Oct. 29, 2012

By Minnie Payne   

Terry Jensen, Dallas environmentalist, doesn’t feel that she has a right to every resource on the planet, because those resources need to be shared with future generations.  And she’s willing to share her expertise with you, if you feel the same.  

Jensen is starting something environmentally new to the Dallas area – a permaculture village.  She says that to some, “permaculture” may be a new word, and she explains that it simply means encompassing agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, economic systems, land access strategies, legal systems for businesses and communities, or anything green so to speak. 

The word comes from “permanent culture” or “permanent agriculture.”  The goal is to create sustainable biosystems that provide for individuals’ own needs and recycle their own waste. 

The concept is to have a genuinely self-sustaining homestead, village, city or culture and to accomplish that, it must be designed to do so.Permaculture is also concerned with storing water in the earth, creating fertile organic soil, growth of a food forest and other perennial foods.  It also recognizes the sun’s role of photosynthesis, energy and heat.  Its design minimizes waste, human labor and energy.

Bruce Charles “Bill” Mollison, researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist, along with David Holmgren of Tasmania, Australia developed permaculture in 1979, and it has spread all over the world.  Mollison says that people often ask him how much land they need for self sufficiency and he tells them as much as they can control. ( Photo: powerpermaculture.blogspot.com )

“I’m starting an ecovillage where members join together and build their own homes  from compressed earth blocks; make as much energy as the homeowners use, and grow their own food, using organic permaculture principles and practices, in a compassionate safe, intergenerational intentional community,” Jensen says.  “I’m making the public aware of this through various detailed websites (www.facebook.com/dfwecovillage, as well as www.cyberparent.com/dfw/ecovillage), and speaking engagements.  I can also be reached at 972-251-1532.”

It’s important for potential members to first educate themselves on sustainable living with permaculture.  This can be accomplished by going to our detailed websites or attending a permaculture class.  One class wi be given on November 17, 2012 in the East Dallas/Rockwall/Greenville area.  It will focus on home construction from machine compressed blocks of sand/clay/water, stabilized with lime, as well as solar energy, solar hot water, rain water harvesting, and gray water recycling. ( Photo: sierrapermaculture.com )

Jensen’s expertise includes  The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)  training in both solar electricity and solar hot water.  She is a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater and energy auditor and has worked in the green building industry since 2006.

Terry Jensen, 972-251-1532, Updates20@dfwnetall.com


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Minnie Payne is the food reporter for Green Source DFW, focusing on DFW stories that include agriculture,  sustainable wines, green grocers, community gardens, green restaurants, etc. She’s open to all food story suggestions from readers. She was a writer for Pegasus News and presently freelances for Living Magazine and Frisco Style Magazine,  contact her at  972-416-2823, jdpmap@verizon.net