Taking Root #37

Learn to build “Permaculture Soil” at Munch Night
By Gini Bramlett
For the Calapooia Food Alliance

Definition: Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.

The Calapooia Food Alliance is hosting the first Munch Night of the year with the film: The “Permaculture Soils” by Geoff Lawton, a permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. Even if you have never built a garden before, you will learn real soil creation.
Since 1995 Lawton has specialized in education, design, implementation, system establishment, administration and community development, and has written countless books as well as produced a number of films on the subject. In 1996 he was accredited with the Permaculture Community Services Award by the permaculture movement for services in Australia and around the world.

“It’s not the soil itself – it’s the soil life that is the most important element.”
– Geoff Lawton

The Permaculture garden is a lot more than an organic garden. It is a designed garden. It focuses on using waste and reducing dependence on inputs by creating healthy soil and a diversity of produce. Another aim is not to pollute the surrounding environment, neither with excess nitrogen released into the water systems, nor weed seed into any natural systems.
It also used design to minimize chores and energy output. Permaculture helps people of different abilities, not just young and strong people who can shovel compost.

Visually the biggest difference between organic gardening and permaculture is that permaculture gardens rarely have bare soil; the conservation of soil and water is a high priority. There is a more complex use of space, and plants are allowed to set seed, and are interplanted for pest control. Planting in rows is rare. The system also aims to harvest and maximize water, sun and other natural energies such as wind, dust, leaves and bird droppings.

Location for Munch Night has changed. This month it will take place at “The Maze,” located at 109 Spaulding St. in Brownsville at 6pm, Friday, Jan. 22. Dinner, homemade by CFA board members, will be our popular baked potato bar. A donation of $10 per person is suggested. And, don’t forget to bring your own place settings and beverage.

FREE “Seed to Supper” Garden Classes Offered

Coming up is “Seed to Supper” a CFA supported program in association with Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener ™ Program and in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank.

“Seed to Supper” is a FREE comprehensive five-week beginning gardening course that gives novice, adult gardeners on a limited budget, the tools and confidence they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food. Two of our own CFA members have volunteered to help teach this course.
Classes meet for two hours weekly for five weeks. At the first week’s class, participants will be given a gardening booklet that is theirs to keep. At the completion of classes, participants may also be given seeds and/or plant starts to take home.
Over the course of five weeks participants learn about building healthy soil, planning, planting, and caring for their garden and harvesting and using their bounty.

The next “Seed to Supper” classes will be scheduled for February or March of 2016.

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