Gardening without the fuss

Chris Hodge shares his passion for permaculture at his Unique Planting Techniques class, a community education class offered March 14 and April 18 at Haven Homestead.

Unique Gardening Chris Hodge 3.12.15

As a kid, Chris Hodge remembers how much he hated weeding his mom’s garden. Today, Hodge enjoys gardening—without all the fuss. Thanks to years of research, Hodge has found alternative ways to garden that do not require tilling the ground or fighting obnoxious weeds. He will be sharing these labor saving techniques with the community at his Unique Planting Techniques class on March 14 and April 18 at Haven Homestead.

Participants who attend will learn about the benefits of hugel kultur, the ultimate raised bed. Hugel kultur, which is German for “high beds,” involves using logs or rotting wood to build really tall raised beds that don’t require irrigation or fertilization. Hodge will also show students how to create seed balls, a technique that doesn’t require cultivation, and herb spirals, a beautiful space saving way to grow herbs.

Surprisingly, Hodge became interested in different gardening styles while serving in Iraq in 2010. Then during college, he began researching homesteading, something he and his wife Lindsay dreamed about. That’s when he first learned about permaculture, a sustainable way of living that incorporates specific gardening techniques. Intrigued, Hodge enrolled in a 12 week course through the Permaculture Research Institute in Australia and earned his Permaculture Design Certificate. As a certified permaculture designer, Hodge is “qualified to design yards and landscapes to function in sustainable and productive ways.”

He recently started a business, Easy Edible Edens, that focuses on helping people develop productive lawns and gardens that are beautiful, easy to maintain, and easy on the budget. In fact, Hodge says, “Instead of costing money to maintain, your new productive lawn-garden can earn you money, or at least save you money at the grocery store.” Hodge helps homeowners design yards with things that “make sense and work together” so the owner doesn’t have to spray or weed. (www.havenhomestead.com/)

Hodge enjoys sharing what he’s learned with others. He and his wife offer classes on animal care, gardening, and photography at their sustainable family farm, Haven Homestead. Some of their upcoming workshops through the Centralia College Continuing Education program include: Chicken Care and Processing, Meat Rabbit Care and Processing, Unique Planting Techniques, and How to Use Your SLR.

For more information or to register for these courses, visit http://www.centralia.edu/academics/cont-ed/.

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