by Erin Silva
As a student at UMass Amherst, I understand the pain of picking and enrolling in classes for the next semester. When picking, there is such a wide selection to choose from: even if you think a class sounds interesting, it may not be open to you because of capacity limits or restrictions in place that vary by major. As I sat and stared at my screen for hours last spring trying to pick classes for this semester, my sister who graduated from UMass Amherst tried to brainstorm ideas with me for what classes I could be interested in. She named off a couple of history classes, and went on to mention a class called “Permaculture Gardening”. Growing up in my family, I always gardened with my mom and always loved taking care of plants; it had been a fond memory between all of us. My sister took the permaculture class during her time at UMass, and absolutely loved it. That love of gardening rubbed off on me, to the point where I even keep plants of my own in my dorm! As my sister kept talking about her experience in the permaculture gardening class, I knew I had to take this class for this semester. I logged on to Spire as fast I could and quickly enrolled for permaculture gardening.
As this semester comes to an end, I am extremely grateful for being able to take this class because it has broadened my perspective on how to live more sustainably in society today. Permaculture was every Tuesday and Thursday morning and I looked forward getting out of bed to get ready for class; even if it was a rainy cold fall day. Permaculture has taught me lessons that I will carry with me for years to come but it was also a time where I was able to relax and to not think about the stress for the upcoming weeks. Every class started out with meditation and it was relaxing to spend a hour and a half gardening and listening to music to start off my day. This decompression ties in directly with sustainability, and more efficient methods in my everyday chores. I’ve learned how to compost, to cook with locally-grown fruits and vegetables, to make home remedies, and to be more weary with wasting food.
I am going to miss having this class every week and I recommend anyone who is considering taking this class to enroll; there’s nothing more rewarding than watching the plants you’ve cared for grow and flourish, and feel some of that growth deep within yourself, too.
Entries are submitted by project staff and UMass students.