Sustainable Permaculture Garden Farm Project – Growing 1000 pounds of organic food for Dining Halls

Sustainable Permaculture Garden Farm Project – Growing 1000 pounds of organic food for Dining Halls

 

Welcome To Inspiration Journey of Permaculture Garden Farm Project that is sustainable done by various people.
so let's start at the beginning where
sheet mulching this entire 12,000 square
foot area over in front of Franklin
dining commons at UMass can be growing a
permaculture garden it's going to be
acting as a sustainable garden because
it's not going to need as many resources
and it's going to be a lot more
resistant to drought so this is the
reason why we're layering all this
organic matter its beefing up the soil
by about six to eight inches over entire
12,000 square foot area and that's huge
that's about 200,000 pounds of organic
matter that were laying on this lawn
completely transforming into a
permaculture garden were part of the the
location scheme was that it would
provide the dining hall which exists in
your 10 feet away from the lawn with
edible plants on our campus that can
feed and nourish our student body for
free and so now we're attempting to do
is grow food all the wild growing soil
and growing the very land that we live
on an eco-sensitive way so we're we're
taking this no till gardening method
will bring it to you Mouse what we're
doing first is we're aiding the soil
reducing the compaction but disturbing
the soil a lot less so than the micro
ordinate organisms which are already
there are not going to go anywhere else
so just going to get a lot of food added
to them which is what we do next we add
about 4 inches or so of compost we're
adding that right onto the existing
grass and then we're putting cardboard
on top of that so that cardboard is
going to act more as the barrier layer
that's going to prevent the grass which
is underneath there from coming up on
top of the cardboard we're putting a
mulch layer that can be anything from
wood chips which is what we use to straw
to grass clippings or guard waster
garden waste anything anything that's
going to hold in moisture and hold the
nutrients for the plants let that sit
for about five months
and in the spring gonna have this great
growing medium the planters gonna fry
them i think everyone should know how to
grow their own food know that they can
do it and it's not very hard
everyone has that in their minds when
they go to cook dinner every night it's
gonna make a huge impact on how our
country runs and I think the overall
health of people and so we think we can
do better
agricultural sustainability starts to
look at some of these issues but
permaculture really takes it home to
oftentimes we just look for the okay
what was the most expensive and
definitely the best solution but
sometimes the best solution starts out
with the simplest form with permaculture
you can simply say okay what do we have
what can what can we use that is
completely natural that is in the air
that is in our plates even as of now
that we can later use on as compost what
do we have now and I feel like that's
the best place to stop if you look
closely using food that came from the
dining halls that has been broken down
into compost and reusing it and putting
it back into the garden to build need to
grow food that's going to be used in the
dining hall candidates it's very
cyclical it really localizes the way
that we think about food when we get
food just God we tells to enjoy this
term the food that has been serving
UMass is freshly dead in seconds while
to is to educate the student that that's
possibility is what you might also want
to embrace and we want to
I believe the awareness that comes with
it any the sense of power in and
participation that comes with students
growing their own food
I think that's where the big differences
will come it's in it's in helping
students from recognizing that they can
do something about some of the problems
in the world by focusing locally by
focusing on their own backyard right
here
UMass on the campus so I see this
project as being a model a replicable
model that can be used everywhere and
that's what's really important is that
we empower people and inspire people to
say this is how you do it it's very easy
to do just get a lot of people involved
to have it be a community effort and you
can build these gardens everywhere
you finished mulching in November 2010
and from there the whole plan was it
just let it set for a good five months
we held the design charrette on campus
which involved over a hundred different
participants coming from all different
departments on campus we have students
faculty administrators and we have
people from the local community and even
students from other colleges that drove
over an hour to have to get here all on
a Saturday afternoon to participate in
the design of the campus permaculture
garden which is huge you know just the
fact that we have that many people come
on saturday to design a garden just
really shows the movement the momentum
that this project has created in the
local community
I didn't know is how inspiring that 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
20-somethings are kind of blowing my
mind
their energy is this renewed energy
towards healing the earth issues like
food systems that are broken and
agriculture systems and just living in a
minute it's more sustainable and I feel
like the students really get that
already and it's been fun to watch when
we started on uncovering you know some
of the wood chips and exposing some of
the cardboard that had about you know
halfway broken down at this point the
soil seem very alive you know we noticed
that there was a whole fungi network
that had taken place you notice that
there were worms probably about 15 to 20
worms every square foot so what we're
