Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Accelerated Permaculture Training Begins

Accelerated Permaculture Training is a varied and fascinating group of twenty-two—each participant bringing a world of experience into the class. There’s Annie from Garrison and Sienna from Brooklyn, Magda from Nyack and Roberto from Norwalk. Beyond looking at the cardinal directions of where the participants are from, there’s the variety of impetus for taking the course.
  • Zinnia, a woman from Manhattan, wants to be a farmer
  • Chris, a first-time home-owner in Hastings, “wants to do the right thing”
  • Sarah’s journey has spanned biology, religion, and farming—now to permaculture
  • Natalie wants to launch her adult life with knowledge of permaculture
  • Aslihan wants to do her part in creating a sustainable future

All four of the teachers were present to welcome the students: Claudia Joseph, a lifetime gardener who has taught permaculture since 1998; Jono Neiger, a Massachusetts based agro-ecologist; Anne Wiesen, an herbalist; and her husband John Steitz, an architect and landscape designer.

“We’re going to take a very quick tour of permaculture,” said Claudia, explaining that permaculture was traditionally taught over a two or three-week residential program. Accelerated Permaculture Training is six sessions. 

Claudia introduced the class to shapes in nature that are useful in permaculture, zones, and basic mapping techniques. She took a first look at a needs / yields analysis. Each person there wrote down what they needed and what they could contribute to a community. 

A glimpse:  

I need to learn carpentry. I can give gardening skills. / I need a love seat. I can give chicken poop. / I need a job. I can give community organizing. 

Jono took participants on a tour of his home and garden, noting how permaculture influences his decisions.

The class also went into the Kitchen Garden and tried tools which measured the sun’s arc, and the soil’s aeration and ability to hold water.

Homework: map a space which you visit every day. Using permaculture principles, redesign this area.