WHAT IS ETPRI?
ETPRI is the East Tennessee Permaculture Research Institute, a new non-profit venture growing at the Sustainable Future Center in South Knoxville. We are following a pattern created by Geoff Lawton who started the first Permaculture Research Institute at his farm in Australia several years ago. Since then Geoff has encouraged others to follow his lead and establish similar Institutes in various climates around the world. There are over twenty “certified” Institutes at this time; ETPRI would be the first in an American ‘temperate climate zone.’
Our aim is to teach Permaculture design and practice both through formal classes and by creating a demonstration site on our property. Permaculture employs a number of elements that are designed to work with nature to increase agricultural yields while enriching the land. Our demonstrations will give people a hands-on chance to see this practice in action.
Over the years, Permaculture has extended far beyond its agricultural ‘roots’ as the emphasis has shifted to the ‘culture’ part of the term. It has become about sustainability and self-sufficiency in general, and about forming vibrant, healthy communities.
For us, it’s all about building such a community here in the Vestal area of South Knoxville and sharing what we learn with like-minded people. This is our long-term goal. We hope you can join us.