Building a Permaculture

McDonald Farm Edible Forest Garden, Fall 2013

The McDonald Farm Edible Forest Garden project is beginning to take shape thanks to all of the Permablitz volunteers and sponsors!
Permablitz Volunteers

Jane, Charlotte, Kyle, Jean, Paul, Dennis, Sarah, Justin, Jan, Joe, Casey, Phil, Karen, Dan, Dave, Beth, Emilee, Chris, Margaret, Carrie, Donna, Aidan, Colin, Mary, Bill, Mike, Jeff, Chuck and Dan.


T & M Tree Service
Evergreens of Elwood
City of Naperville



From Lawn to Edible Forest Garden

Now those of you who attended our presentation at the Green Earth Fair last Sunday can't say we don't practice what we preach.  One side of my Naperville front lawn has been transformed into an edible forest garden!

Michelle's Edible Forest Garden
Michelle's Edible Forest Garden

It all started in the fall when Jodi needed to complete a landscape design for a class she was taking and I volunteered my front lawn (How nice of me, right?).  She created a beautiful edible design that I was eager to implement.

Late fall, when the City offers free leaf collection, I went around the neighborhood and collected about 40 lawn and leaf bags full of leaves and as much cardboard as I could.  This hung out in the garage (sorry to my husband who had to park in the driveway for a while) until Mama's Magic Manure delivered 3 cubic yards of composted horse, sheep, goat, duck, geese, chicken manure on December 13th.  On December 14th I spent several hours sheet mulching and let that do its thing until this spring.


Edible Forest Garden

fruit, harvest, forest garden, apples, peaches, blackberries, huckleberries

Imagine finding yourself in a young forest where everything around you is edible.  The canopy is chestnuts, pears, and persimmons with a shrub layer of hazelnuts, raspberries, honeyberries, and currants.  Under the shrubs are perennial vegetables, herbs and flowers with a ground cover of strawberries, clover and comfrey.  Vining up the trees are nasturiums and peas with garlic and chives near the trunk.  This design becomes more productive each year, requires minimal input from you and can exist right outside your door.

Visit our Course Calendar to take a course or workshop so you can begin enjoying your very own Edible Forest Garden!

Suburban Permaculture

People have become increasingly concerned with the resiliency of our food, water, energy and economic systems and are looking for personal and community security.  This has propelled a global permaculture movement that is permeating the United States and has made its way to the Midwest.  Permaculture has traditionally been used to design systems for large land areas, but recently people have discovered how the principles can be applied to any piece of land or living situation.

The suburbs have been maligned for being wasteful with resources, and they are very wasteful, but since we cannot undo the suburbs, we have to figure out how to reduce their resource consumption.  Suburban permaculture is the answer!  We can apply permaculture ethics, principles, and design concepts to the suburban landscape to transform them into productive self-sustaining communities rich in social capital, and which are economically and environmentally resilient.

The Resiliency Institute is uniquely qualified to educate the suburban population on the application of permaculture, because this is where we live and work!  We can help you detox from your lawn addiction, by designing an edible forest garden with a water management feature where you can relax and harvest your delicious fruits, nuts and vegetables.  Share your harvest with friends and neighbors, invite them to help you preserve the harvest, and enjoy a harvest meal together - all great ways to foster community.  Your children will experience a new environment rich in learning opportunities and may surprise you by eating their veggies.

Visit our course calendar.