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Chickens, Greenhouses & Gardening At Free Workshops

Written by Theresa Catlin

What do gardening, raising chickens and designing a greenhouse have in common? They all fall under the definition of “permanent agriculture” or Permaculture.

Bill Mollison, an Australian and one of the founders of permaculture, describes it this way: “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor;

and at looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.”

Marianna Burrett will lead the first workshop on Sunday, May 18. The workshop will include an overview of permaculture, its ethics and principles, permaculture design elements, an observation exercise and a video.

Certified in permaculture design with the Regenerative Design Institute, Marianna’s emphasis is on sustainability education and practice. She founded Tend the Earth (www.tendtheearth.net), an educational forum that focuses on cultivating local resilience and empowering local community through permaculture design systems.

The next four workshops will include “Permaculture Garden Design and Seed Saving” on June 21, “Heating Your Home with a Greenhouse” on September 21), “Seed Exchange: Strengthening Local Biodiversity and Food Security” (October 19) and “Integrating Poultry with Gardens, Orchards, and More” (November 16).

The Greenhouse Workshop will be facilitated by Bob McKinney who has been building ecologically inspired and sourced buildings for over 20 years. Ken Boche, a certified permaculture designer who has taught numerous permaculture workshops, will guide the November workshop on poultry. Burrett will also lead the June and October workshops. All of the presenters live locally.

“These informative workshops will be both theoretical and practical, ” says Burrett. “With the drought and environmental concerns about the future, people are increasingly interested in learning more about what they can do in their own backyards with some knowledge and simple tools. I have found that the workshops I give on introducing permaculture generate a lot of enthusiasm as well as providing useful resources. Beyond that, a spirit of community is generated as people come together and share ideas, information and tools common to where they live.”

All five Permaculture Workshops will be offered free of charge from 1 – 4 pm at One Light Bed and Breakfast, 3526 Highway 49 South, between Bootjack and Woodland in Mariposa. Donations are welcome.

The workshops are the initiative of a small group that grew out of the Ever Better Community Conference, held at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds in 2012.

For more information call 559-742-4597.

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