May 24-June 6, 2015 – Monteverde Cloud Forest Costa Rica – Permaculture Design Course and Natural Building Workshop

CostaRicaBridge

May 24-June 6

Learn about permaculture design in the Monteverde Cloud Forest of Costa Rica!

We will deliver our internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate Course at the illustrious Monteverde Institute.

The course will incorporate visits to the local farms and communities, and the rich ecosystem of the cloud forest – students will be immersed in both the culture and natural world and will design from that experience. Following the course, there will be further opportunities to learn natural building, alternative energy and the ecology of the area and to apprentice at Monteverde..

This is ideal for those who want to start their summer through immersion in the subject of permaculture in a beautiful and exotic location and is the perfect launch for a summer in Central/South America. The weather in the cloud forest is mild all year; this time of year is a great time to visit.

Housing will be available in tents or in homes of local Costa Ricans. Hotels in various price ranges are also available for those who prefer that. Healthy food will be served with a vegan option and yoga classes will be available. The Monteverde Institute has a number of permaculture systems in place and would like to have more. There will be hands on and opportunities to see existing systems.

For those who want an even more comprehensive experience, the Design Course will be packaged with an immersive program that includes a hands on Natural Building and greywater workshop, where we will build structures for the Institute that will be used to educate locals and visitors on sustainable building practices. The natural building program is five days and will include several forms of building including cob, straw bale and more. We will build a small structure at the Institute.

The Mission of the Monteverde Institute is to advance sustainable living at the local and global level through place-based education, applied research and collaborative community programs. This aligns closely with our mission and we are proud to partner with this institute in offering this course.

Make a difference, while learning permaculture!

Early bird rate is $1250, and includes two meals per day (breakfast and mid-day), all field trip costs, and tent camping. There are a number of local cafes, a farmer’s market and grocery stores to choose from for dinner. Add only $100 for homestays. It is recommended that you speak at least some Spanish if you elect a home stay. It is a wonderful way to learn about the country and get to know the people! All three meals are included in the homestay price.

We are planning an inspiring line up of local speakers and tours as well as our own instruction. These include tours of the cloud forest and of local farms that are using permaculture, and lectures and hands on workshops given by local experts including wild edibles, reforestation, biodigesters, preserving water quality, local economics and culture, and more.

We will soon post a thorough FAQ with info about ID needed to enter the country, what to bring, what to be aware of, etc. You will fly into San Jose and we recommend you come a day early if possible (May 23) and stay one night in San Jose, so that you can tour the famous and delightful Farmer’s Market in San Jose. You will ride a bus to the site, and the bus will return you to San Jose on the 7th of June.

We will post more details about specific programming. Expect that we will include the comprehensive materials from our PDC (that allow you to continue your studies with focus and direction, long after the course), we will incorporate hands on and team learning, we will tour the Cloud Forest and local farms, and hear from locals about local eco-systems, water issues, sustainable economic models, and more, all within the context of whole systems, regenerative design. We are planning a magical and memorable experience for you!

If you are actively working as a volunteer or for a non-profit in the area of social justice or are a student majoring in a related field, please contact us for special rates.

Once you are paid in full and registered we will send you a course materials package with study guides. It is recommended that you study as much as you can of the materials before you arrive for the course, as you will get more out of this intensive learning experience!

For more information, contact: cathy@growpermaculture.com, 727-495-6145

Early bird cost for PDC, before March 15, 2015:  $1250

After March 15, the price is $1400

Natural building workshop: $495 until March 15, $550 afterwards, includes two meals and housing

Early bird package rate (PDC plus cob building): $1700

A non-refundable deposit of $300 will hold your spot. Due to the commitments we make to our hosts and locals based on enrollment, we cannot refund your tuition unless we cancel the program in which case it will be refunded in full. But if you are unable to attend because of emergency, your tuition will always can be applied to any future service provided by Grow Permaculture including on line classes.

