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.
The fourth convergence was held in south central Wisconsin at Troy Gardens, an urban community garden and co-housing community. My favorite part of last year’s convergence was seeing permaculture principles at play in an urban setting. Between the hundreds of community garden plots, the childrens’ garden with chickens, a wonderful greenhouse, orchards, CSA farm and a beautiful prairie, Troy Gardens is an inspiration.
While I have pointed out highlights from each convergence, and each one had a unique set of presentations, speakers and workshops, all of the convergences have one thing in common – excellent networking opportunities, and lots of time to meet new people and make new friends. I’m looking forward to returning to the site of the first convergence, where Drew and his family will welcome us back to their farm, to have a reunion with old friends and meet new people.
Maybe you? See you there.
House Keeping Notes
SESSION LEADER PROPOSAL
We are still taking proposals from people interested in leading a session at the convergence in 2018. If you or someone you know are interested please fill out the form at the link below. Contact us if you have any questions not answered by the information in the form.
We are looking for businesses and organizations who would like to sponsor the convergence. We want to help you get the word out about your services and are pleased to provide an opportunity to reach people interested in all areas of Permaculture. Please check out the information by clicking on the link below if you are interested.
The convergence team is always looking to add additional team members to help with planning, outreach and day of duties. Please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to help the 2018 Convergence rock as hard as the past four!