Session will focus on garden sustainability

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, January 24, 2013

Petals from the Past employee Tracy Britnell plans to give an educational session focusing on Permaculture and ways to create a self-sustainable garden on Jan. 26.

Creating proper techniques for a self-sustainable, edible garden that future generations will learn to adopt is a goal for Petals from the Past employee Tracy Britnell.

“We tend to have a generation that creates things for right now in the area of gardening and sometimes we lose sight that we aren’t creating things that will last a long time,” Britnell said. “One area is tilling which is a common practice for a lot of gardeners. I’m not totally against tilling a garden but when you till you deplete the soil of the nutrients and we need to remember to add back to the soil.”

Britnell will lead an educational class Jan. 26 focusing on ways to create a self-sustainable garden at 10:30 a.m. in the barn at Petals from the Past in Jemison.

Britnell said her goal for the class is to briefly teach about Permaculture, a branch of ecological design that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained horticulture.

“The whole premise behind Permaculture is looking at everything and figuring out how it all connects together,” Britnell said. “You have chickens, worm composting and rabbits in your garden but it is up to you to figure out how all of those things can work together.”

Britnell, who majored in landscape design as well as interior design, said her background enables her to look at different gardening techniques from a design standpoint as she continues to gain horticulture knowledge.

“When you look at Permaculture it is basically things that naturally happen,” Britnell said. “I started looking at how God created things to naturally happen such as leaves falling in the forest from the trees. When they fall to the ground it makes great soil and no human does anything to the soil when that happens. “

Britnell said her class will educate people on ways to build a proper compost pile to create proper nutrients for soil as well as information on worm composting, sheet mulching and tips on catching rainwater to use in a garden.

“Creating a compost pile is really easy and provides so many wonderful nutrients for your soil,” Britnell said.

Britnell said creating a proper compost pile must contain nitrogen elements that come from kitchen scraps providing for a ratio of green and a ratio of brown compost such as carbon including newspaper and leaves.

Britnell said she is encouraged to see more people becoming interested in different gardening techniques by being more conscious of growing things themselves.

“I think a lot of people are wanting to know where their food is coming from instead of buying it from the grocery store where you aren’t necessarily sure where it has come from and what the food has been sprayed with,” Britnell said. “There are a lot of people who want to learn more organic techniques and grow their own foods which is a great thing to see.”