I am looking for some input and recommendations on shifting a commercial landscaping business from a "rape and pillage" structure that blatantly kills any and all "weeds" to one that works to build the soils, provide optimal conditions for life to grow, and through aesthetics, can draw people in and begin to form a bridge over the gap between humans and nature. Going into my fifth year of landscape and garden maintenance, I have come to the conclusion that the work that I have been carrying out with weeding, spraying, and bagging lawn clippings is doing nothing beneficial to these landscapes to help everything thrive. Killing and removing these plants and their organic matter feels so terribly wrong to me, like I am stealing from these plants and ecosystems. I feel increasingly like seeing bare ground is like witnessing a scar on the earth, trying to repair itself by growing new plants to fill the void, only to be reopened with every misting of spray, and every pierce of my Hori. I understand the aesthetics to a certain degree, giving plants isolation to highlight them and removing competition. However, these beds are not even mulched, and the soils look and feel bleh, like they are lacking life.
I have approached my bosses a few times, indicating my interest in building the soils, fertilizing, and making a shift to organic and natural practices. The first time was well received, and I was informed about a folder labelled "IPM" for Integrated Pest Management, that basically contained a few ideas, mostly regarding organic vinegar, garlic, and eugenol-based sprays to mitigate weeds. During the second attempt (which was yesterday), I expressed my feeling about weeding and scarring the land, and how I wanted to utlilise landscapes and gardening to really create healthy, beautiful environments for people to enjoy and reconnect with nature. It went fantastically, and my boss recommended to create a list of ways in which we can incorporate these practices into our daily and seasonal routines. We will sit down, and refine it a bit, and then take it to the owner of the company to make a pitch for the start of a transition to creating healthy happy, and profitable landscapes in the company!
So what brings me here right now, is you folks. I know that a community as strong and diverse as Permies will have a wealth and breadth of knowledge to offer. I want to start a transition towards creating a business that is sustainable, conscious, and thriving. So tell me, what can you folks share with me, so that we can make a step towards a beautiful and healthy urban environment?
What resources can you recommend in organic, sustainable, and ecological landscaping?
Who here has experience with this type of landscaping or gardening?
Has anyone pitched extreme ideas to your boss or authority? What did you learn from it?
Who has tips on organizing and presenting this information to a boss? Examples?
Thank you for your help, folks! This is a dream that I had when I first started using a commercial lawnmower, and I feel that it is the beginning of a change in how to professionally manage our yards.