We believe that we are called to steward creation through permaculture*, responsible land management, sustainability efforts, and conservation of all living things.
Some of the ways we do this:
- Composting food scraps from the Jesus People kitchen and used coffee grounds from Everybody’s Coffee
- Making our own soil from mulch, compost, and castings from red wrigglers and mealworms
- Recycling waste and building materials
- Saving seeds when the plants mature
- Growing pollinator-friendly plants and native grasses, restoring native habitats for preserving biodiversity
- Maintaining a 4-star Energy Star certification for our Jesus People building
- Cultivating a small rural property in Monee, Illinois through hugelkultur and other types of planting
*From Permaculture magazine:
“What is Permaculture?
- Permaculture is an innovative framework for creating sustainable ways of living.
- It is a practical method of developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere.
By thinking carefully about the way we use our resources – food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs – it is possible to get much more out of life by using less. We can be more productive for less effort, reaping benefits for our environment and ourselves, for now, and for generations to come.”
The team traveled to Monee on March 12th to survey the land and plant a hugelkultur bed. The Master Gardener Society of Oakland County gives this definition: “Hugelkultur, pronounced Hoo-gul-culture, means hill culture or hill mound. It’s literally a raised garden bed that is built from the bottom up with logs, sticks and branches, wood chips, grass clippings, manure, leaves, food scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds . . . everything you would put into a compost heap.”
We scouted out our location and, after being sidelined by a fascination with a dead raccoon, started digging. John Betten, Erik Clayton, Drexel Clayton, Laura Thiessen, and Meghan Filizola took turns digging and telling stories while Tammy Perlmutter documented our venture.
In between digging turns, we lost a few people to the dead raccoon as they attempted to cut off the tail. This proved a daunting exercise requiring several sharp implements. Drexel was heard shouting, “I’m determined but this is SO disgusting!” He reigned victorious after some prolonged energetic sawing.
When the long trench was dug we threw in some rotting wood planks that were left on the property, then a layer twigs, compost from Jesus People and Everybody’s Coffee, and finally dead leaves. The mound-like raised bed will retain more moisture which works best since we won’t be at the property more than once a week. Right now it looks like we buried a body but soon enough life will be sprouting from it!!