The Resiliency Institute’s mission is to transform the suburbs into resilient permaculture communities. As such, they use permaculture education, growing food security projects, and community engagement to build resilient communities. The organization offers courses in permaculture, herbalism, edible wild plants, homesteading, and more. Some courses are taught over the course of a year, others are evening courses or weekend hikes. Throughout the year they host Permablitz events at their Growing Food Security edible forest gardens and potlucks on the farm to view films, swap seeds, or celebrate community. They sponsor and exhibit at local events and often give talks at libraries, garden clubs, or other venues.
Co-founders Michelle Hickey and Jodi Trendler explain that the word “permaculture” is used to describe a design system for developing ecological landscapes, lifestyles and communities. As Toby Hemenway, an American author and educator who has written extensively on permaculture and ecological issues, says, “Permaculture is not a discipline in itself but rather a design approach based on connecting different disciplines, strategies, and techniques.”
The suburbs were originally designed to be car centric, resource intensive places for people to live and commute to work. This design has caused a dependence on oil and the automobile, transformed nature into pavement and buildings, and created a culture of stress and competition.
Hickey and Trendler’s vision is of suburbs where people are connected through strong social networks, foraging in edible forest gardens and food forests is a daily community activity, cooperatives of all types exist, social equity & justice are integrated, renewable energy is available to everyone, and so much more. Permaculture provides the ethics, principles, and design strategies to achieve these transformations, creating economically, environmentally, and socially resilient communities.
To learn more about The Resiliancy Institute, visit their website at: http://www.theresiliencyinstitute.net/
Michelle Hickey, Co-Founder
Jodi Trendler, Co-Founder