Michael Judd To Speak about Edible Landscapes in Middleburg

 Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership hosts international permaculture

Michael Judd, who created Ecologia, Edible & Ecological Designs, has designed edible landscapes for people like Top Chef finalist Bryan Voltaggio. He has put his experience and expertise in a new book. Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, which is a how-to manual for the budding gardener and experienced green thumb alike, full of creative and easy-to-follow designs that guide you to having your yard and eating it, too. Judd will be speaking about his book at a program sponsored by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership on April 24. The event will be held from 5–7pm at Goodstone Inn & Restaurant in Middleburg.

Growing up between northern England and the Appalachian mountains of Maryland, Judd’s roots have been branched with diverse landscapes and fertile culture. Mix in a decade of running a grassroots nonprofit in rural Latin America, heading up an arid lands research project in the desert of Spain, and extensive study at the New York Botanic Garden, you end up with an eclectic designer that melds form, function, and productivity seamlessly.

Judd’s start with whole system design began with an opportunity to live with the last of the Lacandon Mayans in southern Mexico along the Guatemalan border. Here he experienced the ancient design practices of the Mayans that ingeniously mimic nature’s patterns to create functional landscapes. About the same time he discovered a parallel design system coming out of Australia, “permaculture,” that applies similar landscape use of the Mayans but adapted to the modern world.

Combining these designs in 2001 he launched an effort called Project Bona Fide. Project Bona Fide started on the volcanic slopes of Ometepe Island in Nicaragua’s southwest corner just above Costa Rica. The project focus has been to create food security through food forest design that maximizes land use for a diversity of harvests. Today in 2014, thirteen years into the project’s inception, 26 acres have grown into a haven of production and examples of linked design systems that mimic nature’s functions while meeting the needs of local economies and ecologies.

As the project stabilized, Judd began to split his time in a parallel universe on the island of Manhattan where he studied the latest in modern design at the New York Botanic Garden. Coupling whole system design learned in Latin America with the form and art of contemporary design, Judd created Ecologia, Edible & Ecological Designs. He won his first commission from Top Chef finalist Bryan Voltaggio to design an edible courtyard at Voltaggio’s flagship restaurant “Volt,” in Frederick, Md.

With the help of more than 200 beautiful color photos and drawings, the permaculture designer and avid grower takes the book’s reader on a step-by-step process to transform a sea of grass into a flourishing edible landscape that pleases the eye as well as the taste buds. With personality and humor, he translates the complexities of permaculture design into simple self-build projects, providing full details on the evolving design process, material identification, and costs.

The cost of the program is $10 and includes light refreshments provided by Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. A cash bar will also be on site. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing after the program. However, pre-registration is required as limited space is available. To register, or for more information, visit www.HallowedGround.org.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the unparalleled history within the swath of land from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to Gettysburg, Pa.

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant in Middleburg, Va., is a country inn and French Country restaurant in the heart of Virginia’s wine and hunt country drawing inspiration and purpose from its location on 265 acres of rolling hills and farmland. For information call 540-687-3333 or visit www.goodstone.com.