For information about travel and what to bring see our FAQ here.

The natural building course will run from June 8 to June 12. This class will be delivered in partnership with the Institute.

Lead instructor:
Koreen Brennan
(bio)

Natural building instructor:
Karen George
Build Like a Bird

Other instructors:
Aaron Bernel-Hockman
Andrea Arbetin
Sofia Arce
Victorino Molino
Willow Zuchowski
Fabricio Camacho
Patricia Jimenez

FAQ:  http://www.growpermaculture.com/courses-upcoming/131-faq-for-travel-to-costa-rica.html

Urban Permaculture Design Course Fall, 2015-2016

1797568_415148638619958_1118291950_nThis is Grow Permaculture’s 14th internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification Course, based on Bill Mollison’s work. This course will unfold one weekend per month over seven months, from Oct 17, 2015, to March 2016. Permaculture design offers regenerative techniques, tools and design principles to enable you to live abundantly while caring for the environment and the people around you. Grow food with less work and expense, create stronger economic networks, and increase your overall quality of life, while using less, and helping the environment.

By cooperating with nature and her energies, we are able to design human systems, from backyards to neighborhoods, farms or even cities to be more abundant, more long lasting, more ethical, healthier for all life in the system, and more enjoyable. It is a cutting edge approach to living that helps both people and the environment.

The course is designed to offer multiple opportunities including career mentoring and pathways, community building opportunities, resource networking, skill building, as well as what is for many, a life changing experience. The course is extended over seven months to give students maximum time to absorb the information and put it into practice. This also allows people with busy schedules to take the course.

We continue to refine and expand our curriculum based on feedback from dozens of students regarding what helps them learn best. We incorporate multiple learning styles including hands on, visual aids, immersion, lecture, interaction, and more. Our choice of materials, videos, expert speakers, field trips, focused hands on activities (that give you step by step useful skill sets), Florida-specific information, well-organized written materials, networking and career opportunities, and design tools are the result of this feedback. We live in this community and care about its future and we continue to work with graduates in the community to create something better, together.

Homes, work places, gardens, farms, communities, local economies, or cities that are designed with permaculture principles and techniques are more resilient; they use resources in a regenerative way, ensuring that we, our children and our grandchildren will have access to all the resources we need. By incorporating people care into the equation, this process becomes deeply enjoyable too. Students meet others who think like they do, and often make life long friendships during the course; some find new career or lifestyle opportunities. Be the change you would like to see, and be effective at it, by designing that change!

Some of the subjects covered include:

  • Permaculture design ethics and principles

  • Creating abundance with natural patterns

  • Organic gardening and farming

  • Grow more food with less work by working with nature

  • Edible landscaping, food in small spaces

  • Soil building

  • Designing sustainable water use

  • Greywater and rainwater catchment

  • Building food forests

  • Agroforestry and ecoagriculture

  • Aquaculture

  • Composting and vermicomposting

  • Alternative pest management

  • Natural building, regenerative building technology

  • Reducing energy costs in your home

  • Best forms of sustainable energy

  • Appropriate technology

  • Boosting your career with permaculture

  • Sustainable economies

  • Increasing quality of life through “placemaking” design

  • Community revitalization and rebuilding

  • Successful intentional communities, ecovillages and cohousing, urban and rural

Here’s what our graduates say:

