Why Do We Need More Permaculture Practicioners In Jersey City ?

LOVEjpeg_4__bigger Hello Folks,

Passing along a note from colleague Claudia Joseph here, founder of the New York Permaculture Exchange (NYPE).  She has orchestrated beneficial bridges across historic landmark / park / government / school / community constituents toward a COMMONS installation - purposeful and useful landscape, built and open space, offering highest and best use for greatest number of people.

Permaculture is more than just good gardening.  It is a lifelong approach to analysis, actions and social structures that results in better relationships, more functional systems and a clearer understanding of everything necessary for human communities to thrive. – CJ

SJC is very excited about our partnership with NYPE and excited at the prospect of more local JC practicioners hitting the streets as a result of this program.  We're very supportive of Permaculture Education - for adults and for our kids - as we believe it is an opportunity to help people understand the complexities of their immediate & broader worlds, through a very accessible and inspiring lens :-)

Claudia Joseph will one of the appreciated Instructors in SJC's Certificate Program in Urban Sustainability, starting at the end of February 2016 - stay tuned.

30% Discount For Course Outlined Below Is Being Offered To SJC Members.


Note from Claudia Joseph -

Dear Permaculture Enthusiasts,

Are you interested in knowing more about Climate Change and how to respond? Want to grow food, learn to forage and explore culinary and medicinal herb use?  How about organic gardening, improving soil, and urban compost systems?  Want to learn about GMO's and how you can save your own seeds? Or explore energy solutions and every day actions that help? This course offers a toolbox of techniques that can be applied on any scale - from window box to farm & forest. 12 Saturday sessions takes you from dormancy through the spring planting season. 10 hours of field training and ongoing opportunities to garden.

If money is what is stopping your learning, talk with us about payment plans and trade possibilities.  Give yourself or someone you love a life-long gift of knowledge.

PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE winter-spring 2016, in Brooklyn, NY Jan 9Jan 23Jan 30February 6, Feb 20, March 5, April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23, May 14, May 21 at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture and the Old Stone House.

Claudia Joseph, lead instructor  (also teaches Organic Gardening Techniques at NYBG) Nationally recognized Guest Instructors: Jude HobbsJono Neiger, Tattfoo Tan Fabulous local teachers Claudia KeelWendy Brawer, Craig Desmond

Course Fee: $1,200, partial scholarships through BSEC are available. We want to empower as many people as possible to take positive steps in the coming year.

Contact: For information visit:


This 12-part Permaculture Design Certificate course teaches basic skills such as site mapping, observation, and assessment, as well as group process and effective communications. The course will include contemporary urban examples for responding to climate change, improving city environments, food systems, energy solutions, bioregional organizing, utilizing the public commons, group governance, and cooperative systems. These skills can be applied professionally and personally in combination with many related livelihoods and practices. Realize your potential by increasing your skills and knowledge.

This course helps support the first Public Commons in NYC. Washington Park is open every day, hosting a useful landscape for food, medicine, craft material and bird & pollinator support. Beds are constructed on contour to capture storm water. The 1.3 acre garden system was designed interactively with the community it serves and continues to evolve.

Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture hopes to adapt the grounds at their historic Jacobean building near Prospect Park to have similar functionality. We are promoting a replicable model! Students will help design the new plantings as well as assess the building and other functional aspects of BSEC for the final design project. Individual design assignments will allow students to develop their skills using sites relating to their specific interests in this collaborative education model. Be part of the transformation into a carbon neutral future.



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A Little Something About Bees.

  the wave

So here I am, on August 22nd, experiencing the last full day of an artist residency program I was lucky enough to participate in at wonderful Wave Farm is...(from their website) "A non-profit arts organization that celebrates creative and community use of media and the airwaves. Our programs provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form."

The community radio station they operate 24/7 is situated on 30 acres of meadow, woods and pond, in the Catskill Mountains. It is drop-dead gorgeous, and a very exciting artistic and community-driven endeavor!

My artistic partner and I have been here for the last 9 days, doing a series of live broadcasts based on a poetic libretto I composed called "NIGHT." There is spotty phone reception and internet here on Wave Farm, which is actually a true blessing. It's so nice to be rather unavailable to talk and text, just mentally and emotionally texting with nature and reestablishing my citified, and so sometimes dwindling, kinship with it.

When I wasn't writing or prepping for the live radio broadcasts, I found myself watching the bees around the property--which seriously abound, and I do understand why. The wildflowers are truly wild here, their bold yellow and purple limbs cartwheeling up and around the deck, it's incredibly beautiful and irresistible. And they are so very busy! Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies all creating just this marvelous commotion in that thick, lovely tangle.


I've been intrigued by bees for a while, especially knowing the state of their survival is in peril, and have started doing a bit of research on them.

 FACT: Bees smell with their feet, antennae and mouths.

I've also spent some time while in this residency, being very inspired by them:

Women who run with the bees

Today I ran with the bees!

