Part 2/3 - Campus-Wide Design and Initial Planting Phase: UMass Permaculture Documentary Series

Uploaded by UMassPermaculture on 04.10.2011

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{\author Harb, Ryan}}\margl1440\margr1440\vieww12240\viewh15840\viewkind1 \deftab720
\f0\fs24 \cf0 We finished sheet mulching in November 2010, and from there the whole goal
was to just let it sit for a good five months. \
\ We held a design charrette on campus, which
involved a over hundred different participants coming from all different departments on campus.
We had students, faculty, administrators, then we had people from the local community
and even students from other colleges who drove over an hour and half to get here all
on a saturday afternoon to participate in the design of the campus permaculture garden,
which is huge ya know just the fact that we had that many people come on a Saturday to
design a garden just really shows the movement and the momentum that this project has created
in the local community.\ \
What I didn't know was how inspiring the undergrads would be to me. So, I'm a slightly older grad
student and I'm the only one in the group and all these twenty somethings are kind of
blowing my mind with there energy. There's this renewed energy towards healing the earth
issues like food systems that are broken and agriculture systems and just living in a manner
that's more sustainable and I feel like the students really get that already and it's
been fun to watch.\ \
When we started uncovering you know some of the wood chips and exposing some of the cardboard
that had about half way broken down at this point. The soil seemed very alive. We noticed
that there was a whole fungi network that had taken place. We noticed there was worms.
About 15 to 20 worms every square foot. \ \
So what we're talking about here are some of the things that we're putting in the planting
whole. The basic um premise or the operating assumption is that we're trying to create
an environment that's optimal for the plants to manifest their full potential. So our objective
is to get a healthily functioning digestive tract to have access to all the food it needs
so that plant can grow you know strong and healthy. So we want to have a full nutritional
profile mineralogical, biological, etc. of everything that plant would like to have so
it can realize it's yield growth, flavor, nutrition, pest resistance, attributes.\
\ So there's a lot happening right here it's
a people space, it's a production space, it's got areas where storm water is being infiltrated
off of the sidewalks, it's got water tanks for collecting rainwater at some point. so
it's going to do a lot of different things and not just be food production for the dinning
commons.\ \
The permaculture garden here is a little bit less about nutrients and serving students
the food, although that's critical to the education which I think is the main purpose
of this garden.\ \
Hands on experience and class room experience are two completely important things, I think
they have to work together.\ \
Student's really want to participate. They want to get out there and gain first hand
experience in food growing and working with water and the landscape and building houses
and maintaining all of our human systems. And folks just crave this experience of learning
by doing.\ \
What's incredible is that UMass is one of the first public universities in the entire
nation that's doing permaculture like this directly on the campus and making it extremely
accessible for students everywhere to come here to get involved to grab a shovel in between
classes and really be a part of their campus sustainability initiative.\
\ So now we're at this point where we've planted
a lot of things probably about fifty to a hundred different species and we are just
on our way to making this permaculture garden that's going to be a model for campuses across
the entire nation.\ }