What is Permaculture?
While most often used in relation to growing food, in actuality, permaculture is a holistic design philosophy, a practical method of creating harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be applied to all aspects of life. It is a way of recognizing and increasing connection, and a technical framework to do so.
Through observation and careful thinking about needs, outputs and resource use, both material and non-material, it is possible to see harmonious connections and create abundant, regenerative systems.
"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system." - Bill Mollison
Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
Join us for our 9-day PDC Immersion Course in the hills of Mulmur!
Aug 21 to 30, 2020
2020 Course Tuition Schedule
Early Bird (ends Apr 30) $2,350 +hst
Regular (after Apr 30) $2,450 +hst
Includes course fee, catered meals, campsite
For nearly two decades, Mark Krawczyk has been honing his skills as a permaculture designer and educator. In 2001, Mark completed his Bachelor's degree in environmental studies. Subsequently, he spent more than three years as intern and apprentice with leaders in the fields of agroforestry, natural building, green woodworking, and ecological forestry, helping to ground his practice in applied ecology.
Mark has set roots in Vermont where he founded Keyline Vermont LLC , his design, education and consulting firm, along with the grassroots community non-profit Burlington Permaculture.
He has taught more than two dozen Permaculture Design Courses throughout the northeastern United States, including several at Ben Falk's Whole Systems Design. Mark has also provided design and consulting services to scores of clients throughout North America and beyond. He holds Diplomas in Applied Permaculture, Education, and Site Design from both the Permaculture Association UK and the Permaculture Institute of North America.
For the past five years, Mark and his partner have been building their farm and homestead from the ground up in New Haven, Vermont, further honing their skills and grounding their designs and course content in reality.
Ian Payne BLA, OALA, CSLA - Landscape Architect, Farmer, Vegan and generally nerdy guy. He lives and works with his Wife Viki at Not So Hollow Farm in Mulmur, Ontario, Canada. The farm specializes in the production of container grown pollinator friendly trees, shrubs and perennials native to Ontario. They are Passionate People Perpetually Providing Provincially Propagated Pollinator Preferred Plants for a Positive Planet. He is a founder and current director of Enviroscape Incorporated since 1976 focusing on creating healthy places for people to live, work and play that are regenerative not just sustainable.
Scott has been the farm manager at Althaea Herb Farm since its inception in 2007. Scott has completed programs at the Dominion Herbal College, the North East School of Botanical Medicine and the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. He has been studying herbalism and the human body since 2003. He teaches workshops and leads field walks on the virtues of local plants, herbal preparations and basic botany.
Passionate about the outdoors since his first memory, Skeet grew up immersed in nature - fishing and playing among the river valleys and lakes of Ontario - which fostered a deep connection to the diverse habitats and abundance of wildlife in this province from an early age.
Fueled by that connection, Skeet dedicated himself to Preserving the Ways of the Wild and becoming instrumental in helping others also connect deeply to the natural world and the communities that support them. He holds a diploma in Ecosystem Management from Sir Sandford Fleming College, has trained with Tom Brown Jr and the Tracker School and accredits much of his success to the solid foundations established through the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and the deep Nature Connection mentoring services, tools and resources offered through the 8 Shields Institute.
Skeet has worked as both mentor and consultant and has personally educated and assisted over 150 landowners & conservation organizations restore native habitat on over 5000 acres of land throughout southern Ontario. He has collaborated with First Nations communities in both Canada and the USA, helping to co-create nature connection programming that is culturally relevant to the people and places from those communities.
In 2008, he founded Sticks and Stones Wilderness School to provide various programs, skills workshops, apprenticeship opportunities, inter-generational gatherings and mentoring services. Skeet is one of the co-founders of the Headwaters Earth Skills Gathering (HG) enabling hundreds of people each spring to connect around skills, stewardship and community. In collaboration with other organizations throughout the world, Skeet has helped to bring the Bird Language Leaders project (BLL) to Ontario and was part of the original stakeholder team that enabled the Art of Mentoring (AOM) to arrive in Ontario.
Residing in Muskoka, with his wife and two children, the Sutherlands enjoy tending the wild places where they live, the permaculture farm at the center of camp and sharing the atmosphere and stories from this work with others, as a way to grow connection and empower ecological and cultural stewardship as a way of life.
Ben Caesar - Edible Landscaping
Ben Caesar was born and raised in Elmira, Ontario. He learned of permaculture and forest gardening through a friend, and got hooked immediately.
He has been experimenting with perennial edibles for many years, and opened Fiddlehead Nursery in 2012. He manages (and eats from) an ever-expanding demonstration garden to showcase some of the best plants for edible landscapes. He’s always trying out new edible plants, and is passionate about the idea of gardens that mimic the diversity and structure of natural ecosystems as they build soil and produce food.
In the winter, Ben makes his living as a carpenter. When he’s not building things or growing plants, he can be found walking in the woods or paddling local rivers. He lives near Kimberley, ON.
Matt Code - Sustainable Building
Matt Code is the man behind the Collingwood Earthship and is founder of Free Spirit Gardens, a not-for-profit, registered charity specializing in home, community & school gardens and sustainable food workshops. After 10 years of Gardening for himself, Matt decided to share his love for gardening and veggies with others, “I want to make southern Georgian Bay a healthier place to live!” Matt is very passionate about the concept of growing your own food, building out of recycled material and sharing that with the world.
Graham Corbett & Amy Ouchterlony - Biodynamic Farming
Like many young farmers, neither Graham Corbett nor Amy Ouchterlony grew up farming. They both studied Environmental Science and had some exposure to organic agriculture in university and while travelling overseas. They see their farm operation as a practical expression of their environmental ethic. They both enjoy using the farm as a teaching tool, addressing concerns they have for the sustainability of shared natural resources (land, water, air) and the growing disconnect between human beings and the natural world that supports us.
Established in 2011, Fiddle Foot Farm is a biodynamic farm that is committed to caring for the earth and maintaining the integrity of our land for future generations. We grow a wide variety of vegetables from garlic to greens, carrots to cabbage, tomatoes to turnips, potatoes, peas and many more! We do not use any synthetic chemicals, artificial fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. We grow over 50 types of vegetable and fruit crops, and sell our produce through our 100 member summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), at the Toronto Evergreen Brickworks and the Orangeville Farmers Markets. We sell our produce year-round, with a focus on storage crops and season-extension for winter and early spring greens.
Ecological and organic farming is a human endeavour to create and maintain a sustainable ecosystem. Biodynamic farming focuses on regenerative management practices, so that farming practices can also have a healing effect on the soil. Growing crops in healthy, enlivened soil will yield food with more vitality which in turn will help stimulate our own thinking, feeling and willing. Its aim is to produce food that nourishes body, soul and spirit. The goal of our farm is to produce our own fertility, through the production of our own biodynamic compost from our small herd of cattle that are intensively grazed around the farm.