Saturday, July 25, 2009

URBAN GARDENING: Berea Artist's Yard a Work of Art at the ARK in Berea Eco Museum

ARK in Berea Eco-Museum -  As the pioneers of urban gardening, David and Renate Jakupca's garden designs always incorporates ICEALITY for people, since "that's who gardens are mainly for," says David, founder of the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) in Cleveland, Ohio. The gardens around the couple's historic ARK in Berea house have been featured in many home and horticulture news stories.

"For us, the plants are the last step," notes David. "ICEAlity is first established using a relationship between a house and its surroundings, creating spaces in which people will want to spend time and relate with those surroundings.

For 35 years, their "people-friendly" designs for outdoor living emphasize views and other pleasing elements, shade, and stress-free maintenance. But they are also friendly to the animals and environment.
The ARK in Berea Garden has an area of plants indigenous to Ohio and is officially designated as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Do Try This at Home:To evaluate your yard, the Jakupcas recommend standing with your back to the door you use most, usually a side or back door.
"Identify existing fixtures that you can use as anchors to link the doors of your house to the surrounding landscape as you develop your garden," says David.
Then take a folding chair and spend time in various places around the yard to see which lend themselves to outdoor living, he says. "Note the feeling and mood of each, its existing trees, views, and sunlight."

Sit and Smell the Roses:"Why plant perennials only to walk past them?" asks David. Instead, place sitting and other activity areas right in the middle of them. That way, you create an extra "room" where you can eat or read the newspaper, and the plants' appearance and fragrance become part of your experience.

Expanses of field or lawn also qualify for David's "room-with-a-view" effect. He mows a curving, eight-foot-wide swath from their gardens' edge into the woodland that is used as an outdoor art studio. A similair artists refuge is further back where a small circle is mowed out from the woods around a bench shaded by small trees the couple planted. "Instead of spending your time and money cutting grass you can sit and relax and have great place to watch the sunset," he says, "and see lots of bird activity."
Another sitting area is easily sculpted into the wildflowers at the edge of the treelawn." Benches are an easy way to enhance outdoor-living space when their design and materials fit a setting's mood, says David "They draw people to them and emphasize the best views on your property and its surroundings."
"Always provide some kind of external support for all types of seating," reminds Renate, "such as shrubs, or anything that keeps your back from feeling exposed."

Gardens For the Body: In a relatively small space there is an abundant natural garden. Apple, Cherry, Black Walnut and Plum Trees provide shade and food. Concord Grapes Vines and blueberry bushes provide privacy and food. Herb, Fruit and Vegetable plants, tucked into the yards nooks and cranny's provide color, texture and food.  "Planning a Urban Garden for food production eliminates much of the dull, tedious, and repetitious yard work that is wasteful and non-sustainable", said David, 'The expense in money and time put into having a nice grass yard is something that is gone forever".   
Rooms without Walls: The couple's inviting outdoor "living room" nestles under the shade of a circle of trees. After dark, up-lights on the trees accentuate the overarching branches that provide the area's living "ceiling." The "floor" was constructed from a simple two-inch-deep sand foundation overlaid with pebble stone. The Jakupca's reclaimed another area in their garden from space many might never think to use and that is the back of an outdoor sculpture. Using its rustic rock exterior as backdrop, they shaped this east-facing location into a patio sheltered by apple and black walnut trees. There is a concord grape arbor whose simple design includes growing support fashioned from live whute pine trees. They've also used these rough-hewn barn boards for a deer barrier and privacy fence.

The ABC's of Planting:
Once they've built their outdoor-living spaces, the Jakupcas choose all plants according to a property's physical characteristics and a hierarchy that begins with trees and then adds shrubs and perennials.
"Gardens need all three," says David. "Trees provide vertical structure against the sky as well as a 'ceiling.' Shrubs define and enclose space and add fragrance. Perennials, which bring the highest maintenance, are detail plants that provide color and leaf variety, from the smallest, used for edging, to the drama of tall grasses."
"Once you've defined the spaces where people will be, very often, the plantings you want to have there will simply suggest themselves," David says.

ARK in Berea

ARK in Berea Eco-Museum
Ground Rules for Urban Gardening:
1. Learn to plant, not only an orchard, but also basic crops (corn, grain, cassava, etc. ) and trees (fruit, native, woody);⁣

2. Create a bond with some land, whether it's yours or that of a relative, a project, a community garden, etc. Participate with the people who live there, go gradually looking for ways to spend more time in the countryside than in the city, learning to plant, purify water, treat organic waste and heal in nature;⁣

3. Develop practical skills (cooking, carpentry, machine repair, food processing, sewing, etc. ).⁣
Teach these skills to children, friends and neighbors;⁣

4. Seek a mutual support group, where people take care of each other, make products of basic need collectively, such as natural hygiene products, natural remedies such as syrups and herbal tinctures, food processing, such as preserved and fermented foods;⁣

5. Simplify your life now, releasing more space and time. Discover everything you can do without money, walk, exercises, crafts and body arts, socialize with your loved ones, gardening;⁣

6. Separate from the logic of consuming more and more. They prefer handmade products that last a long time, quality, made by small producers, social companies and solidarity economic companies. Make exchanges, give and receive gifts of effective value, rather than financial value;⁣

7. Exchange, store, multiply and spread creole seeds (native, not genetically modified, produced by popular and family farming);⁣

8. Recognize that life will be much better afterwards! We're just transitioning. "Our creativity is the limit of  the ICEALITY System". ⁣

How did the plain green lawn become the central landscaping feature in America, and what is the ecological cost?


Dracha Arendee said...

Inspired by the garden folks at the ARK in Berea, Seattle set to Build Nation’s First Food Forest
Forget meadows. Seattle's food forest will be filled with edible plants, and everything from pears to herbs will be free for the taking.


Dracha Arendee said...

This area in Detroit is following the Jakupca's THEORY OF ICEALITY and is now America’s first 100% organic, self-sustainable neighborhood

Drach Arendee said...

Florida Lifts Ban on Front-Yard Vegetable Gardens Oct 18, 2019

Florida passes law saying cities can’t stop people from growing food on their own property, even in their front yards

State lawmakers in Florida have told cities they must respect citizens’ property rights, and seemingly even more basic right to grow their own food.

They just passed a bill “prohibiting local governments from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties.”

“Such regulations are void and unenforceable,” the new law says..

The legislation was inspired by a couple who had had been tending a beautiful front-yard vegetable garden for 17 years when the town of Miami Shores told them it was illegal and made them tear it up.

It didn’t matter how nearly they tended their tomatoes, beets, scallions, spinach, kale and multiple varieties of Asian cabbage, only non-edible “ornamental” plants could be planted in view of the public, “unsightly” Swiss chard needed to be hidden behind the house, the town said.

Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts argued there wasn’t enough sunlight in the backyard.

“Indignant at the fact that vegetables were deemed more offensive than boats, RVs, jet skis, statues, fountains, gnomes, pink flamingos, or Santa in a Speedo in one’s front yard,” they took their case all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, but lost, Tree Hugger reports.

But a few months later, their story hit a nerve with enough state lawmakers, they are now victorious.

”The world is changing when it comes to food,” said Republican senator Rob Bradley, who sponsored the bill.

“There’s a big interest when it comes to locally sourced food or organic products. It is our role, our duty to review decisions that are made in the courts that uphold local government actions that violate property rights … When you own a piece of property, you should be able to grow food on that property for your family’s consumption.”

Dracha Arendee said...

United Nations shows support for Theory of Iceality

'UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way To Feed The World’

Jakupca's Theory on Environmental Arts (ICEALITY*) was enthusiastically embraced by the United Nations by 1990 and was featured in many of their World Conferences;

1- 1992 Earth Summit on the Environment, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2- 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, Austria
3- 1994 World Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt
4- 1995 World Conference on Women, Beijing, China
5- 1996 Habitat II- UN Conference on Human Settlements, Istanbul, Turkey
6- 2000 World's Fair, Expo2000, Hannover, Germany
7- 2001 World Conference on Racism, Durban, South Africa
8- 2002 World Summit on Sustainability, Johannesburg, South Africa
9- 2003 World Conference on Peace, Verbania, Italy
10- 2005 World Conference on Peace, Verbania, Italy
11- 2007 World Peace Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The result of this major global public promotion at the United Nations level, is that the Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts is now considered as the cornerstone of the modern sustainable global Environmental Art Movement and this concept is now replicated by urban designers, architects and artists throughout the World. However, it must be noted that not all of Jakupca's contemporaries did accepted the new theory at once. "David Jakupca is the Prototype. No one ever did it All with his kind of style, grace and madness", says Martin B. Lane.

Dracha Arendee said...


Gardening Advice from Indigenous Food Growers