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Pollinator Garden Planted at the Oblate Ecological Initiative November 2nd, 2014
The Oblate Ecological Initiative recently held a Permaculture/Hugelkultur workshop to prepare for installation of a pollinator terrace garden. The pollinator garden was then installed using the concept of Hugelcultur. The Oblate novices helped in the digging and planting.
HUGELKULTUR: What is it?
Hugelkultur is a German word meaning “mound culture”. Hügelkultur replicates the natural process of decomposition that occurs on forest floors. Trees that fall in a forest often become like sponges, decaying and providing nutrients and water to seedlings. The water is slowly released back into the environment, benefiting nearby plants.
The process includes digging a trench, placing rotting logs and branches in it, and then topping it with organic matter found in your area, like branches, twigs, logs, decaying leaves, pine needles, straw, your own compost, and finally soil.
There are many benefits to hugelkultur, making it a sustainable process. Since the mound provides water for the plants there is often no need to do any watering. The mound lasts for many years, and as the wood decomposes, it turns in humus and actually retains more water. These beds can also extend the growing season by a month or so, because the decomposition creates heat that keeps the bed warmer during colder months. Another benefit it that no materials need to be purchased, since the mounds can be created from natural materials found in your area. It is a useful way to dispose of unwanted woody organic matter. You can save energy that would be used in disposing of it.
Hugelkultur is an important part of sustainable, fertilizer-free agriculture.
Please see here for a full report on the workshop and planting.
Exploring the Sacred Universe Earth Literacy Program April 15th, 2013
Join OEI staff and participants for a week of storytelling as the group explores the Universe Story, the Story of the Stars, Planets and Galaxies, Earth’s Story, the Human Story, and the story of our special region of life. Learn how these stories can provide a transformative context for the story of your evolving life. Together participants will enjoy delicious vegetarian meals, camaraderie with other learners, and the stunning view from the bluffs.
Register now and receive a short reading list to help you prepare. For details visit the OEI web site or call 618-466-5004 and request a registration form.
Oblate Community Supported Garden Shown at its Best in Local Magazine! August 15th, 2011
The Summer 2011 issue of Home Style Magazine, a publication of The Telegraph in Alton, Illinois, has run a very nice article on the LaVista Community Supported Farm supported by the Oblates. The Editor’s Note, titled “Garden Fresh,” is accompanied by sumptuous photos of the CSA’s bounty.
Oblate Organic Community Supported Garden Lauded in Local Press February 14th, 2011
The Oblate-supported organic garden in Godfrey, Illinois has received a nice write-up in The Telegraph, Alton, Illinois’ local paper. Now in its 9th year, the CSA at Godfrey continues to provide its share owners and a local food bank with bountiful supplies of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. The CSA shareholders and core team are committed to preserving the land, educating people about the health benefits of eating produce grown in a sustainable manner and the ecological benefits of eating locally.
The garden regularly over-produces, ensuring leftover produce to take to local food pantries, which fulfills its other mission – to help feed the poor. La Vista also offers 10 to 12 community outreach shares at a discounted price to low-income members of the community.
Darrell Rupiper, OMI – Requiescat in Pace February 12th, 2009
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved friend and colleague in the work for justice, Fr. Darrell Rupiper, omi. Darrell was a tireless advocate for the poor and passionate about preserving the integrity of God’s creation. In recent years, he led countless of individuals to a greater connection with God and nature through his Eco-Mission workshops. Memories of his consistent good humor and kindness will remain with us as we carry on in his absence. He passed away on February 10th.
“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.” -Chief Luther Standing Bear