|My son leading the seedling activity at the Real Food Festival 2015|
|Introducing the combined hinterland Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Kids at the Real Food Festival 2015|
Most weeks I run at least one workshop, sometimes several. This week has been a busy and productive one:
- a weekend Introduction to Permaculture workshop at Northey Street City Farm
- an sustainable soils workshop at the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre (part of a 4 part program sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Council).
- a sensory garden design session at the University of the Sunshine Coast
- a personalised tour of my permaculture garden for local and overseas visitors
- a stall at the local community market
|Teaching permaculture at the Moving Feast garden at the University of Sunshine Coast.|
The variety is great - some days I am helping to create an edible education garden at the local university with a range of faculties, other days I am leading Nature Kids programs based here at the ecovillage. I regularly work with children in school gardens, kindergartens and libraries, and also arrange senior school permaculture school camps and senior school field trips. Individuals and professional groups come for personalised guided tours of our garden and ecovillage. And, the regional council commissions me to lead permaculture gardening sessions at neighbourhood centres to help people learn how to grow abundant food - to help support a healthy and food secure community.
A few years back, I led a Food Politics course at Griffith University. Even then. I couldn't resist weaving some practical permaculture into my sessions. I would begin each lecture with an exploration of a perennial permaculture plant and how it can contribute to an ecological agricultural approach and good health. I invited students to take cuttings home and plant them. At the end of the semester so many students came in early to ask me more questions about permaculture and to tell me how wonderfully their gardens were now growing. The end of semester celebration was a visit to my garden to harvest, cook and share a meal. I stay in touch with many of these students still!
|Speaking at the Climate Change Conference at QUT|
Before kids, Evan and I taught permaculture regularly around the world. Sometimes we still do, but at a much slower place and in a way that involves the children. As a family we have taught in Korea and been involved with permaculture projects in Indonesia. We are currently planning our next big family permaculture journey and are all very, very excited.
My permaculture focus wove itself through my university studies too. At landscape architecture school I designed edible landscapes (I think to the dismay of my teachers), and the focus of my masters of environmental education thesis was permaculture education.
My home life, my work, my family life, my recreation seem to all be interwoven with the multi-textured thread of permaculture.