Permaculture in Paradise is a nonprofit organization started in December of 2018. Our mission is to build awareness of a more environmentally friendly self sustainable method of producing a higher quality and nutritional variety of food while providing and encouraging the consumption of a more nutritional diet to the youth of our community. Our vision is to change the behavior of children now and the diabetic and obesity rates of future generations through healthier and more traditional diets provided by better farming methods using Permaculture.
Within the Permaculture would be a community activated, working garden that would educate, support and inspire the participants, school tours and visitors to eventually reproduce Permaculture gardens of their own. Gardens that will continue to provide a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs for families throughout the area and beyond. Changing the minds of young and old to a safer and more natural way of growing their own food and to improve the choices they make about the foods that they consume.
Permaculture differs from the traditional American cropping methods. In America, we plant an acre of one crop that depletes the soil of the nutrients that crop requires. These nutrients must be replaced, either naturally or chemically. In addition, planting an acre of the same crop attracts the insects that like that particular crop. With Permaculture, we use companion plantings; where plants support, fertilize and protect each other.
We intend to provide produce to those in need through local area food banks and schools.
If we can provide nutritional fresh vegetables to schools at no charge, children will have a greater variety of nutritional sources. Many young adults have poor nutritional habits stemming from poor childhood habits. If children become accustomed to eating a greater variety of vegetables at a younger age, we may see a decrease in obesity and diabetes as they become adults.
An elementary school field trip can provide the child with the chance to distinguish between different types of vegetables. A junior high child will learn to distinguish the different types and ways that vegetables are grown and how they help their bodies to grow and provide them with fuel. A high school student can begin learning farming methods, plant species and the chemistry of plants. All along the way, each child will become more confident, have a better feeling of self-worth, and improve their self esteem each time they bring home a bag of produce to share with their family at dinner.
We as Permaculturist have the responsibility to keep this knowledge alive by offering as much training as possible. We have designed a coordinated efforts program in which we provide free instruction in Permaculture techniques to nonprofit organizations in exchange for their assistance. Upon instruction, the group is assigned a parcel of land free of charge, in which they are to practice their techniques. In exchange they are to only harvest half of their produce, with the remainder to be donated to area schools or used for educational tours. Educational tours are structured by age group to encourage young children to become more aware of where food comes from and how to provide in harmony and without destruction of mother earth. The elementary grades will be exposed to various plants, their appearances and textures and healthier eating habits. The junior highs will be exposed to composting techniques, chemistry of nitrogen, carbon, and ph balance. The high schools will be exposed to planting techniques such as companion planting, layout and water supply.
If a child sits in a classroom, and looks at a book to learn the color green; it will take longer to learn than if a child is taken on a field trip, and can run through a farm, where he/she can see green grass, green leaves on the trees, and green broccoli being grown. Then, they get to pick the green broccoli, wash the green broccoli at a washing station, and feel the texture, experience the smell and taste of the green broccoli; they will begin to learn the color in a more interactive manner. The child can then take home a bag of green vegetables to share with their family along with the joy of their experience. Not only will each child better remember the color green, but it is hoped that this can be the start of change in their attitude toward vegetables.