Create Edible Landscaping with May 3 Eco Family Conference

AMES, Iowa – Learn how to emulate nature with permaculture during the May 3 Virtual Eco Family Conference taught by Fred Meyer, chair and executive director of Backyard Abundance. Meyer will teach about the principles of permaculture and how to mimic nature to produce food in small spaces.

Meyer's presentation is part of the online conference series from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Edible landscaping fits in perfectly with permaculture,” said Meyer.

Meyer will focus on 10 principles of permaculture. The two most common principles are that the landscaping must have multiples functions and the functions must interconnect.

“Everything in nature performs multiple functions,” Meyer said. “Through this class, people can get an idea of how to landscape so their yards perform multiple, interconnecting functions and are pleasing to the eye."

The May session is the fifth in the online conference series from ISU Extension and Outreach. On the first Thursday of each month through June, a 90-minute webinar will feature a different speaker addressing a different environmental topic. All sessions begin at 7 p.m. Iowans may still register for the conference series.

To participate in the conference, families need a computer with high-speed Internet access, speakers or headphones and microphone, if they wish to speak to the instructor. They also can communicate with the instructor by typing their questions or comments in the online chat box. The registration fee is $15 per person. Once registered, participants will receive log-in directions for accessing the virtual classroom for all conference sessions.

Conference coordinators Kristi Cooper and Brenda Schmitt are ISU Extension and Outreach family program specialists. The Virtual Eco Family Conference series is designed to help Iowans think about environmental issues and practical action steps they can take in their own home and neighborhood, noted Cooper. The online conference series is part of a new initiative from ISU Extension and Outreach to help Iowans make conscious decisions about the environment, Schmitt added.

Register for Remaining Sessions

“This session is for people interested in growing their own food and who live in town,” Cooper said.

You still can register and participate in the remaining sessions of the conference, Cooper said. For registration information, contact Cooper at 319-377-9839 ( or Schmitt at 641-512-0650 ( The registration form is online; print it, complete it and mail with a check for $15 to ISU Extension and Outreach, P.O. Box 368, Allison, IA 50602.

About Backyard Abundance

Backyard Abundance is an environmental education, nonprofit organization from Johnson County. The organization was founded to provide people with the knowledge and tools that help improve the health of local environments.

The organization helps build vibrant communities by creating beautiful, resilient landscapes that provide healthy food and habitat. Backyard Abundance provides consultation services, presentations and workshops. For more information on the organization, visit the website at,