workshops and schedule
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9:15 - 10:30 am
Outdoors/No specific venue
This is the fourth year that Ben has taught this workshop. Ben will discuss the history of lumber and building in New England, the history of hand hewing and forestry in NH and then will demonstrate the layout and method of using a broad axe to shape square building timbers from a freshly felled tree. After the workshop, this timber will be shaped throughout the day.
Growing Vegetables in Orchards
Anton Elbers and Matthew Roy
This workshop will explore strategies of growing food in orchard systems of different scales. Matthew will demonstrate methods of integrating vegetables into small-scale orchard design. Anton will discuss his 30+ years of experience and techniques growing 5 acres of fruit using only organic methods at Orchard Hill. This workshop will take place in Anton’s orchard, where Matthew has also been experimenting as well. Participants will be able to see how multi-species systems of plants work in conjunction with each other.
Residential Solar 101
During this primer in solar power, Rex will share: how solar works and the basics of net metering; financial benefits, incentives and rebates; how to understand your electric bill and how to offset your energy uses; project design and sizing; and solar equipment and their guarantees. The workshop will conclude with a question and answer period.
Designing the Self
Designing the Self draws on Permaculture Principles to plot out a course to our happiest, most alive, intelligent, and beneficial relationship to ourselves, each other and the universe. Join in this fun workshop for skill building and the sense of being part of a loving, caring community.
Jenny will demonstrate how to make seamless felt slippers out of wool, using a wet-felting Scandinavian method. She will show all the stages of making slippers by hand. There will be opportunities for some participants to help and get hands-on experience.
Practical Principles in Permaculture Design
Join Ayn for a discussion of putting permaculture principles to work when designing and working in your garden and landscape - practical tips including the hows and the whys
Susan (Sattva) Daniels
Introduction to Permaculture
This workshop is an interactive introduction to permaculture ethics and principles. It will introduce permaculture design and will describe how permaculture ethics and principles can guide the design process to create systems that are sustainable and ecologically harmonious (whether you are a homeowner, gardener, community organizer, etc.).
(meet at David’s booth)
In this workshop Dave will discuss the mushroom life cycle and how to forage for mushrooms, including what to look for in their habitat and how to safely go about identification. We will foray and ask people to bring a basket, knife and favorite id book. We will bring back the mushrooms and present them on a table.
10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Integrating Plant, Animal and Build Systems
Outdoors/No specific venue
In permaculture we speak about getting many outputs (yields) from one element in a system. Maximizing system outputs is a hallmark of permaculture design and is called “stacking functions.” When these elements are placed in relation to each other a beautiful level of complexity and resilience can be achieved. In this workshop/tour of the Village Roots homestead we will explore some of the different plant, animal and building elements that have been incorporated with this strategy in mind. Putting these elements in right relation then becomes of paramount importance.
Managing your Forests
Leon-C Malan and Laura French
Many permaculture designs include great detail of the layout and plants in Zones 1 to 3. Zones 4 and 5 are often left as a block called “forest.” Yet, it is in the surrounding forest where we get our ecological inspiration for the permaculture designs in all other spheres. In this hands-on workshop we will discuss forest management in the Northeast. We will discuss some of the basic principles of ecological forest management and demonstrate a permaculture approach to a forest management plan. The aim of the workshop is to demonstrate the integration of a forest management plan into the overall permaculture design of a site and to offer some basic guidelines and principles.
Soak Up the Rain!
Restoring Natural Water Cycles for Land and Climate
Jan Lambert has spent the last two years researching and writing about the critical importance of retaining rainwater on our landscapes, as the most effective way to not only adapt to climate change, but in effect to restore a more moderate local climate. Her work is based on the concepts of The New Water Paradigm, written by a group of European scientists who have an urgent message about how humans are draining away valuable water resources, chiefly through deforestation, conventional agriculture, and urban storm sewers. She will describe the consequences of this water wastage but then will show how permaculture practices to slow down and retain rainwater can be seen in the much broader context of revitalizing whole regions-even if it is not always called permaculture! She will show slides of effective water catchments made from natural materials that have been successful in this and other countries. Her aim is to convey to permaculturists that they are part of a broader, global network of people working on landscape restoration that leads to greater food production as well as healthier ecosystems. She looks forward to a spirited discussion on networking with permaculture people globally.
Principles of Biological Systems & Implications
Introduction to Bionutrient Farming
This workshop will cover the dynamics by which plants evolved to flourish, and management practices that support the environment for that to occur. Strategies for soil aeration, hydration, mineral balancing, inoculation, and feeding through the liquid carbon pathway will be presented. We will also cover broader implications for soil carbon sequestration, increases in pest and disease resistance, along with nutritive value, flavor, aroma, and shelf life. The lay of the land as it pertains to consumer education, marketing and the food movement will also be discussed.