This course changed my life forever. It changed the way I look at everything, and gave me tools to address problems I thought had no solutions. It reinvigorated my connection to, respect for and love of the natural world and increased my understanding of it tremendously. It made me feel powerful and able to change things rather than helpless or apathetic. It gave me hope again, a renewed purpose for life and so many tools that I never dreamed existed! It brought back magic to my life, lightness, and fun! GH
This course is the most exciting one I’ve ever attended because it’s all about finding solutions and connecting people together. JJ
I’ve had my permaculture friends tell me this course changed their life. I never understood why, or what the fuss was about, until I did the course myself. It is a paradigm shift to a much nicer and better paradigm. Don’t hesitate to do this course! DM
I really enjoyed the whole PDC experience. I knew I would, but it was even better than I had thought. I loved the detailed theoretical classes in which I learned how to build soil, how to make it faster than it would happen naturally, how plants benefit each other. I also liked the hands on experiences a lot, it made many concepts so much clearer. I enjoyed the teacher’s methods, and the warmth of the teachers’ helpers. It was a learning experience in every single level not to mention a great opportunity to meet nice people and grow.  Thanks!!! MM
I am so grateful for your instruction Koreen, truly a wonderful and transformational experience. I will treasure and put in practice the permaculture ethics & principles every day, integrating them in my immediate environment and eventually reach out to my community. Thanks again for the excellent course, honored to have your friendship and be a part of the Grow Permaculture tribe. MO
After participating in Grow Permaculture’s PDC, I feel confident that I can accurately evaluate a variety of sites and come up with integrated, sustainable designs. LB
The instructors have a wealth of knowledge and it’s clear they really want to share. I feel confidenct, after attending their PDC course, that I could make basic designs that would work well for any potential client. Knowing that they will review any plans encourages me to jump right in and design! MN

The unity of the group was awesome. The shared knowledge very inspiring. Learning this way with the hands on demonstration, I could understand more of the school. And thank you so much for all your teachings and welcoming of Dylan.  Very grateful, DM
I would highly recommend this course, taught by Koreen and her associates to anyone who has great concern for the future of this planet and the destructive path it is on. Permaculture is the solution we have all been waiting for. As permaculturists, “We are the ones we have been waiting for” to save ourselves from ourselves. Koreen is incredibly knowledgeable and has experienced many areas of the world first hand. If you have been feeling at a loss and discouraged this is your last chance to educate yourself as if the earth herself were revealing her deepest secrets on how you can help her. This is what permaculture is. Grow Permaculture far exceeded my expectations, even after years of experience working with organic gardening methods already. This is just the tip of the iceberg on how much is available for you to learn as you will find out. The depth of how very differently agriculture and water managment and land useage really need to be can’t be stressed enough. SK
Thank you very much for this amazing course. The setting was ideal. The fact of being able to practice on real ground was invaluable. The presentation was very lively and instructive and really opened my eyes on how good design takes care of both the earth, the people and creates a surplus without waste. I love permaculture principles and how thoroughly and thoughful they are and how caring. JB
I am Graduate of Grow Permaculture’s Permaculture Design Course. I am very impressed with the quality and professionalism that I experienced during the course. I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It was a great balance of theory and practical training. I feel very prepared and confident going forward with the new knowledge I have. I have made some very big improvements in the way my company conducts business. Our business is all about tree preservation & creating a healthier planet. I acquired the knowledge and ability to create a “truly” regenerative company. I am very grateful for the expert knowledge, compassion and competence of my teacher & Mentor, Koreen. Thank you for creating a better planet one student at a time. NN
The value of this course is worth far more than its cost. The knowledge gained is really priceless. There is so much information provided that is life changing and really valuable. I was told that I can save more than the cost of the course if I use only a portion of the information provided. This was true, but what wasn’t said is that I got something from it that is really hard to put a price on which is life long friends, and a new, creative view about life. CS

Who Takes This Permaculture Design Course?

