April 28, 2021

Help in Our EcoGarden

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Progress is being made at the EcoGarden, help out and meet TreeUtah's fantastic EcoGarden Coordinator, Julie Williams! 

This ever-evolving EcoGarden was first laid out in 2005, under the direction of renowned permaculture expert and author, the late Toby Hemenway, and former TreeUtah director Vaughn Lovejoy. Since then it has been sustained by dedicated volunteers, neighbors, and TreeUtah staff. The land the garden sits on was originally intended as an overflow retention basin for the Jordan River. When TreeUtah decided to do an EcoGarden, they considered putting it at Bend in the River Park along the Provo-Jordan River Parkway Trail. However, the land was too toxic with mercury and lead to grow anything edible. The plot by the Day-Riverside library seemed to be the perfect solution.

the EcoGarden is a community gathering space. The area is not fenced off from the neighborhood. Rather it is an inviting space, with benches, picnic tables, and a shade structure grown over with grapevines. We encourage residents of the neighborhood to utilize the space for gatherings, quiet contemplation, and of course as a source of food.

The guiding principle of permaculture is to cultivate food, medicine, and other useful plants in harmony with and in imitation of the surrounding ecosystem. Traditional farming techniques prioritize annual plants and require a continual input of nutrients, pesticides, and new plants, permaculture relies on a thoughtful mix perennials to create a more closed self-regulating and sustainable system.

The garden is designed around fourteen guilds or smaller plant communities. These are each centered around a fruit or nut tree. Each tree is planted with a specific mix of shrubs, flowers, grasses, herbs, and native plants that complement one another through their unique characteristics. Some plants might fix nitrogen in the soil, making it available to the surrounding plants. While others perhaps attract pollinators that will benefit the entire group. A third species may discourage pests or invasive plants with the scent of its flowers or the oils in its leaves.

We are now doing weekly volunteer days at our EcoGarden every Monday from 4-6pm! Come decompress after work and help us with planting, watering, weeding, mulching, composting, & maintaining the guilds of our beautiful EcoGarden, a permaculture orchard located next to the Day-Riverside Library. A healthy ecosystem necessarily includes the people who live in it, join us in our work in creating sustainable communities. 

Please register in advance so we know who to look for and what work can be done! And, if you are interested in being part of the EcoGarden community, please contact us.