Category Archives: education

2014 Greywater Classes in Ashland, Oregon

 Part 1: Learn!
An info session for the greywater-curious Thurs, Mar 6 , 6:30-8:30pm North Mountain Park in Ashland$25

Part 2: Install!
A hands-on Saturday installation workshop
Sat, Mar 8, 9 am – 4pm Squawking Hawk Acres near Ashland $75

More info at (541) 821-7260
Register online at City of Ashland’s Parks & Recreation website

Part 1 It’s not hard to install a greywater system in your home, but it’s also not hard to do it wrong! In this info session we’ll help you get it right by looking at how systems are designed, installed, and permitted, and how to choose a greywater system that’s right for you. We’ll have all the specialized parts and a sample system on hand. Bring your questions!

Part 2 We’ll build on the info from Part 1 by actually installing a simple washing machine greywater system. Students will learn to safely and competently install the interior hardware adn exterior mulch basins that make up a classic “Laundry2Landscape” system. Students are encouraged to bring questions and info about their own sites, work clothes, gloves, and lunch.

Instructor Malena Marvin is the only Certified Greywater Installer in southern Oregon and runs Elemental Design/Build, a small company using natural patterns and flows to inform design of beautiful and innovative human habitat, indoors and out.

Winter Dreams Summer Garden…

Ver2_2013_WDSG_Takeaways (2)

I’ll be bringing the demonstration Laundry to Landscape greywater system to the 2013 Winter Dreams symposium this fall. Put on by the Jackson County Master Gardener’s Association, the symposium is Saturday, November 2nd from 9 to 5 pm at the RCC/SOU Higher Ed Center in downtown Medford.

This is a great chance to learn cool new stuff, with four workshop slots and 10 great workshops to choose from in each slot. I know I’ll be staying after my presentation all day and learning about fermentation, mushroom cultivation, and landscape design from the experts in our valley – what fun!

Spring unfurls like a fern!

The unfurling of ferns is a good metaphor for Elemental Design/Build this spring, as we spiral out into our first round of workshops and events in Ashland. The unfurling of ferns can also be good eating, and we’re currently investigating their viability as a greywater-fed backyard crop.

These are actually non edible fiddleheads from a Cyatheales tree fern I saw unfurling down in Los Angeles, where spring is a little ahead of us here in Jefferson State.

These are actually non edible fiddleheads from a Cyatheales tree fern I saw unfurling down in Los Angeles, where spring is a little ahead of us here in Jefferson State.

I’m finalizing dates now for Ashland events, including an evening greywater talk (March 30th) as well as our first hands on workshop on greywater systems (May 3rd-5th). I’ve also scheduled presentations at Ashland Green Drinks (April 29th) and PechaKucha Night Ashland (March 24th), an awesome and inspiring event sponsored by Elemental Design/Build and Standing Stone Brewing Co.

When I lived in Vermont, fiddleheads were a favorite spring vegetable, wildcrafted by chefs and the general public alike. They’re not commonly eaten here in southern Oregon, presumably because our arid climate makes them less readily available and there are questions about edibility of native species. Redirecting greywater can introduce a constant source of nutrient-rich water to our landscapes, creating wet microclimates that can support ferns and other edibles right out our back doors.

Ostrich, lady, shield, and bracken ferns are recommended by Sam Thayer at Forager’s Harvest, though bracken ferns require cooking for edibility. These varieties range in size, flavor, and light requirements, but can be dependable understory elements in your personal food forest. I’ll be trying a few of these species experimentally as edible accents in my shady greywater garden this spring. Come to one of our events this spring to learn more!