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Edible Evanston, a program of Citizens’ Greener Evanston, Evanston’s non-profit champion of sustainability, invites the public to volunteer and/or learn about permaculture at work-and-learn Saturdays from April through June.

The monthly events take place at the Eggleston Anniversary Food Forest and Orchard in Eggleston Park, Payne Street at McCormick Blvd., a diverse planting of perennial edible trees, shrubs and fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs designed to mimic the natural balance of a forest by utilizing permaculture principles.

The community can get involved and learn about the group’s permaculture efforts by attending classes, helping to maintain the Food Forest or helping plan its future. All events are free; donations are welcome.

A special program, “Permaculture: All about Guilds,” will be offered May 6 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Participants will learn about guilds, the foundation of Food Forest design, and about the component plants and the philosophy behind this permaculture-rooted approach. Though class will be held in the Food Forest, many of the ideas are applicable to any garden. Registration is at edibleevanston.org.

Edible Evanston also has volunteer work days for individuals, families and groups the third Saturday of every month.

The Saturday events start with shared work and conclude with a short class or demonstration and sharing of food, stories and song. In general, work starts at 11 a.m.; class starts around 1:15 p.m. Edible Evanston can arrange special volunteer days for groups as needed. (More information is available at foodforestcommittee@edibleevanston.org.) A waiver will be required to participate. Though registration is not required, the group appreciates advance sign-ups at edibleevanston.org.

2018 Educational Work-and-Learn Days Schedule

April 21: Straw bale planting. Grow a garden in bales of straw, a great alternative to containers and soil for paved areas and contaminated plots, or to create a living border. May 19: Rain garden presentation and demo/planting. Learn how to handle wet areas and grow plants that not only enjoy water but can tolerate periods of drought. June 16: Raised bed demo. Find out from experienced New Gardeners program leaders how simple it is to construct a raised bed.June 30, 2-3:30 p.m.: Medicinal herbs, teas and tincturesAll events take place at Eggleston Anniversary Food Forest & Orchard, 2100 Hartrey Ave., south of Payne Street, west of Bridge Street, north of McCormick Boulevard.