Lund Human Ecology Network

A day in Holmas forestgarden, Sweden

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A group of 20 students from the Lund University Human Ecology Network had an amazing trip to the Holma Forest Garden on Sunday! Even though we were rained onseveral times on that fine early spring activity day, everyone agreed that they had a great time working outdoors doing something practical and learning about permaculture. We also split into four smaller groups to work on specific areas together. Whether people were mulching, chopping wood, creating mulch with the wood chipper, stripping bark from logs, weeding, or harvesting…they were all laughing and enjoying conversational interactions about permaculture. We were amazed to be harvesting edible perennial salad greens in April when everyone else we know is planting!

Then we shared lunch and stories together around the campfire. Our hosts at the Holma Forest Garden explained to us how the permaculture perspective views humans as being embedded in nature. We were also taught how permaculture practitioners observe how all parts of an ecosystem interact with one another in nature in order to try to design spaces to mimic/replicate ecosystem behaviors. Esbjörn Wandt, who guided us throughout the day, also explained how permaculture is also about a culture of sharing and giving back, whether it is about how you layer the canopy in the garden, or how you treat each other as human beings. So, part of the experience for the students was to be in a sharing and giving environment. We enjoyed sharing food around the campfire, including eating the salad greens we had just harvested from the garden!

All who had arrived as strangers left as friends. Handshakes gave way to hugs. It was an incredible day of learning and sharing!

Read more about the Holma Forest Garden: http://skogstradgardensvanner.se

Text and photo: Marcella Samuels