About Growing with Nature
Cultivating Abundance for People, Plants and Wildlife
Cultivating Abundance for People, Plants and Wildlife
Hi, I'm Daron! My wife, Michaela, and I started Growing with Nature to help people enjoy wildlife, grow food, and heal our living world.
Our goal is to give you the tools you need to revitalize the living world around you and cultivate abundance for people, plants, and wildlife.
And also to help you dream a little bit—to reimagine what our relationship with nature can be.
Because, too often, we get the message that the best thing we can do for nature is to leave it alone. But I’m not willing to accept that humans and nature belong apart.
What kind of life is that? What kind of a world is that?
People are a part of nature, and I know that we can thrive together in abundance.
I was born a nature-lover.
Growing up in a small town in Eastern Washington, I spent my childhood biking through thickets of ponderosa pine and balsamroot, catching lizards, and watching goldfinches and cedar waxwings drift through the skies.
(When I wasn’t tending my vegetables, that is…)
Most of those magical places are gone now—and the wildlife with them. Turned to housing complexes and sprawling lawns, like so many living spaces before them.
But I never gave up on nature.
So when I had a chance to study water resources, to earn a Masters in Environmental Studies, or build a student garden at my college, I leapt.
And when I had the good fortune to bring my passion to life, restoring degraded landscapes for a living, I was off and running.
But there was an aching inside me that wouldn’t go away.
Everywhere you look, the environmental story around us is a sad one. A story of destruction. Of loss.
But I know we can tell a different story.
Because nature is about Life.
It’s about Beauty, and Abundance, and Regeneration.
We created Growing with Nature to help people experience that story of abundance and begin to heal our living world—
one backyard at a time.
Our Own Wild Backyard
We live on a small plot of land, just under 3 acres, outside Olympia, WA. When we moved here, it was almost entirely invasive blackberries, lawn and pasture grass.
(Plus a handful of conifers and wild cherries on the far end, outside the fenced pasture, in places that were presumably deemed too “inconvenient” to tear down.)
But in the short time we’ve lived here, I’ve been bringing nature back, and cultivating abundance for people, plants, and wildlife.
Where invasive grasses and blackberries choked back forest regrowth, I’ve been planting native trees, and making room for the old seeds to take root. Seeds that were buried in the soil, lying in wait—waiting to come back.
Where a seasonal stream once raced through a degraded gully, I’ve been slowing the water down and planting it up—restoring it into a thriving wetland.
And where pasture grass has sprawled from end to end, I’ve been planting hedgerows, thickets, food forests and permaculture gardens that nourish people, plants & wildlife.
The neighbors were skeptical at first. But now they love it.
They’re even trying out some of these practices at their own place.
And you can, too!
Do You Dream of a World Alive with Abundance?
Growing with Nature is about cultivating abundance for people, plants, and wildlife. A place where nature-lovers can gain the skills they need to support wildlife, grow food, and heal our living world.
We’re a small husband-wife team working together to help people on this journey—to make our world come alive with abundance for people, plants and wildlife.
If you find our content valuable and would like to support our work, here are some ways you can help:
- If you find an article useful, please share it with others. This helps us empower more people to heal our living world.
- If you are able, please consider supporting our work on Patreon.com. Our patrons make this work possible. When you support us with a monthly contribution, you can instantly access exclusive benefits to help you revitalize the living world around you. And as a patron, you become an integral part of our mission, helping to make our world come alive with abundance.
Thank you to all our patrons — for sharing in our dream and helping make our living world come alive. We couldn’t do it without you!
So How Do You Make Our Living World Come Alive?
5 Pathways to Abundance
It may seem abstract. But there are concrete steps you can take to make the living world around you come alive with abundance, even in your own backyard.
We’ve mapped out 5 pathways to abundance to help you revitalize the living world around you. Inspired by restoration ecology, permaculture, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, these are 5 paths of actionable steps you can take to begin transforming your little corner of the world into a wellspring of abundance for people, plants & wildlife.
Each of these paths works in concert with the others to help you revitalize the living world around you.
If you want to grow food, enjoy wildlife, and heal the living world around us, these pathways will help you get there.
Growing Perennial Foods
When you plant perennial foods, whether it’s fruit trees, berries or vegetables, you’re making an investment that will support you for years to come. You’ll get yearly harvests without having to replant each year. Plus, these great plants will help you build soil and keep pests in balance. Ready to start growing perennial foods? Learn more.
Working with Native Plants
Birds, butterflies, native bees, and many other critters all depend on native plants. Planting native plants connects your land to the surrounding landscape and the wildlife that live there. Plus, many native plants are edible! Native plants can provide you with yearly harvests and attract the predators that will keep garden pests in balance. Ready to work with native plants? Get started.
Building Healthy Soil
Healthy, rich soil is the foundation of a vibrant living system. You simply can’t cultivate abundance for people, plants or wildlife without it. Healthy soil retains moisture, provides plants with the nutrients they need, and supports all the life that calls your property home, including you. Ready to build healthy soil? Get started.
Working with Wildlife
You’re not the only one that calls your property home. When you work with wildlife, you can achieve a balance with nature where predators keep pests in check. In turn, you not only enjoy abundant harvests, but also the satisfaction of being part of a vibrant community of life. Even if you live on a small urban lot, it’s amazing how quickly birds, pollinators, and other critters will start showing up once you create the space for them. Ready to start working with wildlife? Learn more.
Working with Your Land
Your land has its own character that is defined by the features on it. You may have low, wet areas or sunny, hot, rocky places. By working with your land, you can use these areas to create more abundance instead of trying to force your land to be something that it’s not. This will save you time and energy—and lots of frustration! Best yet, you’ll get to enjoy the life that’s best suited to your own unique place. Ready to start working with your land? Learn more.