The Kansas Permaculture Institute of Sustainability Action is pleased to offer this workshop taught by three well versed and experienced permaculture designers.
Edible forest gardens mimic the structure and function of natural forest ecosystems through all stages of growth. Well designed forest gardens use our temperate deciduous forest as a model, maximize photosynthesis for perennial production of food, fodder and fiber, and require low maintenance and minimal energy inputs.
The course will cover: forest ecology and architecture, examples of forest gardens, principles of permaculture, site analysis and selection, healthy soil, water management, understanding plant guilds and plant community functions, selection of plant species, the design process of forest gardens, goals and financial plans, and tours of two urban food forests. Participants will leave the course with plant lists, resources on design strategies, and a base map for scheming and dreaming their forest garden.
The instructors, who have decades of permaculture experience between them are: Michael Almon of Forest Floor Permaculture, Steve Mann of Cultivate Kansas City, and Steve Moring of Kaw Permaculture. For more information and to register, go to http://www.kawpermaculture.com/education-training/, or contact Steve Moring at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (785)691-7305.
Course fees are $125 before May 10, 2013, and $160 thereafter. Make checks payable to “Sustainability Action”, and mail to: Sustainability Action, P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044. Or pay with our PayPal button in the upper right corner (please add a $5 service charge for PayPal, and note that it is for “food forest workshop”).
Do you want to grow your food in a community garden? Vegetables, but also apples, pears, blueberries, peaches, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and more.
If your yard is too shady, or you need help learning how to garden, the PermaCommons growers will share their skills and share the harvest.
The Garden is designed using permaculture principles, with raised beds for growing annual vegetables, and perennial crops of fruits, nuts and berries spread throughout. And flowers and herbs will grow in a rain garden.
People with a basic knowledge of permaculture can be a member for an annual fee of $100. Those unfamiliar with permaculture can be mentored as novices.
If you want to be part of this garden project by collectively working and learning together and sharing the bounty, contact Steve Moring for a gardeners application at 785-691-7305 or email@example.com.
Orientation and Training Day
On Saturday, March 23, we are hosting an orientation to the garden for potential members, and a training workshop in the principles of permaculture for members and for the general public. The training fee is $50 – FREE if you sign-up as a member. Contact Steve Moring for the time and location.
The PermaCommons Community Garden is a project of Sustainability Action, a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit local organization.
In a stunning example of how perseverance and collective action can create policies for long-term sustainability, local food advocates saw wisdom prevail last night when Commissioners stated that “prime farm land is more important than sand”.
It took 3 1/2 hours of testimony and deliberation, but both the Eudora Planning Commission and the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission voted to deny a sand pit permit application by Penny’s Concrete & Sand Company. The proposed sand pit mine would have destroyed 465 acres of Capability I and Capability II prime agricultural soil, as well as putting at great risk the alluvium groundwater supply for agricultural wells and the City of Eudora water wells. And because the proposed mine site is down gradient on a large meander of the Kansas River that historically has moved a mile or more, the pit when dug down to bedrock would have invited the next flood to carry away more acreage and possibly houses.
It was only a dozen years ago in 2000, when another 87 acre prime ag site less than 1/2 mile away was rezoned for expansion of the East Hill Business Park over the objections of farmers and a handful of prime soil advocates. At that time, the term “prime agricultural soil” wasn’t generally understood, much less considered in land use plans, and was dismissed by elected officials as unimportant. The sole voice at the time came from the local “smart growth” group, Friends of Douglas County, one member of which is now on the Sustainability Action Board, and testified at last night’s public meeting.
The next assault on local prime agricultural soil came in 2007 with the Pine/Santaularia proposal for a 900 acre (later reduced to 145 acre) “Airport Industrial Park” to pave over Capability I soil with trucking warehouses. With a growing awareness of the importance of local food, the prime soils of the Kansas River valley were starting to be valued for high productivity and flood protection. A strong coalition of farm advocates, local food advocates, environmentalists and neighborhood preservationists came together to form the Citizens for Responsible Planning to fight the proposal. It took two years of struggle, but not only was the industrial park defeated, but Lawrence’s comprehensive plan was amended to include policies to protect highly productive prime soils.
