Permaculture Demo Sites
Permaculture Demonstration Sites
It is often difficult to describe What is Permaculture in a single sentence or even a 1 hour presentation. To see and experience it is my favorite way of sharing. Many of the world’s leading permaculturists are concentrating their efforts on creating permaculture demonstration sites around the globe that allow people to experience permaculture first-hand. A permaculture demonstration site may include:
- A food forest or Edible Forest Garden,
- Rainwater catchment systems,
- A greenhouse or hoop house (4 season growing),
- Vertical growing on trellises, poles, fences, etc.
- Composting toilet,
- Shitake mushroom logs
- Natural building structures (cob, straw bale, timber frame – using local, recycled, non-toxic and low-impact materials)
- Green roof,
- And many other site-specific appropriate technologies.
But this is only what’s seen on the surface level. Permaculture also deals with the human (social) systems which are often the most difficult and seemingly invisible to most onlookers. Having a well designed social structure makes for creating and maintaining a permaculture-designed landscape much easier!
Western, Massachusetts permaculture demonstration sites:
- Sirius Community, a 33 year old eco-village and intentional community in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. Great examples permaculture
- Hickory Gardens homestead in Leverett, Massachusetts. Overseen by Kemper and Jono Neiger, Principal of Regenerative Design Group and Instructor at the Conway School of Landscape Design.
- Amherst Permaculture House – A suburban single-family residence situated on a 1/4 acre plot in South Amherst. The entire front lawn – about 6,000+ square feet – began a full transition into an edible forest garden in September, 2009.
- Holyoke Edible Forest Garden - started in 2004 by two self-referred plant-geeks (Eric Toensemeier and Jonathan Bates.) This is one of the best demonstration urban food forests in the northeast and in the country, located in nearby Holyoke, MA.
- Tripple Brook Farm - Located in Southampton, MA, they offer over 500 species of plants for sale, with a focus on native plants, as well as bamboos and other hardy exotics. Volunteer and get paid in plant credit!
Other premier demonstration sites that Ryan has visited:
- Community Cultivators in Austin, Texas. A great group that has formed and is developing a strong network of permaculture sites in/around the Austin area. Visited with them in July, 2011.
- Greening the Desert in the Dead Sea Region of Jordan. A must watch video for those exploring permaculture! This video inspired me to attend the International Permaculture Convergence in Jordan in September, 2011.
- Permaculture Orlando, a great documentary that highlights permaculture demo. sites in and around Orlando, Florida. I visited Richard and Natasha’s sites during my brief visit in October, 2011.
- CityFarmer in Vancouver, British Columbia. See flickr photos from a friend’s camera here, plus the blog I wrote with pictures here. I visited CityFarmer in January, 2012.
Add your projects and personal profile to the permaculture global map!