The Talks of Permaculture Voices

Allan Savory
Livestock for Regeneration
The role of livestock in a new agriculture that can save city-based civilization. Allan will discuss how animals can be used to heal landscapes, combat climate change, restore economies, increase soil fertility, produce clean water, provide healthy habitat for wildlife, and more. (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Managing Holistically
Allan will discuss why management needs to be holistic to avert tragedy beyond imagination. He will explain how decisions and policies should be made in a context that recognize that economic, environmental, and social/cultural issues are part of an indivisible whole. (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Dr. Elaine Ingham
Building Soil Health
A revolution in our understanding of soil has been taking place.  “Conventional” agriculture requires ever-increasing inputs and energy into the system to maintain production, while natural systems reduce the disturbances in the system, while increasing production.  Historically, soil science ignored or dismissed soil life as important, in large part because the methods used to study organisms in soil were mis-leading, inaccurate and missed about 99% or more of the species present in soil.  With the advent of microscope methods and genetic assessment of soil life, we are beginning to unravel the mysteries of the soil.  A framework to help growers easily understand the differing specific sets of beneficial organisms required for healthy growth of different types of plants will be presented.   Understanding soil life is critical if we want to be sustainable; we need to work with nature, instead of waging war on natural laws as we do in our agricultural systems, to the detriment of people and the planet.  (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Soil: It’s All About life.  
What is soil?  As opposed to dirt, for example.  Where do nutrients come from to keep natural systems growing, increasing plant production, building soil over centuries of time, holding nurients, and carbon in long-term recalcitrant forms.  It is all about the life in soil.  so, what is that life?  Are some of the organisms in soil “bad”?  All depends on the point of view.  If what is wanted is a swamp, then what are the organisms needed to make that happen?  What combination of conditions are necessary to reach that goal?  but what if you want to grow tomato, without needing toxic chemicals to kill the weeds, the diseases, the pests, and yet maintain balanced nutrient concentration in the tomato, so the produce tastes exceptional.  It is all about life.  The groups in soil will be discussed, as well as their nurture. growth, and the conditions that select for the exact set of organisms desired.(3.5HR)

Geoff Lawton
The Permaculture Designers Manual in One Hour (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Permaculture and The Tipping Point (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Reading the Landscape (1.25HR)

Permaculture Earthworks (1.75HR)

Joel Salatin
Successional Success:  Fields of Farmers
The average age of America’s farmers is 60 years old.  If young people can’t get in, old people can’t get out.  In the next 15 years, nearly 50 percent of America’s farmland will change hands. More than 50 percent of all farming equity is owned by people old enough to retire.  Hermit curmudgeon farmers need to invest in the next generation.  Young people need to invest in hermit curmudgeons. In this can-do presentation based on 20 years mentoring interns and apprentices to germinate young entrepreneurial farmers, Salatin will offer a road map for both generations to create fields of farmers for tomorrow.  (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Stacking Fiefdoms
Using Polyface farm as an example, Salatin offers templates for structuring symbiotic partnership fiefdoms for multi-generational farm success.  Rather than building a business around employees,Polyace germinates enrerpreneurial stand-alone fiefdoms.  Former interns and apprentices develop their own production and compensation requirements under the Polyface umbrella, enabling young farmers to be fully employed from day one without capitalization.  As a model for creating scalable and viable localized food security clusters, farm partnership offer community, efficiency, and lowcost entry.  (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Ballet in the Pasture
From fence building to paddock layout to calculating cow-days, Salatin walks you through the infrastructure and integration of multi-species pasture management. Polyface Farm produces salad bar beef, pigaearator pork, pastured layers, broilers, and turkeys, and forage-based rabbits. Portable infrastructure, efficient water delivery, portable control, and off-season housing roundout the package with broad principles for universal application and local customization. (2.25HR)

Michael Pollan
The State of the Food Movement.  What Needs to Happen Now.
(KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

The Year of Family Farming
with Danielle Nierenberg
(PANEL, 45 MINUTES)

Paul Wheaton
Increasing the Velocity of Permaculture.
Why isn’t permaculture a household word? How can we increase the velocity of permaculture projects and innovation? The owner of the largest permaculture site on the Internet shares his vision for how to support and grow permaculture knowledge until it dominates and rules the world! (Bwa ha ha ha!) (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Wood Stoves 2.0.  The latest in Rocket Mass Heaters.
Paul Wheaton and crew have been innovating with four rocket mass heaters at Wheaton Laboratories over the winter in Montana. Hear what is working and not working with what Paul and many believe to be the cleanest and most sustainable way to heat a conventional home. (WORKSHOP, 1.25HR)

The Design of Intentional Community
Homesteading and permaculture living often overlap with creating one form or another of an intentional community. Paul Wheaton discusses his research and experiments in community design and his unique model for making it work. (TALK, 1HR)

Toby Hemenway
Agriculture, Horticulture, Permaculture: Why Agriculture Can Never Be Sustainable, and a Permacultural Solution
Ten thousand years of agriculture has devastated every ecosystem it has come in contact with. Horticultural societies point toward a solution, and permaculture can help us design a way to overcome agriculture’s deficiencies, preserve many of the best features of our culture, and create a horticultural society that has a good chance of proving sustainable. This lecture shows how we got into this mess, and offers a route out of it. (KEYNOTE, 1.25HR)

Backing Away from the Energy Cliff: A Permaculturist’s Guide to Thinking About Energy
Fossil fuels are the underpinning of our civilization, and our desperate attempts to keep cheap oil flowing runs the risk of collapsing ecosystems and cultures. This lecture uses a permacultural approach to evaluate energy sources and to design possible energy futures. (1HR)

Adam Brock
Greening the Food Desert: Urban Permaculture in Denver
How can the principles and ethics of permaculture make a real difference in long-neglected inner-city communities? What physical and invisible structures are necessary to rebuild a broken food system in Colorado’s most polluted neighborhood? Join urban permaculturalist Adam Brock for an interactive session exploring his work at The GrowHaus, a permaculture-based nonprofit located in a repurposed 20,000 square-foot greenhouse in the heart of one of Denver’s poorest neighborhoods. (1HR)

