Permaculture Garden 2014

Permaculture Garden

The North Chapel has established a permaculture garden in the space between the church office and the parsonage.

Garden update – August 7th 2014

Do you remember a few weeks ago when the garden Pathways looked like this?

#1 dirt patways

Here’s what they look like today.

#2 finished pathway

Daniel found some big stones to make our job much easier….

#3 Big Stones

And Jean de Dieu arrived from his village in the Congo
just in time to help Sarah Hall and Jackie Fischer “plant” them.

#4 Jean de Dieu, Sarah and Jackie

Mary Blanton is a very skilled stone worker by now.

#5 Mary Blanton __planbts__stone

Anne Dean is in the process of creating a Yin-Yang symbol* made of small river stones.yingyang

#6 Yin Yang

It will be placed at the very center of the garden where all the pathways converge.

 *In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are concepts used to describe how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary and work together to create a balanced whole where the sum is greater than the parts.

Garden update – July 31st 2014

Dan and Anne look for rocksThanks to everyone who brought rocks for the garden pathways on July 20th and to Peggy Kannenstine for offering to supply creeping thyme to plant in the spaces between the stones. This week a number of people went rock hunting in the beautiful brook on North Bridgewater Road. Thank you, Mary Blanton, for the use of your truck.

Daniel and Joby with RocksJoby and Daniel competed to see who could carry the heaviest stone.
Does it look like a tie to you?

 On Tuesday a team gathered to “plant” the stones.  The pathways are now almost half finished.

LS Garden setting stones Josh and Sarah Dave and Anne

Anne, Tessa and KubaAnne Dean was on hand to teach Tessa Marinello and Kuba Marzec the art of setting the stones.

Artichoke about to flowerBy the way, no one has picked the artichoke. At Linda Galvao’s suggestion we have left it to flower. And it looks as if it is about to do just that.

Thanks to all who have been helping with the pathways. And thanks to all who come by and say they love the garden.

Garden update – July 24th 2014


On Sunday, July 20th, members of the community brought stones for our pathways.  Since Sunday, more stones have been added to the “collection.”

We are, slowly but surely, getting there.

Thanks to all who brought stones.


To celebrate this next phase of the garden, i.e. completing our
network of pathways, we had coffee hour outside.  Soon we hope to be able to provide food for coffee hour from the garden.


People placed their stones on the paths and Daniel blessed the garden.

Here is an excerpt from that blessing.

“….May this garden represent a loving, and respectful relationship to our place in the
order of things.
May we walk upon these stones often,
slowing the pace of our need to get to the next place and the next thing,
Expressing our willingness to get our hands dirty,
To bend over to touch the soil that sustains us.
May this be a garden that not only grows food and exhibits beauty
But may it also give rise to
contentment and harmony and elegant simplicity
within us and all who pause to look, or to walk here……
Let us remember that it is not this church that keeps a garden
but actually this garden and what it represents that makes a church possible,
its people,
its songs,
the community that dwells here in such abundance.
We bless this garden today
For the wisdom that will grow here.”

Garden update & Invitation – July 10th 2014Garden_1

On July 20th, right after the Sunday service, we would love to have a brief ceremony/celebration of setting pathway stones in the new Permaculture Garden. Something that will look like this:

We will plant creeping thyme as a ground cover between the stones which will not only look nice, but also give off a wonderful scent.

But in order for this to happen we will have to have stones – lots of them.

So if we can get some help from you on Sunday, July 20th, we will make a lot of headway on completing the paths.  If 50 of you brought 2 stones….or better yet, 100 of you brought 2 stones….or……But one stone is also fine and will be enthusiastically and gratefully accepted. Here’s what Anne Dean and Sarah Hall (our Garden Divas) say we need:

“As for the stones they should be no less than one foot overall. But it’s fine if they are bigger than one foot.  They can be any shape as long as they have one side that is flat and they are no thicker than 3 inches max!  The shapes should be natural, not cut stones or slate or bluestone.  River or brook stones are ideal.”Garden_2

As an example of what Anne is looking for, she set 4 stones on the pathway last week – you may have noticed them as you passed by.

