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Old Main          Mani Shop          The ARC          SPARC          TWARC           Permaculture Garden

From Sand Pit to Productive Garden

The highly-productive gardens on the Resilient Living Campus are part of the non-profit Happy Dancing Turtle, which shares the grounds with H.U.G. The property was little more than a sand and gravel lot when the garden was started. Our growers used the principles of permaculture to transform the site into 2.5 acres of perennial and annual crops. It includes a 25'x50' high-tunnel greenhouse attached to a 20'x24' greenhouse. The gardens and greenhouse produce food for campus employees as well as 30 shares in a C.S.A., which provides weekly dividends of vegetables and berries to members. 

The hope of Happy Dancing Turtle is to create a living landscape that inspires others to garden in ways that restore the soil, cleans our water, and provides healthy food. We seek methods that reduce labor, limits the need for store-bought items, and increases self-reliance.

The Sweet 19 was a design using 19 Garden Circles to create a lovely garden landscape. 

Garden Circles is an inexpensive and flexible raised-bed garden system that works well in all gardening conditions. The innovative system allows for Garden Circles to easily attach to one another to create any design. They are ideal for school gardening projects and community gardens, especially in areas of questionable soil. City landscapes can be transformed by stretching Garden Circles across parking lots. They set up in a matter of minutes and are about half the cost of most wood-based raised beds. They also come in several sizes to meet most any situation. Garden Circles was originated through H.U.G., but now is separately owned. They are manufactured on campus.

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The Sweet 19 produced beautifully, even early in its first year.  Cattle fence segments are used to create green living arches leading into the garden. 



Garden Started


Acreage in Permaculture


CSA Shares Distributed in 2018


Pounds of fruits
and vegetables harvested (2017)


Number of logs imbedded with mushrooms


Pounds of harvested potatoes for every pound of seed potato
Old Main          Mani Shop          The ARC          SPARC          TWARC           Permaculture Garden
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