O’k CSA Permaculture & Design: Winter 2016 Update


It’s a good winter day for me to re-share this post on our very O’k work and study of permaculture.   The snow is falling, and today we are expecting 12 to 18 inches, and from the look of the color white outdoors this just may actually happen!  I live in “Snowland” and I like it!

As I sit still and watch the sky and ground covered in white, I can share plans that are underway and that I’m involved with beginning in February and March and continuing throughout the year:

As you may already know, O’k CSA is located in a small, urban-town setting in Traverse City, Michigan.  We are surrounded by a lovely, Northern Michigan, agriculturally rich-water-wonderland, and yes, we get blasts of lake-effect winter winds and storms from time to time.

O’k CSA is in a “begin-again” mind and heart space, ready and willing to contribute to the re-learn and transformation of our home-place and neighborhoods with regenerative ecological, cultural, and economic stewardship ethics and practices.  As designers and garden-farmers, we feel hungry for living truths.  And, we feel this can be known by direct realization of our connectedness to all of nature, for which we are a part, not separate from.   One of the places we are focusing on and gathering in, to meet and learn more about permaculture is our neighborhood O’k CSA garden-farm sites.


Another part of why we do permaculture and what it means is, at its’ simplest, permaculture is an eco-logical approach to design. It can be described as a way of thinking, making decisions and designing things based on observing nature. Permaculture has a set of ethics and design principles which can be applied to physical things – like landscapes or cities – as well as to invisible things – like business models, and our personal lives.

To offer up a nice list of fall/early winter viewing, here is a shared list of favorite permaculture videos (partially complied by Jenny Pell and Permaculture Now):

Geoff Lawton Greening the Desert
Geoff Lawton turns dry desert near the Dead Sea into a food producing green landscape using water harvesting.

Permaculture Water Harvesting
Geoff Lawton founding Director of the Permaculture Research Institute talks about Permaculture Water Harvesting techniques, swales and sillways.

David Holmgren on the Endurance of Suburbia
David Holmgren speaks of his vision of a radically retrofitted, food producing suburbia.

Homegrown Revolution Radical Change Taking Root
A family living in Pasadena, CA shows how it is possible to grow your food in the middle of the city.

Permaculture in Austria
Austria’s Sepp Holzer transformed a fir farm into a commercially viable, ecologically sound farm.

Dryland Permaculture Strategies – Part 1 & 2
Bill Mollison speaks about Dryland Permaculture Systems.

Bill Mollison Talks About his Garden (Global Gardener – Tropics)
Bill Mollison gives us a tour of his garden and explains why living in a permaculture home puts one in the position to travel and teach others.

Temperate permaculture pt 1 the global gardener
Bill Mollison’s Global Gardener series on Temperate Climate

NYC Gardens Urban Permaculture 1 (Bill Mollison – Global Gardener)
Bill Mollison tours a few sustainable gardens in NYC

Jean Pain – English – Part 1 & 2
Jean Pain developed a compost based bio energy system that produced 100% of his energy needs.

Claude William Genest on PBS
Actor turned permaculturist interviewed on PBS during his run for Green Party Deputy Leader in Canada, speaking about Permaculture.

Creating a Graywater System
Trathen Heckman takes us on a step-by-step tour of how to make a safe, ecological and legal suburban home graywater system.

Building a Composting Toilet
A fun one minute video on building a simple composting toilet.

Houses of straw – the rediscovery of strawbale building

Sheet mulch garden
This is a quick video on how to sheet mulch a garden bed.