Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Designing Polycultures

Because polyculture, growing many plants together, instead of just one alone (monoculture), can reduce pests, disease, and weeds, conserve water, improve soil health and fertility, eliminate the need for tilling and reduce our dependence on chemicals, fossil fuels and poisonous biocides, polyculture is one of the most important elements of Permaculture.

It can certainly be the key to a much easier way of gardening!

And yet, because it's an advanced kind of gardening that requires detailed plant knowledge, experience, observation and experimentation, it remains one of the most mysterious, and least discussed. 

Time to de-mystify polyculture! 

Because this type of gardening is so important, we'll be putting together a simplifed version of the Polyculture Design class we offer with our Forest Gardening course, Sunday, August 21st. This "Introduction to Polyculture Design" course will be based on the material we teach our forest gardening students, but geared towards beginners and those new to Permaculture.

We're also making the first two videos available for free online, and we hope you'll check them out. 

The class will be August 21st, from 9:00 - 11:00 am, for a suggested donation of $25. 

This is our absolute geekiest class of the year. While we'll keep the material accessible to beginners, we'll also be going deep into current theory and best practice on polyculture design. 

Space is limited! Registration required. Please contact Mike at lillie.house.kzoo@gmail.com to reserve your space! 

Because polyculture design is so important, we'll also be making most of the videos and online materials for this polyculture design class (which are included with the Forest Gardening Design Course) available for $40, (or for an additional $15 for folks who pay for the class on the 21st.) This online version of the class includes dozens of example polycultures that gardeners can use to start learning and experimenting with polycultures. It took a lot of work to put together and we're very proud of it! 

Class Outline:

Video 1: Introduction: why polycultures? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o2-ZOK-iOGM
Video 2: Class overview, objectives and polyculture basics. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VZyALAExqyY
VIdeo 3: Strategies for maximizing cooperation and minimizing competition.
Video 4: Designing "Guilds," plantings that work like ecosystems. 
Video 5: A Polyculture Garden Make-over!
Video 6: Copying nature's polycultures: an ecologically modeled edible hedgerow. 
Video 7: Adding up polycultures to build a forest garden. 
Video 8: Resources, recommended nurseries, etc. 

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