April 24, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Bowl Weekend set to be ‘very successful’ -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Win-and-in situation looms for UMass men’s lacrosse against Delaware -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brewed of the Gods – Dogfish Head Theobroma -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Never again, never forget: Remembering the Armenian genocide -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse prepares for final two regular season games -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Food of the World: Vietnam -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Indie duo The Both to perform at Pearl Street -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

USDA grants awarded to UMass faculty -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

UMass baseball team heads to Bronx for three-game set vs. Fordham -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Workout on the Quad comes to UMass -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Time to reconsider ‘war on terror’ -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

UMass men’s lacrosse has received solid play from freshmen all year -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Renowned rabbi discusses the role of religion in American policy -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UMass baseball haunted by missed opportunities in 8-5 loss -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Transcendence’ a fumbling cautionary tale -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freedom of speech for campus employees -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Veep’ continues to be one of the smartest comedies around -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Noah’ a sinking ship -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter: A response to ‘There is nothing to debate about global warming’ -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Push for punishment equality -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Permaculture spreads to local elementary schools

Two apple trees planted outside of Wildwood Elementary School in late October marked the start of a new partnership between Amherst elementary schools and the University of Massachusetts Permaculture Initiative.

The fruit trees mark the location of future permaculture gardens that the schools will be designing with the help of permaculture garden officials Ryan Harb, the Permaculture Academic Program coordinator, and Tripper O’Mara, an Auxiliary Services employee who recently graduated from UMass.

O’Mara will be working individually with the Wildwood, Fort River and Crocker Farm elementary schools  to help them design their own gardens. The gardens will be similar to the permaculture gardens located outside of the Berkshire and Franklin dining commons.

The permaculture gardens – which are types of gardens that try to mimic natural growing patterns – will then be planted in the spring.

“My main thing right now is just to get kids to understand why we’re doing this, why local food is really good,” O’Mara said.

He added that there is already a lot of excitement about sustainable agriculture at the schools. One of the goals of the partnership is to build on that excitement and integrate permaculture education into the classroom.

While working with the students to plant the fruit trees, O’Mara was impressed by the enthusiasm and knowledge the children brought to the project.

“I was absolutely blown away by how much even the kindergarteners knew,” he said. “They were telling me what I could and couldn’t put into the compost. And that was just really inspiring and exciting to know that these kids were already being taught at such a young level.”

The project – which is funded through a grant the from the Creative Economies Fund, a part of the UMass President’s Office – sprouted from a desire to find more direct ways to give back to the community, O’Mara said.

Harb “won some money to essentially take the idea of permaculture and sustainability education out into the local community,” O’Mara said.

“The way he wanted to do that was by working with the elementary schools.”

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is also working on this project.

David Barnstone can be reached at dbarnsto@student.umass.edu.

 

Comments
One Response to “Permaculture spreads to local elementary schools”
  1. Ernest Rando says:

    We at Midwest Permaculture just love hearing stories about permaculture getting into schools. We find with a lot of the visits we get to our community that one of the benefits from permaculture designs is that they are just innately kid friendly. Creating spaces for exploration and childlike enjoyment is a piece of permaculture that can be applied anywhere, whether there is a garden or not!

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