by Ashley Thompson, Director of Education and Interpretation “Trees are nature for all of us.” – First Grader, Montpelier Elementary School 6am, Wednesday morning. Shovel and containers in hand, I walk into my backyard on a mission: to find examples of healthy and unhealthy soil. This has to be done in the early morning, because…Details
by Kate McGowan, Museum Educator “Now Letter-Writing is, to me, the most agreable Amusement and Writing to you the most entertaining and Agreable of all Letter-Writing” —John Adams to Abigail Smith, April 12th 1764 Were your Valentines this year a bit… uninspired? Are you tired of the endless stream of stale and saccharine sentiments that…Details
On June 7, the blueberries weren’t quite ripe yet. A few weeks before, eight students lovingly weeded and side-dressed the blueberry patch in the hopes that this year’s berry crop would be unparalleled. And on their last day on the farm for the year, they wanted to enjoy the literal fruit of their labor. So the students took…Details
Protecting the space-time continuum isn’t normally a task trusted to elementary school kids. However, on the Eco-Explorers: Colonial Time Warp adventure at Piscataway Park, things are a little different. When entering Piscataway Park, students are appointed to the Eco-Explorers team and given a very important mission—save the earth and preserve the course of history! Equipped…Details
Cognizant of worldwide ecological and food security challenges, the Accokeek Foundation has begun taking action to meet these challenges head on. Drawing upon ancestral knowledge, modern innovation, and the passion of creative citizens, the Foundation is in the process of developing a National Food Forest. The Accokeek Foundation’s goal is to revert acres of choked,…Details
Serving as a source of drinking water for more than five million residence and as a home to a plethora of local plants and animals, the Potomac River is essential to healthy, happy living in the Chesapeake Bay region. After years of work to protect this vital river, the Potomac finally saw a significant improvement…Details
This past weekend, Permaculture course participants studied Natural Building and Passive Solar Energy at the Ecosystem Farm in Piscataway Park. Activities included building a cold frame and a worm bin, covering a hoop house, planting cover crops at our Persimmon guild and making Biochar, an ancient soil amendment. Biochar Biochar is a kind…Details
The term, Permaculture, was coined by Bill Mollison, an Australian scientist, research professor, and author, who borrowed the concept from the book title, Tree Crops, a Permanent Agriculture, written in 1929 by Virginian, J. Russell Smith, a geographer, conservationist, and Wharton School of Business economics professor.
A culture can not survive without a permanent, or sustaining, form of agriculture.
written by Patricia Ceglia, Permaculture Designer and Instructor
We can all become producers as well as consumers. Permaculture Design is a methodology for creating human habitats that produce more of our daily needs for food, medicine, water, energy, shelter, waste cycling and fiber. Permaculture Design is a process for managing your land and dwelling to be highly productive in an ecological manner. By making relationships between design components, we expand efficiency and create a living system that regenerates itself, rather than depletes itself. The result is increased security and harmony.
I first discovered Permaculture in 1990, after a year of searching for a more ethical design approach than that which I was practicing as a young architect. My boss had just asked me to design a gigantic strip shopping center with a parking lot as large as a football field (not the glamorous type of building I was used to designing as a college student). So I attended Bill Mollison’s workshop at San Xavier Indian Reservation near Tuscon, AZ and was hooked.Details
“With it being so hard to make a living as a farmer, is it just the will to do it that keeps people farming?” That was just one of the many questions this year’s crop of 15 Agriculture Conservation Corps interns asked during a “Careers in Sustainable Agriculture” panel during the penultimate week of their…Details
by Andrea Jones, Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement The issue Each year the average American family of four throws away $2,200 worth of food. Just think of what you could buy with that cash! And of course there are the environmental impacts. Most food doesn’t get composted the natural way, it ends up in…Details