Take a deep dive into permaculture, and learn how to produce sustainable food at the Permaculture Urban Garden and Farm Tour in Kansas. Also, get a bonus tour of a straw-bale house and a missile base that’s been converted into a residence.
The two-day tour begins in the Kansas City area and winds through Lawrence on Saturday, July 16 and continues Sunday, July 17 through Topeka, Manhattan and Lawrence, KS farms in the Kaw River watershed. Each tour will be led by the property owners or community organizers who manage the gardens and farms.
This tour is unique in its demonstration of permaculture principles in practice on both local, urban garden and rural farm sites. The tour is sponsored by the Kansas Permaculture Collaborative (KPC), a grassroots organization working to teach Kansans how to develop a growing community of self-reliance that use ecologically, sustainable, agriculture practices to produce food, conserve energy and share skills and labor. KPC is an affiliate of the Kansas Permaculture Institute, a Kansas not-for profit corporation.
Highlights of Saturday’s tour include:
- Mary Beth Ogle will open her urban garden for a tour of plants that provide mutual support for annual and perennial edibles and flowers. Special features include water plants and a garden feature that promotes natural moisture and plant nutrition.
- Antioch Urban Growers will showcase its greenhouse on eight acres in an urban setting. New permaculture garden features help manage rainwater runoff.
- In Lawrence, the tour will continue to Chestnut Charlie’s, an organic farm with more than 1,500 nut trees planted on 20 acres of land. The majority of the trees are chestnuts, a sustainable tree food source. The farm also has walnuts and some specialty food trees. The group will also tour the PermaCommons Community Garden and the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project in Lawrence.
Sunday highlights include:
- A drive to the Topeka/Manhattan, KS area includes visits to several farms and gardens. The Greenfin Garden uses aquaponics to raise tilapia and grow food. A year-round greenhouse is used to grow bananas and figs in the summer and cold crops in the winter.
- Next up is the Wamego Community Garden, which is in its third year of edible food forest production. The garden features a medicine wheel herb garden, a fruit grove and wide variety of annual and perennial edibles, including asparagus, rhubarb, peaches, apples, hazelnuts and blackberries. The garden has permaculture features that were designed to catch and manage rainwater and a high-tunnel greenhouse with a geothermal temperature control and tanks that capture rainwater for use in the tunnel.
- The SubTerra Castle near Topeka is a former missile base that has been converted into a residential home with gardens and an atrium. The tour includes a nearby straw-bale home that incorporates passive solar heating and energy-efficiency features.
The tour costs $15 per person per day, and children 12 and under are free. Pre-registration is required by contacting Joe Falley at [email protected], 913-593-6198.