2017 Complete Forest Garden Design Course!

REGISTRATION ENDS MAY 9th, 2017.  SALE PRICE: $350 ($50/class) The class that takes you through every step of transforming your property into a low-maintenance, edible paradise. We’ll go over each part of the Permaculture design process, learn about and sample  a variety of perennial fruits and vegetables and learn how to use what you grow. Each class we’ll review monthly yields, bloom schedules and maintenance tasks, in addition to the curriculum. Every class date will also include a workshop, in which we start putting our learning to work planing and installing our own forest garden projects. Each class will also … Continue reading 2017 Complete Forest Garden Design Course!

How Come There are Plants OTHER Than Mint and Bamboo?

  (Our neighbors – Lillie House is nearby the A.M. Todd Mint flavoring facility in Kalamazoo, and we sometimes enjoy the aroma of “stepping into a York peppermint patty” from our garden.)  Did you know that 90% of the world’s mint used to come from a small area around Kalamazoo?  That’s right! We were once the mint capital of the world! Farmers here used to grow mint right out in the ground like maniacs, first in burr oak openings and later as an alternating perennial crop in farm fields, especially in our Kalamazoo mucky soils, often in the same fields … Continue reading How Come There are Plants OTHER Than Mint and Bamboo?

This Hack Get’s Mother Nature to Fight Weeds for You: Fortress Plants

  Look: this is a picture of a vegetable at war with the lawn.  Given all the attention around the “food not lawns” movement, you might think I’m being metaphorical. But an experienced gardener will understand that the veggie patch is ALWAYS fighting a war for survival against lawn and “quack grass” greedily trying to take over any bit of land it can get access to.  “I’ve lost my garden completely to quack grass!!!”is one of the most common tales of garden woe, and usually the only recourse is to completely start over.  But LOOK AGAIN: Here, it is the … Continue reading This Hack Get’s Mother Nature to Fight Weeds for You: Fortress Plants

Lessons from Urban Permaculture

  (Diversity and abundance flourish at the city’s many edges.) Everything under the sun comes with trade offs, good and bad, and the great thing about city life is: The people. More opportunities to work together with others, build community and culture, and generally get stuff done.  What’s the bad thing about city life?  The People! And the fact that you actually HAVE to work with them to get stuff done.  That’s what makes Urban Permaculture an important labratory for modelling efficient design on any site, from suburban homes to rural farms: City life is  busy life. More people, more … Continue reading Lessons from Urban Permaculture

Regenerative Landscaping – A New Paradigm

  Mapping Kalamazoo Resilience Can we actually map Kalamazoo’s resilience and sustainability?  Is there a tool that designers, planners and sustainability consultants could use to paint the map of Kalamazoo “green” by measurably converting unsustainable, costly land-uses that lessen our resilience and contribute to carbon emissions to “regenerative assets” that help with climate while adding to community resilience and meeting community needs?    The ecological design system of Permaculture provides us with analytical tools to do exactly that, but it requires a substantial paradigm shift in how we view and measure “sustainability” in the landscape.  Over the last 40 years, … Continue reading Regenerative Landscaping – A New Paradigm