  • Artists

  • Do it yourselfers

  • Educators – homeschool, teachers, professors

  • Gardeners

  • Green architects/builders

  • Green consultants

  • Homesteaders

  • Landscapers

  • Natural health practitioners

  • Non-profit/community organizers

  • People who care about the earth and each other

  • People who love healthy food

  • Permaculturists

  • Policy makers

  • Professionals (of many types)

  • Recent college graduates

  • Students

  • Urban and rural farmers

  • Vegan, raw food, slow food, and/or local food

  • Yoga practitioners

Permaculture Design Course

Moccasin Lake Nature Park

2750 Park Trail Lane

Clearwater, FL 33759

727-793-2976

Saturdays and Sundays

Seven Weekends over Six Months

9 AM to 5 PM

Special Early Bird rate will go toward our volunteer work at Pine Ridge reservation:

$990 until Aug 20, 2014

To register for entire course or individual weekends

Call Cathy at 727-495-6145 or write cathy@growpermaculture.com

Or Register via PayPal on right side of this web site near the top of the site

Please note, tuition is non-refundable unless course is canceled by us, but may be applied to any other courses or services delivered by Grow Permaculture

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Detailed breakdown of dates and topics for Tampa Bay weekend PDC

Below you will find a schedule of Fall 2014 PDC, and some of the highlights that we will cover for each weekend. The schedule for fall 2014 will be similar, but somewhat revised because of different field trip dates. Stay tuned for an update of the fall schedule soon! We provide glossaries, outlines, additional written materials, self-testing material, videos and more, to assist you to access and absorb the information. Please note that there are sometimes changes in this line up based on needs of students/instructor availability (we have sometimes had surprise visits by veteran designers for instance).

Weekend One

Permaculture principles, patterns and design

9 AM to 5 PM

Oct 17-18,2015

  • Learn to work with nature, instead of against her

  • Apply permaculture principles and design in any setting or circumstance

  • Recognize and use the patterns of nature to increase abundance

  • Get practical tools that can be immediately applied to your life to increase abundance and quality of life

  • Hands on design techniques – zones, assessments, sectors, mapping, and more

  • We will cover an overview of the scope of what permaculture is and what it can do for your life and your community

The first morning of this course is FREE!

To register for this or all weekends, call Cathy Bersier at 727-495-6145

www.growpermaculture.com

Weekend Two

Secrets of the natural world – energy patterns of trees, water, land

November 21-22, 2015

9 AM – 5 PM

  • Special guest instructor

  • How to bring the magic of nature into every aspect of an urban environment through conscious design

  • Think like an ecosystem

  • Climates, strategies for temperate, drylands, tropical, subtropical and changing weather patterns

  • Rainwater catchment and sustainable water use

  • The transactions of trees – mimic the powerful energy transactions of trees in your design

  • Simple  secrets of building soils – how to grow lush, healthy plants anywhere

  • Broadscale applications with water and soil – transforming the landscape

  • Hands on techniques for preparing your land for regenerative abundance

To register for this or all weekends, call Cathy Bersier at 727-495-6145

or go to www.growpermaculture.com

Weekend Three

Growing food sustainably and abundantly

Work with nature instead of against her to create abundant organic gardens

and “food forests” that need little work to maintain.

December 12-13, 2015

9 AM – 5 PM

  • How to grow food in Florida, the easy way, from seed to harvest

  • Jump-starting a food supply – feed yourself within one season

  • Integrated pest management (organic)

  • How to design and build a Florida friendly forest garden – plant lists, guilds, step by step implementation, propagation, low-water and no-water techniques, and more

  • Animals in a permaculture system

  • Hands on techniques

  • Container gardening, aquaculture, urban farming, agroforestry, small integrated farms, making a living by growing food

  • Wrap up of food forestry specifics – designing, plant choices, etc

To register for this or all weekends, call Cathy Bersier at 727-495-6145

or go to www.growpermaculture.com

Field Trips and Hands-On Activities

See what is going on locally that will impact our future, get hands on experience,

and define careers and purpose.

Dates – January 2016

  • Get into the garden and plant! Hands on intensive will assist you to integrate classroom learning.

  • See examples of permaculture in action.

  • See “green” buildings, organic farms, etc, and get feedback from experts on how to improve the designs using permaculture principles.

Weekend Four

The built environment and appropriate technology

February 2016

9 AM – 5 PM

  • Learn to retrofit your built environment to reduce costs and help the environment

  • Ctting edge “green building” and how to solve problems of the built environment yourself with creative, low cost or no cost solutions.

