September 22, 2016
Imagine Grinnell holding October “Edible Landscape” Workshops at Dolly’s Garden beginning October 1st
Imagine Grinnell and The Ahrens Park Foundation will host two fun-filled landscape design classes on October 1 and October 8th. Participants of any gardening level will learn about how to integrate perennial food-bearing plants, shrubs and trees into any landscape. This hands-on workshop will be held at the Ahrens Foundation office building in Ahrens Park, 1510 Penrose Street, in Grinnell. Classes will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. The registration fee includes both sessions, and is on a sliding scale from $30 to $50—larger donations help provide scholarships limited-income individuals. Grinnell College students can attend for free through sponsorship from the Center for Prairie Studies.
“Edible landscaping is a trend that is really catching on,” said Imagine Grinnell Director Rich Dana. “People are realizing that with a little planning, their yards can become easier to take care by adding perennial plants that are beautiful AND provide delicious fruit, nuts and herbs year after year.”
The goal of the classes will be to demonstrate how to grow as much perennial food as possible with very few long-term time and energy inputs. This kind of planting is called “Permaculture,” a contraction of “permanent agriculture.” The outcome of the class will be educating attendees about “foodscape” design and implementation that can be used as a template for any yard. Informational handouts and the final design will be available to all participants.
The classes will be taught by Fred Meyer, a permaculture designer from Backyard Abundance in Iowa City. Fred likes to lead a class that involves a lot of hands-on teaching. “There will be very few PowerPoints or sitting around.” said Meyer.
The “classroom” for the workshop will be the “Dolly’s Garden,” a beautiful perennial flower garden named for Dolly Ahrens, who, along with husband Claude, was one of Grinnell’s leading philanthropists. Ahrens Foundation board member Julie Gosselink is Dolly’s Granddaughter. “My grandmother loved to garden, and I think she would love the idea of adding fresh food elements to the garden that bears her name,” said Gosselink.
For more information about the workshops, to register online or to inquire about scholarships, visit imaginegrinnell.org, or call Rich Dana at: 641.236.5518