diversity, Stability, Resilience

Permaculture

The farm embraces and cultivates Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share, the ethics of Permaculture.

Permaculture and Community

The farm provides living analogies for human communities and society. Permaculture is a design framework and philosophy that works with, rather than against nature. It seeks to integrate rather than separate. We use permaculture principles  to create conditions that favor nurturing and empowering relationships for the good of the earth and the people living on it.

Conscious Design

Permaculture is the conscious design of ‘cultivated’ ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is a harmonious integration of people into the landscape in such a way that the land grows in richness, productivity, and aesthetic beauty. See this article for more info about permaculture.

Vibrant experiences

The 6 acre farm provides a range of educational experiences for the community. The farm has vegetable gardens, perennial fruit and nut trees, hugelkultur, swales, composting, natural buildings made with clay and straw, a yurt, and more. Rabbits, chickens, ducks, sheep, cats & dogs, serve multiple functions including education, adding fertility to the land, creating valuable products like eggs, wool and meat, and providing companionship to community members.

Social Permaculture

Agricultural elements employ permaculture in the traditional sense while the community events, educational workshops, and summer camps serve as a form of social permaculture. They provide opportunities for participants to develop skills and interact with each other, creating bonds that contribute to community resilience. The farm itself serves as an anchor and point of connection for the other initiatives, such as the Internship Program and Northeast Ohio Earth Restoration, which will extend outward into the broader community by preparing participants to undertake regenerative agriculture and Earth repair projects across northeast Ohio.

How we apply permaculture principles

Catch and store free energy

Principles like “catch and store free energy (or resources)”, prompted us to respond to the Rustbelt Riders’ call to receive the produce waste they were collecting from the newly opened Heinen’s store in Chagrin Falls. That resource, along with wood chip waste from a local tree service, are mixed to make compost for our gardens and to share with the community.

Integrate rather than segregate

The principle, integrate rather than segregate, is used by the self-directed learning program founded at KWWF and now known as the Chagrin Valley Learning Collective. The CVLC does not segregate its participants by age as is done by most educational programs. Instead, participants are free to interact across the age spectrum, allowing for a rich sharing of knowledge and skills.

Use Small and Slow Solutions

Our world has become dominated by the big. But the large institutions and corporations that make up our political, food, health-care, education, and justice systems, are breaking down. We seek to regenerate our local systems for providing healthy food, vibrant education, resilient economics, and more to the people in our region. Check out this video to learn more about the value of localization.

Use Edges and Value the Marginal

The transition areas between ecological systems, like the space between a forest and a field or between a field and a stream, support high levels of diversity and richness of life. We look to the living edges and borders of our systems, such as between work and play, nature and technology, food and health, and so on.

Use and value diversity

Our forest garden contains a huge variety of plants, many food producing, others attract pollinators or repel potential pests, still others build soil by providing organic matter to be “chopped and dropped” in place as mulch. This follows the principle “use and value diversity” to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Creatively use / respond to change

By “creatively using and responding to change” we have been able to take the challenges of the past couple of years, and use them as an opportunity to develop our vision and embark on this new venture, More Than a Farm. Join us!

"Permaculture land-use ethics invite us to protect intact ecosystems where they remain and, where ecosystems have been destroyed, to help restore them. Permaculture design also suggests that we take care of earth while taking care of people."

― Juliana Birnbaum Fox, Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide