
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing  
Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs

 

                                    

 

"Certainly nothing is unnatural that is not physically impossible."
-  Richard Brinsley Sheriden, 1800 

 

"Most of all one discovers that the soil does not stay the same, but, like anything alive, is always changing and telling its own story.   Soil is the substance of transformation."
- Carol Williams

 

"Humanity has passed through a long history of one-sidedness and of a social condition that has always contained the potential of destruction, despite its creative achievements in technology.  The great project of our time must be to open the other eye: to see all-sidedly and wholly, to heal and transcend the cleavage between humanity and nature that came with early wisdom."
-  Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom 

 

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The Spirit of Gardening Website

Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
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       From January 1, 1999 through March 1, 2011
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Last Updated: April 21, 2011 

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