Ok maybe not exactly running

But I more mindfully folded in with them,

Into those brash tufts of wildly purple lace cones

And that eye rush of bright goldenrod


The most industrious beautiful fuzz bubbles on this earth I swear it!

If I could only pet them

I have such that small silly longing...

They have no time for me

Or you

They don't have time for anything but the wild plump drift from bloom to bloom

They don't look up

I have never seen such a determined flight

Such single-minded purpose! (don't tell me they don't have minds)

Herds and glides of them

Gentle glides of them

Their panties of pollen

Their dangling sunrise shirtsleeves

Their lovely gentle drift hanging heavy

In the damp soft rag of the air...


One afternoon, a storm moved in. The bees were in full swing, and I wondered what they would do once the rains started. I popped out when I heard the first drops, and only a few bees remained, huddled up under flowers. Makeshift umbrellas? Brilliant! But most were gone, back to the hives to wait things out.

Less than 24 hours ago, on one of the occasions I was able to access the internet, I got this event notice from SJC on FB:

Wow, a BEE-vent! How wonderfully timely!

Here is a short explanation, lifted from the bee-vent page:

NYC Beekeeping Liane Newton will introduce the work of, and give a short talk on Bees, Climate Change and Complexity. We’ll talk with her about how you can get involved in beekeeping, what is working in NYC, including the Trees for Bees component of her program, and how it’s all “mutually intertangled.”

FACT: Bees dance!

I clicked "Join." I hope to see you there!

Patricia Kositzky


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Worth Your While – Community Feedback Requested + Event Updates

The amazing ‘Rutgers Landscape Architecture Students Take On Jersey City!’ summer long exhibition is coming to a close and if you haven’t had a chance to stop by, you have until Thursday to check out these 80+ works on two floors at the Casa Colombo Art Center at 380 Monmouth. More information about the installations – Environmental Resources and Issues: Investigations of Environmental Solutions for Jersey City (Gallery 2) and Building Studies: An Archive of Jersey City Architecture (Gallery 3) – can be found here This has been the first time that a key group of JC community orgs collaborated to bring greater awareness about the relationship of environmental issues, cultural heritage and evolving development perspectives together. It is a pivotal time of change for JC stakeholders and together with our colleagues from Rutgers, we hope the exhibition and the associated talks we’ve hosted, will inspire greater input from the public, on behalf of a more sustainable and resilient planning framework for Jersey City. To that end, please respond to Professor Jean Marie Hartman’s request for FEEDBACK about the map series that was created by the Rutgers Student / Faculty Team; these cornerstone documents are an important component of the Environmental Resource Inventory (ERI) work they have substantially begun to forge for Jersey City - your input is greatly appreciated. Please review maps and see the FEEDBACK FORM here -

Lastly, Sustainable JC has invited Dr. Richard Shaw - State Soil Scientist for New Jersey, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, to speak this coming Tuesday evening August 25th, about the urban ecology of Jersey City and opportunities for better understanding of the significant role SOIL plays in our planning decisions and quality of life aspects – these should not be taken for granted.   This will be a fascinating discussion and hope many of you can attend. Details about his talk and link to RSVP (seats are limited !) can be found here “A Soil Scientist’s Perspective of Jersey City” Host venue Casa Colombo, 380 Monmouth St., downtown JC, 6:30 – 8:30pm.

Other upcoming events –

  • Closing Reception of the exhibition will be held Thursday evening August 27th, starting at 6:30pm at Casa Colombo – all are welcome and will be a relaxed opportunity to connect with those of like mind.
  • Sustainable JC kicks off our Fall season with our Monthly Meetup on Tuesday evening September 1st at City Hall, Caucus Room #204, 7-9pm. We’ve invited a couple of fabulous guest speakers to talk with us about BEEkeeping / CLIMATE CHANGE / COMMUNITY POLLUTION PREVENTION. Join us if your schedules permit, more details here -
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REMINDER - 'Symphony of the Soil' Film Screening This Thurs Nite

Join us for this beautiful and important film - family gathering with healthy, low cost, kid-friendly food, including Organic Pop Corn ! PLEASE Pre-register so we have enough food for everyone.

More details below about the movie, menu and location - hope to see you there :-)

Parking available on-site, short walk from the Journal Square PATH.


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REMINDER: This Saturday, Mushroom Cultivation Workshop with Sean Walsh, Permaculture Teacher

Details about the workshop and registration link here - WORKSHOP LIMITED TO 25 PEOPLE !
Plus -
Additional information below on extraordinary properties of Mushrooms, how they benefit people and plant life AND HOW THEY CAN HELP IN FILTERING OUT PATHOGENS IN CSO CITIES !!
  • Great TED Talk by Mushroom Guru Paul Stamets here - 6 WAYS MUSHROOMS CAN SAVE THE WORLD
  • This research effort will expand knowledge of the application of fungal biotechnology in an innovative and interdisciplinary way by tying together the fields of public health, environmental engineering, and mycology. The research team will seek to identify which fungal species and cultivation methods can filter pathogens from storm water - See more at:
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