Peace Lutheran offers free permaculture class

Volunteers at last fall's permaculture class install a "lasagna" bed.

Local permaculture expert Tom Gibson will teach a special abbreviated course on the topic on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Peace Lutheran Church, 3470 Mayfield Road. Over a continental breakfast, Gibson will lead a review of permaculture techniques. Hands-on construction of a “lasagna” bed will follow, and then a hot lunch will be served in appreciation. 

Lasagna gardening, also known as sheet gardening, is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that produces rich, fluffy soil with very little effort. The name refers to the method of building the garden bed, by adding layers of organic material that will “cook down” over time, resulting in soil that will help your plants thrive.

The first (bottom) layer of a lasagna garden is corrugated cardboard that is laid directly on top of the grass, delineating the new garden bed. Layers of compost, mulch, and soil follow. The layers break down over the winter, creating a dark, moist area that attracts earthworms that loosen the soil as they tunnel through it.

Permaculture benefits the environment by using organic compost made up of food waste and, essentially, further composting it in place to make a new garden.

This Oct. 6 permaculture class is the second to be held at Peace Lutheran Church. At last fall’s class, the approximately 25 volunteers who attended built a lasagna bed that was planted last spring.

Gibson’s talk will include a description of those plants and the pollinators they attract. He’ll also discuss the role that perennials play in carbon sequestration—a process that pulls carbon out of the atmosphere and puts it in long-term storage elsewhere. Class participants will measure the circumference of four nearby trees, to determine the amount of carbon they sequester every year.

The Oct. 6 class will begin at 9 a.m. and run through noon. [Note: the rain date is Oct. 20.] There is no fee, but advance registration is requested. To register, contact Binnie Eiger at or 216-382-4545.

Louise Gerlak

Louise Gerlak is an avid gardener who maintains a plot at the Hampshire Community Garden and volunteers at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. She is a member of Peace Lutheran Church.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.01.2018