Importance of Permaculture

Hello All,


My name is Renee Gares and I am a garden intern for the 2016 summer season here at Albright College. I will be a junior this upcoming fall semester as I continue studying biology and Spanish. Coming in to this gardening internship as a novice, I have already begun to learn the value of permaculture.

Healthy, organic, and straight from the source are qualities that I appreciate in my food. As a child, my mother would go to the local farmer’s stand on the road and buy various fruits and vegetables; yet, I did not know at that time the benefits and value of locally grown, organic foods. I would like to take the time for my first blog to discuss the negative impact of processed foods.

During class one day, my professor mentioned her friend’s child who was diagnosed with ADHD. She later claimed that her friend changed the child’s eating habits tremendously which resulted in significant behavioral changes. I researched this further and found out that dyes in foods may be correlated to this phenomenon. The University of Southampton found that food additives and colorings led to an increase in “…ADHD-type behaviour, including impulsive behaviour and loss of concentration….” There is also a website located at the bottom of this blog where parents discuss their child’s symptoms and how they have changed in behavior due to diet! Also, according to, just about 80% of American processed foods contain ingredients that are banned in other countries.

With permaculture, we’re cultivating crops that we plant ourselves without the use of pesticides. It’s a nice feeling biting into a fresh piece of lettuce or whichever fresh produce, knowing that it is safe to eat without unknown or hidden health risks. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and if the techniques that I learn are not used in my future career endeavors, I will definitely use what I’ve learned for a personal home garden.

For those of you that happen to have a garden of your own, take a look at your leek if you have any! There have been a few insects within our leek which is a recent and pressing concern for the PA area. Check out these links for further details on allium leafminer:

Happy Gardening,


{Recipe of the Week: Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese}

Credit to

Watch the Video Here:


  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ½ small red onion (diced)
  • Swiss chard
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine


  1. Juice 1 tbsp. lemon juice; put in small bowl (Or purchase cooking lemon juice already squeezed)
  2. Grate 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese; put in small bowl
  3. Mince 1 tbsp. garlic; put in small bowl
  4. Dice ½ small red onion; put in small bowl
  5. Chop off stems of Swiss chard, then chop stems into small pieces
  6. Coarsely chop leaves of Swiss chard
  7. Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat
  8. Add 2 tbsp. butter in skillet
  9. When butter melts, add garlic and onion for 30 seconds
  10. Add in the stems of the Swiss chard
  11. Add ½ cup dry white wine
  12. Simmer for about 5 minutes until stems soften
  13. Stir in chopped Swiss chard leaves until wilted
  14. Stir in lemon juice
  15. Stir in parmesan cheese
  16. Salt to taste (optional)
  17. You’re finished! Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese and/or lemon juice if desired


Website Links

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