In 2010 and 2011, there arose three other threats to prime soils, and though soil protection was not directly cited as the reason, all three were proposals were turned down. The Midland Junction Sand Facility would have destroyed 311 acres. The Kaw Valley Sand Facility (next to Eudora, KS) would have destroyed 197 acres (only a fraction was prime soil). And the Wholesale Water District #25 attempted to usurp the irrigation water rights of dozens of farmers between Lawrence and Eudora. In each of these cases, the need to protect our soils and local food growing capabilities was either stated or was a sub-text to other concerns.
But when the Commissioners stated their reasons last night for denying the sand pit permit, it was the first clear incident that protecting our prime agricultural soils was given their highest priority. This is the accomplishment of twelve years of effort! Persistent advocacy has moved prime ag soils from a footnote in local planning to one of the highest policy priorities in the minds of the policy makers and decision makers.
Though it’s true that developing three, four, five acres of local community gardens is a worthy and necessary thing, that effort must be accompanied by the struggle to halt the destruction of hundreds of acres of highly productive prime soils. It’s not good enough to move forward five steps, if we then fall back hundreds of steps.
Friday, 25 January 2013, 5:00-9:00pm Delaware Street Commons Common House 822 East 13th Street Lawrence KS 66044
Come help Sustainability Action celebrate our fifth birthday with a potluck dinner at 5:00pm and a birthday cake!
We are pleased to have as our keynote speaker, Chris Brown, Director of K.U. Environmental Studies as well as Associate Professor. His 6:30pm speech is titled “Food, Fuel, and Forests: Picturing the End of Oil and Our Energy Future”. At 7:30pm, we will recap our 2012 achievements in permaculture, bicycle transportation, rural ride sharing, community gardens, etc., and discuss our 2013 plans and funding. Then we will elect our officers for the coming year.
Since forming in late 2007, Sustainability Action has been bringing to our community local solutions for transition to a sustainable economy. Everyone is welcome, non-members and members alike, so we hope to see you there!.
PERMA-BLITZ WORK DAYS TO INSTALL PERMACULTURE COMMUNITY GARDEN
Sunday, 21 October 2012, 10:00am-5:00pm AND - November 4, 17, and 24, 2012
PENN ST. GARDENS – 1304 Penn. St., Lawrence KS 66044
These four perma-blitzes will transform an empty city lot into a lush permaculture community garden. The Kansas Permaculture Collaborative has been holding design charettes to develop and plan the garden. On 21 October, a water line will be installed, and water catchment swales will be staked on level contours. The next three days will involve more volunteer labor, so please consider helping. The second day is to begin modifying the site with a pond, a rain garden, and fence posts. The third day will focus on growing-bed preparations with sheet mulch, manure and topsoil, spreading wood chips on paths, and detailing the pond and rain garden. And the final day will entail planting many berry bushes, fruit trees, brambles, and support species like flower bulbs, comfrey, garlic, etc.
Materials donations are welcomed too. If you can find some large corrugated cardboard at appliance or bedding stores, please bring lots. If you are thinning out any plant material from your garden, we could use it – for a list of species we need, and other questions, please contact Steve at (785)691-7305 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
SOLAR FOOD DEHYDRATOR WORKSHOP ¤ by SUSTAINABILITY ACTION
Sunday, 16 September 2012, 10:00am-4:00pm - $$$ to build, $$ to observe
Lulu’s Garden, Baldwin City KS 66006
Sustainability Action is sponsoring this Solar Food Dehydrator Workshop in our ongoing reskilling workshop series. It will be a hands-on, build-it yourself workshop, and registration is limited to ten, though more will be accommodated as observers. The design is Larisa Walk’s, a flat-plate, single-level dehydrator made from durable materials, all food-grade, with a high performance profile, unlike many of the dehydrators out there. Its features include:
Food dries quickly with passive solar energy
Has no moving parts; no solar tracking required
Food not exposed to sunlight
Spacious enough to accommodate large pickings
Modular components are easy to move and clean
Unnecessary to remove partially dry food overnight
Stable in windy locations
Critter and bug-proof, for the most part
There will be two levels of registrants: those building a dehydrator that day, and those who just want to learn by observing and assisting. Everyone taking the workshop will pay a $25 training fee, which includes the instruction booklet for building a dehydrator. Builder registration is now closed, but the observer registration is open up to the day of the workshop.
