Permaculture Growth at Victory Garden Initiative
Permaculture review by Karin Conway 10/30/13 (PDC Certification 2013)
What the heck is this thing called “permaculture” anyway? That is a good question that I have had asked a lot lately. I heard it described perfectly as “Applied Ecology” recently. I couldn’t think of a more succinct definition.
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture ; Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
In class we have been learning about the different principles of permaculture as written by different authors and experts. Our two favorites are Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Some of the principles are here; http://permacultureprinciples.com/principles/
When I describe to people how we work with nature and design systems, guilds, and patterns that mimic nature… sometimes people’s eyes roll or glass-over. I would like to encourage folks to give nature a chance, so I think a good question to ask when thinking about doing anything with the earth is, “What would Nature do? Would nature use unnatural chemicals or design rows and rows of the same old thing? I don’t think so. Maybe we shouldn’t do that either.
I have been having a hoot participating in the VGI PDC course this year. Our fabulous instructors; Ryan Dale and Jazz Glastra have been taking very good care of us. We have had some delicious lunches consisting of lots of raw foods and yummy hot soups while learning principles on how to care for the earth and people. They have brought in so many local experts in all different areas. It has been very eye-opening and life changing. I can’t wait to have my own place and practice all our new skills. I’m so jazzed up about Permaculture, I started a Meetup group where we can schedule events with like minded people; http://www.meetup.com/Permaculture-Milwaukee/ Please join us!
One of the most interesting things we have learned about is all the various forms of composting, including Hügelkultur. (The practice of making raised garden beds filled with rotting wood.) Buried wood becomes like a sponge as it slowly decomposes, captures water and stores it for later use by crops planted on top of the hugelkultur bed. We are lucky enough to have an arborist in class (Will Martens of Vertical Techniques). https://www.facebook.com/vertical.techniques/
If you have a space you would like to turn into a sustainable food forest and need some help, I would recommend speaking up to volunteer your place as a sample site for the next PDC class… or better yet, sign up for PDC class and redesign your own lil slice of heaven. See the VGI (Victory Garden Initiative) website; http://www.victorygardeninitiative.org/ for more information.
Organic Growth Coach
Mobil/ text: (414) 687-9900
Planting Seeds of Change
- Permaculture in Haiti: A Framework for Ecological Reconstruction (umasspermaculture.wordpress.com)
- Permaculture is Life (permaculturedesignbydonation.wordpress.com)