Unable to come to the live class? Presentations are tailored so they can be viewed online. Questions are welcomed!
You can pay with Paypal, debit or credit cards! Payment options listed below!
March 29, 2018: Permaculture Design/Site Analysis/Microclimates
We will learn how to locate the perfect placement for a new garden or enhance the design of an existing one. By applying the fundamental Permaculture design process, we will locate the existing microclimates on your property. Defining microclimates increases the diversity of food crops we can grow in the Arctic.
April 12, 2018: Soil: The Food Web/Types/Properties
Healthy soil is the foundation for healthy food crops. Come and learn as we venture “below” and learn how to care for the delicate yet persistent soil food web. We will learn cost effective ways to determine our soil type, pH, texture and tilth.
May 10, 2018: Prepare for Planting: Mulch/Water
Food growing spaces need preparation before direct sow or transplanting. Knowing the steps and the systems to install early in the season will save us time (so we can fish)! Following several Permaculture techniques, we will explore all the benefits that mulch ha stop offer. Most mulch material we can obtain for free! Water is a critical resource especially in the dry summers under the midnight sun. We will learn how to use water catchment in our growing spaces.
May 24, 2018: Transplanting: Hardening Off/Compost
Right around this time everyone is ready to set those beautiful starts outside….NOT YET! Transplants need a gradual introduction to the Summer Sun. We make the hardening off process easy. In this class we will also explore composting in depth with free recipes and how to guides to ensure a safe and healthy compost.
June 7, 2018: Greenhouse Gardening
We play the role of Mother Nature when we grow in the greenhouse. Learn expert tips of proper humidity, water, amendments and hand pollination.
June 21, 2018: Soil Amendments/Integrative Pest Management
Feed the soil web! We will make our own fertilizers! Integrating beneficial insects into our garden reduces the need to use pesticides!
July 12, 2018: Plant Health: Vitality
What is wrong with my plant? We will explore plant deficiencies and how to correct them. Its not too late to save your crop!
July 26, 2018: Season Extenders/Cover Crops
August 9, 2018: Seed Saving/Winter Harvest Gardens
Saving seed is like putting money in the bank. It can be a little overwhelming for the novice though. We make it easy, simple and fun.
Join us! Movie Night at The Annex in Palmer! May 5th at 7pm!
Please email email@example.com if you would like to attend. $5.00 at the door. Please make checks payable to The Annex!
Sometimes it can feel like the environmental, economic and social issues the world is currently facing are too big, too overwhelming, to be dealt with by individuals. Climate change, resource limits, economic downturn, social disconnection. Surely these issues can only be properly managed by our governments?
Living the Change explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.
Directors Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson have brought together stories from their travels around New Zealand, along with interviews with experts able to explain how we come to be where we are today. From forest gardens to composting toilets, community supported agriculture to timebanking, Living the Change offers ways we can rethink our approach to how we live.
Each and every one of us has the power to create change. Living the Change sets out to inspire us to do just that. There are so many exciting and important ideas and initiatives out there, so much hope and inspiration. We want to generate discussion as widely and deeply as possible about how each of us views the future and our part in it.
It is from one seed that an entire forest can grow. It is from one seed that we (the people) are able to eat. The power of one. Seeds are embryos that carry with them the future. What an amazing encapsilation of energy that is held within a tiny husk.
For the Far North Growers, we know that starting seeds indoors will provide us with an extension in our growing season. We are able to grow artichokes, celery, peppers and many others by starting seeds weeks and months ahead of time.
Now is the time to sow many long season plants. In our home, it is an exciting time! Our (almost) 5 year old daughter starts many seeds on her own. She reveres each one as if they were little babies, snuggled in their mothers arms. When the first sprouts appear, she speaks to them and welcomes them into the world. Just as our daughter is the future, so are seeds.
Seeds sprout and grow into nourishment. Nourishment that is energy that fuels our bodies. Yet, seeded plants also provide habitat for beneficial insects, food for pollinators and feed our soil. Seeds are a renewable resource that if we manage properly increases the diversity in our food systems.
So when we hear that folks are sowing their seeds under the midnight sun, they are doing more than growing food….they are securing our future.
This is the last weekend of the annual Permaculture Design Course. It is a bittersweet time……a time for reflections.
This was my first year co-teaching the design course. As I listen to all the participants share their designs, I have to pause and ask myself “Do they have everything they need to create designs that are functional, sustainable and efficient”? Are they prepared to go our into our beautiful state and harness change?
It feels like parenting….. a little.
As a teacher, I give the best of myself in the hopes that folks will become inspired and hungry for more information to grow healthier food, feel the warm sense of “home” in their heart for the environment of Alaska and spur a desire to share their new found knowledge of design.