  • Natural building techniques

  • Alternative energy and technology

  • Appropriate tech workshop – solar power, rocket stoves, and more

  • Putting it all together – integrating the off grid homestead for maximum production

To register for this or all weekends, call Cathy Bersier at 727-495-6145

or go to www.growpermaculture.com

Weekend Five

    Financial and social permaculture – invisible structures

March 2016

9 AM – 5 PM

  • Creating a regenerative local economy

  • Alternative approaches to creating abundance – how and why do time banks, local currencies, etc, work?

  • Business and community guilds; how to create abundance through connection

  • Social, economic and energy aspects of city and town life – practical solutions that work

  • Urban design – visible and invisible structure design for the specific challenges in cities and towns

  • Community building strategies and social permaculture

  • Intentional communities, increasing quality of life through permaculture design

To register for this or all weekends, call Cathy Bersier at 727-495-6145

or go to www.growpermaculture.com

Weekend Six

Saturday: Disaster permaculture – creating resilient systems, where do we go from here?

Design presentations

April 2016

9 AM –56 PM

  • Efficient ways to create more resilience for yourself, family and community.

  • Design for disaster – key elements to understand.

  • Where do we go from here? Options and resources.

  • Sunday: Really Free Market, design presentations, and afterparty

To register for this or all weekends, call Cathy at 727-495-6145, write info@permaculture.com

or go to www,growpermaculture.com

Financial Permaculture – Miami – May 31-June 4

FPC 14 Poster (BRENNAN) May 31 [New] (1)

Natural Building at Pine Ridge – August, 2014

This summer, for three weeks we will immerse ourselves in natural building at Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. You will learn to timber frame, build with cordwood, cob and straw bale on a walipini green house and a mixed media building. Dates: Aug 1-Aug 20. Further details to be announced. Set aside the dates on your calendar!

You can read more in depth and support our fundraiser for this if you feel moved to do so, at:

http://funds.gofundme.com/index.php?route=edit2/customize&url=ac3gyw&new=&start=

These structures will be built at the Oglala-Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitilization Initiative (OLCERI), an experimental and demonstration permaculture site on the reservation.  The greenhouse, designed by the Lakota founder of OLCERI , Bryan Deans, will be passively heated and cooled, and used for an experimental aquaponics system. These buildings are designed to create pathways to more sustainability, self-reliance, and resilience.

Additionally, you will have opportunities to learn other skills such as animal care, water conservation, erosion control and more.

Other volunteer positions available through the summer and into fall. We need gardeners especially, starting in late May.  Please sign up for our newsletter for further news on these offerings, or check back on our site!  Also, sign up in our Facebook group too: https://www.facebook.com/groups/permablitzpineridge/

Kid’s Permaculture Camp!

kidsWe’ll be holding a one week permaculture kid’s day camp this summer from June 16-20 at Moccasin Lake Park. This is our first kid’s activity in Florida and we’re excited.

This will be a weeklong immersion in the magic and beauty of the natural world, in the context of learning permaculture principles. Kids ages 8-12 will experience Coyote Mentoring while learning wilderness skills, how natural systems operate, and permaculture principles, all through action and observation learning in this beautiful 50 acre park.

Activities will include:

Basic tracking skills
Team building
Planting seeds and plants
Native American skills
Observing nature through a variety of fun, active exercises
Designing with nature
Easy wild edibles
Etc

Cost: $75-125

For more information or to register, contact Moccasin Lake Park at: https://www.myclearwater.com/gov/depts/parksrec/summercamp.asp

Enrollment is limited and class is expected to fill up – so register early!

Teachers:

Koreen Brennan – homeschooler and long time educator, Koreen loves taking kids into the woods and sharing the magic of nature. She has done so in the Redwood Forests, Everglades, Colorado Mountains, Sonoran Desert, and in backyards  all over. Koreen uses Coyote Mentoring, action learning, and other immersion learning techniques, and kids love it!

