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Perma-what? NW Permaculture Conference Explores Self-Sufficiency

Home gardening is a self-sufficiency strategy being discussed at the Northwest Permaculture Convergence this weekend. Credit: Pixabay.com.
Home gardening is a self-sufficiency strategy being discussed at the Northwest Permaculture Convergence this weekend. Credit: Pixabay.com.
August 28, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. - Turning front lawns and rights-of-way into gardens is one tenet of permaculture being discussed today and this weekend at the Northwest Permaculture Convergence in Eugene.

In a world facing many environmental and economic challenges, said coordinator Jan Spencer, more people are deciding it makes sense to increase their self-reliance. If you garden or compost or collect rainwater, he said, you're using "permaculture" and may not even realize it.

"Permaculture is nothing magic," he said. "It's just updating more traditional knowledge with current science about how we take care of our needs in ways that are healthy for people and planet."

This is the eighth Convergence event. People from Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana attend the event.

In addition to the workshops and tours of permaculture examples in Eugene, an outdoor Permaculture Expo is free to the public. Spencer said it features introductions to many facets of this wide-ranging movement.

"The Expo presentations include beneficial insects, backyard poultry," he said, and "a couple talking about what they've done to their suburban property to take out the grass and to take care of more needs right there where they live."

What Spencer said he hopes people take away from the weekend is a bigger picture of permaculture as a lifestyle choice - to become more self-sufficient and learn to make, grow and share goods in ways that can be better for the environment and, often, for the family budget.

The event is at River Road Recreation Center, 1400 Lake Drive, in Eugene. More information is online at northwestpermaculture.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID