April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 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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