Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Genesis

     In the Spring of 2015, some Pine Grove students began building what would eventually become the first stage of the PGM Food Forest. A food forest is a forest garden that is full of perennials that produce food year after year after year. The goal of the project was to create an ecosystem that would be able to thrive with less resources than a normal garden and, eventually, turn into a self sustaining forest.
     When these middle schoolers look at the hundreds of acres that surround the campus, they realize that no one waters the trees. No one pulls weeds. No one sprays insecticides to control pests. All of these things take care of themselves in a way that creates a home for plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and protists. This is what these students set out to reproduce. This is the starting point for permaculture projects.
IMG_0962     a-frame picture
     Mr. Hurley and Mr. Collins built an A-frame level  that would show where the contours, or level parts, of the land were. These tools were very simple to make and both teachers explained how they were built and how they worked to the class. The kids seemed mildly interested in the "how" and more excited to actually go outside and work. That's right. They want to work outside. Kids often don't get enough time outside and this is one of our reasons for creating the food forest: kids need to get their hands dirty and have fun in order to learn on a deeper level.
     As we headed outside, there was a crispness in the air and the students were giddy. They most likely didn't completely understand what the final product was going to look like but they were excited to begin.

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