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Permaculture on the Edge: weekend forest permaculture and hugelkultur course

Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right place to put this? please re-direct if I am offbase, but I did not see a better spot.

We're hosting an intensive permaculture weekend course, Friday March 21 - Sunday March 23, 2013.
Permaculture on the Edge

We will be covering:

-Temperate woodland permaculture theory and design,
-Native forest structure and pattern language
-Focus on low-energy techniques for regeneration of "marginal" land
-Unique role of animals in an integrated permaculture landscape
-Nature observation techniques and time to practice it
-Construction of a 100 ft Hugelkultur bed (from bare earth to seeded mound)

as well as tours and information about how all of this work fits into the Village scale permaculture systems in play and development at Windward.

You will walk away with a packet of resources developed for the course.

Drawing from the resources of:
Holzer Permaculture
Dave Jacke's Edible Forest Gardens
Mollison's Permacultu 1 & 2
Yeoman and Keyline concepts
Over a decade of observation & practice of orchard craft, gardening, animal husbandry, and restoration forestry

This poster says a lot, and the website for the course has even more info.



Windward Intentional Community
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Sorry, I wrote the dates slightly wrong,

It is Friday March 22 to Sunday March 24.



I am working out the takeway worksheets for the event now. As I have them complete I will post the links to them here for people to review.

Another note to re-iterate is that this event is a fundraiser to help Windward host more interns and apprentices and continue work in developing the land into a greater example of fryland marginal region forest permaculture.

look forward to seeing some of you there!
Andrew
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Just wanted to post and report that we are getting inquiries for this course from all over the Oregon and Washington. Oregon city, Portland, Seattle, Yakima, Spokane.

Cheers,
Andrew

Matu Collins
steward

Joined: Feb 24, 2011
Posts: 1457
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
    
  48
This sounds great! I hope you do post more about how it went. I am only a beginner, but I hope to host this kind of workshop in the future.
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Just made a short video showing the site of the huglekulture bed to be, and the outlining a bit of our approach to constructing it.



enjoy.
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Howdy all,

I just posted an article about preperations for making a very large hugel bed (80ft long by 6feet tall all together). This is the bed we will be putting together in the workshop. Lindsay and I (who are teaching the course) will be constructing most of the bed before hand, and leaving it partially complete so that people can see the various stages and layers inside the bed, and learn how we are packing it all in.


This is Lindsay and I with a trailer full of branches from our work to limb an thin the forest for wild fire prevention. We've brought in two loads of branches so far. And will continue to haul and stage the wood for this huge bed, and for future beds in the vacinity.


We are having to move A LOT of biomass to fill this bed. And I have been digging away to get the underlying trench (about2ft deep and 2ft wide) of this bed completed. It's quite a lot of dirt excavate by hand! By their is not other way to do it without taking out lots of trees uneccesarrily, and damaging/compacting the soil.


Here is a diagram of how we're constructing the bed:

As you can see, the hugel bed in on a terrace, and is also being dug into the ground quite a bit. All these measures, as well as the huge size of the bed is to try and compensate for our prolonged dry, hot summers (about 5 months normally without rain and with temperatures between 80-110 F).

The full article is available here:
Preparing for the HugelKultur Bed

We are finalizing the curriculum and indepth packet of information for the course. When that is ready I will post it in this thread, as well as on the Windward site, and on PRI USA's website.
Anyone interested in signing up for the course, can find the appropriate links in the initial post above.


Looking forward to the hosting this course!
Cheers,
Andrew
Miles Flansburg
steward

Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 2239
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
    
  57
Looks like a nice place Andrew, I was going to ask you about sunlight etc but you answered it in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEuUg0jgUSI
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Thanks for reposting the Link! It seems to be broken up above. still getting the hang of video.


I am only 10 feet away from being done digging that huge trench, and am already starting to fill it up. Probably sometime in the next week I will have another video up with the stages of growth of this hugelbed.

Miles Flansburg
steward

Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 2239
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
    
  57
Ah to be young again and able to dig by hand like I used to!
Blair Buchmayer


Joined: Feb 18, 2013
Posts: 6
Location: PNW, Seattle area
I'm planning on heading down for the weekend workshop, if anyone would like to get a ride I could take a few people, but you will need your own camping gear.
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Hi all!

Lindsay and I went out to harvest some Black locusts for the Hugelbed, and for other places as well. We made a video with some details about methods of harvesting and the uses of black locusts. The quality of the video is rather poor, but the audio comes out fine. Enjoy!

Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
here is a video Lindsay and I took this morning showing the Hugelkultur bed in it's current state of completion. Since the hugelkulture is just a portion of the weekend course. We have endeavoured to leave the bed in various stages of completion so folks can get a chance to participate in completing the bed.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/2EwrH0oF7aI[/youtube]

I have been asked to do a video more specifically about what we are going to be planting in this bed, I will talk a bit about it here, but you can expect a video later in the spring after the plants have had some time to germinate and grow, etc.

This first year we are focusing primarily on support species:

Legumes: planting heavily with alfalfa (dry land Ladak variety) and dutch white clover.

Dynamic Accumulators Borage, Comfrey,

hardy pioneers, native and nectary plants

Vegetables and Root crops some potatoes, parsnips, collards (our own variety we have selected fro perenializing), kale (siberian kale we have selected for perenializing), and arugala. All of these plants do super well here and produce lots of seed. We also have some pumpkins, if we find we have the space, we will try to plant them in there too, but I think it is too shady in the are currently.


trees we will be planting locusts (the ones we were digging up in the other video) at appx 10 ft intervals. The locusts are not intended to be in the bed forever, but just for the first couple of years. If all goes well, we will get a good crop of wood for tool-handles and fenceposts before we start working to transition the bed to more food oriented planting pattern.

We have one Cherry tree (full sized root stalk but only a few years old) that we really want to relocate before it gets any more rooted in the nurserybed. so we will try it in sunny part inside the hugel bed

We plan to plant 3-4 year old apples and pears(full sized root stalk grafted with varieties we find to work well here) just uphill of the bed. The Hugelbed in on the downhill side of a terrace, so there is a nice flat area there to plant the trees that will collect mulch passively.

Up hill of the bed, we will probably be planting black walnuts along with permanent locust trees, may. these trees will get huge, and provide more windcover for the beds downhill of them. In all likelihood we will make another hugelbed for the walnuts and locusts, and plant perennial crops that are juglan tolerant.


If the hugel bed turns out to work well, we plan to make many many many more of them (this time with the help of some heavy machinery) down the 5acre garden area we are developing. NO doubt it will feature lots and lots of combinations of plants, most of which will be selected by nature.

over time, as the new fruit producing canopy gets established, we will be taking down the existing canopy of pine/fir/oak. right now those trees are providing vital cover, but eventually they will be impeding growth. Whatever we do not use for timber or construction we will use to make more beds.

hope that helps paint a bit more of a picture of what we are planing to do. As this project develops I will start a thread in the "projects" section and give a more comprehensive look at the whole 5-acre intensive forest garden we are creating.

cheers,
andrew
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Hi all, just sent an email out to all the participants who have signed up for the class, I thought I would also post the message here just for the record. And to give folks a link to the information.

Hi all you Permaculture pioneers!

This is Lindsay and Andrew checking in with you all about the upcoming Permaculture Course on March 22-24, at Windward's campground. Here's a link to a map.

It looks like there will be 22 adults and one child attending the event. To us, that is the perfect amount of people to make sure everyone has a chance to get there questions answered, while also having enough people to build a broader sense of community.

Supplemental Materials

Permaculture on the Edge - Supplemental Materials Packet (15 pg, PDF)

This is a document we put together to go along with what we'll be covering throughout the course. It's about 15 pages of topics that we will not have time to cover deeply in the workshop. If you would like to have it available at the workshop, you can print out a paper for yourself. We also encourage people to have a notebook to capture the material covered in the course as well.

You can also check out the Windward Youtube channel for three recent videos pertaining to this permaculture course.
Hugelkulture bed-Before
Harvesting Black Locust
Hugelkulture bed - walkthrough of construction

Below is a laundry list of other information about the event, links to the packet of supplemental material that is meant to go hand-in-hand with the curriculum.


Finalized Schedule

Friday

5-8pm: Check In & Camp Set-up
6pm: Dinner (Coconut, lentil and veggie stew)
7pm: Campfire & Introductions.
Sunset ~ 7:30pm

Saturday

Sunrise ~7am
Breakfast (Bring your own)
9-10:30am: Permaculture Theory and Design Part I: Ecology and Permaculture Thinking,
10:30-11am: Break
11-12:30pm Permaculture Theory and Design Part II: Designing like nature, frameworks and strategies for ecological design.
12:30-1:30pm: Lunch (Bring your own)
1:30-2pm: Dry Forest Ecology & Observation Technique: What is "marginal land", what strategies does nature have for such environments, what permaculture designs.
2-3pm: Walking Observation of Forest Structure & Design: a mimicking nature,walking
3-4pm: Forest Observation: putting observational techniques into practice.
4-5pm: Observations Share & Relevancy to Permaculture Design
6pm: Dinner (Provided)
7pm: Campfire, Social Permaculture Forum, Show and Tell.
Sunset ~ 7:30pm

