Network with people interested in permaculture design within any of New York's counties located north of New York City. Permaculture practitioners are welcome to join, share ideas and projects, and promote local events. Please limit your contributions to messages directly related to permaculture ideas and activities.
Announcing Our Upcoming Events ~ You are invited! Please email us to reserve your seat for these tours, workshops, evening classes, or Permaculture Design Certification. (PermacultureSeries)
** Upcoming Tour Days in Western MA **
Saturday April 1, 9:30-3:00
Tour of Sirius EcoVillage Natural Buildings in Shutesbury, MA
Visit the natural buildings, straw bale greenhouse, cob house, 4 season growing greenhouse, and learn about the energy efficiency, and food systems at this 40 year old intentional community.
Saturday April 8, 9:30-3:00
Tour of a Straw Bale Home in Shelburne Falls, MA followed by a Tour of Wildside Cottages and Gardens in Conway, MA
Visit a straw bale home, root cellar, forest gardens, greenhouse, market gardens, permaculture design, energy efficient home, living roof, etc.
** What’s Happening at the NEW Sowing Solutions Hub **
(in Shelburne Falls at 8 Deerfield Ave, down by the river)
From Now through April 15th!
Check out our fundraiser and consider making a donation to support these projects ~ a $10 donation offers you perks in exchange!
Sunday April 23, 5pm
Introduction to Fermented Veggies
with Trevor Ring of Tringo Cultures!
Dive into the world of microbes in this hands-on fermentation workshop. Understand how fermentation relates to permaculture and how preserving your own food, and even purchasing locally made fermented products, can help shift society in a positive direction. You will learn about the basic process of how to utilize the wild microbes that surround us and our food to make sauerkraut and other salt-brine pickled vegetables. Bring a pint jar and walk away with a jar of kraut and a wealth of knowledge on how to start preserving food at home through this traditional technique.
Our guest presenter, Trevor Ring, is a Fermentation Culturalist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who has taught fermentation classes around the Pioneer Valley for over two years. Learning directly from the well-known Fermentation Revivalist, Sandor Katz (author of Wild Fermentation & The Art of Fermentation), and assisting him with a college course in Vermont, Trevor presents a vast wealth of knowledge and experience on the subject. He also creates products for Nourish Wellness Cafe in Northampton under the name Tringo Cultures, and assists with miso production for South River Miso Company in Conway.
Sunday May 7, 5pm
Grand Opening for the Sowing Solutions Hub!
Our NEW Permaculture Design & Education Community Space
Music, socializing by the river, plant and seed swap 🙂
Sunday May 28, 5pm
Support Your Local Pollinators ~ Native Pollinator Habitat Gardens
with Amy Cozzolino of Amy’s Pollinator Plant Nursery!
Bees are a keystone species in almost all terrestrial ecosystems, and many bees are facing troubling population declines. Each of us, in our own yards and in our communities can shift our gardening and landscaping practices to support bees, other pollinators, and beneficial insects. This talk will introduce the principles and practices of creating pollinator habitat. We will discuss plant species that supply nectar and pollen and learn about larval host plants for butterflies.
Amy Pulley is a long-time gardener who is excited by what plant-pollinator relationships can teach us about living in a world where reciprocity strengthens resilience. Her enchantment with pollinators and with plants inspired her to create Wing and a Prayer Pollinator Plant Nursery in her backyard in Cummington, where she grows from seed and sells over 100 species of mostly native plants to feed a diversity of pollinators. She recently became active in Western Mass Pollinator Network to encourage and support the creation of habitat in our communities.
Sunday June 11, 1-4 pm
Mushroom Cultivation in Permaculture Systems
with Ari Rockland-Miller of The Mushroom Forager!
Learn to create a landscape that produces a bounty of gourmet mushrooms while nourishing soil fertility and boosting vegetable yields. Participate in a hands on inoculation demonstration of king stropharia mushrooms in garden beds. Also, discover how to maximize lion’s mane yields using the totem method. We will also cover outdoor shiitake production in the Northeast, from inoculation methods to laying yard management and season extension. Participants will inoculate their own shiitake log to take home, and enjoy a mushroom tasting.
Our guest presenter, Ari Rockland-Miller is a writer, instructor and lecturer on wild and cultivated mushrooms and edible plants. He is co-founder of the popular blog The Mushroom Forager and is author of a forthcoming book on how to safely and fruitfully forage for the most coveted wild mushrooms in North America. The Mushroom Forager’s work has been featured on CNN’s Great Big Story, New England Public Radio, Vermont Public Radio, and in magazines including Vermont Life and Northern Woodlands.