Permaculture for the Soul
This workshop will focus on permaculture and how to incorporate the ethics and principles of permaculture into not only our gardens, but also our daily lives and our sense of spirituality. While traditionally focused on agriculture systems, Amelia has used these systems to develop spiritual practices, interior and exterior home design, and daily rituals in addition to many garden designs. The integration of permaculture's ethics and principles into everyday life allows us to manage lifestyle choices that are morally and environmentally ethical. This workshop will help to lay the foundations to develop the framework for sustainable gardens and lifestyles by covering the ethics, principles and techniques of permaculture. Often we hear that permaculture is working with rather than against nature. The truth is, we are nature working. We are not above nature; we are part of it. How do we incorporate this idea into our daily lives and practices?
Whether it's a two-hour or a two-month class, it's a rare Permaculture Design Course that doesn't leave every student flipped inside out, turned around, elated and determined to solve the world's problems. These empowering trainings start with strong planning, effective communication, and emergent leadership models. Come explore strategies for coordinating a healthful, supportful, leaderful course using Chaos Theory, group dynamics models, and more.
Designing and Managing Ecosystems
The case for modeling existing ecosystems in installed landscape designs
This talk, will explore the following:
- How can this practice can save time, money, and become a strong selling point for clients?
- How important is understanding ecological principles and landscape features in applied permaculture design?
- How can a distinctly ecological framework take the guess-work out of design? What are the ecological principles that we need to understand to be good designers?
- Finally, how can we communicate complex ecological principles and their design implications to clients?
Learn how to keep chicken feed costs down and health, happiness and productivity up with permaculture plants and local resources.
Introduction to Herbal Medicine
In this workshop students will learn what an herbal extract is. Students will learn the proper usage, and storage of herbal tinctures. They will also learn how to make their own tincture. Topics cover include, but are not limited to, plant to menstruum ratio, how long the tincture should steep, and when to harvest. After this introduction students should feel confident making their own earth medicine.
2:00 - 3:15 pm
Wild Plant ID Walk
Medicinals & Edibles
Outdoors/No specific venue
Take a walk on the wild side! We will identify and discuss several useful plants commonly found growing wild in our region, including medicinal herbs and wild edibles.
Grazing as a Tool to Improve Soil Health in Pastures
Join Dan Holmes in a discussion on how grazing improves the soils found in New Hampshire. Different grazing techniques will be explored and what animal does best with each method. Multiple species grazing will also be discussed. Dan will talk about pasture health as you meander through the fields at Orchard Hill. Plant identification will be covered as you learn how plants diversity is a good indicator of pasture health. If you have a small field or large, you will go away with abundant information.
The Permaculture Home
In this 75 minute talk we will explore how the principles of permaculture extend into the home design and construction process. We will explore energy efficiency, fundamentals of building science, heating and cooling strategies and natural building materials for structure, insulation, thermal mass, protection from the elements and beauty.
Solidarity, Economics and Local Economies
Get Out of the Backyard!
Impacting Your Community with Permaculture
Many have acknowledged the need to broaden the reach of permaculture. While backyard forest gardens have long been our proving grounds, land use and policy decisions are made everyday at the institutional level that would benefit greatly from a permaculture approach. This discussion will highlight strategies for becoming an agent of change in your community, as well as some of the challenges and potential pitfalls of permaculture activism. This presentation will reference a real world example: a recent riparian buffer planting involving local permaculturists and a number of government agencies (FEMA, NRCS, ANR, local Conservation Commission).
Revitalizing Franklin, NH
A Permaculture Approach to Community Development
Franklin, New Hampshire’s smallest and poorest city sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Winnipesaukee and Pemigewasset, that thread together downstream to form the Merrimack. As is typical of cities along rivers, Franklin got its economic start in the 1700s by using power from the river to run manufacturing process in industrial mills that lined river banks. These mills were the primary source of the economic success of Franklin’s early years. The City was prosperous throughout the age of the mills; however, as mills began to close in the 1970s, the City began a prolonged period of decline and disinvestment in our historic downtown buildings.
Since 1967, boosters for revitalizing Franklin’s downtown have held at least five charettes, suggesting new curbs, vegetation, facades and other cosmetic changes to encourage investment and draw businesses to the neighborhood; however, plans and directives have not transitioned beyond planning into physical implementation. Todd Workman, Executive Director of PermaCityLife, believes that the most recent charrette grounded in the principles of permaculture will bring about the transition the city needs.
Our vision is to create a model for cities to become more self-reliant and to transition away from their dependence on fossil fuels with an emphasis on protecting our drinking water, creating renewable energy, ensuring local food supplies, and implementing zero waste measures. We desire a downtown that is walkable, locally sustainable, and has a distinctive sense of place. The basic reason to establish PermaCityLife is to take the “financial burden” of showing the way. This redevelopment work will tempt outside investment and bolster local confidence.
Microorganisms, Unseen Workers of the World
The microorganisms that we host in our bodies do much of the work that we take credit for ourselves. They carry out and direct many of the essential processes that enable us to think, play, and work in daily life. Even the cells that we call our own are in fact microorganisms that have organized themselves to work together in a living system that we call “a human body.” You could call it a worker’s cooperative. Microorganisms in the soil also do important work that we are mostly unaware of, because - like the working class - their work is quiet and hidden from view. Yet these workers provide most of the essential goods and services we rely on for daily life.
