Learn about permaculture in a free presentation by the New West Community Gardening Society

Permaculture is a fascinating field of gardening expertise. By trying to replicate the natural systems of a wild environment within the garden, permaculture hopes to reduce or eliminate the need to add water, fertilizer and chemicals.

If you’re interested in learning more about this holistic approach to gardening, you might want to check out the New Westminster Community Gardening Society’s upcoming presentation “Permaculture Principles and their Applications in an Urban Environment” with Jodi Peters, this Saturday, February 19 at Mary Mount Garden (121 East Columbia St.).

The presentation description is: “Permaculture principles and the ethics that guide them give powerful new ways of understanding the natural cycles of nutrients and energy, which helps gardeners to make decisions that save time, effort and are sustainable over the long term. These principles help illuminate the vast, but often unfamiliar resources in the urban eco-system. Some examples will include work with urban waste streams, no-till bed preparation, aquaponics and urban seed saving.”

The presentation will be followed by the NWCGS AGM. If you go, NWCGS asks that you bring a reusable side plate & cup for the snacks & drinks that will be available.

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop about permaculture a few years ago and was struck by the difference between a permaculture perspective and mainstream gardening advice.

Permaculture doesn’t just look at a plant in isolation, adjusting soil and water conditions to support its growth. Instead it looks at the interactions between plants and how they affect the soil.

For instance, in the workshop I attended, we were recommended to plant in spirals or circular mounds instead of typical rows to make efficient use of space. One lovely tip was to build up a spiral mound using large stones and plant with herbs. The rocks help contain heat, and when you water the plants, the water runs down the spiral. Plant dry soil-loving herbs at the top and herbs that require more water at the bottom and all the herbs are happy. Other tips to help minimize watering requirements, included selecting plants with watering requirements that are compatible with the natural environment of the garden, spacing them closer together to reduce the amount of free space that weeds could colonize, and mulching liberally to discourage weeds and retain water in the soil.

I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in gardening. Whether or not you decide to change how you garden, you will almost certainly come away with a different perspective on gardening and likely also a number of tips you could apply in your own little plot of soil.

What: Permaculture Principles and their Applications in an Urban Environment, a presentation by Jodi Peters

When: Saturday, February 19th, 7 to 9:30pm

Where: St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church Hall (Mary Mount Garden), 121 East Columbia Street