The UMass Permaculture Initiative is changing the way students interact with their food and surroundings with the creation of on-campus permaculture gardens. As part of the Healthy and Sustainable Food System Initiative, UMass Permaculture serves as a hands-on, experiential teaching tool for students to learn about local, healthy food systems.
About UMass Permaculture
A unique and cutting-edge sustainability program, UMass Permaculture provides empowering hands-on education and leadership training, community engagement, and fresh, local, organic produce to the UMass campus. Founded in 2010, the initiative builds and maintains highly productive, highly educational edible gardens right on campus. The gardens are designed using permaculture principles and are installed by students, staff, and volunteers.
UMass Permaculture serves as an international model, which has inspired permaculture projects at campuses across the world. It has received global recognition and numerous accolades, quickly becoming the most widely recognized campus permaculture initiative in the country. In 2012, the initiative was honored by President Obama as first place winners of the White House Campus Champions of Change Challenge.
We are now in our 9th growing season and our gardens continue to be innovative, regenerative landscapes. Through the restoration of natural ecosystem processes we continue to sequester several tons carbon and capture thousands of gallons of storm water runoff annually. In 2018, our ½ acre of gardens yielded 1,739 lbs. of produce, an estimated value of over $9,000.
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a design system for creating ecological and edible landscapes, low-impact buildings, and sustainable communities and economies. It is based on thoughtful observation of the patterns and relationships found in nature, and provides a set of ethics and principles to help us transition our communities, campuses, and culture beyond sustainability and toward regeneration and resilience.
Check Out Our Permaculture Gardens
Many thanks to Grant Guiliano (www.AdaptiveNOW.com) for his hard work to create this artfully designed documentary series.