Jayne Cobb – as a Montessori teacher for many years, Jayne understands kids and what gets them excited and motivated. Her kids’ garden is so successful that it is now being replicated in other areas and she has spoken on a national level about educating through nature.

Benefit Corporations – are they a solution?

What if corporations had to prove they were having a net and material positive impact on society and the environment?

A Benefit, or “B” Corporation status is a relatively new legal structure for public corporations available in some, but not all states. It addresses some of the most problematic corporate law that encourages businesses to operate criminally. It isn’t a full solution but a step in the right direction. “The  purpose of a benefit corporation is to create general public benefit, which is defined as a material positive impact on society and the environment.” (Wikepedia)

What if all corporations had to demonstrate twice yearly in a questionnaire that their operations were having a material positive impact on society and the environment?  What if shareholders had to demand that of the company they invested in?

This is a paradigm shift from the current model, where shareholders can and do sue companies that put people or the planet ahead of next quarter’s profits.

Of course, material positive impact is a relative term. But B Lab, the non-profit behind the creation of B Corporate structure appears serious about addressing environmental and social issues. http://www.bcorporation.net/

This legal structure allows corporations who feel that people and planet are important to make a public statement about that. It also protects them from greedy shareholders who could cut across the ability of the company to make positive environmental and social decisions if it affects profits.

The concept of passive investors who do nothing but rake in profits and who feel entitled to as many profits as possible needs to be seriously questioned. It is not a sustainable paradigm because it rewards and encourages criminal behavior from many angles.  But Benefit Corporations are a step in the right direction. And well known companies such as Patagonia and Ben and Jerrys are taking the lead.

http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=68413

Another relatively new legal structure, for privately held companies, is the L3C.  A gradient step between for profit and non profit corporations, this structure allows a privately held, for profit company to accept money from both investors and grants/foundations.  It is a “low profit” corporation, operating much as a non profit, but retaining for profit abilities. This structure was created to meet the needs of “social entrepreneurs” who run businesses that have positive social and environmental purposes.

All in all, it’s good to see some people in the business community working to come up with solutions to existing structures that encourage destructive, irresponsible and criminal behavior. Much more work is needed, in every sector.

Permaculture in Cuba

Roberto Perez, Cuban permaculturist and spokesperson in the film  The Power of Community will be speaking at two locations in South Florida on August 14 and 15.
Roberto will be sharing some of the successes of permaculture in Cuba. For instance,  Havana has an extremely successful urban agriculture network that feeds more than 1/2 of the people in the city.
Roberto will also speak about the upcoming International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba in November. These events will help raise funds for worthy individuals to attend the convergence.
Born in Havana in 1970, Roberto Perez is the Environmental Education & Biodiversity Conservation Program Director of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, the oldest environmental organization in Cuba.  A graduate of the University of Havana with a degree in Biological Sciences, he later did post graduate specialization in Community Based Natural Resources Management at the University of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Roberto has been part of the Cuban Permaculture movement since its introduction in the country in 1993 after the so called “Special Period”, caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union when Cuba lost access to oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and virtually all trading partners that the small island nation depended on to survive, facing economic collapse overnight.  Roberto has traveled extensively presenting Cuba’s approach to sustainable living in the face of declining petroleum and other non-renewable resources.
As part of the Cuban Organizing Group for the upcoming International Permaculture Convergence in November, Roberto is touring the U.S. in support of scholarships for IPC11 attendees from sometimes cash poor, but skill rich countries and USA , wanting to attend and share their work & projects with other Permaculturists from around the world.
Traditionally International Permaculture Convergences take place every 2 years and switch between continents & hemispheres.  Past host sites have been Australia, USA, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Nepal, Croatia, Brazil, Africa & most recently Jordan in the Middle East.

cuba

Grow Permaculture presents:

Roberto Perez, Cuban permaculturist and spokesperson in the film ” The Power of Community” will be speaking at two beautiful locations in South Florida on August 14 and 15.

