Sunday, August 1, 2010

permaculture intensive

I’m posting this to see if there is any interest for a gathering at my house in Brightmoor, Detroit, MI that would be a permaculture intensive for a week and/or for a weekend this coming fall. I have a few projects that I think would make great learning opportunities for people interested. A lot of people have heard of permaculture, but haven’t got a great deal of experience yet. We could spend part of each day in an informal classroom setting, part doing work projects, and the rest of the time eating together, playing nature awareness/tracking games, hanging out, and going to different projects around the city. The topics and skills that I would like cover include:

-What is permaculture design
-Design Basics
-Soils (increasing fertility and beneficial microbes, remediation, which type for which plants)
-Compost (hot, cold, vermi, sheet)
-Water (storage:tanks, soil, earthworks; I’ll explain the greywater system that I hope to put in next year)
-Mushroom cultivation
-Natural Building (houses, ovens, benches)
-Plant Propagation
-Market gardening and CSAs
-Wild edibles

Here are some hands on tasks and projects that we could do during the week depending how many people show up:

-Sheet mulch/create a large mandala garden
-Build an earthen oven mostly from materials in the neighborhood
-Construct a kiwi arbor from felled logs
-Making and using compost tea
-Propagate plants from cuttings
-Building and using chicken tractors
-Plant fruit/nut trees
-Fall Mushroom hunt

There’s more we could do, but I don’t think we will have the time. We’ll see.

It would be nice to have some discussion about things like race and privilege, the question of domestication, exotics and ‘invasive species’, is urban sustainability possible or desirable and other topics that people are interested in.

I have a fairly large backyard we can camp out in and two small houses people could stay in if that doesnt work for you. We have a fire pit in the neighborhood or we can make one at my place for night time music and story telling.

Generally permaculture trainings are expensive, from hundreds to over a thousand dollars. I’m not into the commodification of knowledge or skills. The cost of courses have also been fundraisers to keep initiatives going or to start new initiatives around the world. That said, this is not a formal training and contributing financially is completely on a voluntary basis. The more money people donate, the more we can spend on trees, mushroom spawn and other projects. Bringing food to share with others is a great way to contribute as well. The energy of having friends around and your help getting things done is really the most important thing to us.

Logistics and details will have to be figured out, but this is mostly to see if anyone is interested. The time frame I had in mind was Sept 11-19 and people could come either for the weekend(s) or the whole thing. I also could do another one in november if this time is no good for you. Please please please let me know if this sounds like something that you’d be interested in being a part of. Also, none of us are experts and welcome you to share your knowledge and skills with us all. Let me know if you’d either like to lead a workshop/skill share or any other feedback of what you’d like to see this look like. thanks