Thursday, July 14, 2016

Helping Hands Permaculture Field Trip

On July 12th Ventura Cooperative hosted a permaculture workshop at Art City Gardens for eighty children attending Camp Helping Hands.  The event started a week-long gardening program for these young people to experience hands on learning and development around the principles of earth care, people care, and fair share.  We were delighted to begin the journey with them and honored to be asked to facilitate the visit.

We called on a few of the best permaculture specialists in Ventura to create learning zones in this dynamic space.  Lynne Okun creates heartspace gardens that provide an environment for healing and regenerating human connection.  She led the groups in collaborative juggling, a game where everyone participates and reliess on each other to pay attention.  Eric Werbalowski, founder of Ventura Organic Landscapes, shared his deep knowledge of ecology by hulling, sprouting and planting heirloom lima beans that each participant took home with them.  Rob Barnett, board member of VCCOOL, connected the garden to the community.  Imagine a walkable, bike friendly, with edible gardens downtown.  A place where tree swings and cooperatives thrive.  Kyra Rude and Ron Whitehurst of Rincon Vitova, better known locally as "The Bug Farm" showed the captive audience how insects create balance in the garden.  They used a bug vaccuum and went on safari looking under rocks for signs of life.

We've all been working to build and maintain the Art City Gardens so that the space could provide a canvas for knowledge and skill-sharing in the community.  Having Camp Helping Hands join us for an afternoon here was a high point for us.  It makes what we do worth it on so many levels.  Not only are we opening up space for sustainable ecology, we are passing the knowledge on to the next generation.  Thanks to everyone who made this possible, especially Audra and Amanda for all the behind the scenes organizing. Keep growing!

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