CE Course: Edible and Native Plants of WNC

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CE Course: Edible and Native Plants of WNC

Tue November 21, 2023 @ 2:00 PM 4:00 PM

Edible and Native Plants of Western North Carolina: Green Built Alliance Fall 2023 Workshops

This course introduces the concept of edible and native plants for landscaping. Participants will be introduced to more than 40 edible and attractive landscaping plants, many of which are native. All of these plants either feed people, feed wildlife, build soil, and/or feed other plants while remaining an attractive addition to the landscape. They will learn how to work with clients and specific sites to meet the needs of the residents and the plants.

Participants will leave the class with a better understanding of what plants are available for edible and native landscaping. They should feel confident in incorporating at least a few edible and/or native plants into a landscape on future projects and how to communicate the benefits of these plants to their clients.

This course has been approved as a two-hour elective course eligible for continuing-education credit through the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. The hours additionally apply toward Green Built Alliance’s Regenerative Professional Accreditation. The class may also meet continuing-education criteria for other organizations; please email danny@greenbuilt.org with questions related to qualifying for continuing education.

Instructor bio: 

Laura Ruby is a Certified Permaculture Teacher, founder of YummyYards, cofacilitator of the Wild Abundance Permaculture Design Course, and co-owner of a 56-acre permaculture education center and event space, The Ruby Roost.

Laura started YummyYards to help families grow food where they live and support people who want to create or expand their aesthetic and edible gardens. Laura believes these two types of gardens do not need to be separate. Instead, they can ebb and flow to create a more resilient, productive and beautiful outdoor living space.

Laura was born with a strong, inborn love of plants and animals. But it wasn’t until she earned her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2002 from Crystal Waters EcoVillage in Australia that she understood how to work with them sustainably, through whole systems design. After this experience, and graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in environmental science, she started working with the Growe Foundation, designing and implementing gardens at 14 elementary schools. While working here, she went back to school to earn a Master of Business Administration from Green Mountain College.

When Laura moved to Western North Carolina in 2013, she immediately started working with other landscapers and nurseries in the Asheville area. Through volunteering with The Fruit and Nut Club, she took a position with The Roots Foundation. She is currently their Director of Curriculum. Presently, she is working with teachers in Asheville City Schools and developing multi-disciplinary, real world, project-based learning lessons for grades K-7 at the Roots Foundation. She also co-designed many of the outdoor learning classrooms at Vance Elementary School of Ecology.

Some of her most fun teaching and designing highlights include: co-teaching and co-facilitating the first for-credit Permaculture Design Course at the University of Colorado; teaching the first Permaculture Design course for 11- to 17-year-olds through Colorado University’s Science Discovery Program; running the urban farming segment for the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, CO; co-facilitating a permaculture design course at the GrowHaus in Denver, CO; and designing and teaching a permaculture course for Jamaican residents at the Source Farm in Johns Town, Jamaica.