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The Tolman Guide


Food Gardening


Where to go to find Simple, Sustainable, and Affordable Practices and Do-It-Yourself Projects to Enhance the Sustainability of Your Home.

Dr. Tolman in the Washington Post

Washington Post article | PDF of article

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (http://www.sustainablesites.org/) is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. The Initiative seeks to achieve for landscapes what the U.S. Green Building Council has accomplished in the design and construction of ecologically-friendly buildings, commonly called LEED buildings (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design). Working with volunteer experts, the Initiative’s staff is preparing the report with prerequisites that professionals would use to design, build and maintain sustainable landscapes. Some of these practices include using recycled rain and household water for irrigation, improving soil health with compost, choosing plants suited for the site and its climate, avoiding chemicals that contribute to water pollution, and using vegetation to reduce the heat island effect of cities. The enterprise’s website features selected case studies from across the U.S. on how ecologically-sustainable gardens might be built. Dr. Deborah Tolman was the imaginator, designer, implementer, and educator for one such case study: the Malolepsy/Battershell Residence in Portland, Oregon.

Author note:
Watch this site for further updates about the guide and products from the authors.


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Cover:  Illustration by Dianne Tolman, a small business owner of Big Pine Native Plants.

© 2008 Deborah Tolman, Ph.D., Michelle Lasley, and Joe Parker