Growing Food in Public Spaces – Edible Landscaping for the Commons” — presentation and discussion with Dylan Ryals-Hamilton

August 14 Transition Asheville Social, 6:30 – 8pm
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church’s parish hall, off of north Charlotte st.

Parks, greenways, right-of ways, even the areas around public buildings need landscaping and maintenance. We already budget for this, so why not grow something useful in these spaces? How about something tasty and nutritious, made available to all? In Asheville and beyond we have seen a GROWING interest in fresh, local food, and for many good reasons. Can the concept of “Food Not Lawns” be applied in the commons? Dylan Ryals-Hamilton, a professional “Transitioneer” and local permaculture teacher, will discuss the probable positives (and potential preventable pit-falls) for participatory and productive public plantings of particularly palatable produce. Come learn how local governments, nonprofits, civic groups, and individuals can engage in planting and maintaining a more abundant and nutritious urban landscape for current and future generations. We will discuss the recent local history of urban edibles initiatives, as well as next steps and promising upcoming projects and ways to get involved.

Dylan Ryals-Hamilton is a permaculture professional with 13 years of edible and ecological landscaping experience, and has been teaching permaculture design for nearly a decade. Seeing the need for permaculture to be applied at the community scale, he became a member of Transition Asheville’s Initiating Group in 2010, and remained a core member through 2015. Specializing in designing for urban settings and bringing permaculture systems to the social sphere, he joined Transition United States’ team of Transition Trainers in 2012. He is currently working as a Fellow of UNC Asheville’s McCullough Institute for Conservation, Land Use, and Environmental Resiliency and with the City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability to implement policy for public edible landscaping on city-owned land. He also works installing and maintaining green roofs for Living Roofs, Inc., a locally-owned green roofing company, and is a full-time student pursuing a degree in Environmental Management and Policy at UNCA.

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