While the city of Chicago was shutting down due to too much rain last week just 60 miles north of us, the swales, ponds, berms and rain gardens we have put in around our home and in Stelle did their job of filling up and holding water back from the creeks. Over several days they will slowly release that water into the water table rather than let it run down into our creeks and rivers all at once.
In this hugelkultured swale, both the ditch and the wood in the berm are holding rain water.
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— About the world renowned Permaculture Design Certificate Course here. — How Midwest Permaculture delivers this comprehensive training (regardless of the location) here. — Download a .PDF of the PDC course curriculum outline here.
Below is a picture summary from a previous joint training to give you an idea of how full and rich this combined training is. Please Note: Geoff and Nadia’s visit was a one-time event. They are not expected to join us this year (2017).
Interior View of ‘Triple-Vault’– A Super-Adobe Structure at Cal-Earth – Students will learn the basics of how to build structures like this and how to design the total environment surrounding it at this combined training.
Blog Post of Previous Combined Course Pictures and Text by Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture
For a second yearwe co-delivered with the Cal-Earth teaching staff a combined Superadobe Earth Building and Permaculture Design Certificate Course. At the close of our training we were pleased to host Geoff and Nadia Lawton of PRI-Australia who shared their work in desert environments with us while they were in the USA for a brief visit. This workshop was also opened to the general public seen here at the end of a really great day of learning.
Our 2012 Cal-Earth PDC on Guest Day with Geoff and Nadia Lawton – Picture taken on one of the Cal-Earth buildings.
In this design we will be planting linear-food forests all along the downhill side of each of three hugelkultured swales. What is a hugelkultured swale?
While the tress and shrubs are in the early stages of growing (small) we will use the open space to grow some of our annual vegetables. We will also plant some nitrogen fixing ground covers and dynamic accumulators to help build the soil.
Permaculture Design Course Graduates – Summer 2011 – Stelle, IL
Grant Shadden took his PDC Training with us – summer 2011. While here, he shared about his upcoming 2-month trip to Africa to support the work of the Connect Africa hub.
We were all moved by the work of this organization and by Grant’s, and his wife Paige’s, devotion to assist in the work there. Grant was actually taking this training in order to come up with a design for this organization and a 20-acre site they want to develop.
As such, we made the decision to assist him by making it one of the final design projects for the PDC Course. 4 other students self-selected themselves to work on this design with Grant.
6-day “Hands-on” Training – August 2011 Held at Midwest Permaculture in our Sustainably Oriented Community of Stelle, IL We expect to be offering a ‘family friendly’ training every summer. See Here for Details
We not only taught this course to 24 students from around the world (Europe, Middle East, Africa) but we also trained 7 of Cal-Earth’s staff. and 2 of their interns. Nader Khalili was just months away from hosting the first PDC course at Cal-Earth when he unexpectedly passed in 2008. To honor their father and the 20th anniversary of Cal-Earth, Dastan and Sheefteh Khalili, Nader’s children, invited us to deliver our PDC course. As Ian Lodge (director at Cal-Earth) told us , “the hard work of proving the viability of superadobe structures is done. It’s now time to look at the total environment, to see how much better the buildings and the land around them can function together to benefit the people living in them.”
Check out this time lapse video we made of the construction of a hugelkultur bed…
Hugelkultur is a raised bed filled with wood. As the wood decomposes it slowly releases nutrients to the plants in the bed. It also acts like a sponge, holding more water for the plants to access in between rains. We built this bed in Bill & Becky Wilson’s yard as a part of our Hands-On Permaculture Training this past August.
Greetings from Stelle, IL. We are in the midst of a ‘permaculture training for families’ and took this photo in front of a hugelkultur bed that we built today in Bill and Becky’s back yard. This bed will now hold water and produce it’s own fertility for 5 years to come.
We also want to say hello to all the folks visiting from The Survival Podcast. Bill skipped lunch yesterday to have a chat with Jack Spirko and returned to class, energized by their conversations.
Permaculture is about a lot more than just gardening and growing things, it is about creating ways of living that care for people and the earth at the same time. We’re all having a really great week. And what fun having young ones and families involved.
The next 6-day hands-on training by Bill will be in California in early October. With the experience of this training, Bill and Becky are planning to host another family training next summer.