Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Simple Living President, Tia Meer, just returned from teaching in Colorado.

Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute was just blessed with a wonderful Introduction to Permaculture Workshop taught by Tia Meer from Orlando, Florida. The day started with a group discussion of the history and definition permaculture. Tia emphasized how permaculture is a design process and as permaculture designers it is up to us to put all the elements in the right place to maximize the functions and relationships of each element. We talked about permaculture principals by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and the ethics of permaculture, which are earth care, people care, and the concept of fair share. Next, Tia presented on zone and sector planning and stressed how important it is to put the high maintenance areas such a vegetable gardens close to the house and also the importance of having a zone 5 where we can learn from nature and be inspired.

In the afternoon we learned about plant guilds and the benefits of perennial polycultures, which is basically companion planting of plants that live for a long time. Tia created a very useful plant list that highlighted the functions of the plants found in this region of Colorado showing if they were edible, nitrogen fixers, or dynamic accumulators (plants that bring up nutrients from deep in the soil).

The day ended with a chop and drop activity where we helped the cherry, apple, and plum fruit trees grow by mulching with fresh trimmings from nitrogen fixers, carbonaceous materials, and dynamic accumulators of Siberian pea shrub, cattail harvested from the pond and comfrey respectively. We had a great day, an awesome lunch, and everyone learned a lot. The feedback from the students was great. CRMPI intern Sarah Morehouse said “Tia’s teaching technique is very inviting and informative. “

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