Permaculture

O’k CSA is linked to a growing permaculture network in Northern Michigan, and`penny Krebiehl the garden-farmer-artist of O’k CSA has been practicing, teaching and sharing permaculture design and education since 2005, along with many others across the planet.

What is permaculture?

Permaculture is an integrated set of principles and methods for designing, setting up and running sustainable human systems. But that rather technical definition doesn’t quite describe the soul of permaculture, which could be said to be the art of respecting nature and working with it, rather than against it, to cultivate land, plants, animals and people by fostering mutually beneficial relationships between them.

In this sense it’s also the art of achieving the most by doing the least, and you can see this at permaculture farms, where weeds might be allowed to flourish because they’re healing the soil, or where chickens scratch around in the vegetable garden, eating bugs and fertilizing the soil.

Permaculture is about harmony between people and nature. There’s no rocket science to it; it’s grounded in in-depth observation of the natural systems already present on the land. Only when you know how the wind and the sun flow over the land, how the animals move, how the soil is composed and what plants naturally flourish there, can you begin to design a system that truly fits there. On top of observation, permaculture designers use knowledge of traditional farming methods, knowledge of local flora and fauna, and knowledge of cutting edge ‘appropriate technology’, to create human settlements that sit lightly on the earth.
Permaculture is about trying things out and experimenting. It’s about doing what you can do now and seeing what changes result. For example, saving energy by ride sharing or taking the bus, or joining a CSA to support local organic farmers, or taking a composting class (many cities offer these for free) and recycling your yard waste into rich soil for your garden. The way we live now in the US is unsustainable, but we can take lots of small steps to make a difference, and we can get together in communities and help each other to make wider changes. Permaculture encourages us to see solutions, rather than problems – and as such it can be balm to the soul of exhausted activists.
The ethics of permaculture are centered on care: for the earth and for all the living beings upon it, including people. This is a deep ecological viewpoint in which every living being has intrinsic value, because every living being is contributing to the earth’s ecosystem in its own unique way. For a permaculturist, cooperation with other beings, rather than competition, is the key to success. Success is measured in diversity of life, and the well being of all.

A curious thing happens when you study permaculture: you begin to have a sense of optimism about how we really can live as a co-inhabitant of the planet, rather than holding dominion over it.  Permaculture experts are involved in projects worldwide that involve such vital issues as rainwater capture, desert re-greening and soil regeneration. Projects that really work, demonstrating that we can reverse the damage that has been done, restore the health of the earth, and establish sustainable systems that will ensure us a better future.
Taking a permaculture design course will give you answers to these questions and more: “What is our purpose in life?  The driving forces that move us? How do we set our course in a world full of contrary forces and divine chaos? How do we transition from one established way of doing something to a new one?”

Listed here are some of the 2017 permaculture courses, workshops and events that we know are being offered in Northern Michigan. 

SPRING 2017:

March: Home Permaculture series:  “Making your Bountiful Garden a Perennial Polyculture”  4-week class, beginning March 22 thru April 19 (Skipping one week for folks on “spring break”), 510 1/2 Second St., Traverse City, MI 49684

Contact: Penny Krebiehl 231-922-2014 penny.ok.art@gmail.com

April: LLOOF program taking applications, accepting volunteers weekly through O’k CSA Cooperative’s growing season.  Learn garden-farming and permaculture skills in a hands-on intern-type program:  Learning Local on Organic Farms (LLOOF)

Contact: Penny Krebiehl 231-922-2014 penny.ok.art@gmail.com

May:  Realeyes Homestead, One-day workshop, 9775 E. Cherry Bend Rd., Traverse City, MI 49684

Contact: Levi & Brenda Meeuwenberg  231-499-2648  Realeyes Homestead

 

SUMMER 2017:

June: LLOOF program, accepting volunteers weekly through O’k CSA Cooperative’s growing season.  Learn garden-farming and permaculture skills in a hands-on intern-type program:  Learning Local on Organic Farms (LLOOF)

Contact: Penny Krebiehl 231-922-2014 penny.ok.art@gmail.com

July: LLOOF program accepting volunteers, weekly through O’k CSA Cooperative’s growing season.  Learn garden-farming and permaculture skills in a hands-on intern-type program:  Learning Local on Organic Farms (LLOOF)

Contact: Penny Krebiehl 231-922-2014 penny.ok.art@gmail.com

August: Introduction to Permaculture Design, Kingsley, MI, TBA  August 21-25th, with permaculture instructors: Penny Krebiehl, Levi Meeuwenberg; and hosts, Corey & Chelsea Hansen

Contact: Penny Krebiehl 231-922-2014 penny.ok.art@gmail.com

Additional information about permaculture related events and opportunities  shared and posted on the Facebook and web-page for Northern Michigan Permaculture:

https://www.facebook.com/NMIpermaculture/

www.nmipermaculture.org

Pictured below, the most recent group of Permaculture Design Course students from the 2016 TC PDC.

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