Upcoming Permaculture Happenings


Just a few items plucked from my inbox:

Incubator Farm now accepting applications for 2014!

The Groundswell Incubator Farm is a ten-acre parcel of agricultural land in Ithaca NY which is available to qualified beginning farmers who need affordable access to land. In addition to growing space, the Incubator offers access to tools, water and irrigation lines, tractor services, production and marketing infrastructure, and mentoring from experienced farmers. There are currently two beginning farmers growing crops on the land, and we are looking for another two to three farmers to join next year. Space is available for livestock micro-enterprises as well as crops.

For details about the program and an online application form, click HERE. If you think the Incubator might be for you, we encourage you to give Devon Van Noble a call at 727-410-4073. He can answer your questions and help you decide whether to apply.

LandLink Project Launched

November 21. 7 p.m. 4-H Acres, Lower Creek Road off Rt. 13. Finger Lakes LandLink is a new project of Cornell Cooperative Extension South Central NY Agriculture Program that seeks to improve land access for beginning and established farmers by matching land owners and land seekers locally and in the Finger Lakes region. The Finger Lakes LankLink will be an online service where farmers and landowners can search either the land available or farmer database to find an appropriate match. Cornell Cooperative Extension will provide resources and consulting to help facilitate the matching process. The initial pilot counties for this project include: Tompkins, Tioga, Schuyler, Cortland, and Chemung. Land owners who are interested in having their land farmed, either through leasing, selling or sharing their land with a farmer, should contact Cooperative Extension and attend an upcoming information meeting. Beginning and established farmers who are seeking land to start or expand their agricultural enterprise, are also being invited to get on a preliminary list of farm seekers. During the meeting, landowners will learn about options for using their land, leasing arrangements, and the benefits of working with farmers to gain potential property tax breaks, along with the benefit of having someone utilize land for farming and food production. If you are a landowner or farmer interested in the Finger Lakes LandLink project, please contact: Ian Bailey (idb6@cornell.edu) or Monika Roth (607-272-2292, mr55@cornell.edu).

Designing Educational Ecosystems:

A Whole Systems Permaculture Teacher Training

March 21-30, 2014, Camp Y.I., La Vergne, TN

Humans and nature intertwine irrevocably: we are nature, and nature has become us. This means that every classroom is an ecosystem—even a windowless, concrete block room with fluorescent lights. If that is true, then ecological principles operate in every classroom, and ecological design pertains, too.

Permaculture applies ecological principles to the design of human cultures in all their aspects. How then can we apply permaculture to the design of learning environments, especially for teaching permaculture? What are the implications of this approach? What does this orientation require of educators—what is our ecological role in the classroom environment?

Designing Educational Ecosystems is a nine-day intensive Permaculture Teacher Training during which we’ll explore and embody these questions while training you how to design and run permaculture workshops, courses, and other educational experiences. Learn to: quickly assess students’ niche characteristics; create effective learning environments; and design multifunctional, functionally interconnected courses where the whole experience is greater than the sum of the sessions! We’ll also touch on organizing, the business of teaching, and other practical aspects.

Each participant in this course will design and run short lectures, classes and exercises; speak in public; plan and budget an event; and coteach a public one-day permaculture workshop at course end. What do whole learning systems look, feel and sound like? Come find out! The best way to learn is to do, and to have fun doing it! Join us!

Limited to certified permaculture design course graduates who also have significant on-the-ground experience. Significant pre-course preparation required!

Course Objectives:

• Participants experience and develop the complete suite of skills needed to begin successfully leading short permaculture workshops and other events on their own.

• Participants leave able to contribute significantly to certified permaculture courses under the mentorship of an experienced permaculture educator.

• Participants experience taking the seat of the teacher multiple times during the course in a variety of settings, both within the course and in a public venue. We all grasp the essence and significant details of what it means to create effective learning environments and effective learning events.

• Participants come prepared to give a very short lecture on a permaculture topic of your choice, and to collaboratively co-create the teacher-training course and co-lead a one-day public permaculture workshop (specific requests for how to prepare will be laid out after acceptance into the program).

