Drs. Pat & Dick Richardson, retired professors at the University of Texas
Pat & Dick Richardson live in the middle of Austin, Texas, in a neighborhood of 1940s bungalows. Pat and Dick have been avid urban supporters of Holistic Management for many years.
“Working in the yard/garden is a perfect form of production for us to support our values, our quality of life, and to sustain our resource base for the future.” – Pat & Dick Richardson
It is often asked, “Can Holistic Management work on a small place?” Pat and Dick’s yard is an evolving reflection of their holistic goal. Since their quality of life statement in their holistic goal states they desire a life rich with interesting experiences, full of health and energy, filled with love and peace, and integrated with all other living forms, they have encouraged a wide variety of living plants and animals onto their tiny parcel of land. It is simple, planned landscaping and gardening to provide food, water, and cover for the many species that visit the urban oasis. Their front yard includes three fruit trees, an herb-iris garden, a large raised-bed vegetable, a Purple Martin apartment house, and a small prairie with (one each) Eastern grama, little bluestem, Indian grass, and big bluestem. Their back yard has one very large “community elder” pecan tree, herbs and flowers, a birdbath, a deliberate tiny pond about the size of a puddle, trickling water from birdbath to puddle twice a day for half an hour, and assorted compost and tree branch piles. Their yard isn’t neat or “parked up.” It’s full of caterpillars, butterflies, lizards, wasps, bees, bugs, birds, and tiny fish in the puddle (to eat the mosquito larvae). They grow organic food year round for their own consumption and they share with their neighbors. Pat and Dick say that the yard draws them outside everyday – they get physical activity weeding and watering – they meet and converse with all the people walking their dogs – they eat healthfully. “There’s not a day that we don’t learn something in the yard,” says Pat and Dick.