I’m excited to be planning and organizing several permaculture trainings, courses and workshops this summer, as well as, work and learn alongside of permi-folks!
Coming up very soon, and just before our summer season “officially” begins, I’ll be teaching an Introduction to Permaculture and Soils, with educator, Craig Schaaf, at the Bakers’ Green Acres Farm in Marion, Michigan through their Anyone Can Farm program.
Taking a permaculture course can be very inspiring, and for me and many others awakens a whole load of creativity, positivity and eagerness to be a part of the solutions for our world. I took my first permaculture course in 2005, with several more to follow. Why did I repeat a permaculture course? I wasn’t “held back” nor did I fail the course, I decided to continue my study and apprenticeship, because of the value of learning from many different teachers. Each have a shared permaculture language, yet, their learning paths and experiences, allow for sharing a unique, passionate understanding and skill set.
In 2009 I traveled out to NY state and completed an intensive and incredibly valuable Permaculture Teacher Training with, Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens. Since that time, I’ve also worked alongside of permaculture teachers, Peter Bane, author of Garden Farming for Town and Country, and Keith D. Johnson, who are also editor and co-editor of the Permaculture Activist Magazine. I feel honored to continue my study and practice of permaculture with a plethora of experienced teachers and students and have only named a very few here, but definitely recognize and credit them with being amazing, inspiring mentors.
Through the years of adopting my own permaculture life-style practice and then starting to teach, I realized that permaculture was more than just gardening and it could be used to really transform our lives and transform our relationships and turn us all into happier, healthier people. I’ve always planned my “career” and paid work around the needs of my family, and included my own children in the design of my working hours. Since 1997, I’ve worked at and tweaked a creative curriculum which has ultimately taught permaculture to children as young as age five, through college age. I’m pleased to say that in teaching my most recent permaculture design course in North West Michigan in 2012, I was able to work alongside of a remarkable group of adults, upwards to 69 years old.
Much information about permaculture is available electronically, in books and published on the web. But honestly, the most valuable learning experiences have happened when I’ve been immersed in a learning and sharing community that an on-site permaculture course offers. The people part of learning permaculture in a class or workshop setting is a way to consciously mimic what happens in the natural world, and has proven over and over again to be an amazing adventure in knowledge-based skill sharing.
In permaculture design we try to turn around the limiting factors of a system, so if we’ve got something that’s limiting us it becomes one of the aspects we pay attention to in our design. This is where we ask – how can we use the permaculture principles and design in all areas of our lives?
I’m pleased to share my skills, passion and along side-learning of Permaculture Design with you!
What is Permaculture?
Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fiber and energy for provision of local needs.” Permaculture is a positivist response to a shared perception that we are reaching a fossil fuel-supported energy peak and will soon descend into a low energy future (if we haven’t already begun the descent). “Positvist” means permaculture is “about what we want to do and can do, rather than what we oppose and want others to change. This response is both ethical and pragmatic, philosophical and technical.
A Design System—An Integrated & Integrative Design Science
Permaculture is the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organizing framework for implementing the above vision. It draws together the diverse ideas,skills,and ways of living which need to be rediscovered and developed…to empower us to move from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible and productive citizens. Permaculture is holistic, not reductionist science. It aims to reintegrate us into the natural world, not separate us from it further.
A worldwide network of individuals and groups working in both rich and poor countries on all continents to develop, demonstrate and spread permaculture design solutions.
Permaculture Ethics and Principles
The key elements of permaculture as a design system are its ethics and principles. An array of solutions for specific design problems is of secondary, though immediately practical importance. Both the principals and solutions are evolving and varying.
The idea behind permaculture principals is that generalized principles can be derived from the study of both the natural world and pre-industrial sustainable societies, and that these will be universally applicable to fast-track the post-industrial development of sustainable use of land and resources.
Permaculture principals are brief statements or slogans which can be remembered as a checklist when considering the inevitably complex options for design and evolution of ecological support systems. These principles are seen as universal, although the mehods which express them will vary greatly according to place and situation. By still developing extension, these principles are also applicable to our personal, economic, social and political reorganization.
For more information on the 2013-14 O’k Permaculture Design workshops and courses, please contact me: