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Transforming a Shady Front and Backyard into Productive Food Forest - PHASE 2

A Permaculture Presentation & Hands-On Workshop:
Transforming a Shady Front and Backyard into a Productive Food Forest, Lot size 30x200 – PHASE 2 - Backyard
Monday, November 11
Time: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Cost: $40.00 per person, limit 8 people
Location: Edgewater Neighborhood in Chicago; address to be given during time of paid registration.
Snacks and hot drinks will be provided.
Please RSVP to AnnaMaria Leon -[masked] or [masked]

If you missed the first workshop, here is another opportunity. Our original goal was a bit ambitious and we only got to the front yard. This workshop will focus primarily on the backyard.

This hands-on workshop is ideal for those who have some or all of the following garden conditions and would like to use Permaculture Design Principles to improve garden productivity.

• The backyard has northern exposure and has many ornamental trees, shrubs, and perennials and some edibles – currants, sour cherry, and a pear. Production is ok but can be much better.
• The backyard is heavily wooded with very mature trees and an understory of “weedy” bushes. There is a glen (open area) where some sun shines, but overall, plant growth is spindly and topsoil is thin.
• The homeowner is unsure of where to start, how to implement ideas, and which plants are best suited for different areas.

Homeowner Goals:
• Create productive areas to grow food in the backyard;
• Choose plants that will grow in dappled and deep shade;
• Improve soil and begin soil building;
• Create comfortable and relaxed sitting & meditation areas;
• Create an action plan.

A brief overview of permaculture ethics and principles will be discussed prior to the hands-on portion. In the hands-on portion we will implement Phase 2 and focus on the backyard:

• Observe current conditions;
• Build soil using lasagna mulching, hugelkultur;
• Use a bunyip water level to implement earthworks (berms & swales) to harvest water
• Select and plant edible and ornamental plants appropriate to the light and soil conditions;

Teacher Biography: AnnaMaria Leon completed her Permaculture Design Course under the tutelage of Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, and Rhonda Baird in Bloomington, IN during the fall season of 2011. Upon completion of the course she assisted in the redesign of the gardens at Inspiration Kitchens, the public landscaping along East Garfield Park's business corridor at Lake and Kedzie, and the Martin Luther King Peace Path in North Lawndale, to name a few of her projects.
Besides being a permaculture designer and teacher, AnnaMaria is also an edible landscaper, Traditional Chinese Feng Shui consultant, and received training as a Master Gardener and Master Composter through UIC - Extension.
Wishing to understand the principles behind Urban Agriculture's approach to production and farming in the city, she completed the Chicago Botanic Garden / Windy City Harvest certificate in Sustainable Horticulture and Agriculture in October 2013. Through this training she interned at the Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center (VRIC), a division of Cook County Sheriff's Department where she assisted the Head Grower in all areas of food production and post harvest processing, maintained an integrated aquaculture system, and installed ornamental, native, and meditation gardens. Part of the internship was to interface with non-violent inmates and engage them in proper gardening procedures and horticulture therapy.
Her current projects include:
• Overseeing the ongoing development of the One Straw Community Garden; and
• Lead landscaper for the Peace Parks Project (PPP); a collaborative effort with Chicago Urban Arts Retreat Center (CUARC) transforming 10 vacant lots in North Lawndale to showcase statues of African-American heroes and promote peace initiatives through art and agriculture.

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  • Kay R.

    It was excellent! I learned a lot through building berms, digging swales, and planting! Great, hands-on instruction about how to design using permaculture principles (zones, etc). AnnaMaria answered all of our questions thoroughly and made sure we understood what we were helping to create. So exciting to be apart of the transformation!

    November 13, 2013

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