MICHAEL PARK SCHOOL ENVIROWEEK
AN ECO-FILM EVENING AT THE MICHAEL PARK SCHOOL AUDITORIUM, 55 Amy Street, Ellerslie, Auckland
WEDNESDAY 8th APRIL 2009 7.30 – 9pm
Entry by Koha – Auditorium open from 7pm - Coffee and Cake Available as fundraiser for purchasing food trees
“Establishing a Food Forest” (the Permaculture Way series)
Enquiries contact Christine Todd firstname.lastname@example.org or Cathy at the school office on 5793083
Excerpt from Film Review available at www.transitionculture.org
Geoff Lawton is a permaculturist’s permaculturist. As one of the first ‘wave’ of designers and teachers in Australia, he has been implementing and thinking about permaculture for many years, and has become internationally recognised as a repairer of landscapes, and a creator, even in the most unpromising ecosystems, of food forests and abundant, productive landscapes. This 80 minute-long film starts with a class in forest ecology, structure and pattern, with the first 20 minutes or so of the film being Geoff talking in front of a whiteboard to a permaculture course, explaining how forests are layered, and why we need to think of establishing forests in terms of time, looking, as nature does, at the creation of a forest being something that happens through a series of ‘waves’ of plants, with initial short-lived ground covering nitrogen fixers, supported by slightly longer living nitrogen fixing shrubs, making way, over time, for larger trees and then for the final overstorey, the productive trees, whether they be fruit, nut, timber, fibre or whatever. Where this film really comes alive is the point when Geoff leaves the classroom and heads outdoors to introduce us to food forests at a range of stages. We see those just being started, as ground is sown with nitrogen fixing plants, to those that are several years old and starting to find their shape, and then to one planted 20 or so years ago which has become a dense forest of fruit and other yields.
As we stare headlong into a future with less energy and more localised economies, and where the power to alter landscapes and soils granted to us by fossil fuels has started to wane, we will look for ways of producing food that builds soils, feeds people, locks up carbon and increases our biodiversity.