Posted on Mar 11, 2018
Sister Carol Coston from the Dominican Sisters was our speaker today. This is National Catholic Sister’s Week. The Adrian Dominican Sisters been engaged, individually and communally, for quite some time now, she said, in efforts to protect the integrity of creation and bring about a more just, peaceful and compassionate world through a program they call “Permaculture”. The Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation coordinates these efforts by bringing to light injustices and recommending ways to take action.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters have implemented the “Permaculture” program on the Motherhouse campus. A contraction of “permanent” and “agriculture,” permaculture is an ethical design system for human habitations and land use that emphasizes sustainability, integration, and cooperation with, as opposed to domination of, natural systems, Sister Carol said.
The Permaculture Gardens cover an area of over seven acres of mowed turf grass in restoration. She said that “our goal is to return to an abundant, diverse, and healthy ecological system guided by the permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share.”
One example of their commitment to permaculture design is the construction of earthworks to slow, spread, and retain water on their site. This serves to re-hydrate the soil of their edible food forest, and naturally and passively filter storm water runoff.
Also on their campus are: Charlotte’s Web Community Garden – A 4,800 square foot, 20-plot, free community garden open to all on their campus;  Gaia Garden – An accessible raised bed garden with six wheelchair/walker/amigo accessible raised beds, and a permeable recycled asphalt surface; a Vegetable Cooperative – Eight raised beds made from repurposed wood. Vegetables here are grown by our Sisters using crop rotation and companion planting to ensure soil quality.