The history of the Interlaken landscape before river channel control was one of a swamp as the Lutschine and Lombach emptied huge Alpine catchments into this flat land adjacent to the Aare River.
Up the valleys Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Saxeten and Lombach where swampiness was not a problem, people have for centuries managed arable land to support their families. Particularly in the Grindelwald area, there are seven centuries of written records documenting how they managed the landscape.
So this region has a tradition of agriculture, crop and animal management in family scale over the lands from Alpine heights to valley floors. The following series of images show how the Interlaken neighborhoods now follow that same tradition of small land management and family food gardens today.
Most families dedicate a patch for seasonal vegetables close to their house.
Veg, flowers, and a place to sit outside.
This ‘front yard’ is 80% mixed garden, with little strip of grass–maybe for a pet.
A garden filled with healthy plants speaks of health and commitment to neighbors and passersby.
When the yard is large enough, there will be found a fruit tree. If even larger, a nut tree.
Each homeowner finds unique balance with the plantings of flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables.
Municipal water supply for allotment gardens for people who have no gardening space at home.
In the allotments, beauty comes from sweat equity. Healthy allotment gardens are the best of public realm commitments–people and plants in harmony–heart warming it is.
Past the edge of town is a rural landscape with small scale patches of crops.
Small scale farming climbs up the slopes becoming pastures which are grazed and/or cut for animals.
Villages are densely built in the foreground. Pastures in the middle ground with barns for storing hay.
I just can’t stop including more images of healthy veg gardens next to homes–such a fulfilling feeling.
In this image is a public path on the right–and one heck of a healthy veg garden to the left. Tell me that is not a beautiful and inspiring landscape?!
Pasture in the foreground, veg in middle ground, flowers and home in the background. Nuf said.
Fruit trees and crops right up to the edge of town, then each home with its own veg and flower garden. It is not ideology, not theory. It is fact. It is the result of people understanding plants, gardens and landscapes through their own hard work and intelligence.