Saturday, June 06, 2009

Jonesin' for Good Food

This morning marked the return of the farmers' market downtown. And I wasn't there.

You're shocked, I know. So am I. But the Renaissance Man and I had signed up for a permaculture workshop at the George Jones Memorial Farm in Oberlin, and we had to leave before the start of the market in order to get to the farm on time.

We took some time to wander around the greenhouses and gardens and fields before the start of the class, noting how things were being grown and where at this time of the year. I was happy to notice some companion planting being used in the fields, as shown here, as well as in some of the greenhouse beds.

Our class was held in this strawbale building that houses the New Agrarian Center, and NAC director Brad Masi was our instructor for the morning's introduction to the principles of permaculture. I've been trying to dig into a very comprehensive book on permaculture for some time now, knowing that it would provide useful ideas for approaching my garden plans or ideas for the Farm, but I just haven't been able to make much progress.

What Brad taught us is that permaculture is a design system that involves using what you have available (such as the cardboard used in sheet mulching a keyhole garden at his house), following natural systems, incorporating adaptive uses and multiple purposes, and encouraging resilience. (There's more to it than that, but I don't have my notes handy.) Above all, it's a system or an approach that applies to more than just agriculture: it applies to the structures we build, both on the personal and the community level, and the principles can apply to all aspects of our living.

In short, permaculture can provide a way of thinking about how environmental ideals of conservation and recycling and appropriate technology can dovetail with economic goals, community involvement, and personal living. And as cool as that sounds, I'm sure I'm only barely scratching the surface.

It was an enlightening and fun day -- even with the work Brad eked from us in starting this little garden at his house as a way of applying permaculture principles -- and it gave us plenty to discuss for the rest of the weekend.

Another workshop at the farm involved a group of people working on building a cob oven, something I'd like to try sometime. We merely watched their progress throughout the day, but we came away with ideas.

I'm sure I'll write up more for the Ethicurean one of these days, but I thought it would be worth explaining to you, Dear Readers, why I skipped out on the farmers' market.

Good local food is good no matter where you grow it!

Labels: , , ,


At 6/09/2009 2:27 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

Oh, fantastic! I'm glad that you had a good time and I look forward to hearing (well...reading) more. :-)

At 6/09/2009 2:29 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Well, guess I'd better get writing, then, hadn't I? ;-)


Post a Comment

<< Home