• Participants experience a community of learning teachers and teaching learners:

– we cocreate a safe, supportive, fun, healthy, and whole learning environment;

– we support each other to take risks, share ourselves, grow deeply, move through edges and perceived restrictions, explore new ideas, and try new teaching styles and approaches;

– we share and constructively evaluate each others’ work;

– we cooperatively develop shared resources for the larger permaculture teaching community.

• Participants clarify, articulate, and evolve their beliefs about what a teacher is and what is their teaching philosophy. We all experience putting that philosophy into practice consciously. We all have the opportunity to deprogram beliefs that inhibit our effectiveness as teachers and learners.

• We experience all of the above through learning events and experiences that express, embody, and demonstrate the principles of permaculture design in action.

• We have a total blast doing all of the above.

Course Staff:

Dave Jacke, primary author of Edible Forest Gardens, has taught innumerable workshops and courses across the country using the principles you will learn in this training. This is the sixth teacher training he will lead, and represents an attempt to take his educational philosophy to a new level of embodied depth and clarity.

Farmer, educator, and designer Chris Jackson homesteads in Plainfield, VT and works with at-risk youth and livestock at a school there. He took this training with Dave and Jono Neiger in 2007, and has taught four trainings with Dave since.

Kim Almeida homesteads on the South Shore of Massachusetts. She practices permaculture design and education, tends annual and perennial market gardens and an organic CSA, and teaches yoga and vegan/locavore cooking. This will be Kim’s third time assisting with this training, which she took in 2009.


• A $50 nonrefundable application fee applies to course cost if accepted.

• An additional nonrefundable deposit of $250 is required within three weeks of acceptance into the program to hold your place. Full payment is required by March 7, 2014.

• Cost for tuition, meals, lodging: $1,450-$1,950 sliding scale. Early application discount: $1,400 if completed applications are received before January 15!

• Partial scholarships will be available—and your completed scholarship application will help us raise funds! The sooner you apply for a scholarship, the more likely you will get one. Scholarship applicants who cannot get sufficient financial support to take the course will get their $50 application fee refunded.

For more information,visit http://www.edibleforestgardens.com/events or request the Application Info from davej@edibleforestgardens.com.


The Nectary Project, c/o Jessie Smith


(206) 854-7271


Dave Jacke
Dynamics Ecological Design
33 E. Taylor Hill Rd. • Montague, MA • 01351
603-831-1298 • davej@edibleforestgardens.com

Visit http://www.edibleforestgardens.com for information on or to purchase my award-winning two-volume book, Edible Forest Gardens.

Mark Krawczyk and I are now writing a new book on Coppice Agroforestry! Find out more at
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coppiceagroforestry/dave-and-mark-write-a-coppice-agroforestry-book and support our effort by sending a check to the address above—we will honor the same rewards listed on the kickstarter website for any donations sent now.

Via Dave Jacke: Hey everyone

I have recently published for public consumption the Design Report and Implementation Plan for the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens’ Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden

Check it out—


For a synopsis of the project:
How well can we design a plant community that mimics the properties, principles, patterns, and processes of natural ecosystems but produces food and other products useful for humans? The desire to explore this question lies at the heart of the Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden, located on a portion of Observatory Hill in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens (WCBG) in Wellesley, MA, USA.

As the first of its kind at a college botanic garden, the Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden (EETG) provides robust opportunities for people to explore food-producing ecosystems in an aesthetically appealing setting. With establishment beginning in 2011 and still ongoing, this mosaic of productive plant communities mimics the structure and function of different stages of forest succession where visitors can engage with a variety of edible and useful species.

The site’s variable conditions and constraints supports the development of several distinct habitat types designed to thrive in those conditions. The garden demonstrates edible habitats mimicking oldfields, grassland-heath mosaics, shrub thickets, open woodland, denser woodland edge, and mature-tree understory, all in under 3/4 of an acre. The EETG’s species center on edibles requiring minimal care while still yielding well, and on competitive groundcovers well adapted to the site. The various habitats and plants in the garden will also provide diverse foods for creatures of all kinds. This should reduce herbivory by providing habitat for predatory and parasitoid species that can control pests. Therefore, the EETG should provide an array of yields while requiring low inputs and minimal maintenance.

