Terrell House, Blais featured in BDN article on permaculture

The University of Maine was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article on how to get started with permaculture, a design system that works with patterns in nature to build a garden that is self-sustaining and less dependent on external additives like chemical fertilizers or outside water supplies. Anyone can learn the system and how to get started in permaculture, according to Joline Blais, associate professor of new media and adviser for UMaine’s Terrell House Permaculture and Living Center. “Apply the principles of observation,” Blais said. “Look at what is growing where you want to put your [permaculture] garden and use that to plan it.” For the first year of permaculture gardening, Blais recommends not planting anything, and instead keeping a written diary with photographs. “Observe [the garden space] and track wind direction, insects, birdlife, wildlife, amount of sun and shade [and] eventually you will end up with an understanding of the natural system you are working in,” she advised. Because permaculture gardening is working within, not against, the natural world, there is always the option of adapting and changing any part of a plan that is not working out, the article states. “Permaculture gardening is not a passive activity of tossing in seeds,” Blais said. “You are interacting with the land in a very activist gardening sort of way.”