Picture Summary – Essential Permaculture Weekend – Kalamazoo 8/12

 Essential Permaculture Weekend Training – Kalamazoo, MI – August 2012

 We were invited to deliver our “Essential Permaculture” weekend training in Kalamazoo by a former student of ours who is one of the coordinators of the Trybal Revival Eastside EcoGarden (TREE).  
 
 
 This is an inspiring collaboration of several community organizations coming together to create beautiful and practical gardens in areas of town that have been affected by the real estate downturn.  
 
 
 Rather than leave an empty lot when an abandoned home is knocked down, the Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority and a local non-profit called the Kalamazoo Community Garden Project look for people in the neighborhood who are are willing and able to host a garden project.  
 
 
Our permaculture student Tomme Maile and his partner are two people who stepped forward to reclaim a row of 3 abandoned lots.  Here’s Tomme early this year before much work had been done.
 
 

 One structure that remained on the 3 lots where they hold regular classes and work parties, is this converted pole-barn double-car garage.  

 
 
 The classroom was comfortable enough and airy.  We had plenty of students from the local area, but also some who traveled from hours away, including Utah.  When you are ready for permaculture information… you’re ready…and you want it.  I was the same way.
 
 
 I invited in another PDC grad of ours, Larry, and his wife Kate to talk about the amazing transition they have been undergoing over the last 4 years.  They use 90% less energy now than they were when they started.  Check out Larry’s Blog…!!!
 
 
 Being a beautiful weekend, I was able to take the class outside as well.
 
 
 
 Tomme’s yard at his home next door where we were examining one of his rain gardens during lunch.
 
 
 
 Students enjoying lunch of local produce.
 
 
 
 Lawnchairs and a simple canopy are often adequate for a permaculture training.
 
 
 Moving into the new community garden area, we look for the best place to put in a hugelkultured swale.
 
 
 
 Hugelkultured swale explained.
 
 
 
 Once a location is selected, we use an A-frame to find and mark level.
 
 
 
 First we dig the cup swale.
 
 
 
 Then we put in old chunks of wood.
 
 
 
 Then we started to back-fill with the soil we dug out, and it will soon be done. 
 
 
 
 I want to thank all who helped to put this training together, but also all of you who are doing what you can to make your communities better places to live as well.  It does take a village.  
We look forward to returning to Kalamazoo…   -Bill Wilson
 

3 thoughts on “Picture Summary – Essential Permaculture Weekend – Kalamazoo 8/12”

  1. Hello,
    I have always like the idea of permaculture. I own 8 acres near Fine lake, that I am in the process of building a house. I am interested in sharing the land with other individuals and families.

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