Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Permaculture & Pears at ISA

I just got back from an inspiring morning at Mary Ann's Gardening Seminar at International Studies Academy (ISA). This class is 90 minutes all devoted to gardening! Today, students read an article on the importance of Compost, and wrote a short essay in response. Then, they went outside and worked on three projects in their magical garden site. This spot has so much potential!

Shaun guest-starred today and helped one group of students to dig a trench, part of the system of swales for the hillside. Guided by Permaculture principles, this technique will prevent erosion and conserve the water that runs down the hillside when it rains. Swales will divert the water via the natural curves of the hill, towards plants instead of straight into the storm drain. Diverting water from storm drains saves the city a lot of headaches, too (you're welcome, SF!).

Another group weeded this planter box of artichokes, while others pruned the squash patch and gathered fallen and trimmed branches. They began building a compost pile, with neat layers of green material (fresh, juicy and nitrogen-rich) alternating with layers of browns (dried, crunchy, carbon-rich). Once our friendly decomposers attack this pile, we'll be set with rich natural fertilizer for the spring.

After all that hard work, we enjoyed some tasty Barlett Pears from the Farmers' Market. Delicious!


CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Maybe you should plant some pear trees on those slopes!

Shaun said...

Do you have any pear tree growing tips or resources for a Northern California Climate? Thanks for reading our blog!

Aparna said...

enjoy you gardening.