A guild is a mutually-supporting community of plants. In the garden we can learn from healthy ecosystems and arrange plants according to some basic concepts, then mostly allow them to figure out the details. Because we are letting the plants and other share the responsibility, there is a lot less work for us. Not only that, but exchange for relinquishing our micro-management we get profound benefits - here are a few things a guild can accomplish:
- Build soil fertility without us adding compost or anything else
- Increase resistance to pests and diseases
- Significantly reduce or eliminate weeding
- Avoid having to plant most of the garden every year
- Pull CO2 out of the air and sequester it in the soil
Indigenous and traditional peoples all over the world engage with plants at the level of community, in the present and throughout time. Tending the land like this is in our bones - we all have the instincts inside us do it, and our souls stir when we see healthy, diverse abundance of plants.
Growing plant communities can be done just about anywhere - a tiny version can be grown in a planter, a larger version can grow in a little garden bed, or an entire garden can be planted into various kinds of plant communities.