Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Time: 9am-5pm
Cost: $50
Instructor: Gabe Garms
Location: Raven's Roots Campus

Permaculture is essentially mimicking natural ecologies in your own garden. When you mimic nature, you'll find that you have to do significantly less work in the long run compared to using conventional methods. While western agriculture focuses mainly on annual crop production in a monoculture system (only one crop is grown), permaculture focuses on growing perennial crops in polyculture systems (many species instead of just 1). Perennial crops live 3+ years and have significantly larger rhizospheres (root zones) that annuals. This allows them tolerate stress caused from draughts, heavy rains and temperature extremes much better than annuals can. With climate change making weather patterns increasingly more unpredictable, I believe that relying on annual crops in our food production systems is a perilous mistake. Permaculture gardens also don't require the use of any pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides and have to be watered significantly less than annual gardens.

In this day long workshop, we'll cover a host of different permaculture techniques which you'll be able to apply at home. Lecture will be given out in the field and almost the entire class will be spent doing hands on activities on our permaculture farm. 

Here are the topics that we'll cover:

  • Beneficial insect attracting, aromatic pest confusing, nitrogen fixing and nutrient accumulating plants
  • No-till gardening systems
  • Biochar and it's importance in long term soil health
  • Nutrient cycling. Learn to retain nutrients in your soil so that you'll never have to add amendments
  • Storing water in the ground (swales)
  • Plant propagation
  • How to perform a biology analysis yourself. We'll be looking at soil samples under the microscope.
  • Composting techniques to maximize biology (thermal and vermicomposting)
  • Compost teas. How to cost effectively make your own at home.
  • Perennial vegetables. How to both grow and cook with them
  • Building resilient communities (guilds) of food, medicinal and wildlife attracting plants
  • Native plant identification and ecology
  • How to attract wildlife and protect your gardens from deer, rodents and rabbits
  • Raising small livestock (we have chickens, rabbits and ducks on the farm). Growing their food and using them to make your systems more efficient.