Art-Farm Camp Journal and Permaculture Guidelines….

Caroline, Markie and Lainie at the shelter in the woods.Dede, Angela and I set ourselves down at Bldg. #50 last month and came up with our version of the Permaculture Principals, to guide us in our teaching of the Art-Farm Camps this summer. They are listed below.

But first, a little Art-Farm adventure journal of our first day of Art-Farm Camp….

Monday was a scorcher. 80 degrees at 6:00 in the morning! So humid, so dry, and very, very windy. It was Air day—and what was happening up there in the sky and what was not happening was on our minds. Joining Angela and I, under our friendly Maple Tree were: Emma, Lainie, Markie, Jack, Sydney, Allison, Shelby, Jon, Caroline and Julia.

The plants in the garden were struggling for a good, soaking drink of water. Some kids got busy with watering cans right away, others observed the fine weed speciman—Mr. Quack Grass–and got to pulling them out. We then used the piles of quack grass as mulch around the cucumbers.

After lunch, Jon our eight year old hike leader, took us into the woods on the Munson Trails and we did the Lord of the Rings tree walk and observed patterns in nature. What do we see? How are we like nature? Why do we think we aren’t nature? Good questions. We used our artist eyes and collected pattern ideas and then drew them out on a paper roll. We also found just the right walking stick and painted it up beautiful, decorating them with some of the patterns we’d observed in the woods.

After parting from our first day of camp, I picked up my first ever cell phone at the shop on Union Street, apologizing profusely for my sweaty, dirty art-farm appearance, and foggy-humid headed brain. The need for communication with parents in the case of an emergency put me out of the “I will never use one of those, ever….” category.

On the drive home from Traverse City to Leelanau County, I could’nt help but shout out a prayer to the windy sky and to mighty Oya herself…..to please give these poor corn fields and the rest of our thirsty lot—some rain, rain, rain.

Once back in the woods, I had just enough time to take a dip in our shrinking little Gilbert Lake, when the sky started rumbling. Within an hour or so, we had the best thunder, lightening and rain storm of the season and the temperature and humidity dropped immediately.

Gracia Ms. Mighty Oya!

Here is our version of the Permaculture Principals….

Care for the People, Care for the Earth, and give something back….

~Watch, wait and wonder
What do I see, hear, smell, feel, taste?

~Catch and store energy
Be a Resource Ranger.

~See and create patterns
Be like nature, nature we are.

~Edges are bridges to finding connections.

~Have fun with change
See things as they can be.

~Produce – produce
Lettuce be lettuce.

~Oops is an opportunity
The problem is the solution.

~Use what’s under your nose,
and love what’s between your toes.

~Garbage is golden
It transforms into treasure.

~Many hands make it happen
Neighborly cooperation.

~Small and slow
to learn and grow.

~Different is good and necessary
Make many garden friendships, with plants,
bugs, and micro-organisms.

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