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Permaculture

Permaculture is an environmentally-sustainable growing technique that mimics the relationship between flora and fauna found in natural ecologies.

Sam Kephart, our expert on permaculture, describes in the video below the challenges the soil we're working with poses to us and the ways in which we will heal the soil in our permaculture project.

Construction of our permaculture project began in July 2009. We began with just the main staff of Blue Star Equiculture and a few volunteers, but were joined on July 6 by 18 students from Pathfinder Regional Vocational High School.

Photos of the Permaculture Project Progress

July 2009

Permaculture Plan

Our plan for our permaculture project.

As is typical for permaculture, our plan is inspired by natural forms, such as the spiral.

Permaculture Ground Breaking

Sam (in hat) directs the groundbreaking on the first spiral.

The tilled area in the photo will eventually be entirely incorporated in to the permaculture plantings.

Permaculture Ground Breaking A few more spirals around are completely through the labor of our Blue Star Equiculture resident volunteer staff and some of our regular volunteers.
Permaculture Spiral The outer spirals of the first spiral are awaiting enrichment through compost and straw.
Permaculture Raised Beds Raised beds, being constructed here through the help of Pathfinder Vocational students help retain moisture.
Permaculture Using Horses

The land we are converting to organic permaculture has previously been heavily cultivated. Previous cultivation has depleted much of the nutrients in the soil. Therefore, we are adding composted manure to the beds to improve the soil. This step will not need to be repeated after our first year.

Permaculture Plants The compost is covered with cardboard, which serves as food for earthworms, and with straw. These materials also work to retain moisture and nourish organisms in the soil, such as bacteria and earthworms.
Permaculture Center of the Spiral The center of our first spiral. The three plants planted here are a guild - that is, a group of organisms that thrive together. In this case, it's "The Three Sisters" - corn, beans and squash. The corn serves as a structure for the bean stalks to grow on, while the squash leaves shade the soil to keep it from drying out. The native Americans are well-known for their extensive cultivation of the Three Sisters.
Working with the horses at the permaculture garden

Permaculture News

Great article in the New York Times about permaculture
The Permaculture Movement Grows From Underground

Permaculture Video

  • Permaculture - Farms for the Future
  • Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world | Video on TED.com
  • More Photos of The Garden 2010
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