While attending an agroforestry conference recently, Bill was pleasantly surprised to learn that Simple Mills was being referenced as a cutting-edge business doing “all the right things” to encourage environmentally sound, regenerative agriculture.
Two years earlier, Simple Mills founder Katlin Smith, was a student in one of our week-long Permaculture Design Courses when the lightbulb moment happened for her!
Buying ‘certified organic’ for her company’s food products was no longer enough. She wanted to support the health of the planet by supporting farmers who not only refuse to use herbicides and pesticides on our food plants, but she also wanted to support farmers who were building topsoil health, holding more water in their soils, caring for wildlife and watersheds, caring for farming communities, and caring for future generations.
She made a decision right then and returned to the Simple Mills corporate offices with a mandate:
Let’s find and buy our food stuffs from regenerative/permaculture farmers. And if we can’t find them, let’s help create them!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Locating Key Plant Databases and How to Access Them online
Sources for Good Plant Stock
Students Will Also:
On Walk — Identity Naturally Formed Plant Guilds
See Plant Guilds Created by Midwest Permaculture
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.