Project Description

Trathen Heckman’s permaculture garden is an exercise in resilience and stacking functions. The site is simultaneously providing food security, medicine, beauty, storm water management, habitat, watershed restoration, and inspiration for neighbors and friends.

Stories of Sustenance
Since our goal from the beginning was to make this place a model and engage our community to learn and shape it, we have been fortunate to have so many wise minds, engaged hands and kind hearts to shape this place in tours, workshops, celebrations and sometimes friends and neighbors just plugging in to lend a hand. Since I work from home a lot I get to look out the window everyday and watch people walk by and get inspired by and engaged with our front yard. I’ve burnt countless tortillas on the stove as I run out for some basil or greens and get engaged by an interesting passerby. We’ve shared edible bouquets with neighbors and friends and sometimes find food and canned goods or veggie starts on our doorstep. Roger Gadow, an incredible retired homesteader down the street always has time to share his skills, wisdom and homemade wine and of course harass me about all the things I’m not keeping up with!

Installing the first permitted single household greywater system in Sonoma County was completely a community engaged effort at every step of the way from local plumbers and distributers to designers and city officials all chipping in to make it happen. When we transformed the Cavanagh Center Boys and Girls club lawn across the street into a food forest, instead of taking the leftover clay “away”, we cycled it into our cob bench pizza oven in the backyard which was made with strangers, friends and kids dancing in the mud and then crafting a lovely bench and oven out of earth and recycled materials. Sooooo many incredible people have brought this place to life showing what is possible with the power of community aligned in acts of care and celebration.