talking about here are some of the
things are putting in the planting hole
the basic premise or the operating
assumption is 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 healthy
function digestive tract that has access
to all the food needs to that plant can
grow strong and healthy so you want to
have a full additional profile
mineralogical biological etc of
everything that plant would like to have
so we can realize its yield growth
flavor nutrition test uses and
attributes so there's a lot happening
right here there's it's a people space
to production space it's it's um it's
got areas where storm waters being
infiltrated off with some of the
sidewalks it's it's got water tanks for
collecting rainwater at some point so so
it's it's going to space it's going to
do a lot of different things and and not
just be food production for the dining
common the permaculture garden here is a
little bit less about about nutrients
and serving students food although
that's critical to the education which i
think is the meaning purpose of this
garden hands-on experience in classroom
experience or two completely important
things I think they need to work
together students really want to
participate they want to get out there
and gain first-hand experience in food
growing and and working with water and
the landscape and in building houses and
maintaining all of our human systems and
folks just crave this experience of
learning by doing
what's incredible is that you
UMass right now is really one of the
first public institutions 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
grab a shovel in between classes and be
really part of their campus
sustainability initiative so now we're
at this point we planted a lot of things
probably about fifty to a hundred
different species and we are you know
just on our way to making this from my
culture gardens going to be a model for
campuses across the entire nation
mmm
the whole scale of sustainability have
degenerative activities and then we have
regeneration with sustainability being
really in the middle of it all you know
we could be striving for more than
sustainability we're going beyond
sustainability that's our permaculture
is all about
it's going to regenerate landscapes and
start being more productive and it's
better for the entire ecosystem for
plants for animals for in Saxon and for
human benefit
countries berry bushes bushes perennial
vegetables
like dogs over the past year and a half
since this project got started
amazing things have happened we had over
a thousand volunteers total show up to
help in the sheet mulch the design and
the implementation cases that includes
students and staff as well as local
community organizations and local
schools we go over a thousand pounds of
produce in about 3,500 square feet of
bed space all while transforming a
campus unproductive space into one
that's driving and sustainable and
educational for the campus community
think it's better i think it tastes
better you can make some food look
better
the staff is excited they're getting
fresh herbs and vegetables the students
are excited they get to produce food for
their campus and other students in the
local community is getting a site that's
educational that they can learn from and
get ideas and then go out and mimic them
in other places there are thousands of
students who walked by here every single
day students faculty sap so we can't
feed them all but we can do is show them
a new way of thinking about how land is
used and where food is going and who is
coming so we can change those parents
and that's that sent a pretty big ripple
effect out there people are contacting
us from other schools and also from
other countries and it's just been
really inspiring
it just feels good to say oh you mean we
can actually not just be consumers that
we can actually be creators forefoot
good for us and it to me it's about
power into this class kind of not
knowing what i could do or what my
abilities were in terms of him making a
real impact and
that's kind of shown me everyone in this
class has shown me that if you take the
initiative and you have the will and you
have to drive anything is possible
people are starting to come to umass
because of what we're doing here and how
unique and cutting edge of a
sustainability program we've developed
pretty much all the students on campus
you ask know what permaculture is and
that's actually I think it's pretty
unusual and to have an entire campus of
you know 20,000 plus students who
understand that the concept even just a
surface level is really an
accomplishment the senior class gift
they pick one project each year that
they want to donate their money to this
year they picked a permaculture garden
this is nice it's really small and it's
complex there's a lot happening with
with these different buildings different
spaces
incredibly compact and rocky
I'm not even our pickups you can get
right now that's kind of the the
commitment that were there working on us
to do one garden on campus each year or
one permaculture and landscape on the
campus each additional year so looking
ahead for 30 years we're going to have
more of a campus that is turning into
ecological landscape ecological campus
that's producing food and education for
the entire campus community
as we align with nature as we aligned
with nature rules there's more than
enough for all of us and so to me this
garden connected to the food service
here and actually showing the incredible
abundance that we can create locally if
we go out and we can really restore
these damaged or unproductive ecosystems
and start growing food on them and start
to strengthen our local communities
instruct than our local economies and
make our campuses our businesses and our
homes and our entire life styles more
sustainable