Roberto will be sharing some of the successes of permaculture in Cuba. For instance,  Havana has an extremely successful urban agriculture network that feeds more than 1/2 of the people in the city.

Roberto will also speak about the upcoming International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba in November. These events will help raise funds for worthy individuals to attend the convergence.

Born in Havana in 1970, Roberto Perez is the Environmental Education & Biodiversity Conservation Program Director of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, the oldest environmental organization in Cuba.  A graduate of the University of Havana with a degree in Biological Sciences, he later did post graduate specialization in Community Based Natural Resources Management at the University of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Roberto has been part of the Cuban Permaculture movement since its introduction in the country in 1993 after the so called “Special Period”, caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union when Cuba lost access to oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and virtually all trading partners that the small island nation depended on to survive, facing economic collapse overnight.  Roberto has traveled extensively presenting Cuba’s approach to sustainable living in the face of declining petroleum and other non-renewable resources.

As part of the Cuban Organizing Group for the upcoming International Permaculture Convergence in November, Roberto is touring the U.S. in support of scholarships for IPC11 attendees from sometimes cash poor, but skill rich countries and USA , wanting to attend and share their work & projects with other Permaculturists from around the world.

Traditionally International Permaculture Convergences take place every 2 years and switch between continents & hemispheres.  Past host sites have been Australia, USA, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Nepal, Croatia, Brazil, Africa & most recently Jordan in the Middle East.

Aug 14, 7 PM
Zen Village
zenvillage.org
2570 Main Hwy, Miami
$10-20 sliding scale

Aug 15, 7 PM
Treehugger Organic Farm (a permaculture farm)
https://www.facebook.com/TreeHuggerFarms
1975 S Flamingo Rd, Davie, Fl
$10-20 sliding scale

For more info, write info@growpermaculture.com

Kickstarter campaign for Pine Ridge

We’re doing another Kickstarter campaign for Pine Ridge this year to pay for irrigation, fixing up housing and a number of other projects we have ongoing. See our photos, stories and more at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/892430421/permablitz-for-pine-ridge-reservation-2013. Our intention is to contribute to the creation of food and water sovereignty, healthy shelter and alternative energy  on the reservation.

Pine Ridge reservation food forests

It’s almost May, there is two feet of snow in the swales we dug in 2011 at Pine Ridge, and we might get there this year just in time to hit yet another snow storm.  But we have plenty of blankets and layers; we have shovels and other tools; we’re bringing up some hard to get plants in a trailer; we’re going to plant 500 trees there this year. Plus get a beehive going, create some rainwater catchment, fill a pond, and anything else we have the resources and manpower to complete.

Food forests at Pine Ridge reservation are full of metaphor. The Lakota have experienced a long history of  sabotage of their food supply.  Pine Ridge has recently declared itself sovereign.  There is a place in that for the seven generation food and water security that can be created by a food forest.  Food forests can create calm amidst storm; they are resilient for generations.

There is a spirit to Pine Ridge that keeps us coming back for more. It’s hard to describe. People have tried. You have to read between the lines to see it, without going there yourself and experiencing it.

As we are getting ready for our yearly trip, we started thinking about some of the highlights of last year’s journey in May of 2012.

About how the badlands looked with the sun setting on them when we were driving from Rapid City to Thunder Valley with a car stuffed so full of plants it felt like a jungle in there.

How the wind blew so hard one day you could stand at a 45 degree angle and not fall down and how we still dug trench and laid irrigation, leaning sideways. It was kind of fun. You could yell and the wind would take your voice somewhere into the next field, but the person next to you couldn’t hear you too well.

