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The landscape group is tasked with addressing the sustainable use of land at OSU.
Green Roofs on Covered Bicycle Parking
Since Fall of 2011, the SSI has been exploring and pursing the installation of a green roof on the roof of one of OSU's covered bicycle racks. Final installation of the roof should be completed by the end of Fall 2012. While the installation of a new green roof is exciting in its own right, we're also looking forward to what lies beyond: the possible creation of a green roof program at OSU. A collaboration effort involving numerous OSU units, a green roof program would develop the infrastructure necessary for OSU to develop and install its own green roofs, cutting costs and training students at the same time.
Weekly Garden Work Parties
Every week people gather at the SSI to lend a hand with our student garden. It is always a learning opportunity for any student with no former experience required. Currently we are restoring our permaculture features including and herb spiral, and a "food forest" with the goal of cycling nutrients in the soil, and giving our land lasting life. We currently have a winter garden with protective cloche coverings to prolong winter growth.
Edible Container Gardening Workshops
These hands-on planting workshops taught students how to start and maintain their own edible container garden. In addition to empowering students with the skills to grow their own food in limited spaces, the workshops aimed to reestablish the connection between farming, food and heal
Land Action Planning
Students gathered together to begin researching and planning projects that could be pursued to make sustainable landscaping more visible and prevalent throughout campus. Discussion revolved around obtaining land for student gardening, creating small exhibit gardens, and engaging students. The byproduct of these meetings was outlined and researched projects to be picked up at a later date.
OSU Permaculture Alliance
The OSU Permaculture Alliance is a currently inactive club that has offered a place for students to meet, share their knowledge, and progress the ideas of permaculture. The club met weekly to organize workshops, round table knowledge shares among members, and guest speakers. The club encouraged community outreach and developed a flagship farm to exemplify the values that they promoted.
The club worked in close conjunction with the Permaculture Design classes at OSU (Hort 299) taught by Andrew Millison. The class and club implemented the following projects on site at the SSC and the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture (OCCUH):
- Bioswale to divert water from the garage roof to the Zone 2 orchard
- Plant guilds, including 8 apple guilds, 2 pear guilds, 1 cherry guild, 2 swale guilds, and a large vegetable garden guild
- Site analysis of the OCCUH, including sector compass, plan view, watershed map, and section view
- Conceptual and final designs for the OCCUH
- Greenhouse behind the SSC (since removed)
What is Permaculture?
Although rooted in horticulture and agriculture, Permaculture Design is interdisciplinary, touching on a wide range of subjects including regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, appropriate technology, architecture, and international development. It is both a technique and a philosophy that seeks to integrate human and non-human systems, creating landscapes that are both regenerative unto themselves and useful for people.
The ideas of permaculture have sustained cultures for thousands of years. The term "permaculture" and the movement behind it, however, were founded in Australia in the mid-1970's by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Today, permaculture is rooted in three primary ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and the setting of limits to consumption and the redistribution of surplus.
Co-originator David Holmgren also outlines twelve design principles that underlie Permaculture and can be applied to myriad situations and circumstances:
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and Store Energy
- Obtain a Yield
- Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
- Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
- Produce No Waste
- Design from Patterns to Details
- Integrate Rather than Segregate
- Use Small and Slow Solutions
- Use and Value Diversity
- Use Edges and Value the Marginal
- Creatively Use and Respond to Change
To learn more, check out the following books in the SSC Library: Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren, Edible Forest Gardens: Ecological Design and Practice for Temperate Climate Permaculture by Dave Jacke, and Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permacultureby Toby Hemenway.