can we really restore degraded landscapes?

posted November 9, 2017


New and exciting things are happening at the Permaculture Skills Center. The Eco-Landscape Mastery Course is already underway! It couldn’t be a more opportune time to continue our work educating our communities and ourselves! 

It’s a degraded world out there. So many acres/hectares of landscapes have been destroyed and it’s having negative consequences for humans as well as the environment. Can we really restore these degraded landscapes? Is it possible to scale regeneration? Can we actually create businesses that focus on this vital work? The answer is…YES, YES, YES! Anyone and everyone can do this with the right knowledge. We know YOU can too, and the Eco-landscape Mastery School want to give you the roadmap to make it happen.
The course is ideally suited to:

  • Anyone who wants to start a business in ecological landscape design and contracting.
  • Beginning landscape designers who want to learn best practices and quickly grow a successful landscape design business.
  • Experienced designers, landscapers, and contractors ready to grow their business to the next level through having professional mentorship and business development support.
  • Landscape and maintenance workers who want to grow out of manual labor and into higher paid positions or start and run their own companies.
  • Permaculture practitioners and designers who want to professionalize their work.
  • Consultants who want to establish a successful and professional consultation business.
  • Regenerative agriculturists who want to educate and mentor their clients, neighbors and communities to help them grow and develop successful regenerative agriculture projects.
  • Newly Certified Permaculture Designers who want to add to their learning experience with professional tools to create a permaculture based business of their own.
  • Ecological design educators who want to support their students and colleague’s interests in  providing ecological design professionally to the world.

Are you or someone you know looking to start or scale a regenerative business? Don’t wait! Registration for the Eco-Landscape Mastery Course closes November 14, 2017

Click HERE to read more about the course.


mapping perennials

posted April 4, 2017

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Ever wish you could find every perennial farm any where you went in the country? Turns out you can. Perennial Map provides a great interactive platform for finding perennial farms across the country. Whether you’re looking to network, hire, or just learn more, farms that raise everything from maple syrup to asparagus are listed here. Is your farm missing from the list? It’s free to create a new posting!


posted December 11, 2016

Disillusioned by a cultural story of consumption and alienation, a newly married couple are called to action. Carrying with them their unborn child, they embark on a year-long journey around the UK, searching for the seeds of an alternative culture and with it hope for the future.

we the uncivilized: A Life Story resonates deeply with our sick and nagging sensation that our world of strip malls, fossil fuels, and convenience is not nourishing– in any sense of the word– to the people who live in it. The film is a “grassroots documentary project” that speaks to and with activists, artists, permaculturalists, and others seeking alternative ways of living with each other and within nature.

The film has just wrapped up a year-long tour, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to see it! Organize a screening in your own community. We’d LOVE to see this come to the US.


on radio tues dec. 13: farmer, straw-bale builder, and all around agriculture do-er Erica Frenay

posted December 10, 2016

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Live on Heritage Radio’s Greenhorns Radio show this Tuesday, we’ll interview farmer Erica Frenay of Shelterbelt Farm in Ithaca New York. Erica also works for Cornell’s Small Farms Institute, and her bio on their page should give you an idea of how many rich topics of conversation this interview might follow.

Erica began working for the Small Farms Program in 2006. A former co-manager of Cornell’s student-run farm, she graduated from Cornell in 1998 and moved to Oregon to serve in AmeriCorps. Erica spent 6 years in the Pacific Northwest, working as Project Coordinator for an agricultural land trust and then as Executive Director of an urban educational farm in Portland. In 2005 she completed a 2-year program in Holistic Management. During her long and indirect journey back to Ithaca, Erica and her husband lived on a permaculture farm and nursery in the San Juan Islands for a year, and spent another year working on farms and building with clay and straw in New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Australia. They returned to Ithaca to settle down in the summer of 2005, and five years later started Shelterbelt Farm. Now she works part-time for the Small Farms Program and part-time producing sheep, beef, duck eggs, honey, fruit, and veggies on her farm.


Haiku Aina Permaculture Initiative

posted November 17, 2016

Respected Internet explorers and seekers of Harmony with Nature; welcome to this entry portal, introducing you to our work at the Ha’iku Aina Permaculture Initiative (also known as HAPI).

The project, as we see it, is a way of applying principles of agroforestry and permaculture in an area of rainforest on this beautiful island in the South Pacific Ocean.

Integrating principles and wisdom of native Hawaiian spiritual culture, we are aspiring to create a model of soil renewal, reforestation, and human interaction with nature in a paradigm of respect, harmony, and adherence to the natural law.
Welcome to our vision and our world. We hope you will find something here that can serve and inspire you as well.

(In the Hawaiian Language, which is filled with mysteries and hidden meanings, “HA” represents the Breath of Life – The Spirit, “I” represents The Self, and “KU” means “rising upright” it is the name also given to the Rising Sun. So Hai’ku, the name of the place where our project is located can be said to represent The True Self Standing Upright in Spirit).

 


he may not yuzu, but his dragon flies

posted October 4, 2016

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Greenhorns Blog reader John D. Galuska, Ph.D., followed up our post on the cold-hearty Asian citrus the Yuzu, by sending us some pictures and information about the Flying Dragon fruit. The Flying Dragon is a dwarf cultivar of Trifolate orange, native to China and Korea, and supposedly hearty to USDA zone 6. Galuska, who runs Grown In Town Farmstead in Bloomington, IN, writes:

I’ve been growing Flying Dragon at my urban farm in Bloomington, Indiana for about 6 years (outside year round in Zone 6). The photos I’ve attached are from one of the larger trees I have now. It had a great deal of fruit this year and seems to be thriving. I know of only a few other growers who have mature Flying Dragon trees in Indiana, but the word is spreading.

