Introducing the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco; Bringing design skills for resilient, healthy life in the city.
The NEN is excited to announce a new partnership with the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco who has provided training in resiliency design and specific techniques and strategies for sustainable living for over 300 residents all over the city for the last 5 years and continues to offer training around town to those interested in developing such skills and learning about critical resources for their neighborhood.
Permaculture, though sometimes misunderstood as a style of gardening, is a design system for meeting all of human needs in a way that enhances all life. So, imagine meeting our needs for food, water shelter, community, even fun – in ways that benefit the environment and people to create healthy, safe, resilient neighborhoods. People use permaculture design to develop food systems, water systems, energy systems even economic systems and more. Common techniques and strategies used in permaculture design might include perennial, polyculture food gardens, rainwater harvesting, greywater systems, natural building, appropriate technology, even compost toilets and community currencies. More than a collection of alternative, healthy techniques and strategies, permaculture is a methodology and system for arranging such techniques in an appropriate way that considers the context.
In the 85 hour training provided by UPISF, trainees learn both specific techniques and strategies related to growing and preparing food, harvesting, cleaning and reusing water, managing waste, conserving energy, building with natural materials, convening governance groups for effective collective decision-making, developing local resilient economies, communicating effectively with others especially where there might be conflict, researching and analyzing data about a place or problem, manageing microclimates and more, and, methods of design for composing with the conditions of any moment or site to make an effective plan for implementing strategies on a hyper local level in such a way that feedback can be monitored and used to make a system more effective.
Some people take a permaculture training to develop professional skills and get valuable education to enhance their current career or prepare them for their next venture. Some people take the training just to share the experience with an enthusiastic group of like-minded community and meet new friends. Some people take a permaculture training because they are deeply concerned about their neighborhood and how to prepare for an emergency and how to act appropriately for an effective recovery after the first 72 hours of a disaster. UPISF is evolving its training offerings with the help of the NEN leadership to enhance the neighborhood empowerment aspects of the training. Expect to hear more about these new plans soon!
Through a mix of classroom discussion time, small group work and hands-on activities, UPISF explores methods of designing and establishing regenerative communities and economies. UPISF visits and participates at several permaculture projects here in San Francisco and the Bay Area, observing and interacting with Permaculture principles in practice. In the forthcoming weeks and months UPISF will share some designs and content developed by past trainees to share resiliency (and fun) strategies that we can potentially explore to make our neighborhoods more abundant, prosperous and joyful!