Sunday, September 24, 2006

MY FORT WORTH: Permaculture study group offers FREE lecture this week

I was suffering a miserable break-up with someone in Boulder. It was around 1989, i guess. I was looking for a way or reason to catapult myself out of that geography of tears and regret, and so I ended up in front of the community notices board at the Boulder Public Library one evening. There was a flyer for an Intro Design Course in something I had never heard of before: Permaculture. "Permanent Culture." An approach to living symbiotically with the land, in your bioregion, that focuses on observing and studying what already exists before employing a shovel, bulldozer, or concrete mixer to change it. I had a growing interest in sustainability and so I signed up for the 2-week course, which took place on a small high-elevation organic farm in Basalt, Colorado. Sounded like a great way to heal a broken heart and start over with something new in mind.

"PERMACULTURE... a practical concept applicable from a balcony to the farm, from the city to the wilderness, enabling us to establish productive environments providing our food, energy, shelter, material and non-material needs, as well as the social and economic infrastructures that will support them. a synthesis of ecology, geography, observation & design.
...encompasses all aspects of human environments and culture, urban and rural, and their local and global impact. It involves ethics of earth care because the sustainable use of land cannot be separated from lifestyle and philosophical issues.
...encourages the restoration of balance to our environments through the practical application of ecological principles. In the broadest sense, Permaculture refers to land-use systems and lifestyle options which utilise resources in a sustainable way."

A new local group, URBAN SMALLHOLDING, has surfaced in Fort Worth, with an eye towards bringing Permaculture principles and methodology to inner-city folks. Here's what they say about themselves:

"Urban Smallholding is a community of people in the Tarrant County area dedicated to learning and implementing permaculture principles in our own homes, neighborhoods. Subject to natural law, we work with what we have and where we are (whether it is a city lot, apartment or rural homestead), to integrate people, land, water, plants, animals, and technologies towards a more regenerative culture and sustainable life and livelihood. Hopefully, we'll have some fun along the way. We have monthly meetings, bi-monthly speakers as well as projects."

Their next public event - a lecture in E. Fort Worth:

presented by Wayne Weiseman

Wednesday, September 27th - 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Meadowbrook United Methodist Church - 3900 Meadowbrook Dr. - Fort Worth, TX

Talk Outline:
Basic Permaculture Methodologies and Ethics
Edible, medicinal, culinary, and utility landscapes and food forests
Land Restoration
Long-term food preservation
Practical Homesteading Skills
Basic Renewable Energy Systems
Ecological Building construction Methods

For more information contact Kirsten at or phone at 817.915.1392.

You may prefer to join their Yahoo group, via this link.

By the way, I completed the Intro Course and was given a piece of paper certifying me as a Permaculture Introductory Design Trainee. As an urbanite, I've not had too much of a chance to do rainwater catchment or set up a goose pond, but many of the design principles of Permaculture have stayed with me and manifest in my life style choices, decrease in consumption, and resolve to live as low-impact (on the land) as possible. Plus, I now know the difference between a gabion and a wiggle-waggle--both design elements used to prevent land erosion. I've also grown fond of cattails. And the heartbreak? I got past that and found someone new.

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