Ryan Harb shares his experience creating the first Public University Permaculture Garden in the nation and explains how we can use permaculture to empower ourselves and make a difference in our community and the world.
Ryan Harb is a certified permaculture designer, community organizer and was the first person in the nation to receive a Master of Science degree in Green Building. In 2010, Harb created a job for himself as Sustainability Manager for UMass Amherst Dining Services. He then began developing one of the first university permaculture gardens in the nation that supplies locally grown produce and hands-on sustainability education to the campus and local community. Within 18 months, “The UMass Permaculture Initiative” went viral and was featured in over 100 media publications including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and on MTV. The project has engaged over 3,500 volunteers and won 8 national awards. In 2012, Harb was invited to the White House to meet and speak alongside President Barack Obama. He was named a “White House Campus Champion of Change”, and UMass Permaculture was voted the top university program in the country that’s changing the world for the better.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Design for water is the bones of any Permaculture system and often times the way the layout works with water determines the basic shape of things. The Permaculture principles, which tell us to Observe and Interact and Design from Patterns to Details, need to be followed and developed in order for us to design for water on our sites. Termperate, Tropical, and Dryland climates each pose unique opportunities while designing for water.