Anchorage’s Permaculture Guild

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“Permaculture Guild Meeting.” Personal interview. 11 Nov. 2012.

The Anchorage Permaculture Guild met last evening, as it does about once a month, for a potluck and informal meeting. A guild is an association of artisans who control the practice of their craft and, as evidenced by this month’s meeting, also help to teach their craft to others. For me there were only a few familiar faces: Cindee and Curt (thanks for the nudge, Cindee!) of Eagle River EcoEscape fame, my gardening teacher, Saskia, and one of my gardening classmates, Bridget. Both the visiting and the food were warm and nurturing but soon the official meeting business began. Everyone spoke about how their summer and experiments with permaculture had been. Several meeting attendees had been students or teachers in the permaculture course that ran in Homer this past August. Other members made good use of the rain by hunting for elusive cloud berries or edible fungi. Many of us suffered losses in the September wind storm. Ironically, Cindee and Curt had a tree fall on their hugelkulture bed. The group is planning to figure out ways of doing more community outreach and hands-on education through the Williams Street Farmhouse, the EcoEscape Bioshelter, the Alaska Botanical Gardens, and other community groups.

The meeting was pretty calm and casual though it was obvious that people’s passions run very deep. Though my understanding is that the guild has been around for a little while it seems like it needs a jolt of energy and organization (no, this is NOT where I come in) though people may still just be recovering from the harvest and preservation aspect of permaculture that I know I personally could not keep up with this year. It seems to me like there are a lot of complementary events happening around Anchorage, from the Fungus Fair to the REAP Renewable Energy Fair, that should be serving as means for more exposure for the group and for the local businesses that help nurture the guild.

I volunteered to host the next meeting. I liked what I saw in the meeting last night and had already determined that I would like to continue to participate, so when no one seemed willing or able to host in December the spirit moved me and I spoke up. I don’t know that I have a lot of energy or time to give to the guild (or experience, or skills) but I am willing to try and I do feel like there is room for me in the meetings.

(Readers: I am using my experiences and blog posts as a model for my AP Language students so you will see many of my posts written in the form of an annotated bibliography. Thank you!)

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