How the wind blew kept blowing so hard it shredded not one, but two of my tents! Both of them! And then someone just gave me a tent out of the blue. Which was low profile, thankfully (I know this secret well, having spent a month with my high profile tent wall resting on my face whenever the wind blew, the first year I stayed there – it miraculously did not shred or break). I had loaned my low profile to someone else so was using one of those high profile family sized jobs that someone loaned me – which does not work at Pine Ridge – do not bring!  LOL. Do not bring!

How the high school group that was there helping us dig trench in the sleet (yes, it sleeted and froze after the frost date of May 15, and after we planted tomatoes for Kimilelee that all died :-( got smart and used their cars and vans as wind breaks for their tents. They made a guild, while we, on the other hand, were scattered about like random, forlorn fruit trees with no skirt or blanket, or like stranger cats at opposite ends of the yard with their backs turned on each other in a snow storm.  (Pine Ridge kind of has a way of making you want to enjoy all that wide open prairie space, so we pitch our tents all over the field and embrace the weather)

How most of the volunteers who said they would come, didn’t show up, and we ended up with between three and six (at various times) super intrepid tree-hole-digging souls who we will love forever and ever. :-D

How I walked the field where we planted hundreds of honey locusts the year before, that didn’t get any water because the water tank broke, and they were still alive – I saw their buds just starting to come out and jumped and danced around them for joy.

How we helped set up the garden at the jail and planted  a bunch of golden currants for a border and I’m thinking, I gotta come back when these are in season and taste at least just one because I’ve never had one. How intrigued I am by the berries that grow in colder climates that I’ve never tried!

How we stopped at a grocery store on the reservation and they had three shelves of white bread, and the only fresh food was one orange and one apple. And the closest place to buy fresh or organic food is 100 miles away in Rapid City.

How much the kids loved watering the plants.

How big the sky is, how many stars you can see, and how the 80 mile 360 degree clear view of the lands from Slim Butte looks.

How Bryan from Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative always comes up with these brilliant engineering ideas for things he has never dealt with before, but he just “sees” it, and how he then turns around and comes up with a brilliant idea for some issue in the community – such a well rounded genius.

How so many people helped us – how Dave Jacke sent us some awesome food forest plants, how Oikos and Bountiful Gardens donated some beautiful trees and bushes, how people who don’t know us from Adam believed in us and made it happen (and we could not have done nearly as much as we did without all of that).

How children were gently helped and encouraged to be a part of everything and how the kids had some serious skill sets at pretty young ages.

How Nick and Scott took people who came to visit Thunder Valley out back to the food forest to eat leaves off the linden tree, just to see their expression. J

How they were so helpful – how they got somebody out to dig a pond on really short notice, and how they made it happen to move and plant four 170 pound trees and how enthusiastic and engaged in creating resilience on the reservation.  And how big the scope and breadth of their dream is.

How hard working and dedicated Shannon from Earth Tipi is, how much she has gotten done and she is still going.

How we would look up from digging and planting trees and there would be a horse at full gallop with a bareback rider, streaming by in the ditch. Or we were driving home one day and there was a Lakota in full headdress, riding down the highway bareback on a horse.

How, when we’re planting the butternut trees, we’re thinking – these trees will be here ten generations from now, still bearing food. We’re thinking of how the soil will be built over time, the temperatures modified, the wind calmed in the leaves. And how that center of calm  abundance can spread outward once it is established.

How beautiful the apple tree buds looked when they started coming out. And how alive all the plants looked, and what a nice mix of plants we were able to get: serviceberries, nanking cherries, goldenberries, butternuts, cold tolerant pecans, hazels, three kinds of apple, pear, plum, apricot, goji berry, gooseberry, raspberries, buffalo berry, Siberian pea shrub, lilac, linden, pine, cottonwood, honey locust.

How one day when we were exhausted and still had lots of stuff to plant, and wondering how we got ourselves into this. We get out of the car, and a bald eagle circles above us three times, pretty low so we could see all the colors and feathers and his expression, and then soars off to the east. And we wondered in a different way then, and got to work.

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