Monday, June 20, 2011

Permaculture crash course

On Saturday we had a permaculture crash course at the Algarden. It was taught through the Institute of Urban Homesteading and Ruby Blume (aka sparkybeegirl) was there co-teaching with Giancarlo and I

It was a beautiful day for an outdoor class and the setting was really charming

It is impossible to cover all of permaculture in a one day class, so we focused on the principles and some of the design elements

We started the day with a tour of Giancalo's food forest and the Algarden History

He talked about bamboo, where to plant it, how to plant it, and why to plant it, or very careful with bamboo

Bamboo is great for carbon sequestration and great to build garden projects but if not planted carefully and the right species it can take over.

He showed us his plant guilds and how stacking functions worked in his garden

Showed us the chicken coop

The rain water catchment system

The relationship between nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators, and Insectaries 

He is a wealth of information

And at the Algarden tour: potato towers, sheet mulching, mushrooms

Planting beds with cooper edges to prevent snails

Quick stop for a strawberry tasting 

The herb garden to attract beneficial insects and to create magical potions

 We talked about gardening for the bees allowing everything to go to flower and seed. The bees love it!

After the tour we moved on to class discussion on the permaculture principles and how to apply them in our life

After that we took a lunch break with an amazing pot luck

My favorite garden student/teacher Muluk came to join us for part of the class

After lunch we had some Personal Ecology/ community building activities led by Ruby - very California (not on the Permaculture manual) 

After that we moved on to some design elements and a soils demonstration.

Check out our compost. It's about 110F hot, hot, hot

Sparkybee girl was feeling at home teaching next to the hives

Hey you got a matching hive! Did you call the bees before coming to class?

Giarcarlo showing off the soil in his garden. 

He has been working this beauty for nine years. 100% organic matter. 

I have never seen any body so proud about their soil

They were impressed!

 We finished the class by planting a guild under the apricot tree. Nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators and insect attractors

I hope you had as much fun as I did during this class.
Thank you so much for coming to our class

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