Towards a Pattern Language of Invisible Structures
It is becoming increasingly clear within the permaculture movement that designing regenerative landscapes and built environments are not sufficient to build a regenerative culture – we must also find a way to methodically apply the ethics, principles and design process to invisible structures such as education, economics, and governance. The “pattern language” framework developed by Christopher Alexander and his colleagues presents an ideal way to design for and apply these invisible structures in our permaculture work. Join permaculturalist Adam Brock as we explore the possibilities for a pattern language of invisible structures, and devise a framework for collaboratively developing one. (1HR)

 Adam Klaus
Small Dairy Herds for Small Farms
On fertile ground, with good management, a complete dairy herd can be maintained on a surprisingly small amount of land, as little as 5 acres.  The cow herd acts as a source of farm labor to maintain areas that are not optimal for horticulture; with our stewardship they increase the fertility of their pastures while yielding milk, meat, and manure to further enrich the rest of the farm.  Our stewardship begins as grass farmers.  Pasture for healthy cows is a rich polyculture of grasses and legumes, forbs and flowers.  It is beautiful, soil enriching, and nutrient dense forage.  The synchronization of grazing and resting, irrigating and regrowing, is an amazing process. 

Our choice of the Brown Swiss breed was guided by the desire for a dual purpose animal, producing milk quality rather than quantity, with natural mothering instincts and robust health.  One of our cows, on pasture only, milked sensible one time per day while still raising her calf, will yield 4 gallons of milk on average through the entire 250 day milking season- that’s 1000 gallons of milk! 

There is a great local demand for raw milk, a unique product generally not available through supermarkets, so customer loyalty is ensured.  A single gallon of milk can be transformed into a half pound of butter, a pound of mozzarella cheese, and a bucket of microbe rich whey for the chickens.  Male offspring are raised for beef, yielding 200 pounds of top quality meat at one year of age, with a very minimal of input from the farmer.  The relationship between farmer and dairy cow is a rewarding partnership that shares many similarities with natural horsemanship.  Our herd is milked seasonally, when the pastures are lush and nature would prefer its calves to be born.  Winter is a rest time for our cows and ourselves, our farm aligning to the yearly cycle of life. 

Incorporating small dairy herds into small farms has historically been a huge source of wealth and satisfaction for farmers. (1HR)

Biodynamics for Better Farming
Biodynamic farming is a method of working with natural rhythms and biological processes.  In its essence, biodynamics lays out a system of farming that interacts with the patterns of nature to create healthier farms. 

The farm is recognized as a singular super-organism, a complete ecology of itself.  Animals are raised according to their intrinsic qualities and needs, to be naturally vibrant like a herd of elk in the wilderness.  Integrating our farm practices with the natural rhythms of sun and moon, we grow healthier plants.  Participating intimately with the reproduction of vegetable seeds and breeding animals, we cultivate a unique farm biology that is optimally suited to our specific needs and circumstances.  Cooperating with the unseen microbial world of the soil, we utilize specifically inoculated composts that unrich our farms from the sub-microscopic level.  Treating our farms as complete farm organism results in an efficiency that is wasteless and profitable. 

The demystification of Biodynamics is a key concept for the evolution of best farming practices.  As many farmers will tell you, the healthiest and most vibrant farms they ever have visited, have been biodynamic farms. (1HR)

Avery Ellis
Designing for Disaster: The Fire/Water Duality
The very nature of disaster is that it surpasses our expectations. As our global climate shifts, localized disasters are becoming more prevalent. In recent years fire and then floods have ravaged Colorado and other Western states, while the Coasts of every continent have seen storm waters rise higher than ever before. These disasters have had long lasting effects on the stability of our centralized infrastructure and as a society we need to be learning from these events to become better prepared for the future. Permaculture can provide us with some simple solutions that will reduce the intensity of these events on our homes and communities and teach us how to rebuild with greater resiliency and intelligence. This workshop will explore our modern experience of disasters, focusing on the relationship between fire, floods, extreme weather, and human living spaces.  (1HR)

Bill Bean
Building Actionable Plans For Your Permaculture Initiatives (Including the UMass Amherst Case Study)

We already know that permaculture design works, there are projects and examples all across the world. People are no longer asking “why do this” but rather, “HOW do we do this”, that is, create impactful, world-changing projects that engage local communities, are economically regenerative, and demonstration ecological restoration.

This presentation focuses on the how-to piece. You’ll learn how to get your project endorsed, get the resources you need and make your project successful, and it all starts with setting clear, quantitative and actionable objectives. We’ll both demystify the mechanics of strategic and tactical planning and explore common start-up hurdles such as initial fundraising strategies, social structure design, and building project support at all levels.

A portion of this talk will focus on the UMass, Amherst Permaculture Initiative, which quickly became one of the most well-known institutional examples of permaculture in the nation. In 2012, The White House named UMass Permaculture the top university project in the country that’s changing the world for the better. We’ll examine the nuts and bolts of how this project was crafted and implemented from Ryan Harb, a permaculture consultant who specializes in creating “beyond sustainability” projects for institutions, and Bill Bean, a sustainability consultant with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning and coaching and a growing presence in the permaculture space.

Co-presented with Ryan Harb. (1HR)

Chris Arnold
Reinventing Fast Food: Better ingredients from more sustainable sources.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is on a mission to change the way people think about and eat fast food. That’s a big undertaking. Fast food has become so prevalent in America, and is generally characterized by cheap, heavily-processed ingredients and uninspired restaurants. But Chipotle has chosen a different path. Using better ingredients from more sustainable sources, preparing food in its restaurants using classic cooking techniques, serving customers in a way that lets them choose exactly what they eat, and doing it all in an environment that says something about the food, the company is showing that consumers can have it all. Great food, made with the best quality ingredients, in a way that is accessible for people on the go.  (1HR)

Craig Sponholtz
Harvesting Water By Healing Watersheds
We all live in a watershed and everything we do on the land has consequences for the surrounding watershed and ecosystems.  Because of this, watershed awareness is critical.  There are many natural processes that effect watershed and ecosystem health and it is our job as designers to understand and harmonize with those processes as much as possible.  This is especially important when it comes to harvesting our shared, life-giving resource of water.  This talk will describe a simple method to assess the ways that surrounding landscapes influence project sites as well as regenerative design principles that help to harmonize water harvesting earthworks with natural healing processes.  Craig will expand your concept of what water harvesting and land restoration can be and how the ethic of leaving a fair share can be applied to water harvesting systems. (1HR)

