Environmental design class visits permaculture farm


By Tejas Athni, Gazebo Correspondent (Video by Rushabh Patel)

The new environmental design class recently took a field trip to the Salamander Springs permaculture farm in Jones County.

Students in Mike Kelley’s environmental design class received a demonstration on compost from Salamander Springs owner Debbie Waugh. (Photo by TEJAS ATHNI)

Students learned about permaculture, sustainable energy sources, harnessing power from water and eco-friendly building materials. They also received input on ideas for their own design projects.

“Many of our students have thought of projects which involve water, so I thought a visit to Salamander Springs was appropriate,” said Mr. Mike Kelley, chairman of the history department and teacher of the environmental design class.

As students learned about various aspects of Salamander Springs, they applied it to their own project.

“I learned some ways of how to control the flow of water so that it doesn’t cause disruption to its surroundings,” said sophomore Sahan Vangala.

Students were able to hike across a suspension bridge during recent trip to Salamander Springs permaculture farm in Jones County, near the Baldwin County line. (Photo by TEJAS ATHNI)

“I learned that you can completely run your own house without any power lines. These people do it all off of self-sustainable energy sources,” said sophomore Greg Sutton. “To me, that was really amazing.”

While hiking through parts of the 50-acre farm, students also had some adventurous fun. They trekked over a hand-built suspension bridge and saw homes built from hardened clay.

“I’ve never been to a farm that unique,” said Vangala. “I’m really interested in how they live on the farm and how they build their houses … they reminded me of adobes in the American Southwest.”