Permaculture is gaining ground in Petaluma. It has been for some years, but the 55+ engaged citizens and leaders that showed up at the Petaluma Cavanagh Center this past weekend to take part in a 72-hour Permaculture Design Curriculum hosted by Daily Acts and taught by internationally best-selling author Toby Hemenway just sealed the deal.
Permaculture teaches us how to meet our basic needs while leaving the earth in a better state than we found it. Contrast this to your regular trip to the grocery store, where we can’t help but make choices that deplete the environment to meet our food needs.
The course is being taught at the Cavanagh Community Center. What was previously surrounded by lawn, since 2009 the building now boasts a garden with plums, Asian pears, figs, strawberries, citrus, herbs and medicine, all while saving vasts amounts of water compared to your average lawn. Watch a video of the transformation here.
Permaculture is a method of designing human systems (schools, farms, businesses, homes) to catch and store water, and produce local sources of food, fiber, and other resources for human consumption, among other things. It is an ecological design science that goes beyond sustainability.
Key tenants of permaculture are earth-care, people-care, and “fair share.” In essence, it is about regenerative design, creating spaces and processes that repair and replenish ecosystems, rather than deplete them.
Permaculture has arrived in Petaluma, and it is here to stay. If you are wondering what it looks/tastes like, go out and pick some of the ripe strawberries in front of the rainwater catchment tanks at City Hall, a perfect example of permaculture in action. I’ll bet you’ll be inspired to plant some of your own!