Reversing Desertification With Sticks, Rocks and Ancient Wisdom: Simple Ways to Heal Erosion
Desertification is a pervasive process in many of the earth’s landscapes.  While it is often dramatic, it can also be a very subtle process occurring in surprisingly humid environments.  This talk will focus on the ways that landscape degradation and soil erosion lead to the de-hydration of vast areas.  More importantly, Craig will share techniques that use readily available natural materials and time tested dryland farming techniques to heal eroded landscapes in all climates. (1HR)

Curtis Stone
SPIN Farming Workshop

Make money as an urban farmer in the city – with SPIN farming!Learn how the SPIN-Farming system, which is now being practiced by a growing corps of farmers across Canada and the U.S., can be used to create a high-income producing farm or improve your current operation. SPIN is the first organic-based production system for land bases under an acre in size, and it can be implemented by aspiring and practicing backyard, front lawn and neighborhood lot farmers everywhere. All you need is to equip yourself with the right gear and a radically new understanding of what it means to be a farmer. SPIN-Farming Basics with Urban-farmer Curtis Stone. Curtis Stone is the owner/operator of Green City Acres, a commercial urban farm based out of Kelowna, BC. Farming under an acre of land on a collection of urban plots, Green City Acres grows vegetables for farmers markets, restaurants, retail outlets, and a sixty member CSA box program. See SPIN-Farming in action as Curtis Stone shows you how he assembled a multi-locational SPIN farm that grossed $20,000 in its first year and $55,000 in it’s second. He’ll describe the design of his farm, equipment used, planting plan and target markets. Though records are not yet kept on how quickly farms can get in and off the ground, Curtis got his farm up and running and generating income in 6 months, which has to be some sort of record. It certainly gives new meaning to the term “fast food”! (4HR)

Danielle Nierenberg
The Year of Family Farming
with Michael Pollan

(PANEL, 45 MINUTES)

David Barmon
Urban Lumber
Four billion board feet of potential urban lumber is annually chipped for compost, cut up for firewood, or worse, discarded into landfills. Over the last few decades a growing number of individuals and small companies have started to mill urban trees with portable bandsaw mills and chainsaw mills. While utilizing existing trees as they come down is important, trees need to planted with urban lumber in mind. In fifty years, billions of board feet of urban lumber could be harvested and processed efficiently and sustainably every year in the US. (1HR)

David Eggleton
Learning for Life
Self-directed lifelong learning is a vision and a possibility with much promise for the shift to a culture of life, by life and for life.  Such learning involves steady investments of attention, time and energy that almost any person can make.

In this session, you will acquire and work with a set of considerations that enhance investments in learning – yours and others’ – both during this conference and for years to come.  You’ll get clearer about the choices that brought you to the conference, the choices you have at the conference and choices you’ll have henceforth.  The clarity, awareness and skills gained will improve your uptake and retention of information, and your benefits from self-directed learning.

David Eggleton, an old-and-new permaculture designer, and Steph Kent, an interpreter, analyst and multi-channel communicator will present and, with a worksheet and exercises, walk you though considerations of paradigms, concepts, relationships and activities that comprise the culture-shifting system that David has devised. The system is flexible and adaptable, as the pair’s focus on your learning at this conference will demonstrate.

The considerations merge learning theory with the permaculture principles.

This session is co-presented with Steph Kent.  (1HR)

Doniga Markegard
Wildlife, Ranching, Carbon and Policy.  Creating Lasting Change
In this workshop Doniga Markegard will guide participants though ways to create
change starting from the soils and leading all the way to the Capital. By practicing permacutlure and regenerative ranching Doniga has drawn attention from policy
makers, climate change groups and community activists.

Doniga uses the tools she gleaned from wildlife tracking a permaculture to put
into practice a successful ranching operation built on the principles of Holistic
Management and the triple bottom line. Doniga soon realized that she was in a
position to influence policy change that would impact the ability for other farmers
and ranchers to practice agriculture that is regenerative to soils and communities.

Doniga has successfully introduced a Bill to the State legislators that will allow for
the previously illegal practice of sharing fresh unprocessed milk from family milk
cows with neighbors and friends. Doniga is coining this first bill: Common Sense
Laws the things our grandparents practiced that are now illegal! Doniga hopes to
work on a series of bills that will enhance agriculture practices that store water and
carbon, build soil and build resilient local economies. Join the movement to create
change that is lasting.  (1HR)

Fraser Bliss
Life’s too short for 9-to-5: How to find your niche and start or grow your own business.
Tired of the rat race and want to be a farmer, food hub or permaculture professional? But
how to discover your niche and startup a sustainable and booming business?

Entrepreneur and permaculture teacher Fraser Bliss quit a corporate career to travel
around the world for 5 years in search of answers. Once Mollison’s farm manager, now he runs a software company that supports local food and farmers all over the world.

You’ll shortcut your path to success from the lessons that Fraser has learned over the
past decade as a corporate consultant, world nomad, permaculture teacher and founder of
a tech company.

Don’t reinvent the wheel, in one hour you’ll find out how to avoid common first-time
mistakes and hit the ground running when you get home.

