Bill to Teach a Farming-Focused PDC in Michigan

Josh and Brian Shultz
Josh & Brian Shultz

This was a great Course
We are Considering Repeating it in 2015
Please Check our Schedule

Training was May 6 – 13, 2014
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute – Hastings, MI
Start 1-pm May 6 —  End 3-pm May 13

I am very much looking forward to teaching this upcoming PDC with fellow permaculture designers/farmers, Josh and Brian Shultz. Both are Midwest Permaculture PDC Graduates but had been doing advanced permaculture work long before that.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

Starting off however, the training, meals and lodging will be hosted at the beautiful PCC Institute.  Be sure to check out these pictures of this wonderful location.

While there, we will learn about the work they are doing on behalf of the environment and how they are teaching ‘care of earth’ to school students and the general public.  The people at PCCI are walking the talk every day.  We will be in great hands and at a great location for this training.

Bill with Bloomingdale the cat
Me (Bill) with Bloomingdale the cat.

And when it is time to get out of the classroom and learn by doing and seeing I will be taking everyone over to Josh and Brian’s combined endeavors, Fair Lake Farm and Cedar Creek Permaculture Farm (see picture summary below).  They have both done amazing work in various fields and I know that as students, you will be learning a great deal by examining what they have accomplished and are planning to do.

To be clear, since this will be a PDC course I will be teaching the full PDC Curriculum including urban, suburban and residential permaculture applications.  We will be looking at how to design for various climates and for unusual circumstances.

Students will also be invited to bring their own design projects for we will set aside an entire evening to do nothing but explore the real-life design challenges of those who have a specific project.  Not everyone will or is expected to bring a project but we will all learn by exploring those projects that are brought to the table.  This is going to be a fabulous training and I am looking forward to meeting many new permaculture minds and hearts.

More Details about the Specifics and Location of this PDC Course Click Here
More on the Content or Curriculum Covered in all Midwest Permaculture PDC Courses Click Here

What We Will See and Learn from Josh and Brian

About Brian Shultz
Brian has recently retired as Manager of Sustainable Construction and Renewable Energy at Grand Rapids Community College.

His love has always been farming so now is his time to develop Fair Lakes Farm, a natural and sustainably-raised beef operation.

Brian will tell us all about the red barn he designed and built (below). It is like few others when it comes to energy conservation and generation.

Posted to the right is the energy diagram for the wood gasification plant that will power the farm while heating all of the main structures for 6 months out of the year. It will heat a food-producing aquaponics greenhouse too.

Josh and Brian Shultz (7)
Shultz Barn Wood Gasification Flow Chart
Josh and Brian Shultz (5)

About Josh Shultz
Brian’s son, Josh was the permaculture designer that helped transform the bare-rock landscape on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas into a tropical garden. You will probably enjoy seeing these pictures that I posted following my visit to see Josh’s work last year.

Pictured Left: Josh extending the growing season with his homemade greenhouse attached to the south side of the garage.

We’ll learn about how he designed it and of the aquaponics system it encloses.  Growing fish and greens at the same time… in Michigan!

Here is a recent interview with Josh from the Great Lakes Permaculture Portal.


We’ll learn about the creative approach used to make a maple syrup evaporator using the rocket-stove design principles. Josh and Brian Shultz (8)
Josh and Brian Shultz (1)

Josh is using a double-bottomed moldboard plow set at an exaggerated angle to rapidly create a swale and berm system, cut on contour.

We will walk this system and see how it is progressing now that he has put in some plants as well.

Here is what the larger area looks like after being swaled on contour.

Josh and Brian Shultz (10)
Subsoil Keyline Plow

Josh converted this subsoil plow into a keyline plow that will leave little disturbance to the sod while significantly increasing water retention and aeration.

Learning about P.A. Yeomans keyling system is part of the PDC Course Curriculum so I will be covering that with everyone.

It dramatically improves the quality of the overall farm landscape by holding water and fertility high on the landscape.

Here are some of Brian’s cattle on his neighboring farm.

We will learn about fencing, rotational grazing, stocking densities and how to keep these fellows happy and healthy.

See Brian’s simple brochure and order form for his new beef business.

He sold out of all beef he raised and had processed in just a few weeks and all in his first year!

There continues to be a growing demand for humanly and naturally raised meats.

Josh and Brian Shultz (6)
Josh and Brian Shultz (9)

A key principle in permaculture is looking for ways to turn waste into resources.

The emerald ash borer is creating a lot of damage in the woodlots of this farming region.

With this portable sawmill, Josh and Brian are able to cut down the dying ash trees while they are still solid and turn them into useable lumber.

Ash is an amazing hard wood with characteristics very similar to oak.

Turning these ash trees into lumber rather than firewood creates many useful possibilities.

Josh and Brian are surrounded by neighbors who have old fruit trees and who have no plans to use the fruit.

With this homemade cider press, Josh is turning a waste into a resource.

Josh and Brian Shultz (3)

To Be Clear:

This will be a full PDC Course with all areas of the curriculum covered including small lot gardening, community projects, residential and urban homesteading, and more.

But students of this training will also get to see and explore how a larger landscape is converted from an average farm into a permaculture homestead.

More Details about the Specifics and Location of this PDC Course Click Here
More on the Content or Curriculum Covered in all Midwest Permaculture PDC Courses Click Here
Click Here to Register  

Questions? Feel free to call Becky at Midwest Permaculture: 815-216-4124‬
You can text or leave a voicemail at: 815-782-2216

If you have been considering taking a PDC and are also interested in what it will take to transform a normal farm into a permaculture paradise, this training will be excellent for you.  I’ll look forward to meeting you.

Regards…. Bill Wilson
(Lead Instructor and Designer for Midwest Permaculture)



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4 thoughts on “Bill to Teach a Farming-Focused PDC in Michigan”

  1. Hello Mr. Wilson~

    I am starting to train with Blair Evans at his site in Detroit as I build our organization: We Want Green Too. We are in need of expanding our knowledge with permaculture in this region.
    Please add me to the mailing list so that we can be notified in advance of your coming to Michigan for training.


  2. I’m interested in the permaculture training in Michigan this May. Please add me to the mailing list and I look forward to registering for the classes and learning so much from your organization.