Permaculture Collaboration with Just Food Hub in Ottawa

The Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario (PIEO) is delighted to announce its collaboration with the new Just Food Community Food and Urban Agriculture Hub in the Ottawa Greenbelt. PIEO will donate all profits from its recent regional event to support this new project.

sharing seedsPermaculture, an eco-logical approach to design based on observing nature, was first taught in Australia in the 1970's and has since spread around the world. Permaculture design can be applied to physical things - like gardens and landscapes - as well as to invisible things - like one's business, community and lifestyle.

With growing interest in the region, PIEO hosted the first Eastern Ontario Permaculture Convergence on June 25, which was almost sold-out within 48 hours of being announced. The gathering attracted people from both Toronto and Montreal. It showcased presentations from permaculture teachers and graduates, followed by an Open Space Technology forum on initiatives and next steps in the local community.

All profits from the convergence will be donated to support permaculture-related initiatives at Just Food's Community Food and Urban Agriculture Hub. Located at the old NCC Nursery beside Blackburn Hamlet, this new "food hub" aims to provide training, partnerships, infrastructure and access to land to promote and celebrate a sustainable and just local food system. PIEO, in collaboration with Permaculture Project Ottawa (PPO), will introduce ecological design approaches and techniques to this project.

On September 1, PIEO, PPO and Just Food will host a "What is Permaculture?" slide presentation on eco-logical design principles applied to gardens, farms, organisations and businesses.  The event will be held at Just Food's new site.  Donations from the event will support permaculture initiatives at the site.

Starting on September 23, 2011, PIEO will offer an 84-hour Permaculture Design Course (PDC), the standard course for permaculture education. The PDC will take place over 4 weekends at Lester B. Pearson School in Gloucester and will include an additional 22 hours of independent work. As part of the PDC, student teams will focus their comprehensive design work on the Lester B. Pearson school grounds and the Just Food site and projects.

The introduction module, September 23 to 25, can be taken on its own. The introduction will cover: permaculture ethics and principles; introduction to the design process; patterns in nature; zones and sectors; and basics of forest gardening. The main module of the PDC will follow the introduction on October 1 and 2, October 22 and 23, and October 29 and 30. It will cover the following additional topics: the full design process; trees and soil; compost and eco-sanitation; animal systems and aquaculture; microclimates and season extension; earthworks, landscape, slope, keyline, water, drainage, dams; building design; tropical, arid, temperate and cold climates; invisible structures, alternative economics and ecovillages.

To help make the PDC more financially accessible, three work exchange positions are available, with a reduced course fee. All are welcome to apply for work exchange; applications are due by July 8. Work exchange students will be selected based on a combination of financial need and how this course could benefit them and their community.

Although the course will be taught mainly in English, Bacharach and Ford can answer questions and offer clarification in French.



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