It’s vital that you succeed. Not just for you, but for the planet. (1HR)

Greg Judy
Multi-species Grazing On Leased Land
This talk will cover the steps used to find leased land and build a multi-species grazing operation from scratch. By using a variety of livestock to manage the forages it allows better utilization of plants. Harvesting much more solar energy through the wide selection of different plant leaves. (1HR)

Profitable Methods Used to Heal the Land With Mob Grazing
Using a mob of livestock is the quickest and most profitable method available to build soil, catch rain water, increase plant diversity and produce healthy food with very little purchased inputs. Will cover all the steps in setting up a mob grazing operation that mimics nature. (2HR)

Jack Spirko
Building a Profitable Permaculture Business
As more and more people learn about Permaculture a new business segment is developing.  There is a strong desire in many individuals to do Permaculture as a full time business, either as a consultant, a teacher or as a small farm holder or even do all three.  Can it be done and by more than just a few of Permaculture’s “rock stars”.  Join this discussion to learn how a Permaculture business can be established in any part of the world, how to develop multiple income streams, earn a good living and still remain true to permaculture’s ethics.  (1HR)

Jane Higginson
Attracting Native Pollinators to Your Permaculture System
Insects, bats, and birds have co-evolved with plants in many ways. One of these coevolutions of great relevance in permaculture is pollination. This presentation will introduce you to major groups of native pollinators, with an emphasis on bees and butterflies. You will also learn about additional ecological services that pollinators provide.The talk will cover the basics of how to assess pollinator habitat.  You will then learn key ways that you can attract native pollinators, and sustain them on your permaculture site.  The means for attracting them are very feasible actions that you may begin to implement right away on your site, thereby increasing the yield, the biodiversity, and the complexity of ecological interactions of your system. (1HR)

Javan K Bernakevitch
Permaculture Life Design: Finding Your Niche
Be it property or person, permaculture and Holistic Management are approaches to design desired outcomes. Using decision making strategies as well as Zones, Analysis of an Element, Backcasting and Origin of Element this session introduces a developing technique in helping permaculture students to focus their efforts after receiving their Permaculture Design Certificate. From three previous PDC’s this technique has helped establish students effectively and efficiently into right livelihoods that are based on the individual’s Zones of Brilliance. The saying “right plant, right place” is as necessary as, “right person, right place”, through group and individual dialogue facilitation this emerging technique is providing passionate content fuelled PDC students the focus to create businesses and income streams that are based on a Planet and People First paradigm.  (1HR)

Jessica Schilke
Working with College Students
This presentation focuses on student engagement in the permaculture community and our struggles to gain a foothold at academic institutions. We believe that it is time for this to change.   Colleges and Universities offer permaculture unique opportunities to impact communities across the world. By engaging students directly we can begin to assist in shaping the way permaculture will develop in higher education.
 
During the presentation we will feature pictures, video, and stories about student engagement while we discuss the intricacies of working with them in a college environment. They have a broad range of tools at their disposal when pursuing permaculture, including access to activities organizations, the chance to organize speaking events and ability to pursue permaculture initiatives on campus. When undertaking permaculture projects they often have access to equipment for metal work, pottery, and carpentry. Campuses also offer libraries, campus infrastructure, and lab equipment for research related to academic studies. These communities offer permaculture a highly complex ecosystem in which it may manifest vision for the future.

While there are many advantages and resources available when  working with academic institutions; it is important to accept the culture that students are so often a part of. Which is often transient, highly stressed, idealistic, extremely passionate, and still growing up. Students possess an incredible amount of energy, a broad range of skills, and an understanding of social networking in the 21st century that permaculture has for too long ignored. How do we harness this raw enthusiasm for the permaculture community with respect and empowerment while avoiding the perception of exploitation?

Topics Covered:

  • Student Engagement
  • Student Empowerment
  • Student Organizing
  • Ideas for students to get involved with permaculture
  • Options for organizations to engage students
  • Trials and Tribulations of working with Students
  • Joy and Rewards of working with Students
  • the Power of Students
  • What does permaculture offer students?
  • What do students offer permaculture?
  • Idealism vs. Reality

Topic is co-presented with Nicholas Wooten.  (1HR)

Working with Educational Administration and Staff Officials
This presentation focuses on working with the Administrative and Staff Officials at Academic Institutions. Permaculture has something to offer everyone, especially academic institutions.  Although often perceived as being averse to change, once they make a decision to support a project or idea these communities are able to implement them rapidly.  Each stakeholder brings to the table unique strengths while also presenting new challenges. We must embrace and work with both when pursuing permaculture objectives. While many permaculture projects are constructed on private property; implementing permaculture at public institutions brings with it in an almost unnatural level of bureaucratic process and public scrutiny. It is important to have solid negotiating skills, the patience to navigate institutional politics, a willingness to meet the standards of academic institutions, while having an ability to carrying out long term projects.  When partnering with educational institutions it is important to ask “What are your needs?” and “What can I offer you?” rather than only asking “What can you offer me?”. During this presentation we will share our experience and explain what we believe permaculture has to gain by partnering with Academic Institutions.

Topics Covered:

  • Project Overviews/Case Studies
  • Institutions Averse to Change?
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Permaculture and Code/the Law
  • Compromise
  • Partnering vs Combating
  • Rewards and Challenges of Working with Administrative and Staff Officials
  • Politics: Like It or Not
  • What do Administration and Staff Officials bring to the table?
  • What does Permaculture offer to Educational Institutions?

Topic is co-presented with Nicholas Wooten.  (1HR)

Joe Simcox
E.A.S.  ( Ecological Adaption Strategy)
Something so evident yet so  ignored by industrial agriculture, why agriculture in the future must use plants that are naturally adapted to their environments.

In our present day world man has become so detached from nature that he imagines that he can grow wheat in parched deserts and oranges in the arctic, and while this is only a partially true statement, the fascination with gene tinkering in the laboratory with apparent obliviousness to natural forces has scientists trying to create “organisms” with super powers. The disciples of such approaches to agriculture preach of corn and rice that will withstand brutal temperatures and drought and supposedly bring humanity to food security when the thermometers pop because of climate change. Curiously, these people so intent on creating “super” plants in the laboratory, don’t seem to observe that such plants already exist in nature!