Sunday

Sunrise ~7am
Breakfast (Bring you own)
9:30-12:pm Hugelkultur workshop: Overview of HugelKultur Method at the work site, building the bed, seeding and plant discussion.
12:00am-1:00pm Lunch (bring your own)
1-2:30pm: Finish Bed and time for Hugelkultur Questions
2:30-3:30pm: Wrap Up Session, and general Q&A whole session


Things to Bring
food, camping gear, work and cold weather clothing


Late March weather on the dry-side of the cascades is likely to be fair and sunny, potentially dipping into the low 30s at night. It has been beautiful and sunny these last two weeks and we have our fingers crossed that the fair weather and warm sunny days hold out for the course. However, please still prepare for cold and wet weather. Here is a list of things to consider packing:

Warm sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
Tent with Rain fly. We have an adirondak style camping shelter with 4 oversized bunks (8 beds) which can sleep 2 people each if you double-up on the bunks
Clothing layers for a range of temperatures. We will be having the theory and design sections of the workshop in a semi-outdoor area, so be prepared to sit for an extend period.
Sturdy, water resistant footwear (nothing worse than cold wet feet! muck boots and wool socks work great.)
Rain layers
Work gloves for the Hugelkultur bed.
Camping chairs. We will have strawbales to sit on for sitting portions of the workshops. If you need/want more comfy seating that has back support, please bring it for yourself.
Water containers- water is available in places throughout the campground. Make sure you have adequate containers so you don't have to wander in the middle of the night to get some water.
Food for breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, including coffee and beverages of choice
Camp Stoves if you want to heat up your meals or have hot water in the morning.
Printed Out Supplemental Materials and a notebook and pen to take notes
Camera

Remember that we will be providing a nourishing meal on Friday night and Saturday lunch. You need to be prepared with food for the rest of the time. (More on food and meals below.)

Food and Meals:
menu, and what you need to plan for, creating a culture around food


It is our hope that the meals we're offering are basic enough to mesh with food preferences and allergies. Below we offer the menu so you all can make informed decisions about how best to meet your food needs for the weekend. All the meals are vegan. There will be no meat, dairy or eggs in the dishes themselves; there will be cheese on the side.

Please feel free to bring a side dish or dessert to complement the meals. If want to bring a potluck dish that will need to be warmed up, please let us know.

If we have left overs, we can make them available for people to heat up on their own campstoves for lunches. The amount of leftovers we will have is dependent on how hungry y'all are the first time around!

Friday Night Dinner:

Main dish: Coconut, Lentil & Veggie stew. (including sweet potato, kale/collard greens, carrots, parsnips, broccoli, garlic, onions)
Side Dishes: Brown Rice

Saturday Night Dinner:

Main dish: Vegetarian Chili, (white and red beans, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, parsnips, corn, garlic onions)
Side Dishes: Brown rice, Corn tortilla chips, shredded cheese.


Blair Buchmayer


Joined: Feb 18, 2013
Posts: 6
Location: PNW, Seattle area
Have you guys taken any pictures of the hugelkultur lately? I would love to see how it is getting along!
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    9
Blair Buchmayer wrote:Have you guys taken any pictures of the hugelkultur lately? I would love to see how it is getting along!


Hey Blair! Good to hear from you. Here are a few photos that I snapped yesterday, and some captions.


Here's a wide angle shot of the whole bed:


there are several dozen turnips that are a good size.


I poked in some squash seeds when the weather warmed up. This is a sugar pumpkin:


There is a squirrel who has gone ahead an made a home in part of the bed. As you can see, the squirrel ruined most of the vegetation around the hole, an has been running along the top of the bed, killing many of the seedlings and kicking dirt down the side:



We have not watered the bed at all, and it is supporting quite a lot of growth for the first year. Many of the alfalfa and clovers are rather small, but they will fill in as the. Obviously, their strategy as a perennial is slow and steady. Who knows how deep their roots are going at this point! There are many big kale plants as well, This is somewhat of a surprise, since they tend to be nitrogen hungry plants, and the bed has had very little time to decompose and build up nitrogen fertility.

The trees in the back that we planted after the workshop are also doing well. Here is an article Lindsay wrote about planting those trees.

We are realing that, with the native forest still intact around the bed, there is not a lot of light that is hitting the bed. At this point, we are fine with that, but ultimately we are going to take the shade trees out, and likely make more hugelkultur with them right onsite. This may verywell be a project for this winter.

C
Blair Buchmayer


Joined: Feb 18, 2013
Posts: 6
Location: PNW, Seattle area
It looks like it has started out well for it only having been a couple of months since it was completed!
 
 
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