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There are a few other reports of this citrus around the internet. By some accounts, it is not very tasty, but but there are people out there that use it for a variety of things including a citrus-ade, marmalade, allergy-aid, and syrups.

Do you grow a cold-heart citrus or other rare fruits? We’d love to keep hearing from readers who are pioneering rare fruit varieties in their communities and bio-zones.


posted July 19, 2016

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Looking for some permaculture inspiration? Well, we’ve got some for you! Bustan Qaraaqa, in the West Bank’s Jerusalem, is a “permaculture project promoting sustainable, creative solutions to problems of environmental degradation and food and water insecurity facing the local community.”

Bustan Quraaqa’s website showcases some of the most beautiful and successful permaculture installations we’ve ever seen, with a large emphasis on rainwater harvesting.

Dependence on groundwater is incompatible with a future of water and food security for Palestinian community.  It is also a daily waste of resources chronically depressing agricultural production through soil salination.  The Beit Qad Farm is designed to harvest the winter rain and build soil humidity year after year for a verdant, thriving farm with no need for other water sources.

They research ecological farming techniques, harvest rainwater, and employ a host of environmental educators that teach school and community groups and occasionally offer permaculture design certification. The farm features a tree nursery, a food forest, and structures made from 100% locally recycled products.

We think they’d be a great project to support.


permaculture design intensive, june 24-july 3, gaberville, CA

posted May 31, 2016

Edible Forest Garden Design Intensive
with Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens
June 24 – July 3, 2016, at Heartwood Institute
Scholarships available. Apply early.

In this nine-day intensive course, you will dive deeply into the vision,
theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient edible
ecosystems. Dave Jacke and his teaching team will offer lectures, site walks,
experiential classes, and design exercises to help you understand how the
architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional
processes of natural forests apply to the design of edible ecosystems of all
kinds.

You’ll learn a variety of ecological design processes while designing a range
of food-producing ecosystems for the Heartwood Institute.  You’ll provide
detailed polyculture designs for an actual food forest at Heartwood. We’ll
also engage with issues of garden management, economics, and the deep
paradigmatic shifts required to succeed at co-creating “HumaNatural”
landscapes and cultures. You will leave inspired and empowered to design food
forests at home for yourself and your friends, neighbors and clients.

Lead Instructor:
Dave Jacke is the lead author of the award winning two-volume book Edible
Forest Gardens. Dave has been a student of ecology and design since the 1970s,
and has run his own ecological design firm – Dynamics Ecological Design in
Greenfield, MA – since 1984. Dave is an engaging and passionate teacher of
ecological design and permaculture, and a meticulous designer. In addition to
extensive teaching, he has consulted on, designed, built, and planted
landscapes, homes, farms, and communities in the many parts of the United
States, as well as overseas. A cofounder of Land Trust at Gap Mountain in
Jaffrey, NH, he homesteaded there for a number of years. He holds a B.A. in
Environmental Studies from Simon’s Rock College (1980) and a M.A. in Landscape
Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design (1984).

Come learn & grow with us at Heartwood!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
http://www.heartwoodinstitute.org/programsevents/forest-garden-design-intensive-course


permaculture skills center farm school, july-sept, sebastopol

posted March 6, 2016

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In the summer of 2016, the Permaculture Skills Center in Sebastopol, CA is offering a Farm School, a 10-week intensive on regenerative farming, followed by an integrated 6-month mentorship on independent projects.  The program integrates sustainable design, business planning, and farm operation– blending class, field trips, visits from local experts, and on-farm experience– to give students a holistic education in every aspect of commercial permaculture.

Farm School starts with a 10-week Intensive Course
Sunday – Tuesday, July 10 – September 20, 2016
Followed by a 6 – month mentorship
(one week break from July 31 – August 2)

More details on the program and application at the PSC website. Email Program Coordinator, Lee Foster at lee@permacultureskillscenter.org or call the office at (707) 824-0836 with questions.


peace of earth’s amazing cold storage scheme

posted March 6, 2016

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We have a stubborn and delicious dream that farming can evolve to exist without a constant input of fossil fuels, and Peace of Earth Farm in Albany, VT is dreaming it too! Farmer Rebecca Beidler, has put out a call for support on a super innovative research project to combine the technologies of root cellars and ice houses to create an alternative to energy-reliant walk-in coolers. The farmers need money to complete this project, and they deserve your consideration!
“Peace of Earth Farm is looking to take the principle of using earth as a constant insulator a step farther by adding tanks of water inside the cellar that will freeze during the cold months,utilizing a passive heat exchange system of copper pipes filled with butane. The frozen tanks will slowly melt and cool the space in the summer months in order to meet the cooling needs of the farm year round without electricity.”
While the farm has launched its indiegogo campaign to meet its own needs for cold storage, the farmers have pledged to share all information about the design and outcome with anyone interested. Think of it as a community-backed “grass roots research” that could take us one step closer to reducing our alliance with and dependence on the oil and gas industry.
More information, detailed diagrams, and the opportunity to help are here!