Lecture on Permaculture

I was able to attend a delightful session on permaculture tonight at Dickinson College.  I knew about permaculture more in the context of garden design but the gentleman spoke about a variety of different takes on it.  I have been thinking of attempting some permaculture elements in the layout of this year’s garden.  For instance, I was going to try to grow some corn but plant beans & squash around them (three sisters) so the can use the stalk to grow up them instead of having to put climbers in place.  There are a bunch of other options that I have read about and what I like is that it basically always says that there are an endless list of options and it’s really whatever is best for your situation and your yard.

Outside of my own yard though, I am interested in finding ways to help develop neglected areas in my own neighborhood by adding edible landscaping designs that will grow each year.  There are a lot of rentals in my area and of course the tenants don’t want to invest much time or money into a place they are going to stay in for very long and the landlords are often only in it for the money and don’t care either.  There are many tree lawns around that either are overgrown or empty that I wanted to clean up, mulch and possibly add some herbs.  I have been researching some options that are cheap, could grow from seeds or possibly starts that I already have.  I have a few types of mint & lemon balm that might be nice to add.  Yes, I know people hate mint because it is pervasive but that’s the point.  I’m not putting it into a contained area that is already neglected so anything is better.  Also, yes, I know there is that personal property thing too but tree lawns are sort of fair game from I can tell.

Thankfully, there aren’t any big, overgrown lots in my area but that is where seed bombs come in handy.  I first heard about guerrilla gardening a few years ago from a piece on NPR when I was driving to work.  I was fascinated.  It was before I was focused on growing most of my own food so I initially only thought about using flower seeds to just make places look nicer.  Now, I want to make food grow all over the place.  My son Isaac recently was learning about Johnny Appleseed and although I had heard the story when I was younger I have to say I haven’t really thought about it much.  Reading the story again made me understand just how awesome this fella was.  I mean really, the guy traveled around and made sure he planted trees everywhere he went.  And not just any old tree, one that gave back delicious fruit.  Kudos to you Mr. Appleseed.

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One thought on “Lecture on Permaculture

  1. Damn, sorry I missed it – stuck at work until 6:30. Sounds like it was interesting and motivating. The three sisters idea is great, I think I’ll give that a go this summer! (although I’ll confess I don’t really get how the squash provides mulch for the soil – to me it’s more like two sister and a good friend in for the weekend…)

    I also recall the NPR piece on guerrilla gardening – at the time I remember being reminded of the pranksters who steal a garden gnome and take it around the world. How fun would it be to plant veg is random spots in someone’s yard… 😀 More practical though are the little triangles of land here and there around the neighborhood. I’m glad Dickinson has started to do this around the quads. Makes me feel like someone is listening.

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