Applying Permaculture Principles and Methods for Building Community Abundance

Applying Permaculture Principles and Methods for Building Community Abundance

This weeks 2018 session leader feature is on Johnathan Dodd. Johnathan resides with his family at New Earth Farm & Goods, a 5 acre polyculture farm that boasts diversified perenials, fungi, and multi-species grazing. He has taken root and planted in Papillion, NE for the past 6 years, alongside his spouse and three children.

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How Permaculture Changed My Life, and How It Could Change Yours

 How Permaculture Changed My Life, and How It Could Change Yours

When I was five years old, in 1976, my parents moved our family of five from our safe, stable and economically viable lives just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to a 140 acre farm overlooking the rolling hills of Western Wisconsin's Driftless region where we threw safety, stability and economic viability out the barn door. What I got in return was a tremendous sense of self reliance, which is not self-sufficiency, a conversation we could have at the convergence coming up in September. My family also got to meet and learn from our new neighbors and others who recently moved to the area, because in those days, and in those parts, there was no Amazon and no one had every piece of equipment or every bit of knowledge required to cultivate the land and care for livestock. This is a long way to say that little did I know our move introduced me to my first permacuture community and principles and I didn't even know it. 

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Past Convergence Highlights

Past Convergence Highlights

As we plan for the fifth Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence, I’ve also enjoyed thinking about the previous four. I love that the convergence offers many different types of activities; homesteading workshops such as how to make yogurt or raise chickens; construction skills such as how to make your own cooking gas or build a rocket stove; or social skills such as how to conduct a World Café.

For this blog post, I’ll share highlights from the last four years. The first year the convergence was held at the same location we’re holding the 2018 event, near Rio, Wisconsin. That year we organized several earthworks projects. The first was digging a pond by hand, lining it and getting it ready to add aquatic plants. The other earthwork project was on a much larger scale. Convergence participants used both a water level and laser level to identify keylines, after which we hired an excavator to create a water catchment system. It was great to turn ideas into an actual permaculture design.

The second permaculture convergence was held at Bur Oak Farm near West Bend in Eastern Wisconsin. The highlight for me that year was our main speaker, Pandora Thomas. Pandora co-founded the Black Permaculture Network, and spoke about the importance of diversity in and around permaculture.

The third convergence was held at Kinstone Megalith Garden, in Wisconsin’s driftless region on the west side of the state. While I didn’t stay for the whole thing, I think the coolest workshop was learning how to butcher a hog. People got to see many of the steps and techniques to prepare a pig for consumption and freezer storage.

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Why I Volunteer for the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence

Why I Volunteer for the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence

Hello and welcome... my name is Effie and I have volunteered for the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence for the past three years and am entering my fourth. If you have attended the event, we probably met at the welcome tent for event registration. I have had a great experience meeting so many different people interested in and purveying permaculture. It is inspiring to listen to and learn of your stories and adventures.

It is a gift to converge with others in our local region and I find experiencing this event completing fulfilling. It renews me to be around so much good energy working towards the common goal of creating and building sustainable environments. The event itself continues to fuel my passion for permaculture and the planning helps me stay connected with my permaculture peers. 

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2017 Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence

The 2017 Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence will be held at Troy Gardens located in Madison Wisconsin on August 4th - 6th. The schedule will be similar to past convergences with a community potluck and campfire on Friday night; sessions, lunch and dinner provided Saturday; session and lunch provided on Sunday. Tickets will be made available soon.

Session Leaders

We are are currently accepting session proposals for this years convergence. If you are interesting in leading a session please read and fill out the google form found at the link below.

Session Leader Proposal Form

Financial Sponsorship and Donations

Each year we strive to make the convergence a low-cost event in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible. We offer scholarships and partial work trades for attendees. Financial sponsorship and donations are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to the convergence please click on the links below.

Financial Sponsorship Form  

Financial Donations

See you at the Convergence!

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Convergence Open Mic Saturday Night

On Saturday night the convergence will be opening the stage for attendees to share their voice with everyone. We are hoping participants will take part in the planned open mic. Please bring your instrument, voice, dance, poem, story or anything you would like to share. We will have microphones and a sound system that will help amplify your performance. 

There will be a sign up sheet located in the main tent. The open mic will be accompanied by delicious fruit wines provided by mIEKAL aND of Beyond Vineyard and Winery.

We look forward to seeing everyone and sharing performances.

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Pre-Convergence Workshops August 3rd and 4th

Kinstone Academy will be offering two excellent workshops on August 3rd and 4th prior the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence. Both workshops will be taught by Wayne Weiseman, an experienced Permaculture designer, consultant and author. Detailed workshop information can be found below.


Wild Wisconsin Foraging – Finding Edibles and More in Your Wild Neighborhood

Date:  Wednesday, August 3, 9am – 5pm

Instructor: Wayne Weiseman, Permaculture designer, consultant and author
Cost: $40 with Convergence Registration or $50 for non-Convergence attendees, lunch included
Description: In this one-day immersion class, take a walk on the wild side! Learn about extending your food sources by harvesting from the wild spaces in your yard, in your neighborhood and beyond. Some basic techniques to help you identify trees and plants will be presented. Ways to use wild plants in your daily lives will be discussed. We’ll then walk the land. The focus will be on identifying, finding, harvesting and using common Wisconsin wild plants for food, medicine and utility. This will be fun and informative! Bring your hiking boots as we will be out exploring the local plant ecosystems of field, prairie and woodland here in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE


Integrated Forest Gardening – Build-A-Guild Workshop – harnessing the power of plant guilds. 

Date:  Thursday, August 4, 9am – 5pm

Instructor: Wayne Weiseman, Permaculture designer, consultant and author
Cost: $40 with Convergence Registration or $50 for non-Convergence attendees, lunch included
Description: Plant guilds are the building blocks of healthy landscapes. They are indicators of soil health. Plants that work together make your own tasks more manageable! Come and learn about putting together plants guilds that are nourishing for the land and for you. In this one-day immersion course, you will define and review plant guilds, food forests, basic plant biology, basic botany, effects of weather and interactions with animals. We will explore local plant ecosystems (e.g. prairie, woodland, savanna, riparian zones, pastures, gardens, farm fields, etc) and identify existing plant guilds. We will create plans for useful plant guilds that can be established in your own yard in this cold temperate climate of Wisconsin.  Wayne Wiseman is a co-author of the book Integrated Forest Gardening, a book about plants, plant guilds and polycultures. We’ll have the book available for purchase and he will sign them if requested.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE


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Permaculture and Intentional Communities with Adrian Lee

The seventh video installment from the 2015 Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence is a clip from Adrian Lee's presentation where he talks about his experience living in intentional communities. In this clip Little John covers fruit tree grafting basics. Adian Lee owns and runs Eldeflower Community Orchard with his partner Nicole Kloss, where they provide a valuable source of trees and shrubs used in regenerative land design projects . 

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO

Please check out our YouTube channel and stay tuned for more session recordings!

If you like the video and the others we have released, come join us for the 2016 Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence to experience community, networking and skill sharing! You can pick up tickets here.

The video was recorded by Rick and Mary Larson.

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