As the garden gets more established and the plants grow closer together, we may have something that looks like this, but with the thyme planted between the stones.Garden_3

So please find your own special stone(s) and bring them to church on Sunday, July 20th.

Daniel, Anne and Sarah will organize the rest of us so that part of the pathways will be completed in a very short time.

If you are not sure where to look for such stones, please contact Anne Macksoud  or Anne Dean for suggestions. or

Garden Update July 3rd 2014PC_1 copy

We asked Jesse West, one of the crew who is painting the church, to take a camera with him up to the steeple so that he could take an aerial view of the permaculture/vegetable garden.

If you are looking from the ground rather than the steeple, you will see what’s getting ready to be harvested. It’s hard to believe that only 5 weeks ago, this area was only a lawn.

5 weeks of growth copy

Please look in the July Quest next week for our plans for the garden pathways. You are all invited to participate in creating the path. Stay tuned.




Garden Update June 26th 2014


Strawberry ripening in our garden – June 26th

The Edible Forest Update

Whew!  The plants are all in and now we are contemplating our next moves. We are considering placing stones on the paths between the sections and will try a few out to see how it looks.  Are there any artists who would like to make a stone pattern within the path somewhere?

We are also thinking about locating a trellis in the middle of the garden so we can have some vertical interest. We are in the process of putting together a notebook that lists the plants and what their contribution is to the garden.

Also in the works are ideas about education and reaching out to the greater community.

Others in our Church community want to do something to the other side of the path.

In the meantime, there are a few little weeds that have started to come up in only a few places, but little weeds get big.  So if you see a weed in passing, give it a tug.

Thank you all so much for your contributions of plants, work and dollars (we still have an outstanding balance if you feel like contributing).

It won’t be long before we are enjoying some herbal teas during coffee hour.

Garden Update June 19th 2014

Daniel Jantos and Barbara Bartlett working in the garden

Daniel Jantos and Barbara Bartlett working in the garden

In this week’s Vermont Standard there is a wonderful article “New Church Garden Demonstrates Some Permaculture Principles” by Ron Miller, For Sustainable Woodstock. Make sure you grab a copy to read the article. Unfortunately it is not available online.

As of yesterday almost all of the planting is completed and we will now be putting our energy toward getting the paths completed and creating some sort of “Garden map” so that people can visit the garden and know what they are looking at and why it is there.

The garden organizers will be seeking volunteers for the various tasks that remain so look out for some work team invitations.

On Monday the garden organizers will be meeting to discuss “next steps” which includes the path, the educational aspect of the garden and how to involve the UU congregation and community as a whole.

Initial update end of May 2014

The North Chapel has established a permaculture garden in the space between thebefore church office and the parsonage.  Through the hard work of many volunteers during the last week, the manure has been spread, the topsoil put down, and the planting has begun.

The initial presentation by Anne Dean and Anne Macksoud can be found here. For a more in-depth look at permaculture, please view the  BBC production, A Farm for the Future, and listen to the inspiring TED Talk by Pam Warhurst.

manure2This is an exciting project!  Your help and support will be greatly appreciated as the North Chapel begins this endeavor.

The garden will occupy the space between the church and the parsonage.   The permaculture garden will consist of four quadrants and will begin near the sidewalk.  Behind it, there will be a vegetable garden which will also consist of four quadrants.sunday

Permaculture gardens are called Forest Gardens because they imitate the ecosystem of the forest. Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut treesshrubsherbsvines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat.

This book title describes the vision that we have.  We think it’s a very important vision and we hope Josh Gale and Charity Graythis garden will join the growing global movements toward community food security and community sharing.

The garden will be finished on Monday when Anne Dean and Sarah Hall return from a Permaculture Workshop with the plants they could not find in the garden centers around Woodstock.

Anne is keeping a record of all the (many) people who have come by to help plant, or who donated plants or money toward the garden.   So stay tuned, there’s much more to come (including the food which the garden will yield) but the hardest part is finished and we look forward to having the North Chapel Community see our progress thus far.

 Contact Anne Dean ( or Anne Macksoud
Anne Dean spreading Mulch( for more information about contributing plants and/or your time.