Planting 101

A guide to the evolution of the permaculture club, and the teacher who helped create it

Photo+taken+by+Daniel+Montiel

Photo taken by Daniel Montiel

Daniel Montiel, Photo, Art, and Graphics Editor

Those who have been at DP for a while may have heard of the Permaculture seminar. This is a seminar period dedicated to learning what we can do to change the world through gardening and other nature-centered methods. But how did it start, and who was in charge of it?

The first instance of the permaculture club was back in 2011 at Dos Pueblos High School. At this point in time, the club was actually just a single class that was creating the first garden. This class was taught by art teacher Kevin Gleason, who would later be the backbone of the many iterations of the club. “I had a bunch of students one year that I told about permaculture, which was something that really interested me…we got permission from the staff to put in our first garden,” said Mr. Gleason about the start of the club.

“It was over there under the cement, I think what’s now,” he said,“kind of the engineering building, but we planted a mulberry tree and Jujubee, a couple fruit trees, lots of native plants, and… just had fun sort of watching that grow and, enjoy eating the fruit.” With the start of the first plot, the impromptu art/permaculture class would soon split into a full-fledged art class and a full- fledged gardening/permaculture class.

After two years of planting and replanting, as well as plot expansion, the class became two classes: Freehand drawing (Art) and SBCC Permaculture, a dual enrollment class.

While talking about the class Mr. Gleason said, “At one point, I was teaching permaculture classes, a city college dual enrollment class. And we learned about earthen building, we had a cob oven over there that we had built, and that’s cool.” From that point on, Permaculture would shift through many different forms until it became what it is today: a seminar class.

In its current state, permaculture does the following day to day: plant/weed the two plots they currently have, explore the forest near the cross country course, and learn about different methods of taking care of our world.

There are other plans for the future of the seminar. Mr. Gleason said, “So the goal this year is just to really beautify this garden. We will get lots of colors of flowers in here and more plants that provide things like tea and medicine and food and stuff like that growing.”

“This other garden, we haven’t been able to have access to for a while just because of the construction,” Mr. Gleason said. “But hopefully that fence is going to move so we can get the water hooked up again. And that one’s going to be, kind of like we’re going to knock a lot of her back to square one.” This will likely come to pass soon, as construction on the new buildings are nearing completion. With all of this in mind, the seminar is going strong, and is planned to continue for many years to come.

 

Updated 10/12/22