One of the primary goals of the Stillwater Permaculture Guild is to develop an edible forest research garden. Through landscape and community design that prioritizes local and beneficial plants working in concert with one another and the landscape (a system called guilding), we have been researching what a highly productive permaculture system is capable of in a medium/high density residential area. All parts of the project are designed to be repeatable in various scales and priorities, as diverse as college campuses, Maine’s cities and agricultural lands.
Three years ago a multidisciplinary team started with close observation and interaction with the land, a year later a basic landscape design, and eventually systemic actions that stimulate a ecological integrity, and capacity for food production without taking resources away from the land. The past 6 months has seen the largest changes to the landscape since the project began including, extensive soil building, planting, cover cropping, and pruning. Additionally a system that passively filters rainwater and groundwater through the land is under development.
The project is the result of the community’s strong affinity for permaculture design and its ability to help communities redirect food, fuel, and fiber responsibility and production to the immediate local community. We believe that when such a system is in effect there is a direct and sustained benefit to the local economy as well as in the ecology. The project, although long-term in scope, will soon be releasing it’s first major reports.