'Permaculture' Efforts Grow in Hermosa

September 03, 2011
Philip Salim Zymet
Hermosa Beach Patch


A few chickens rest among the banana trees, lettuce, avocados, and herbs growing in Hermosa Beach residents Ray and Carolyn Waters' backyard, who have three gardens in total.

Much of the garden space was developed last weekend, when the local couple hosted a three-daypermaculture lecture and hands-on workshop with Dr. Bill Roley, director of the Permaculture Institute of Southern California.

"It was sort of like an HGTV makeover. People were everywhere; they designed and created three different project sites," Carolyn said about the event.  

Permaculture (a contraction of the phrase "permanent agriculture") is an ecological movement geared towards promoting "natural homes," where residents grow their own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, according to the Permaculture Institute's website.

About 40 people gathered at the Waters household on Aug. 26, and then about 25 on Aug. 27 and 20 on Sunday, to learn about and practice permaculture during the workshop, Ray said.

A spiral herb garden, newly minted pathway and multi-layered irrigation system are just a few of the additions to the Waters' home following the event. 

The lecture and workshop, though hosted at the Waters' residence, was organized by Transition South Bay L.A., a group that promotes permaculture throughout the Beach Cities.   

The workshop last week was the first of many in store that aim to "re-skill" Beach Cities residents in gardening and growing their own food, said Carolyn Miller, the organization's spokeswoman.

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