This project also represents a major new thrust in ecological research: experiments in regenerative, whole ecosystem design. We live in an era when the need for regenerative design of damaged environments while meeting human needs is increasing at an increasing rate: peak oil, peak water, economic distress, global climate disruption, mass species extinction, and a host of other issues all demand our attention. The world desperately needs the field of ecology to help meet this challenge by developing solutions that integrate humans with nature, ecology into society, and ecological science with design.

We must synthesize reductive ecological models into real-world designed ecosystems intended to improve ecosystem health and function while producing food and other products for human use. Wellesley College Botanic Gardens’ focus on food of all kinds (not just for humans) and its mission to involve a broad spectrum of people in the Gardens presents an opportunity to integrate all these goals. We believe this project represents a solid step towards a multifaceted, interdisciplinary garden and educational program that will draw casual visitors, students, and serious researchers alike into interaction with the College’s botanical and educational resources. The varied habitats the garden offers provide an ideal situation for a “test of concept” kind of project, which the field of ecosystem design very much needs at this time in its development. The project will yield useful data, testing of conceptual models, experience, and training for Wellesley College students that can help solve some of the world’s greatest current and future challenges.

For information about visiting the EETG,
The Friends of
Wellesley College Botanic Gardens
106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481
Dave Jacke
Dynamics Ecological Design
33 E. Taylor Hill Rd. • Montague, MA • 01351
603-831-1298 • davej@edibleforestgardens.com

Visit http://www.edibleforestgardens.com for information on or to purchase my award-winning two-volume book, Edible Forest Gardens.

Mark Krawczyk and I are now writing a new book on Coppice Agroforestry! Find out more at
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coppiceagroforestry/dave-and-mark-write-a-coppice-agroforestry-book and support our effort by sending a check to the address above—we will honor the same rewards listed on the kickstarter website for any donations sent now.

Via The Alchemical Nursery:

SRFC Back Yard Workday, Saturday November 30, 12-2 pm, 618 Kensington Road


Join the Syracuse Real Food Coop and The Alchemical Nursery for a prep work day on Saturday November 30th from 12 noon – 2 pm to get the co-op’s backyard ready for a Spring transformation. An apple tree will be planted, and some planting areas will be sheet mulched, where we’ll plant a Winter Greens bed, a Perennial Vegetables polyculture bed, and some berry bushes when the weather breaks in 2014.

Donations are appreciated of either money (we’re looking at about $100 in expenses for this work day), or donations of goods and materials (a dwarf apple tree, straw bales, bagged leaves, hardwood logs around 10″-14″ diameter and 4′-8′ length).

Contact Don DeVeau (don@syracuserealfood.coop / 315-447-7666) for donations or Frank Cetera (frcetera@alchemicalnursery.org / 315-308-1372) for planning and design questions.

Via Yestermorrow Design/Build School

Instructor Spotlight: Steve Amstutz, Teaching Timber Framing for 20 Years

Steve will be on campus the weekend of November 24—25 to teach Advanced Timber Framing with Nancy Bernstein.

For Steve Amstutz, timber framing is not just a profession, it’s a passion. Steve started designing and building timber frame structures from his shop in the Adirondacks in 1989 and began teaching at Yestermorrow in 1994. He has since developed a wide portfolio of works in the Northeast: from modest, small scale timberframe structures to cavernous barns—the timber frame typology Steve enjoys most. Particularly impressive and inspiring is a recent studio off the coast of Massachusetts for sculptor George Sherwood, which utilizes curved laminated timbers (glulams) that transition from the posts to the principle rafters, held together with custom steel bands that are tightened with oak wedges.

Steve recently returned from travels with his wife, Nan, in Bhutan, which included visits to timber framed Buddhist monasteries and timber framed cantilever bridges. Be sure to visit his blog to see some of the striking photographs from his travels and while you’re at it, visit his website, where you’ll find a portal into Steve’s professional practice and explanations of various timber framing techniques.

Steve will be on campus the weekend of November 24—25 to teach Advanced Timber Framing with Nancy Bernstein.

Steve and Nancy will guide you through the finer points of timber frame layout, talk you through your own timber frame construction plans, and distill joinery engineering techniques through hands-on practice on sample logs. Enroll now to take your timber framing to the next level!

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