Saturday, June 13, 2015


Permaculture Design Course

This showed up in my in-box last night:

YES!!!  This course has been life-changing.  I know folks say that about a PDC, and now I know why, having been through one - even a virtual one.  I really do believe that what I have learned in this course will enable me to "restore land to its natural abundance". I feel confident that I could do this on a small scale, and would be up for the challenge of designing for a larger area. 

Of course, nothing can substitute for practical experience.  Apart from applying at our home what I have learned in this course, I hope the folks for whom I designed their property as my design exercise will implement all or part of the design, and that I can help them in that process in order to gain more on-the-ground understanding.

Next I'd like to design more properties for folks in my congregation, and for other congregations' properties.  If you currently water and mow your church lawn, why not transform it into a more sustainable, productive landscape that provides food for a local feeding ministry?  Why not create space for animals and increase biodiversity?  How about moderating heat and cooling bills through thoughtful design and planting?  I'll design it for free, just for the experience and to help in the restoration of the planet, one congregation at a time.

In the mean time, I will periodically review the lessons of the course over the next year (all the material will be available for that time) and continue to learn what I can.  I will also continue to discern the connections between the systems thinking espoused in the PDC, and congregation systems.  They are there, I can feel it, and have already begun to tease them out.

Thanks for reading this blog.  Now get out there and grow something.

Galen Gallimore, PDC Graduate!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Signs of Spring

Please enjoy these signs of Spring...even if it is mid-winter, technically...
Have you heard this one before?  NEVER, bury the crown of the strawberry.  Really?  What's this then?  Healthy strawberry plants emerging from their winter slumber beneath a 4 inch layer of mulch, that's what.

 Spot the 'sparagus.  Hint - it's purple.

 I love how the water drops get caught in this succulent.  Somehow, the surface tension keeps them round-ish.

 Grape Hyacinth near the garden gate.

 Ready beds and barrels, though the mulch hasn't been down that long so we'll probably need to fertigate with worm juice this year.  Maybe this Fall I'll get my act together and mulch sooner.

 Peering down into a crocus.

Crocus and a heavily pruned Helebore.  Looks like it is time to divide those grasses.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Its About Time

So I have finally done it - I am officially enrolled in Geoff Lawton's Permaculture Design Certificate Course.  YES!!  I am too excited to adequately convey in words how I feel about this.  If you have never heard of permaculture, please check out any of Geoff's videos.  'Greening the Desert' is a good place to start if you want to see something amazing.  Look for it on Youtube.

But I don't live in a desert, you may say.  Neither do I!  Permaculture is an ethical design science for building sustainable habitat that cares for the earth, cares for people, and returns the surplus in ANY climate where people live.  That includes the wet and cold Pacific Northwest.

I spent yesterday afternoon enjoying a break in the rain, planting in our front bed.  Kristi and I went to Watson's nursery on the way home from a nice day out (lunch at Friesenburger, shopping at the used book store) and bought Asparagus crowns.  Out front behind the apple trees are now two Jersey Knights and two Mary Washingtons.  Hopefully this year they'll grow tall and sink deep so that next year we can harvest.  I know, you're supposed to wait a couple years.  I have a feeling these plants are going to love the front bed and get settled in just fine.  We'll see next year how they look...and maybe how they taste.

Finally, I want to say that I'll be updating this blog more regularly, but I won't say how often.  I've been better at maintaining the train blog, my hobby, my sanity-soother from stress.  But there are many outdoor projects going on and plenty to share here as well.  So look for updates to come this Spring.  Here are a couple pictures from last Spring, 2014 - the first is from April 8, the second May 27.  What a difference a month makes!