E.A.S. is such a simple concept that it is almost elementary school logic, yet for all the brilliant scholars around the world, practically no worldwide cohesive effort has been directed to amassing and trialing all the food plants suited to desertic conditions. Joseph Simcox will explain his bio-adaptive approach to creating effective agriculture in the world’s dry lands, and he will lay out a plan to produce food in them in an ecologically relevant and suitable way. His basis lies in the world’s food plant flora, hundreds if not thousands of plant species around the world have been utilized for food in the deserts by indigenous peoples for millenia, now is the time he argues, to take a closer look and put these plants in the spotlight for cultivation and selection. (1.25HR)

John Kitsteiner
Permaculture: The Missing Key to Health
Modern agricultural practices combined with poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle have resulted in an unhealthy, obese (yet malnourished) population. Permaculture motivates and guides the production of nutrient dense foods that are raised how nature intended leading to healthier diets and communities, enabling (as Hippocates stated) food to be our medicine, and our medicine be our food. (1HR)

John Roulac
Can business be a tool for real change?
An environmental visionary’s journey to revolutionize the way the world eats. How business can fund NGOs, leverage social media, and create innovation in an entrenched industry.  (1HR)

Jonathan Todd
Restoring the Waters: Ecological Design in Wastewater Treatment and Remediation
Water pollution and wastewater treatment both threaten our freshwater sources, but Nature holds the keys to restoring them to their full health.  Learn how Nature’s tools can be employed and accelerated to sustainably treat wastewater and rapidly overturn degradation in the Earth’s waters while harvesting valuable nutrients from the water.  John Todd Ecological Design has been a fully fledged business partner of Nature for over 30 years, designing and building Eco-Machines™ to treat and remediate waters.  Illustrated with examples of Eco-Machines™ from around the world.  (1HR)

Larry Santoyo
Permaculture for Humanity: Moderating the Urgency of Urbanism
Most of the world’s human population in now urban. We will examine the permaculturist’s role in city planning and it’s direct relevance to wilderness protection, resource management and cultural curation. Larry Santoyo will lead a frank discussion and share his lessons learned on projects in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Mexico City, Panama City and Cite Soleil, Haiti.  (1HR)

Permaculture for Humanity: The Economics of Sharing & Caring
Resiliency is a byproduct of preparedness. 
Economic Development or “Invisible Structures” as it described in permaculture is perhaps the most compelling approach to preparedness of the permaculture design curriculum. How to create abundance, leverage strengths and strengthen weak-links in community development. Lecture and discussion about using permaculture to design businesses and industry that fill real needs of a community and create the conditions for resilience to happen.  (1HR)

Louis Fox
Putting the PR in PRrmaculture, communicating beyond the choir?
Louis Fox, director and co-writer of viral video hits, such as The Story of Stuff and The Meatrix, has repeatedly translated difficult
topics to millions of minds. Like all perma-converts, he dreams of permaculture moving from the fringes of society into the mainstream spotlight. In this presentation, Louis walks you through the process of creating his latest offering to this cause, ‘Sustainable [R]evolution’, a new book distributed by Random House, designed specifically to help define and introduce the international culture of permaculture to wider audiences. Come celebrate the breadth of the movement, and join a group discussion on how we can apply permaculture principles to it’s evolving public profile. (1HR)

Marco Barrantes
PDC complete, now what?  Professional career pathways in Permaculture (1HR)

Mark Shepard
Restoration Agriculture: Designing Your Perennial Farm
Mark Shepard, Manager of New Forest Farms and author of the book Restoration Agriculture, will offer a critique of annual crop-based staple food production, while laying the ecological framework and reasons for designing a perennial staple food crops farm. Attendees will gain the basic skills to begin the transition from annuals to a permanent, perennial agriculture incorporating everything from nuts and berries, to livestock and fruits and vegetables. Shepard’s talk will introduce the concept of ecosystem mimicry, Keyline water management and will help you to chart a path forward to a truly ecologically designed farm. (1HR)

Alleycropping and Silvopasture: Transitioning to Restoration Agriculture
Mark Shepard, Manager of New Forest Farms and author of the book Restoration Agriculture, will introduce the simple Agroforestry practices of Alleycropping and Silvopasture as a method of transitioning your farm from a production system based on annual crops to one dominated by a diversity of long-lived perennial crops including nuts, berries, fruits, and livestock. Attendees will learn detailed information on the establishment, maintenance and harvest of long-lived woody crops while simultaneously maintaining current cash flow. Plenty of photos will be used to show what your farm will look like as it grows and changes through the years increasing in fertility, diversity and resiliency.  (1HR)

Michelle & Rob Avis
Lessons & Learnings – Starting A Permaculture-Based Business
Want to combine your love of permaculture or ecological design with generating income? Thinking of starting a new business?

Rob & Michelle started Verge Permaculture in 2009 with a small budget and few business skills. They did one thing particularly right: they sought out mentors and businesses to learn from and model. Fast-forward to 2013 and Verge is one of Canada’s premier permaculture education businesses. They have two staff, have taught over 2000 students, have had more than 50 consulting clients and manage an active website (with over 15,000 pageviews/mnth).

Join Rob & Michelle as they discuss and answer your questions about the things they did right, their best learnings and what they would we do differently to start over again. (1HR)

Michael Gold
Chestnut – Building a Perennial Specialty Crop Industry from Scratch
Locally grown chestnuts are emerging in Missouri and surrounding states as high-value specialty crops with potentially large and profitable markets. Specialty crops like chestnuts offer opportunities to introduce economically, socially and environmentally sustainable on-farm enterprises that create new opportunities for family farms and rural communities. Cultivar-based chestnut orchards yield high-quality locally grown nuts that command top market prices. Chestnut cultivation in the U.S. is a proven enterprise due to high product demand (based on growing consumer interest in local and healthy sustainable produced food) and favorable prices (chestnuts sell for $1.50-$4/lb. wholesale and $5-$8/lb. retail). Chestnuts have favorable nutritional characteristics (e.g., low oil and fat content, high vitamin C, high fiber). Chestnut flour is sweet and gluten free, making it appropriate for the growing gluten free market including people with celiac disease. In recognition of the growth of the U.S. chestnut industry, USDA added chestnut to the 2007 national agriculture census.The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri (UMCA) has the nation’s leading chestnut research program, one of only two such programs in the U.S. (Michigan State University being the other one), laying the foundation for a new chestnut industry in Missouri and surrounding states. UMCA has conducted field research since 1996 to identify the best chestnut cultivars, develop management practices suitable for commercial chestnut production, conduct market and consumer research, host chestnut festivals and grower training programs, and provide guidance to the commercial nursery industry in Missouri and the Midwest.  (1HR)

Mitra Sticklen
Five Dialogue and Deliberation Design Tools for Permaculturalists, and One Live Demo
The most complex moving parts of permaculture designs are often the people involved. In this engaging session, participants will learn a pattern language for engagement with other people, using permaculture as a lens to understand five forms of dialogue and deliberation. The majority of this session will be an interactive (shortened) demonstration of the “World Café” dialogue process. The most popular technique for dialogue and deliberation in permaculture circles is the “charette”, but this is just one of many processes.

