Monday, January 16, 2017

Permaculture Discussion Group / the first meeting

Friends, we have started a permaculture discussion group as this was the foundation of Roots & Wings back in 2011. Our meeting notes - thank you Iris! - will be included here. 

No photos, but after today's meeting, I decided to type my notes here as an incomplete summary of what we discussed. These are just disorganized notes I scribbled while we were together. Anyone who has more to add should feel free! Anyone who doesn't feel like reading this should delete it! I just thought it might possibly be useful.

Books recommended by various people:
The Hidden Life of Trees--Peter Wohleben
1491 and 1493 (two books)—Charles Mann
Monocultures of the Mind—Vandana Shiva

We are looking for info on permaculture--books, articles. Gabriela has not yet found the one "perfect" source/explanation.

People and websites to investigate (just a random list of those mentioned):
Andrew Faust--gives permaculture workshops in NYC
Dave Jacke--a big name in permaculture; www.edibleforestgardenscom; also talks about "internal permaculture"
Nikki Coddington in Irvington is working on an edible forest garden at the Irvington Nature Center and could probably use help

MJ has been to permaculture convergences around the area (long weekends with workshops and talks.)  Maybe we can find one to go to some time (field trip!)
Radical Urban Sustainability Training in Albany (
Mark spoke about a Roots & Wings idea to work in Yonkers with recently released inmates to teach them about gardening in conjunction with Groundworks and Greystone
Next Roots & Wings meeting (open to all) Tuesday, Dec. 6 at South Church; 7:30
We veered off into a bit of political discussion and MJ mentioned an NPR podcast on the difference between being a bullshitter and a liar; discusses ways of talking to people and understanding how others think. I couldn't find this program but did come up with an old article on this topic, specifically about Trump  . . .

Gabriela has a permaculture design for the garden that she drew up as part of a class. People were enthusiastic about applying the ideas to the garden, maybe restructuring the beds, social areas, and expanding functions but we will learn more about permaculture and then try to apply the lessons learned.
We discussed the infamous dirt pile and tried to apply a permaculture lens (the problem is the solution); then many of us went to visit it. We decided to meet next Saturday 10 a.m. (Dec. 10) to work on it (weather permitting) as there is a small window of opportunity before it gets to cold to do something that may have an impact by next spring. We plan to pull off the rough organic material that's thrown on top, dig a trough or trench in the middle, layer the trench with broken sticks and branches (for aeration) on the bottom, then cover that with somewhat chopped up organic matter (that had been pulled off the pile) and add chopped up leaves. Then we'll cover the trough with dirt so that microbes, etc. can do their work over the winter inside the pile. In the spring we can add more organic matter, stir up the pile and use it around the garden if it is ready.


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