Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario and the Classic Theatre Festival team up to host an inspirational and entertaining day of gardens and live theatre. On Saturday, July 27, vegetable gardens and permaculture gardens in and around Perth will be open to the public, as part of the Veggie Garden Tour. At 8pm on July 27, the Classic Theatre Festival will hold a benefit performance of “The Star-Spangled Girl”, which will help create free community spots in a permaculture course.
Enjoy a day touring veggie gardens and learning about permaculture. Pair this with an evening of live theatre and support “eco education” in the community. 50% of the ticket sales from the benefit show will go to the Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario to help create free community spots in a course this fall; tickets must be ordered before June 30.
At its simplest, permaculture is about making decisions following principles from nature. Permaculture can be used in our gardens, our homes, our businesses, our schools and our communities. It helps people be more effective with their resources, energy and time. Permaculture courses draw people from all walks of life, including gardeners, farmers, teachers, small business-owners, healthcare practitioners, stay-at-home moms, homesteaders and apartment-dwellers.
Perth residents, Bonita Ford and Sébastien Bacharach, together with their colleague and friend, Douglas Barnes, of Tweed, co-founded the Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario. The institute works as a “social enterprise”, a business that aims to benefit the community by sharing its surplus to take care of people and the Earth. The institute’s main staff person gives between 1/4 and 1/3 of her work week to community projects. In the last two and half years, they have taught over seven permaculture courses and collaborated with over ten community partners, including schools, a community health centre and several non-profits. Course participants have done garden work and design work for community partners; members from these community organisations have also taken the courses for free.
This year’s garden tour and benefit show are being hosted by the Permaculture Institute, Transition Perth (the original organisers of the garden tour, which is now in its third year) and the Classic Theatre Festival. The hope is to reach more people in the Perth community and beyond, to draw more visitors to our beautiful town, to inspire people to grow some food in their backyards, to bring neighbours together over a community lunch, and to offer an entertaining evening of live theatre.
You can buy a ticket to the benefit show and enjoy the classic comedy, Neil Simon's "The Star-Spangled Girl" on July 27 at 8pm. If you cannot attend, you can still buy a ticket and donate the ticket to the "Save a Seat" program, which allows people with limited resources to attend a performance for free.
If 25 tickets are sold, one free community spot will be created in a permaculture course. If 50 tickets are sold, three free community spots will be created; if 100 tickets are sold, six spots will be created. These spots will be selected based on financial need and potential benefit to the community. Recipients will take a course for free and will be asked to contribute four hours of volunteer time to the larger community.
As part of the Veggie Garden Tour on July 27, Ford and Bacharach will be opening their garden to the public; last year their garden drew visitors from as far as Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Their garden is based on permaculture design and offers a great opportunity for people to see how permaculture can be applied at home and in one’s backyard. Other gardens open for the tour include Agapé Gardens (another permaculture garden), PerthWorks, Lanark EcoVillage, Beckwith Gardens, Just Christine’s Garden and Hollyhock Grange. The organisers also invite everyone to come for a community potluck in the park. Come meet your neighbours, see your friends and perhaps join a carpool for the garden tour. The Veggie Garden Tour is free. Donations to Transition Perth are welcome.
Tickets for “The Star-Spangled Girl” benefit show must be reserved before June 30 and are $30 each. Please contact 613-267-1926 or info at eonpermaculture dot ca.