Dialogue and deliberation tools are necessary to navigate diverse situations with diverse stakeholders. Just like permaculture landscape design tools, a few dialogue and deliberation design tools are an essential part of any permie’s toolkit. First, participants will learn the four ‘engagement streams’ described by the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation: exploration, conflict transformation, decision-making, and collaborative action.

For facilitators, the first question is: what is the goal of your group conversation? Dialogue and deliberation skills will be essential whether your group seeks to solve a dispute or problem, find common ground with diverse stakeholders, influence public policy, build collective knowledge, or almost any situation.

Participants will consider permaculture design examples across five popular dialogue and deliberation techniques. This brief overview concludes the lecture part of this session. The remaining 45 minutes will be a (shortened) participatory run-through of the “World Café” dialogue process, which normally lasts 90 minutes or more. In our quick exploration, we’ll set the context and create a safe space before splitting into small conversation groups of four or five people. Each group responds to one open question for the first 15-minute round, doodling or writing notes on a shared tablecloth/posterboard.

At the end of the first round, one ‘host’ stays while the others travel to a new group. Each ‘host’ welcomes the new group with a quick rundown of main topics and thoughts from the first round. This second 15-minute round offers a new open question that builds upon the first question. Usually there are three rounds, but our demo will conclude after two rounds by harvesting the collective knowledge in the larger group.

What trends and patterns have emerged? By cross-pollinating ideas and building our permaculture knowledge collectively, participants will experience how the World Café offers an exploratory dialogue framework for permaculture designers. (1HR)

Nadia Abu Yahia Lawton
Working with Traditional Communities from A Woman’s Perspective (1HR)

Neil Bertrando
Tree Systems in the High Desert
We will look at the climate context of the High Desert, specifically the Great Basin of North America, and appropriate patterning, locations, and functions for tree systems in this climate context.  Presentation and discussion will primarily be theory focused and will present some real-world examples of successes and failures.  Attention will be given to the development of home-scale, commercial scale, and landscape scale tree systems.  To provide balance, we will look at where and why not to apply tree system patterns in the High Desert context and discuss appropriate alternatives. (1HR)

3 years and 1 acre in the High Desert
My personal journey and community adventure to transform our home into a High Desert Permaculture site. Beginning with our goals and site assessment and travelling through our design and development strategy, I will share my successes and failures, photo timelines, current experiments and future visions.  Some of the focus topics will be application of Keyline Design to small scale sites, developing living local plant nurseries and databases, windbreaks, homesteading, eco-literacy, and applied agroecology. (1HR)

Nicholas Wooten
Working with College Students
This presentation focuses on student engagement in the permaculture community and our struggles to gain a foothold at academic institutions. We believe that it is time for this to change.   Colleges and Universities offer permaculture unique opportunities to impact communities across the world. By engaging students directly we can begin to assist in shaping the way permaculture will develop in higher education.

During the presentation we will feature pictures, video, and stories about student engagement while we discuss the intricacies of working with them in a college environment. They have a broad range of tools at their disposal when pursuing permaculture, including access to activities organizations, the chance to organize speaking events and ability to pursue permaculture initiatives on campus. When undertaking permaculture projects they often have access to equipment for metal work, pottery, and carpentry. Campuses also offer libraries, campus infrastructure, and lab equipment for research related to academic studies. These communities offer permaculture a highly complex ecosystem in which it may manifest vision for the future.

While there are many advantages and resources available when  working with academic institutions; it is important to accept the culture that students are so often a part of. Which is often transient, highly stressed, idealistic, extremely passionate, and still growing up. Students possess an incredible amount of energy, a broad range of skills, and an understanding of social networking in the 21st century that permaculture has for too long ignored. How do we harness this raw enthusiasm for the permaculture community with respect and empowerment while avoiding the perception of exploitation?

Topics Covered:

  • Student Engagement
  • Student Empowerment
  • Student Organizing
  • Ideas for students to get involved with permaculture
  • Options for organizations to engage students
  • Trials and Tribulations of working with Students
  • Joy and Rewards of working with Students
  • the Power of Students
  • What does permaculture offer students?
  • What do students offer permaculture?
  • Idealism vs. Reality

Topic is co-presented with Jessica Schilke.  (1HR)

Working with Educational Administration and Staff Officials
This presentation focuses on working with the Administrative and Staff Officials at Academic Institutions. Permaculture has something to offer everyone, especially academic institutions.  Although often perceived as being averse to change, once they make a decision to support a project or idea these communities are able to implement them rapidly. Each stakeholder brings to the table unique strengths while also presenting new challenges. We must embrace and work with both when pursuing permaculture objectives. While many permaculture projects are constructed on private property; implementing permaculture at public institutions brings with it in an almost unnatural level of bureaucratic process and public scrutiny. It is important to have solid negotiating skills, the patience to navigate institutional politics, a willingness to meet the standards of academic institutions, while having an ability to carrying out long term projects.  When partnering with educational institutions it is important to ask “What are your needs?” and “What can I offer you?” rather than only asking “What can you offer me?”. During this presentation we will share our experience and explain what we believe permaculture has to gain by partnering with Academic Institutions.

Topics Covered:

  • Project Overviews/Case Studies
  • Institutions Averse to Change?
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Permaculture and Code/the Law
  • Compromise
  • Partnering vs Combating
  • Rewards and Challenges of Working with Administrative and Staff Officials
  • Politics: Like It or Not
  • What do Administration and Staff Officials bring to the table?
  • What does Permaculture offer to Educational Institutions?

