What if the permaculture mindset in a school garden as a practice shared the effect between annuals and perennials? Yes, a food forest will take a while, but the process and conversation can be ongoing. The propagation of seedlings, the presence of a greenhouse, sharing of the learning and crossing casual and formal language codes, plant guilds that share why and how plants share their space and benefit from the company they provide? Using the traditional space (rows, raised beds :: city blocks, transitional housing) as a location for permaculture.
What about a poverty mindset, permaculture, and the school garden? These characteristics of generational poverty seem to parallel the school garden through a permaculture lens. The sociological connection between life situation and growth connects to the metaphorical value in the garden.
Lack of order/ organization: Many of the homes/ apartments of people in poverty are unkempt and cluttered. Devices for organization (files, planners, etc.) scarcely exist. 1
Living in the moment: Being proactive, setting goals, and planning ahead are not a part of generational poverty. Most of what occurs is reactive and in the moment. Future ramifications of present actions are seldom considered. 2
There is a plan for permaculture and it is long term but it would be amazing to span the concept of curriculum component through a plan with the reality of life situations were the garden is the reflection of themselves (and potentially) the way out. To accelerate certain parts of the process would be a powerful medium to celebrate steps in the process.
1 R. L. Flores, “The Effect of Poverty on Young Children’s Ability to Organize Everyday Events.”
2 T. Norman, “The Unwritten Rules of Generational Poverty”; D. H. Fischer, Albion’s Seed; J. E. Pearce, Days of Darkness; K. F. Otterbein, “Five Feuds.”