Thanks to Zaybee McGregor, Community Gardener and Garden Club member, for this report:
A handful of enthusiastic gardeners gathered at the Jasper High School to attend an introduction to Permaculture over the June 12th-13th weekend.
The course presenter was Barb Hazenveld, a permaculture educator from Olds, Alberta. Barb has several decades of experience, and also runs a business called Gorgeous & Edible Landscaping. Normally, Barb teaches courses on Advanced Permaculture at Olds College, but sometimes she can be enticed to leave home. Thanks to the Jasper Adult Learning Centre for bringing her to town!
So what is “Permaculture”? People define it in different ways, but the concept as originally coined by Bill Mollison is basically a method of designing a living and growing environment that utilizes natural energies in the most effective and efficient ways. The idea is to harness synergies between living things, maximize efficiency and promote beneficial interconnectedness. The goal is to harmonize with the natural order to use less artificial and human energy, produce less waste, and reduce our reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution. The latter, as Bill Mollison points out, fundamentally and systematically destroy the earth’s ecosystems. Permaculture helps us become the solution, rather than the problem.
With the advantage of all of this for local food growing in our minds, the class enjoyed learning about applying permaculture’s design principles to soil building, water storage and use, and solar power. We were inspired by several videos with examples from around the world showing how whole communities were changed by the use of these innovative ways of thinking and doing.
If the individuals attending the course actually can now move into a more sustainable way of living, we’ll all be better off, and if not right now, at least the seeds were sown for inspirational changes sure to happen in the future.
For anyone interested in the subject there are lots of books available in the Jasper Town Library, as well as videos, and of course Barb is holding classes in Olds. In fact, there is a two week live-in Permaculture Design Course being taught by Barb Hazenveld and Ron Berezan, in Olds, July 3rd – 17th.
Also included, courtesy of Ursula Winkler, is a powerpoint by Jesse Lemieux of Pacific Permaculture: It’s in the form of a pdf file, so you can use acrobat reader. Just click here to view the notes: PermacultureNotes,JesseLemieux,Calgary 2010