A weekend of reflections.
We will hold another event next year. Thank you to everyone!
My Dad told me “Jennifer, if you want to change a system, you start from the inside out; you start with your Children”.
Watching our daughter (who is almost 5) start her own seeds and care for them throughout the season is one of the sweetest gifts that I have received in my life.
We want our children to be healthy, vibrant and have access to nourishing food. Come join us for a free event where kids can play in the soil and start some vegetable seeds.
This is a free event! This class is for kids!
We do ask that parents participate please!
We provide the seeds and the soil!
We will start 6 vegetable starts to bring home for transplanting.
Please email us if you would like to participate! firstname.lastname@example.org
Location information is coming…
When I look deep into my soul and ask myself what Permaculture is, I am directed towards food production. Some folks will disagree with me (and that is ok). Growing food with permaculture is slightly different than how I was taught….When we take the principles of permaculture and apply them to our food production the results are amazing, but they are slow.
Permaculture tells us to build our soil over time by increasing the amount of soil organic matter and applied organic matter. Permaculture instructs us to carefully take care of the soil food web that is living underground. Permaculture shows us that many amendments, pesticides, herbicides that we use damages the soil food web and in essence damages our ability to grow food easily.
A seed has been blown in near a forest. The tiny seed forces its way down through decaying leaves, layers of humus and into a living soil. When we start our seeds following the principles of Permaculture, we are using a living soil that has many aspects of the soil food web. This allows us to use less amendments/fertilizers as we grow our transplants.
Another principle of Permaculture is using and valuing renewable/non renewable resources. What does that mean? For the purpose of seed starting, this principle directs us to use the resources that are on hand and readily available. Our seed trays/cells are made of plastic and not manure from cows. Why? Because plastic seed trays/cells are readily available and they can be used for years if proper care is used.
Food Forests and Permanent Agriculture use perennial food crops to create systems where inputs are minimized. Some struggles we have living in a Polar climate is that some popular perennial food crops will not overwinter here, and it takes longer than the lower 48 for certain perennials to be established and bear their fruits.
We mimic a forest. Forests have long lived perennials and they have short lived annuals. Forests have diversity. We take our annuals we interplant them in a polyculture with our perennials and our long lived food crops are slowly establishing themselves in the background. This is a slow process……but the annuals are feeding us. If we use open pollinated varieties and save our seed we just established another year of harvest. We use only open pollinated/heirloom varieties so that the seeds can be used in the futures. Seeds are a renewable resource that we value!
When we grow varieties that are cold hardy, frost tolerant and easy to grow, we feel success. We feel empowered! It is such an amazing feeling to grow your own food and provide for our families.
Growing warm climate food is so much fun! But they have to be started weeks or months ahead of time and they require indoor lighting systems. They take work and time.
Rotating seed trays for hardening off consumes much of my spring days. So we start cold hardy and frost tolerant varieties so that as soon as they sprout they start the hardening off process. These varieties can handle hardening off earlier so they can be transplanted earlier. We mimic the natural environment in which they are accustomed.
So what makes our class a Permaculture Seed Starting Class? We follow the principles of permaculture, we are establishing a slow transition to perennial food plants, we are building our soil by decreasing they use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, we are using open pollinated/heirloom varieties where folks can save the seed for the next year and we are providing a service as low cost as possible so that everyone can grow their own food. That is Permaculture Seed Starting.
What is Permaculture? There are varying definitions abuzz and each provides a unique perspective. Permaculture in its simplest form, is creating a Permanent Agriculture. An agriculture in which the soil is replenished, pollinators are invited, pest management is accomplished by Assassin bugs, water is managed and the people are fed.
Imitating the magical systems of forests and applying that knowledge to growing food:
Older forests are typically stable environments. There is diversity in plant and animal species (bugs included). The soil of older forests are rich with organic matter, fungi, bacteria and the soil life is abundant. Older forests can withstand infestations of pests, disease and weather events. We want to mimic the stable environment of forests in our growing spaces. We want diversity, rich soils, resilient crops that are not decimated by pests, blights or wind.
Accelerating our food spaces to a stable, forest like environment is one way we can practise Permaculture in the Far North.
There are several layers in a forest and each layer works with every other layer as a system. When we look at our growing spaces as a system, we too can create a healthy system that also produces food. Including crops that feed the soil as mulch, canopy trees that provide protection, plants that invite pollinators and pest managers, root crops that deter pests, vining crops that use the branches of trees for security and groundcovers that help moderate soil temperature and evaporation. This is a Food Forest.