To register, make a check out to “Sustainability Action” for the $25 training fee, with a note on it of “solar dryer”. Mail it to: Sustainability Action, P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044. The workshop is co-sponsored by Lulu’s Garden.
SOLAR COOKING WORKSHOP ¤ BY SUSTAINABILITY ACTION
Sunday, 23 September 2012, 10am-2:00pm - $16
1304 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044
Sustainability Action is sponsoring this Solar Cooking Class as part of our ongoing reskilling workshop series. At 10:00am sharp, we will hurry to place our lunch (mostly vegetarian, organic and locally grown) into a variety of different solar cookers.
There will be a video on solar cooking, and construction of three working solar cookers out of cardboard boxes that participants can take home. When the food is cooked, it will be shared for lunch. Following that will be a solar food drying demonstration and a discussion of the benefits of solar cooking in Lawrence and the world. Students will get a handout compiling internet resources for further learning.
Bring a hat and/or sunscreen and notepaper. Join us as we begin reducing our carbon footprint one solar oven at a time. For more info contact Bill at <email@example.com>.
Space is limited so pre-registration is advised. The class fee is $16 to cover instructors, food, and materials. Write a check to Sustainability Action with a note on it “Solar Cooking”, and mail it to P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.
Why is the global economy failing us? How can local exchange provide for our community needs, and build resilience against national and global economic shocks?
Transition Kaw Valley will present a vision for a relocalized economy incorporating models such as complimentary currencies, a gift economy, local exchange trading system (LETS), and more. It will include a review of the collapsing conventional economy, and steps to achieve local exchange based on justice and shared wealth in collaboration with other organizations. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 19 May 2012, 3:00-5:00pm
Cosmic Beauty School, 1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044
When we think and act, in our home, occupation, affairs and community… do we act without regard to how our actions impact others?
“Right and wrong”… Living a “moral life.” Are these merely well worn religious ideas? Or does what we do in our own lives matter in our neighborhoods and communities, in a tangible way?
What these things mean to ourselves and others, and how they are defined may be as disparate and unique as individuals occupying the planet. Yet in the wide variance of human experience and history, those who strive to set aside judgement and take sincere action for the benefit of others besides themselves… to “do for others” without thought of personal gain… make up the deepest and most affecting stories in human communities, and embody the best of what we recognize as “good” in ourselves.
Being “self-less” isn’t bound by race, creed or ideology. It is bound to the best of what we are all made of. It is one of the ingredients in the cement that builds the structure of community. It puts us in touch with that part of our sight… our vision… that makes us grateful for others, for our own life, and our humanity and community. Not that we would or should “think less of ourselves”, but maybe just think about ourselves a little less, and more about giving back to others, and the community of our fellows.
Occupy Wall Street: If you live in the U.S., you can’t not know what OWS is. Odds are, you’ve heard a wide range of opinions and ideas about the “who, what, when, where, and why” behind this spontaneous movement. Opinions about it run the gamut… but isn’t it safe to say, that OWS came about in response to a deep sense of disparity in our nation, politics, social ordering, and our communities?
There is an overwhelming sense in the U.S. and the world, of what no longer works, yet the very structures and institutions that make up our societies continue to feverishly work to convince people to “…just trust us this time, and we’ll make it better… we promise.”
What Do People Really Want? It’s pretty simple really. People want to live in a safe place, where they feel like they matter… despite their individual differences… that they might live in a community that has respect and consideration of their value as a person, and also values their experience and contribution to the community. For some of us, this may sound familiar… because we recognize that our parents or grandparents lived in a community much like that, in a time when despite differences, people came together to help their neighbors and community, and to solve problems that needed to be solved for the well being of the whole street, neighborhood and community.
The Transition Towns Movement. The Sustainability Action Network and Transition Kaw Valley are made up of folks who feel there really is a solution to the systemic problems that have fomented and brought forth that sense of “it HAS to change now… we can’t take things as they are any more.”
The TransitionInitiative is an effort to take the best of what has worked before, and build upon it to make a better now and better future for ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods and our community.
It’s time, now, for another promise. A promise to ourselves and our friends, families and our future, to build the kind of community, we long for, and that would make our grandparents smile… an acknowledgment of our recognition of the blessing of community… a gift we can give to ourselves and each other.
WON’T YOU JOIN US?
Some lovely comments by Gerald Celente. (from “Wake Up America”, a yet to be released documentary)