UMass Permaculture Documentary Series

UMass Amherst is one of the first universities in the nation to begin growing a permaculture garden directly outside of their dining halls to feed the campus community local, fresh, nutrient dense foods. This documentary series gives us a chance to tell our story in an engaging way in hopes to spread the word about the transformative power of permaculture. We strive to demonstrate in this documentary that our permaculture initiative is not just about growing food, but more importantly about growing community and changing paradigms.

Many thanks to Grant Guiliano (Adaptive Media for his hard work to create this artfully designed documentary series. 
About Part 1: The first video in our documentary series takes an in-depth look at the first phase necessary for completion of the garden: Soil Preparation. Through the perspectives of key figures involved in the planning of the project, we learn of the origins and the obstacles to its implementation. There is a breakdown of the process of sheet mulching, explaining why the method works and the need for specific nutrients that the soil is currently lacking. The video demonstrates how volunteers, the school, and The Permaculture Planning Committee’s support is making this groundbreaking garden a reality.
Sheet Mulching and Soil Preparation: UMass Permaculture Documentary Series (Part 1 of 3):


About Part 2: The second video of the documentary series opens on the last stages of the Soil Preparation. The sheet mulched garden sits overwinter until the spring thaw in 2011. At this stage, we see that the soil has been truly transformed, complete with plenty of plump earthworms and a fungi network. We also see that the design of the garden was very much a collaborative process. UMass Permaculture Planning Committee hosts a workshop for the local community to participate in the design process for the garden. Afterwards begins the planting process with hosts of volunteers pitching in to help build the garden. Key figures involved in the planning of the garden discuss the excitement this project has generated, about the benefits of creating garden spaces that interactive and engaging, and about how this permaculture garden is going to be a model for campuses across the nation.


About Part 3: The third video of the documentary series provides an in-depth look at the impact surrounding this inspirational project. We begin to see how permaculture goes “beyond sustainable” by regenerating and mending the earth and communities. A year and half after we first began work on this project, we take you through the results we’ve seen from The Franklin Permaculture Garden and share the beginning stages of our newest on-campus permaculture garden. Plus, a special guest author weighs in on what the UMass Permaculture Initiative means to her.