714: Doreen Pollack on How Permaculture Changed Her Life


Our Guest:

Doreen Pollack has been a Master Gardener for over 18 years and has turned her urban lot in downtown Phoenix into a living example of what she teaches.  Her front yard now houses an edible garden where a bermuda grass lawn used to be.  Rainwater harvesting systems channel and store rainwater, compost piles supply needed amendments to harsh clay soil and creative plant locations maximize use of her urban lot. A Laundry to Landscape system uses washing machine output to water a 35-year-old grapefruit tree.  Doreen has taught hundreds of people about gardening through Master Gardeners, Mesa Community College, City of Tempe, and Rio Salado College, and has appeared on local news talking about gardening.  She loves to help people become better gardeners and stewards of the land.

Listen in and learn about:

    • How she learned to love gardening in the desert
    • A permaculture design course was the next step – How to put it all together and be a great observer
    • Doreen’s definition of permaculture – It’s integration
    • Why her neighbor has a key to her gate
    • What she remembers most about permaculture:  Nothing is separate
    • Still integrating it into her life nearly 20 years later
    • Regenerative – Allowing plants to support each other in a symbiotic relationship
    • Permaculture practices she continues to use

– composting (even the dust from her vacuum cleaner!)

– Rainwater harvesting

– Laundry to landscape system: her washer drains out along the perimeter of her yard

– Exposure to other ways to think of things.

Meeting your tribe.

– It’s very hands-on with exchange and conversation.

    • How to find a PDC in your area:  search the name of your city and permaculture design course
    • An online course:  Permaculturecity.com

As well as:

Her failure – Putting a vegetable garden in the wrong location

Her success – Growing apples

Her drive – Climate change, the notion that things aren’t going the way they should be

Her advice – Don’t be afraid to try something new in your life or in your garden

Doreen’s Book recommendations:  

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver 

How to reach Doreen:          

Facebook: down2earthgardens


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