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Low-cost, knock-down, outdoor shower house

Here is some information about the progress we are making with our outdoor shower house projects. With campers coming to our Stelle (Il) and Bending Oak (Youngstown, OH) projects this summer we want to have a way that they can take a warm shower using current sunlight (scrap wood) to heat the water. (More on solar vs. wood burning hot shower water systems below.)

The goals for our shower houses are 5-fold;
     1. Non-permanent and portable
     2. Knock-down for winter storage
     3. Inexpensive (easily available or recycled materials)
     4. Easy to assemble/duplicate
     5. Attractive (Has to have a welcoming factor)

Prototype #1

The first concept we came up with that cost the least turned out to be more of a job to construct than first imagined, may not hold up in a hard wind, and frankly, looks a bit tacky (to me). But the price is right at $65.

Low-cost outdoor shower house made with T-posts and a tarp

Prototype #1 – Tarp and T-posts

Continue reading “Low-cost, knock-down, outdoor shower house”

PDC Graduate Series – Tim Wadle

Tim is a Graduate of:
PDC Course #53 – Feb. 2015
at Midwest Permaculture, Stelle, IL

  • Opened a business Sweet Greens in Cleveland, OH, -a supply store for indoor growers

  • Transforming his 12 acres in suburban Cleveland

  • Working to open the eyes of residents and city regulators about the opportunities around urban food growing.

“As Bill and Becky said at the PDC, if we wish to create a more compassionate and sustainable world (a more permanent-culture) we need to live it and share it.”   Tim… Continue reading “PDC Graduate Series – Tim Wadle”

Winter Starts and Microgreens

Winter is almost over, yet at the beginning of this season we were determined to bring more greens into our home during the cold months. We focused on microgreens and experimented with several methods. We used two mixes from Johnny’s Seeds, one was mild and the other spicy, mostly brassica mix. Continue reading “Winter Starts and Microgreens”

PDC Graduate Series – Scott Miskiel

Scott is a Graduate of:
PDC Course #62 – April 2016
at Heal the Planet Farm, Koshkonong, MO

  • Sold his legal practice in Arizona and retired early to pursue a life more meaningful to him.

  • Moved to Missouri and is establishing his own permaculture homestead on 6 acres. Just got the URL… Inwood Gardens LLC.

  • Has already provided legal, permaculture design and managerial consulting/services to Heal the Planet Farm.

Continue reading “PDC Graduate Series – Scott Miskiel”

PDC Graduate Series – Bridget O’Brien

Bridget is Graduate of:
PDC Course #38 – Jan. 2013
at Midwest Permaculture, Stelle, IL

Continue reading “PDC Graduate Series – Bridget O’Brien”

Rainwater Harvesting – Bending Oak Project in Ohio

Erik Peterson – Permaculture Teacher/Designer/Builder

Hey permies! In this blog post, we’re going to get the skinny on rainwater harvesting…

Bill asked if I could share with you all the process of designing and installing the rainwater catchment system we constructed for the Youngstown, Ohio permaculture project that Bill and Becky have been leading, known as Bending Oak. So herein we will explore the nuts and bolts of our own install, and give you the essential information that you will need to consider in designing a rainwater harvesting system of your own.

Besides teaching and designing with Bill and Becky, and co-running my farm, Fern Hollow Farm, my business, Wood & Stone, LLC (also on FB) has been involved in the Bending Oak project by tending to the fruit and nut orchards, finishing the construction of the shipping container barn, installing native wetland plants around the newly installed pond, and more. Now that the rain catchment system is in place, we’re one big step closer towards off grid, self-sufficiency! So let’s dive in…

Continue reading “Rainwater Harvesting – Bending Oak Project in Ohio”

PDC Graduate Series – Kate Heiber-Cobb

Kate is Graduate of:
PDC Course #4
 – Oct. 2007
at Midwest Permaculture, Stelle, IL

  • Founder and Host of the Madison Area Permaculture Guild

  • Permaculture Designer and Community Organizer since 2008

  • Awarded: Oxfam Woman Community Leader

Continue reading “PDC Graduate Series – Kate Heiber-Cobb”

Residential Design for Midwest Permaculture Home

We created the video below for the Local Food Summit which just finished airing.  This video includes some about our (Becky and Bill Wilson) reasons for starting Midwest Permaculture and how we designed and evolved our own home.  The blog-post that follows is a condensed version of this hour-long video presentation.


We will be posting all 6 of our Local Food Summit sessions in the near future.

First…here is a quick overview of the full basic design of our Midwest Permaculture home.

Click on Image to Enlarge (and save if you like)

Click Here to View a PDF of Each Layer as it Develops
or Download to your own computer by right clicking, then – ‘Save link as…’  Continue reading “Residential Design for Midwest Permaculture Home”

Natural Building Workshop Successful

Hello All. Our natural building workshop this weekend was a great success.

Hassan Hall, our natural-builder friend from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, taught a great hands-on class this past weekend here at Midwest Permaculture.

Hassan in building flanked by Justin and Will

Everything was ready to start the next phase of construction on the first of 9-small earth shelters we have planned for EarthCamp Village. It was now time to put the rough coat (or base coat) of earthen ‘plaster’ on to the walls of clay-slip-straw that had been packed in last fall. Continue reading “Natural Building Workshop Successful”