Permaculture

Many members of the Cornell community are actively involved in permaculture...

Plant science students Sarah Nechamen '15 and Celine Jennison '14 helped create a garden outside Kennedy Hall to demonstrate permaculture (Alex Koeberle/University Photo)
Plant science students Sarah Nechamen '15 and Celine Jennison '14 helped create a garden outside Kennedy Hall to demonstrate permaculture (Alex Koeberle/University Photo)

Many members of the Cornell community are actively involved in permaculture, a design discipline for productive systems such as gardens, farms, homesteads, and urban sites utilizing ecological principles found in natural systems. These ecological principles are combined with a design method that creates sustainable, healthy abundant landscapes while meeting basic human needs. Permaculture is a systems thinking approach that often includes garden and home design. The permaculture approach rests upon planning and connecting specific elements in a sustainable society. Examples include: natural building, small-scale agriculture, non-violent communication, right livelihood, and the use of appropriate technology are a few examples of methods used by permaculture practitioners. These elements could be seen as pieces of a whole while permaculture designers attempt to examine and mindfully create the “whole picture” whether in a backyard, forest, or community.

Community members can get involved with Cornell permaculture activities in multiple ways.

  1. Steve Gabriel and Ken Mudge offer a two- credit course in the fall on Permaculture Design Certification (HORT 4940 Special Topics).
  2. Steve Gabriel also offers an online permaculture course through Horticulture Distance Learning http://hort.cals.cornell.edu/cals/hort/teaching/distance-learning/permaculture1.cfm
  3. The Permaculture Club meets every Wednesday at 5pm in the Mann Lobby. ContactSteve Gabriel at  sdn27@cornell.edu for more details
  4. The McDaniel’s Nut Grove (http://blogs.cornell.edu/mushrooms/nutgrove/) and The Dilmun Hill Student Farm (http://cuaes.cornell.edu/cals/cuaes/ag-operations/dilmun-hill/) have demonstrations and research that examine permaculture in different ecosystems and production venues.
  5. Trillium Permaculture Garden, a student initiative, grows vegetables, herbs and fruits, using permaculture principles on a small scale to provide fresh produce for the Trillium Dining Hall. See the link below for more information. http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/06/permaculture-garden-grows-food-trillium
  6. Subscribe to Permaculture at Cornell to keep abreast permaculture activities at Cornell: http://blogs.cornell.edu/permaculture/