Workshop $35-$45 sliding scale (plus $15 to take a mushroom log home)
** Our Permaculture Design Course **
3 Weekends in All: May 20-23, July 15-17, and Aug 18-21
Permaculture Design Certification Course
Gather the skills to design for abundance in your home landscapes and for resilience in your communities. Visit numerous permaculture demonstration sites, participate in a guided ecological design project for real clients at Nine Mountain Retreat Center and Snow Farm New England Craft Program, network with leading permaculture designers, and learn from a stellar team of educators. This course qualifies for optional college credit and is celebrating over 10 years of permaculture education!
Details and Registration at:
Please email us to reserve your seat for these tours, workshops, evening classes, or Permaculture Design Certification. (PermacultureSeries)
Reclaiming our Resilience: A permaculture workshop on planting, foraging and land-based living.
April 28th-30th, 2017
During this 2 day intensive, we will learn how to apply permaculture principles in practical, hands-on ways to the garden and farm.
Through direct experience, participants will practice selecting and growing plant species to meet the needs of a sustainable homestead, foraging and processing wild medicinals and foods, cultivating mushrooms in beds and logs, manage waterflow using permaculture design principles, and create ecologically sound waste management systems.
Through working, learning, and eating together on a beautiful 250 acre farm participants of all experience levels will leave with knowledge and inspiration to inform their own projects.
Workshop sessions will revolve around:
Hedgerows for food, fuel and fencing
Mushroom cultivation, foraging and ecology
Foraging wild spring medicine and foods
Shaping water flow for people and nature
Composting toilet systems
Food, Lodging, and Pricing:
Workshop registration includes extraordinary meals, prepared during your stay using locally sourced and sustainably grown ingredients from the Harlem Valley. And maybe some things we forage together.
We have a variety of lodging options to suit any budget type ranging from campsites to high end suites.
Course cost for Friday evening through Sunday afternoon is $450. Visitour events page to register and reserve lodging.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Work trade scholarships are available for a limited number of participants. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ben Falk, M.A.L.D: Design, Planning, Systems Optimization
Ben developed Whole Systems Design, LLC as a land-based response to biological and cultural extinction and the increasing separation between people and elemental things. Life as a designer, builder, ecologist, tree-tender, and backcountry traveler continually informs Ben’s integrative approach to developing landscapes and buildings. Ben has studied architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level and holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted more than 300 site development consultations across New England and facilitated dozens of courses on permaculture design, property selection, microclimate design, and design for climate change.
Ben is the author of the award-winning book the Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green, 2013).
Cornelius Murphy is an ecologically minded designer, illustrator, and project manager focusing on the research and development of regenerative and ecological design principles in the areas of agriculture, community planning, education and the public realm. Over the last nine years, he has helped Whole Systems Design grow into a regional leader in ecological design, permaculture, regenerative agriculture and landscape master planning. His professional experience includes academic and corporate campus, estate, municipal master planning and public park planning and design. He holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, CA and a degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University. Cornelius is the illustrator of the award-winning book the Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green, 2013).
Josh Viertel is a farmer, educator and activist. He is in the process of developing a 250 acre farm in the Harlem Valley into a center for food and farming education. Josh was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was listed as one of the seven most powerful voices in the food movement by Forbes and Michael Pollan. From 2008-2012 Josh was president of Slow Food USA, the US branch of the global Slow Food movement. Before his work at Slow Food, Josh was a founding director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project which brought local, sustainable food to Yale University. While there, he built an organic farm on campus.
Alanna Burns is an artist, writer and mushroom cultivator in New York. She works with nature’s materials to help deepen awareness of the ways fungi and other organisms can nourish, heal and set you free.
Have a farm that is in poor shape, but has so much potential.
Read my open letter for details.
Dear All ~ This is the time to attend a PDC and gather more skills for creating resilience and wellbeing in our homes and communities !
Here is the info for our next Permaculture Design Certification Course in Western MA with Sowing Solutions (Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design & Education is celebrating a decade of permaculture education!):
Gather the skills to ethically design for abundance in your home landscapes and for resilience in your communities.
Three Weekends in All: May 20-23, July 15-17, and Aug 18-21 **Early Birds Save $200 if registered by February 1st** (or Attend the Fall Course: Sept 9-12, Oct 14-16, and Nov 10-13)
Our Summer Course is offered over a total of three long weekends : May 20-23, July 15-17, and Aug 18-21
We want to be sure that you know about the EARLY BIRD SAVINGS for the Summer Course. *** Register by February 1st and save $200 off tuition!! ***
The Upcoming Summer Course:
This course is offered by Sowing Solutions, who is celebrating over a decade in permaculture education. It will be held at Snow Farm New England Craft Program in Williamsburg MA for the first May weekend and then at Nine Mountain Retreat Center in Plainfield MA for the July and August weekends~ both sites are truly inspiring places! (Snow Farm is an art school and Nine Mountain is a healing & dance retreat center). Each site is currently developing their permaculture landscape. You will have an opportunity to design for real clients at these host sites, while you are guided through the ecological design process alongside our stellar team of educators and designers.
