Friday afternoon offered a change of pace from the usual in-class experience. Our instructors set up 3 stations of hands-on learning outside of the Sustainable Living building and gave us the opportunity to practice 3 basic permaculture skills: how to graft fruit trees, how to prune fruit trees, and how to build the most magnificent, deliciously layered hot compost pile MUM has ever seen.
I had a great time outside learning these three skills. I learned that pruning a young fruit tree from the inside out is done to encourage the tree to grow up with its center exposed so that sun can penetrate the inner limbs and help evaporate moisture to prevent molding and fungus growth/disease. I had attended a workshop on hot compost during eco-fair and this hands-on experience helped clarify and solidify the process. It is always a pleasure to be exposed to the example of mastery that is Brian Robbins; his grafting instructions made for a perfect grafting-learning-experience.
This hands on learning experience came at just the right time, as the intensity of our design process is peaking now and the volume of ecological and permacultural information is approaching its limit. Being outside and practicing these skills was literally a breath of fresh air (and a handful of shit) – I enjoyed them both.