Topic is co-presented with Jessica Schilke.  (1HR)

Owen Hablutzel
Drought Resilience for the Twenty-First Century
Explores what it means to be resilient to drought in a 21st century context along with a variety of practical strategies to get us there. (1HR)

Permaculture Horizons – Dynamic Design for the Anthropocene
Explores the fruitful integration of Permaculture approach with other practical sustainability frameworks (Holistic Management, Keyline Design, Resilience Science, Participatory Group Process…) and peeks at emerging avenues of further collaboration and integration with great potential to increase the positive impact of Permaculture at needed scales. (1HR)

Patricia Foreman
Why Chickens are the Enablers and Heroes of Permaculture Design and Healthy Sustainable Living
This cutting-edge workshop explores the ever-expanding ways to employ chickens to help navigate these transition times. Learn how family flocks create & enhance food-growing topsoils, help grow vegetables, berries, nuts & fruits, sequester carbon and decrease carbon foot-prints and even be be part of emergency preparedness plans—all the while saving community taxes. Understand that employing family flocks is truly a community service.  (1HR)

Paul Greive
Using Social Media to Generate Farm Revenue 
Learn practical tips to leverage this powerful and often misunderstood marketing tool.  This talk will teach you to focus on generating farm revenue while avoiding the popularity contest trap.  (1HR)

Paul Kearsley
Conceptual Illustration for Permaculture
A picture is worth a thousand words and graphics are an invaluable tool for conveying permaculture concepts.  Inviting and accessible images allow others to share our vision for a positive future. This workshop will demonstrate how to use illustration to communicate  designs to peers, clients and the public.  We will cover a breadth of drawing techniques from simple thumbnail diagrams to polished conceptual illustrations.  With a simple process and few new tools for developing simple and effective drawings, attendees will feel more confident in their approach to visualizing their big ideas.  (1HR)

Peter Ash
Rehabilitating Polluted Ecosystems with Compost
Often when we speak of regenerative systems we are talking about restoring degraded landscapes that have been deforested, or negatively impacted by chemical agricultural.  In this presentation I will describe how extremely polluted ecosystems can be rehabilitated using composts in conjunction with mixed plantings. India holds is one of the world’s top 10 waste-generating nations in the world.  While visiting the tropical wetlands of Southwest India in 2009 I had the opportunity to design and implement a solid waste management system for a large international humanitarian organization where lack of government infrastructure leads to dumping and burning mixed waste in any available open space–often this means along roadways or dumping directly into the tropical backwaters.  This presentation describes the eco-restoration of a major hospital’s open landfill in a wetlands ecosystem.  Through the use of thermophilic compost and vermicompost made on site, and the planting of a forest garden a drastic reduction of heavy metals in the soil and the return of hundreds of species of birds and insects resulted–in just 3 ½ years.  (1HR)

Peter Hirst
Biochar Basics
Peter will introduce the fundamental principles of biochar: its characteristics, sources, application and uses, establishing the four basic standards of his practice:  (1) producing the best biochar possible, (2) with no net negative outputs, (3) with as much energy capture and use as practical, and 3) realizing the optimal return.  From these basics we will identify  of the shared characteristics of biochar and Permaculture principles, and the unrealized potential of integrating biochar in Permaculture.  (1HR)

Permaculture in a half million-acre forest concession in Indonesia
The presentation will address a large scale integrated forestry operation in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, where a zero waste system is being developed that nevertheless produces vast amounts of materials and energy in cost efficient ways.

In the area of the Integrated Tree Corporation Indonesia systems are implemented to make use of local nutrients to grow various crops and process the products of the various (tree) crops in ways that recover almost all nutrients so that they can be returned to the forest. The systems include fish ponds and animal husbandry as well as production of torrefaction pellets and ethanol and use of process heat for a variety of other services.

Local people get jobs in reforestation that resembles agroforestry and makes use of biochar and are taught to achieve permanent production from the same land compared to the former practices of slash and burn agriculture under shifting cultivation.

One of the key components in the success of this system is the use of the very high producing sugar palm that grows in mixed forests but also fat producing jungle trees such as the local illipe nut trees of south east Asia and a range of other non timber forest products.

The project attempts to show that triple P approaches based upon permaculture on a large scale can be commercially attractive.

This session is co-presented with Willie Smits (1.75HR)

Philip Rutter
Plant Trees, but not just any tree…
Permaculture focuses on trees as the coming food source for the world.  And – the Florida citrus industry is collapsing (again).

Philip Rutter, an Evolutionary Ecologist who has bred trees for 40 years explains why YOU need to understand some genetics; why the word “hybrid” means 4 different things, or nothing at all; shows examples from his 3 tree crops; why the most expensive thing you can do is plant cheap trees; discusses how small growers can work to maintain, and improve, genetic diversity (without setting invasive species loose…), and how YOU can bring new species into the food crop mix.

Tree crops detailed will be hazelnuts, chestnuts and hybrid pecan/hickory; proteins, oils, and complex carbohydrates.  (1.75HR)

Rishi Kumar
Advanced Suburban Permaculture
How to feed your family, make money, connect your community, educate the world, and creating lasting change on small-scale suburban spaces
Since 2011, Rishi Kumar has been making waves in the Los Angeles (sub)urban permaculture scene with his project The Growing Home. In his small, 5000 sq ft lot, Rishi grows fruits, vegetables, herbs, and protein for his family, operates a business selling dried herbs and fruits, teaches classes on urban ecology, and consults with homeowners and governmental agencies on using permaculture in small-scale gardens.  Come and learn how you can apply the same principles and models to create a successful and abundant small-scale, intensive permaculture farm, business, and social-change organization.  (1HR)

Ryan Harb
Building Actionable Plans For Your Permaculture Initiatives (Including the UMass Amherst Case Study)

We already know that permaculture design works, there are projects and examples all across the world. People are no longer asking “why do this” but rather, “HOW do we do this”, that is, create impactful, world-changing projects that engage local communities, are economically regenerative, and demonstration ecological restoration.

This presentation focuses on the how-to piece. You’ll learn how to get your project endorsed, get the resources you need and make your project successful, and it all starts with setting clear, quantitative and actionable objectives. We’ll both demystify the mechanics of strategic and tactical planning and explore common start-up hurdles such as initial fundraising strategies, social structure design, and building project support at all levels.

