Permaculture Summer Camps 

By Jennifer LaRue

Within our communities, there are property owners forgoing their lawnmowers and opting for more sustainable landscaping practices like going pesticide-free, planting drought-tolerant ground cover, creating rain and rock gardens, adding plant diversity, and nourishing food forests. The latter is the main focus of a Permaculture/Regenerative Agriculture Summer Camp (July 8-Aug. 30) for ages 3-17, with adult workshops also available.  

It started with boots on the ground in search of a site and a lead teacher. Synchronicity happened; the site is a large front yard in Spokane Valley that has been rewilding for the last four years and the teacher is Annalisa Giust, a permaculture expert. The plan is to turn the yard into a food forest. “Creating a food forest with kids not only teaches them essential life skills, but also creates lasting memories and builds a lifelong relationship with nature,” says Giust. 

Each of the eight weeks focus on different aspects of permaculture; observation, gathering, water practices, composting, mushrooms, infrastructure, diversity, and planting. Camp director and founder of Spokane Learning Co-op Katy Purviance is looking forward to getting dirty. “There’s something magical about being outside with your hands in the dirt and bringing new things to life,” she says. 

Field trips are planned to a permaculture farm and a worm farm. Camp goers can attend one week or all eight. Affordable and flexible, the camp is designed to suit the curious as well as the committed. “It’s important for kids to learn what permaculture is and how it works,” says Purviance. “It’s about more than just understanding sustainability and stewardship, it’s also about experiencing the interconnectedness of all things.” For more information, visit Summer Camp ’24 at (Jennifer LaRue) 

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