Design Urban Ecosystems: Intro to Permaculture (five-session workshop)

Join Robyn Mello, Orchard Director of The Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP) and Owner of Edenspore, LLC. to learn about landscape design, culture design, community building, and future building in this short course. Lessons will draw from the work that POP does designing community orchards throughout the city, permaculture design, holistic horticultural practices, and current events in social justice. Some topics covered could include the creativity involved in edible landscape design, an overview of permaculture design and principles, varieties of edible and medicinal perennial plants that will grow well in Philadelphia’s climate, land use policy and community organizing, and ways you can get involved in your community, your home, and in your own self care to leave this world a greener, healthier place than you found it.

There will be hands-on and lecture-based attributes to this course, and some specific activities will be determined by attendees. There will also be an optional Saturday field trip to visit a few of POP’s diverse urban community orchards. Students will decide together on the date, time, and location.

What you will learn in this workshop:

  • An ability to begin designing their own outdoor space using ecological design practices

  • Knowledge to approach the earth and our needs using a more holistic lens

  • Plant, pest, disease, and beneficial insect identification knowledge, as well as the ability to deter and attract these organisms

  • Tools and strategies for community organizing and social event planning for neighborhood work

  • An extensive list of resources – material, financial, and social – to utilize to gain future experience and get started on projects

Required supplies:

  • Sketchbook

  • Graph paper

  • Ruler, pen, and pencil/eraser