Society teaches us to credit the “owners” and “managers” of companies with the products of a company’s labor - not the working-class people who sit in the factory and do the real work. Our relationship with microorganisms echoes this pattern, (and often for reasons of profit as well.)
When we don’t understand or acknowledge the intelligence, power and work of microorganisms, and try to take too much control over life’s processes, we make management decisions that tend to lead to poor functioning of the whole, often creating conditions in which those organisms cannot do their work or even survive.
Didi Pershouse, author of “The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities” will describe the shift from sterile paradigms of care - that kill off what we don’t want - towards fertile paradigms of care that work in collaboration with the microscopic workers of the world.
Establishing Food Forests in NH
With a few pens and pencils, we can design a site in a few hours or a few months, but how do we turn paper into reality? What comes first? What happens in a year? In 5 years? Come explore and discuss the site- and region-specific considerations of transforming land into a productive, low-management food forest.
Building Orchard Ladders
Stan will assemble an apple picking ladder from wooden rails and rungs demonstrating how to make a beautiful tool with many used around the homestead.
3:30 - 4:45 pm
Mushroom Plugging Demo
(meet at David’s booth)
Learn the basics to propagating your own mushrooms. Dave will demonstrate techniques for growing mushrooms on logs and stumps and go over what varieties are best suited for your situation. This workshop will include a totem demo and a log demo.
A Different Type of Garden
Matthew Roy and Marty Castriotta
Join Matthew and Marty as they discuss alternative garden settings utilizing spaces and forms not commonly used. Hugelkulture mounds, bale berms, and sheet mulching will be just a few things covered. Participants will learn the pros and cons of hugelkulture mounds, sore back or bad knees, this could be your new garden bed. Bale berms are a great way to stabilize a slope and start the terracing effect without much work. Smother those weeds while still being able to plant with sheet mulching, a great way to gain more planting area without losing a season of growth. Have a tree in your yard, it makes a great garden.
Machines in Permaculture
An overview of the permaculture earthwork systems that I have installed using my waste vegetable oil powered machines. We will talk about when and why to bring in heavy equipment and how to leverage its productivity to drastically change an ecosystem for long term productivity.
Community of Sharing
Social Permaculture & Spiritual Ecology
Getting Back to our Wild Roots
This workshop will focus on the Permaculture Ethic of People Care. It will include examining the permaculture principles and patterns through our own patterns and behaviors; the idea that in order to take care of the natural world you must first tend to your inner landscape, seeing people (all people) as part of the solution instead of the problem. There will be some meditation/reflection practices included in this workshop
A Natural Build Design Case Study
Robyn Mathias lives in an Earthship in Vermont, designed by architect Michael Reynolds. Earthships are rammed-earth, passive solar homes, made of dirt and old tires and cans. Planters are built into south-facing windows to grow food year-round. Electricity is generated by photovoltaics. There is also solar hot water. She will discuss the building of her home, the work of Michael Reynolds, and life in a solar-powered house in Vermont.
Ecovillage Cite Ecologique: Case Study
Leonie will present the History Ecovillage Cité Écologique of Colebrook, NH. Learning from an Ecovillage model can promote a “systems” perspective, emphasizing the connections between activities, processes, and structures, and developing a broader, more comprehensive understanding of “sustainable community”. For example, seeing how organic food production relates to sustainable modalities of economics, which in turn relates to inclusive decision making procedures, which in turn relates to integrity in human interaction, which relates to wilderness and nature, which relates to ecological building and renewable energy.
Planning to Succeed by Managing for Change
Preparing Local Food Systems for Global Climate Change
Climate change is real, already happening in New Hampshire and significantly driven by human activities. During the past few winters the temp’s gone from really cold, to very-really cold and then to way-less cold. This session will consider how our wildly fluctuating winter weather is consistent with changing climate trends and how the Earth’s increasing average temperature may impact the local, regional, national and global food supply in the context of a growing global population. By looking at how weather patterns have are projected to change at multiple scales, more informed decisions can be made about home, landscape and community-scale permaculture designs to ensure a more resilient and robust food system in New Hampshire and New England. Significant time will be set aside for a discussion of the solutions to the challenges identified.
Grow Your Own
Plant Propagation for Forest Gardens
Plant propagation is fun and fascinating, and is a supremely useful skill for the would-be forest gardener. Forest gardens inherently require lots of plants, and propagating some or all of your own nursery stock is a prudent alternative to spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. Established forest gardens can yield impressive amounts of valuable nursery stock. Propagation is an essential aspect of making forest gardening a viable enterprise. Learn techniques for sexual and asexual propagation, as well as strategies for applying these techniques in the landscape. Discover the potential of plant husbandry to yield novel crops and cropping systems!