Have you ever wondered what a food forest is? Or been baffled by the hot gardening term "permaculture?" If so, this is your chance to actually visit a food forest AND learn what permaculture actually is.
Join us at Eggleston Park on Saturday, September 10 from 10-11:30 for a small group guided walk through the Edible Evanston Food Forest and an introduction to permaculture.
So exactly what is a food forest? It is a diverse planting of perennial edible trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants— including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs—designed to mimic the natural balance of a forest by utilizing permaculture principles. The Edible Evanston Eggleston Park Food Forest is one example.
And, permaculture? Just what is permaculture? Simply put, permaculture is a system of design that provides all the needs for humanity in a way that benefits the environment. It involves the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. The word was coined by Australian scientist and biologist Bill Mollison who combined the terms permanent agriculture and permanent culture to create the word permaculture.
During our 90 minute walk, we'll learn about the principles of permaculture and how to apply them to gardening (as well as life and society). As we walk through this lush space, our Edible Evanston guide Tim Sonder, will cover the concepts underlying this educational food forest, including permaculture ideas such as guilds and layers. We'll get to see the range of plants growing in the forest, as well as observe their synergies, and see how conventional annual vegetable production is also integrated into the food forest. You'll learn how you can apply these concepts to your own back yard or to a much larger project. If there is produce that is ready to eat, we may get to sample some of the fruits of the forest.
Our guide, Tim Sonder, has been a co-leader of Edible Evanston since 2013 and is education chair for the organization. He is also on the steering committee of Natural Habitat Evanston. Despite growing up in New York City, Tim is an avid gardener and nature lover and is passionate about permaculture and soil health, and enjoys studying how everything on planet Earth is connected. He came to Evanston in 1979 to study journalism at Northwestern University, where he also minored in biology and computer science.
The Food Forest is located at 2100 Hartrey Avenue, a half block south of Payne Street at Hartrey Avenue. (Please note that Google gives the address as 2217 Simpson Street). Parking is available on Payne Street or Hartrey Avenue (or across McCormick Boulevard in the Ecology Center lot). Access is easiest from the alley which is the continuation of Hartrey Avenue. Registrants should meet near the wooden toolshed (visible from McCormick Boulevard) and benches.
Please dress for the weather. We expect the tour to go on unless there are thunderstorms or dangerous weather. In that case, we will notify all registrants by email.
Please note space is liimited and we can only take 15 participants. There will be a waiting list in case of cancellations.