Author Archives: billgiordano

April Garden Field Days!

Friday, April 15  12-4pm

Friday, April 22  12-4pm

Wed,  April 27 12-4pm

It’s Spring and LongGreenHouse and the SWPG are gearing up for an exciting season. Our young fruit and nut tree nursery made it through the winter, and the buds are just starting to shown signs of breaking dormancy.  We’ve been working this winter on refining permaculture designs and developing them for presentation and we’ll be presenting them in and out of the garden all season. Get a sneak peak viewing below!!! And check out the Events page for April Garden Field Days

This year more than ever we are gearing up to present the past three years of work and research. Graduate students have been developing a low-cost suburban edible landscape as a prototype for large-scale public gardens and “village scale” urban food production as a collaboration between with the University of Maine’s Intermedia MFA Program, the Town of Orono and Still Water, A research arm of University of Maine New Media. The work is intended to become repeatable community resource here in the greater Bangor region and throughout the state. If you’re interested in our work, or hosting a gathering in your community, please let us know. Send a e-mail to william.giordano@umit.maine.edu, or just show up if you would like to join us.

View our latest design work below.
See you in the garden!

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Edible Forest Gardening in Orono, ME

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.

Southwest Section of Stillwater Permaculture Guild Edible Forest Research Gardens

Straw in the Landscape

We are fortunate enough to have some local farmers growing organic barley straw nearby. So valued in no till gardening, and so hard to find. This batch came from a field in Benedicta, ME in the shadow of Mt. Katadin.

Aroostook County Barley Straw up for storage at SWPG

Cabbage and calendula harvested today!

Sheet Mulching

The primary methods for making garden beds at SWPG demonstration site is sheet mulch. This method layers a number of different ingredients that tap the great resources of the waste stream and the work of various farms and farm animals.

Sheet Mulching for no-til gardens

Fruit Tree Polyculture

Apples and gourds onsite at the Stillwater Permaculture Gardens

This years polyculture experiment included an unplanned partnership between the apple and the dipper gourds.

The gourds were started from seed in April and tranplanted outside in the summer. This particular gourd bee-lined it straight to the apple tree Continue reading

UMaine Permaculture Club Partnering with LongGreenHouse

This fall students of permaculture in the Penobscot Valley and at UMaine have partnered with the LongGreenHouse home site in Orono. The partnership provides the opportunity to implement design strategies and practice growing and propagating perrenial fruits, nuts, berries, and vegetables. The opportunity is unique because it gives students and community members an opportunity to subsist and make a living by an immersive engagement with a typical suburban homesite. Something not otherwise practical unless one owns land of their own.

The project is open to research proposals, growing initatives, and small garden proposals from students and community members.

Making sheet mulched garden beds for an edible foundation planting

The front yard of LongGreenHouse being turned into a small forest garden.

Gallery

Permaculture Symposium

This gallery contains 3 photos.

December 4th marked the first ever Permaculture Symposium at UMaine. The event brought together an interdisciplinary from across Maine and New England to present researched techniques for ecological design. Presenter came from as far as the University of Vermont, but … Continue reading

Deep Craft at ConFlux

CONFLUX SYMPOSIUM

Waterfall Arts held their annual symposium ConFlux Nov. 14 – 15 in Belfast.

The Permaculture UMaine and The Intermedia MFA program sponsored the participation of UMaine students. The event’s keynote address came from Scott and Ene Constable, founders of Wowhaus (www.thewowhaus.com) presented their concept of “Deep Craft” as a creative practice.  With roots in construction and architechture, they are developing a process of interaction between social and ecological realities, with the aim of strengthening each. In this process the community often becomes the stewards of collaborative work. Following the address they facilitated a workshop whee participant were asked to silently create a collaborative sculpture using wood recovered from the transfer station. Four sculptures were erected and symbolically set aflame to conclude the event.

Wowhaus has collaborated with projects such as the Edible Schoolyard (www.edibleschoolyard.org), and have designed and implemented Deep Craft projects as across the country and in their home in Northern California.

For more info on Waterfalls Arts click herewww.waterfallarts.org