A portion of this talk will focus on the UMass, Amherst Permaculture Initiative, which quickly became one of the most well-known institutional examples of permaculture in the nation. In 2012, The White House named UMass Permaculture the top university project in the country that’s changing the world for the better. We’ll examine the nuts and bolts of how this project was crafted and implemented from Ryan Harb, a permaculture consultant who specializes in creating “beyond sustainability” projects for institutions, and Bill Bean, a sustainability consultant with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning and coaching and a growing presence in the permaculture space.

Co-presented with Bill Bean. (1HR)

Sarah Aubrey
Is there really any grant money out there?
For this one-hour session, expect high energy and realizing common ground with fellow entrepreneur and farmer, Sarah Beth Aubrey. From the second story loft of an old farmhouse, Sarah operates her strategic grant consultancy where she now helps clients understand how and when to use grant funding. This session will help listeners understand ‘the world of grant funding’ specific to permaculture projects. She’ll cover the size of the market, the players-including states, federal and foundations-and the pluses and minuses of using grants for project funding. Sarah encourages permaculture practitioners to consider grant funding as a portion of a project’s cost. Her session will show that, indeed, dollars abound, and how to plant to seeds of Prosperity! (1HR)

Five Steps to Successful Grant Applications, A Prosperity Process
Even if you missed Sarah’s first presentation, you’ll want to join her for this how-to, tactical session where she rolls out her proven five-step process for securing grants. Straight from her new book, Find Grant Funding Now! A Five-Step Prosperity Process for Entrepreneurs and Business, in this session, Sarah will cover key areas including:

  • Efficient Grant Searching
  • Understanding Grant Eligibility and Feasibility
  • Basic Application Components
  • And, her Top Five ‘Insider’s Tips

Attend this class and leave being better informed about how to find and use grants for your business or non-profit organization! Sarah Aubrey will be on-hand during the conference offering her books for sale and signature. She’s also looking forward to networking with her peers and answering questions about unique angles to fund permaculture endeavors on the farm or in the community! (1HR)

Steph Kent
Learning for Life
Self-directed lifelong learning is a vision and a possibility with much promise for the shift to a culture of life, by life and for life.  Such learning involves steady investments of attention, time and energy that almost any person can make.

In this session, you will acquire and work with a set of considerations that enhance investments in learning – yours and others’ – both during this conference and for years to come.  You’ll get clearer about the choices that brought you to the conference, the choices you have at the conference and choices you’ll have henceforth.  The clarity, awareness and skills gained will improve your uptake and retention of information, and your benefits from self-directed learning.

David Eggleton, an old-and-new permaculture designer, and Steph Kent, an interpreter, analyst and multi-channel communicator will present and, with a worksheet and exercises, walk you though considerations of paradigms, concepts, relationships and activities that comprise the culture-shifting system that David has devised. The system is flexible and adaptable, as the pair’s focus on your learning at this conference will demonstrate.

The considerations merge learning theory with the permaculture principles.

This session is co-presented with David Eggleton.  (1HR)

Valerie Loew
Edible HOA’s
Want to plant edibles and live in peace with your HOA?

What if there was a way to create an edible oasis that looked just like a ‘traditional’ landscape and stayed under the radar of CC&Rs? Valerie Loew will discuss the unique opportunity to bring edible analogs of ornamental plants, specifically perennial vegetables, into the accepted lexicon of landscaping choices made by home owner associations (HOA’s) and other residential communities.

  • Learn how to seamlessly integrate perennial vegetables and edibles into the landscape pallet as trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers.
  • Observe the diversity of suitable edible plant material for all zones and microclimates
  • Discuss how children, pets and wildlife are safer with non-toxic plant options near living areas

Get a full introduction to this breakthrough opportunity for all who want to make easy edible choices for their landscape. These unique plants will be available for tasting. (1HR)

Willie Smits
Village based permaculture approaches in Indonesia
Sulawesi is an Indonesian island with steep topography, overpopulation and very special local cultures. Willie Smits will talk about the problems of deforestation and the resulting impacts for local people and Sulawesi’s very special endemic biodiversity. Then he will talk about how working with the local people has led to more environmentally friendly agricultural production systems being put in place and how reforestation through agroforestry approaches has created more and better jobs for the local people while at the same time helping local flora and fauna and providing environmental protection for local populations. The application of a joint planning module for environmentally friendly agricultural production can only work when there is trust and the work is based upon the local cultural approaches. Smits will present the results of working with a big farmers cooperative in North Sulawesi as a potential blueprint for other communities to implement permaculture principles. (1.25HR)

Permaculture in a half million-acre forest concession in Indonesia
The presentation will address a large scale integrated forestry operation in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, where a zero waste system is being developed that nevertheless produces vast amounts of materials and energy in cost efficient ways.

In the area of the Integrated Tree Corporation Indonesia systems are implemented to make use of local nutrients to grow various crops and process the products of the various (tree) crops in ways that recover almost all nutrients so that they can be returned to the forest. The systems include fish ponds and animal husbandry as well as production of torrefaction pellets and ethanol and use of process heat for a variety of other services.

Local people get jobs in reforestation that resembles agroforestry and makes use of biochar and are taught to achieve permanent production from the same land compared to the former practices of slash and burn agriculture under shifting cultivation.

One of the key components in the success of this system is the use of the very high producing sugar palm that grows in mixed forests but also fat producing jungle trees such as the local illipe nut trees of south east Asia and a range of other non timber forest products.

The project attempts to show that triple P approaches based upon permaculture on a large scale can be commercially attractive.

This session is co-presented with Peter Hirst (1.75HR)

Xavier Hawk
Permacredits, a currency for Permaculture.
Permacredits are the local currency for the global permaculture movement. Xavier Hawk will explain the world of bitcoin, crypto currencies, and how they act as a local currency in a global network of like minded people. Right now Permaculture based businesses like Eco Villages, Eco Developments, Permaculture Schools, Farms, and more are being built and financially powered by new crypto currencies like Permacredits. With thousands of people all over the planet already dreaming, designing, and implementing permaculture systems, it is only the financial nutrients that are lacking in our soils. With the help of this new currency the Permaculture community is realizing the financial means to grow and nurture a more balanced, sane, and healthier planet. (1HR)

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