• Students of this PDC will learn first-hand about working with design clients and conducting an ecological design. Participants will be guided through the ecological design process alongside a team of professional designers and educators.
• A study of permaculture with Sowing Solutions includes visits to numerous demonstration sites such as Sirius EcoVillage, Wildside Cottages and Gardens, and Hickory Gardens. You can evaluate and learn from these leading northeastern permaculture sites that have been growing and evolving for nearly a decade.
• Gaining your internationally recognized certification with Sowing Solutions is an experience of empowerment, support, inspiration and skill building.
• All that you learn in this course can be applied at your home.
Your registration in this course will provide you with: skill shares, discussions, design activities, experience in orchards and forest gardens, skills to create new gardens, natural building visits and hands-on activities, tours of local permaculture sites, immersion in community life, stories and presentations, food preservation and medicine making workshops, mapping techniques, networking opportunities, and a certification in permaculture design.
The Registration Process is as follows:
1. Fill out the registration form (attached) and return to us by email or postal mail at: Sowing Solutions, 5 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370.
2. Send in a $300 deposit or a full tuition payment as a check or money order written out to ‘Sowing Solutions’ at the same mailing address (Sowing Solutions, 5 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370) ~There is also an option to make a payment for either the full or partial tuition amount via paypal or credit card online at our website (http://www.permacultureseries.org/register-now.html)
The registration form is attached here for you. Once we receive an email from you, we will send you a Detailed Course Information Packet. We are available to chat by phone if you have further questions 🙂 We will send you the brief pre-course assignment and all the arrival details as soon as you register.
Fundraising Support is available to you as follows (in other words ~ do not let funding stand in your way of this training and certification program!!!):
- Contact us to talk about many fundraising options and we will share many ideas and strategies with you. (Strategies for fundraising that we have for you are: template letters, work trade applications, scholarship program, discounts when you bring a friend, early bird savings by February 1st, payment plans, fundraising techniques that we can walk you through, accommodation discounts, etc)
It will be wonderful if you can attend this inspiring and informative educational event! We will have a number of interesting design projects to work on together, and we have many existing permaculture demonstration sites to visit. The weekend series format of this course gives us a chance to correspond with you during the months between the class sessions, and provides students with ample time to integrate the new course material. The three weekends of in-class sessions are opportune times for sharing skills, resources, and inspiration, as well as for networking and forming new and lasting friendships.
Visit our website for more course details, www.PermacultureSeries.org, watch out our 2-minute video about this course, learn about the fundraising support that is available, and join us for a fun and informative weekend series course that starts this May! Send us an email to request the detailed Course Information Packet.
If you have any questions, we are happy to talk with you by phone, or correspond by email… and we look forward to meeting you!
Kay and the Sowing Solutions Teaching Team
The Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
along with the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute (FLPCI)
offer as part of an online Permaculture Design Certificate course:
January 16 – March 2, 2017
Enrollment is now open for “Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry.”
The class can be taken as a stand-alone course or as one of three in a series offered in permaculture design leading to a Permaculture Design Certificate.
Michael Burns, a cofounder of FLPCI, will be the course instructor for this opportunity based on the permaculture curriculum and activities developed by the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute over the past decade.
This program provides rigorous, evidence-based instruction in the principles and methods of permaculture design based on the internationally recognized curriculum.
There are just a few weeks left to sign up. With only 15 participants per course, enrollment frequently sells out.
Cayuta Sun Farm 607-227-0316
Study permaculture online through
Cornell University Horticulture¹s distance learning program.
Create a design portfolio based on your own project
and complete all three of the courses from home to
earn a Permaculture Design Certificate.
Instruction and facilitation is led by Michael Burns
of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.
Two spaces are still open in the first course:
³Permaculture: Fundamentals of Ecological Design²
offered October 24 to December 8, 2016.
The first 6.5 week long course and provides an opportunity for you to
build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design.
Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and
activities and complete portions of a design for a site of their choosing.
While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent
interaction between instructors and students through forums and review of
assignments. Readings and presentations will be directly applied through
hands-on activities students will engage with at home.
There are two additional permaculture design courses:
– Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry:
January 16 to March 2, 2017
– Permaculture Design: Design Practicum:*
March 13 to April 6, 2017
*Prerequisite: ³Fundamentals of Ecological Design² or ³Ecosystem Mimicry”
Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion
from the Horticulture and continuing education units.
Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary to
apply for an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate
though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute
Space is limited to 15 participants. Registration opens about six weeks
before each course begins. Fee is $675 paid via credit card at sign up.
See registration link at: