Tana Hasart

Permaculture as a Concept for Organizations

by: Tana Hasart – President

While the ground is still too wet, the weather a bit too cool and seedlings already planted, it seems like a good time to refresh gardening principles. Having some time this morning, a refreshing “dig” into the concepts of permaculture directs my thinking to how these concepts apply to our MGFWS work. Here are some insights gleaned from concepts offered by Seeds for the Future, an organization dedicated to changing lives in Guatemala.

  • Our work as a state Foundation includes advocating for all Chapters. This means providing services and support regardless of Chapter size, number of members, location, or financial circumstances. We act in concert with local needs and the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program while providing a unified vision for Chapters across Washington.
  • Our primary focus is carefully studying the capacity of our Board and Foundations at the local level. We plan and design projects and offerings to make the most positive impact on those we serve.
  • We purposefully size activities so that each Chapter, if it wishes to participate, gains strength from what is offered. A great example is the Unifying Foundation Website (UFW) project, where Chapters join as they see a benefit and then receive ongoing support through the lab process.
  • Board Representatives provide invaluable feedback and help set the direction for our activities. They consider local Program capacity and how decisions sustain and strengthen their respective Foundations.
  • We honor and respect the MGFWS’s history while aligning practices with our vision for the future. Changes to the organization’s structure and bylaws are currently underway, helping to improve efficiency and clarity of purpose while remaining consistent with non-profit best practices.
  • We are diligent caretakers of the MGFWS, monitoring finances, identifying new talent, and working to align our work with that of the Program.

So, whether in gardening, landscaping, or organizations, permaculture matters. Designing, knowing the capacity, sizing, moving forward, and sustaining organizations can be daunting, but just like our work as MGs, the resulting “crops” are great indicators of success.

Have a great spring!