Preparing for Fall 2011!

It is August already! You have heard this before, but time sure does go by fast when you are having fun. The weather this summer has been very pleasant – not too hot and not too cold (except for a few times). We have had a good amount of rainfall and the garden is looking magnificent. There is only one month left until the little city known as UMass Amherst returns to full capacity. And that is very exciting for us who are working for UMass Permaculture!

There are many things we are working on in preparation for the fall. This includes:

  • Focusing on the beautification of our Franklin Permaculture Garden,
  • Creating individual plant and section signs so that visitors can take an educational self-guided tour of the garden,
  • Planning the dedication ceremony which will take place on September 29, 2011
  • Inviting the incoming freshman class to participate with UMass Permaculture by creating a “Class of 2015 Permaculture Garden” located at Berkshire Dining Commons.

This new permaculture garden is where a lot of our focus will be on during the next month. We have an amazing permaculture expert who is consulting with us on our UMass Permaculture projects; Jono Neiger of Regenerative Design Group. Next week Jono will join us at the Berkshire Permaculture Garden site to explore how we can turn a compacted, eroded, and sloped landscape into a flourishing, multi-use, educational and beautiful campus garden. One of our thoughts is to do a terracing system… but more on that to come!

There is a great deal of planning that goes into the implementation of a campus garden. The landscape and construction services need to OK it, a dig-safe needs to be done, we need to get the student body involved (because it is a lot of work!) and a final landscape design needs to be decided upon. We appreciate having Jono Neiger on board with us during the planning process. Check out the Regenerative Design Group website below.

More updates to come, but we hope to begin cultivating our next piece of land – about 3,000 s.f., on September 5. Stay tuned!

Jono Neiger helping UMass Permaculture plant our first trees in the Franklin Permaculture Garden

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