Building of Permaculture Earth-Shelter Cabin

Picture Summary: Clay-slip Straw Cabin Build

The cabin is available for overnight stays through our HipCamp listing. Enjoy the cabin and visit this Midwest Permaculture design site at CSC in Stelle, IL. Tours available.

Our First Cabin is Done – Completed 2020
We guided the design and construction of the first of several cabins on the CSC’s 8.7 acre design project. The cabins are part of a long-term sustainability plan for this land.

Why is it called an ‘Earth Shelter?’  Because it is made from the earth right beneath our feet here, just 50′ from the cabin. Continue reading “Building of Permaculture Earth-Shelter Cabin”

Bending Oak Permaculture Farm, Design-Element Permaculture Posters

We recently visited a long-term project of ours, Bending Oak Permaculture farm in Youngstown, Ohio. We have been designing and implementing for this demonstrative site for over seven years, and to see it transform from a plot of barren land into an abundant, regenerative ecosystem has been incredibly rewarding.

To help share what we are creating and learning with others, we set up an 18-Stop Self-guided Tour with posters like this at each point.

Click on Poster to View in Full Resolution – 8 More detailed posters in this post below.
Here is a quick look at the map you will find at the Welcome Center at Bending Oak, Youngstown, OH. Check out the Bending Oak website to learn about the tours, workshops and overnight accommodations.

We created these Design-Element Permaculture (DEP) Posters to explain the inner workings of the farm. Read more to learn about Bending Oak and why we created these posters. Continue reading “Bending Oak Permaculture Farm, Design-Element Permaculture Posters”

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 I am also co-running our farm Fern Hollow Farm and our permaculture business.

At Bending Oak I have been involved with tending to the fruit and nut orchards, finishing the construction of the shipping container barn, planting 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”

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.

PierceCedarCreek
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.

Continue reading “Bill to Teach a Farming-Focused PDC in Michigan”

Old Greenhouse into Multi-Purpose Structure

Originally constructed as an industrial sized greenhouse, this structure has been exposed and empty for the last 30 years. Located in the CSC apple orchard, it had been a popular roosting site for our orchard turkeys. Unfortunately for them we were determined to get some use out of the Buckminster Fuller inspired geodesic frame.

IMG_6445 Continue reading “Old Greenhouse into Multi-Purpose Structure”

Permaculture Internship Program – Update 1, 2013

Hayden and Mary-Kate
Hayden and Mary-Kate moving the chicken tractors along.  Wherever this goes, a rich layer of chicken ‘compost’ is left in its wake for any young trees or shrubs to be planted behind it.

We have a few seats remaining in our upcoming Internship Sessions

During their first 8-days, our interns immersed themselves in:

Plant Guild Workshop

A Full Day with Bryce Ruddock
Author of the Plant Guilds e-Booklet

Next Scheduled Workshop   —  Spring 2016 —  Check back for date
Price:  $95.00  Includes Lunch and printed copy of the Plant Guilds eBooklet  ($20 value)
At Midwest Permaculture in Stelle, IL  (Limit 24 Students)

Bryce will Cover the Essentials:

  1. What is a Plant Guild
  2. What are the Key Elements
  3. What are the Functions we are Designing For
  4. What, Where & When Should we Plant
  5. How Plant Guilds make up a Food Forest
  6. Locating Key Plant Databases and How to Access Them online
  7. Sources for Good Plant Stock

Students Will Also:

  1. On Walk — Identity Naturally Formed Plant Guilds
  2. See Plant Guilds Created by Midwest Permaculture
  3. Help Design and Actually Plant a Guild with Bryce
                            Bring Your Gloves…!!!  

Private Consultations with Bryce… If you have a specific project and would like Bryce’s undivided attention and recommendations, we will set a few private, 1-hour appointments on Saturday evening and Sunday Morning.  Call ahead to reserve… or… seek out Bryce following the workshop should you feel you still need additional assistance. Price: $95.00/hr.

Bryce Ruddock - Plant Guilds eBooklet

Continue reading “Plant Guild Workshop”