Permaculture Gardens

UMass has made efforts on campus to grow food sustainably. A significant example of this is the UMass permaculture gardens. A permaculture garden produces crops and is not harmful to the ecosystem. The garden regenerates itself from year to year. Permaculture gardens take advantage of previously natural resources. Soil health is a goal of permaculturists. When the soil stays healthy, the plants have more nutrients and it is easier to grow crops year after year. 

1000 students, faculty and volunteers joined together to make the garden project possible. The university administration helped fund the project. The project started out small but expanded significantly. The UMass permaculture gardens produce a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, herbs and more.

The UMass permaculture gardens are underused campus lawns that were turned into low maintenance produce gardens. The permaculture gardens are used for educational purposes as well. In 2012, UMass Permaculture gardens won the White House Campus Champions of Change Challenge. The gardens have proven to be successful. In 2018 the gardens yielded about $9000 worth of produce. The gardens also aid in the retention of rainwater and reduction of runoff.

Considering the success of the UMass gardens, permaculture gardens would be a great project for other schools to take on. It is a great way to get students involved in learning about plants and the natural environment. Permaculture is a great method because it is low maintenance and sustainable.

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