When we hear the term "permaculture," many of us don't now what that means. There's a lot to learn, and as a movement and philosophy, permaculture is still evolving and expanding. If you'd like to understand more about permaculture, don't forget that our popular 8-week series "Grow More Food In Harmony With Nature" begins February 4 at Rodgers Ranch. You may purchase each class separately for $35 but will save $50 if you sign up for all 8 classes for $230 by February 4. For registration and a complete description, visit HERE.

Known as the father of permaculture, Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist from the 1970s, said, “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature.” Systems in nature, like forests, are naturally self-sustaining and create their own energy and process their own wastes, without human intervention.

Practitioners of permaculture take care to design landscape or edible gardens that are self-sufficient and mimic principles in nature that respect the land. If you have gone organic and don’t use pesticides, or you grow certain plants together because they help each other thrive, or you choose plants that attract birds or bees to pollinate your garden, you are already using permaculture principles. There are ethical, economic, and social components to permaculture as well, and it is often portrayed as a system of concentric circles or Venn diagrams.

The "Grow More Food in Harmony With Nature" series is taught by Master Gardener Marian Woodard who says,“In these challenging times, many feel the need to do something constructive for their community and environment. Mollison said, ‘Though the problems of our world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.’ This course offers concrete, actionable ideas on how to follow the 3 ethics of permaculture: take care of the land, take care of the people, and reinvest the dividends that will come if we get the first two ethics right. A major bonus is that your soil and garden will improve for eating better, you’ll enjoy being there more, and your maintenance (time, effort and costs) will likely decrease.”

An enthusiastic participant from last year’s permaculture series, Stephanie Bohnett, noted: “These workshops have shifted my gardening approach. Only one short year later, I produce more food from my yard with fewer resources and strife. I use much less water from the hose, spend less time weeding and fighting with overgrown plants, and even went on vacation without having to beg a neighbor to take over garden duties! I highly recommend these workshops to all experience levels.”

Very simply, Marian says these workshops are “FUN, and you get to spend Saturdays with like-minded, passionate people intent on improving a patch of land (or apartment!) they call HOME.”

The series starts February 4 and runs through March 25, Saturdays, 10am – noon, at Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center, 315 Cortsen Rd. in Pleasant Hill. You can take classes individually for $35 or all eight for $230 (save $50) Register now HERE.


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