World Cafe: Permaculture Ethics

In this session, Kate Heiber-Cobb will facilitate a world cafe session involving all convergence participants to discuss the foundation of Permaculture, the ethics.

Kate HEiber-Cobb

 Kate Heiber-Cobb, founded the Madison Area Permaculture Guild in the Spring of 2008 and continues to coordinate the grassroots organization. Through her business, Sustainability on Stilts, LLC, she designs, educates and consults on Permaculture.  Kate teaches at the Continuing Education Department of Madison College, Olbrich Gardens, and other venues.  She was honored as a Badger Bioneer in 2010 and received recognition from Oxfam as a Woman Leader in her community in 2011.  She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Edgewood College Sustainability Leadership Graduate Program, and on the Board of Directors of Community Groundworks.

Permaculture at the community level: The transition movement

In this session Marrisa will discuss the Transition Movement and how the framework is successfully used to help us re-imagine and rebuild our resilient future.

Marrisa Mommaerts

Marissa Mommaerts is Director of Programs at Transition US, the national hub of the international Transition movement, a movement of real people coming together to re imagine and rebuild our future. Rooted in Permaculture, Transition has spread to more than 1,500 communities in 50 countries around the world.

Marissa is an activist, homesteader, strategic planner, writer, speaker, and Permaculture designer with a background in human rights and sustainable global development. After completing her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marissa worked in international public policy in Washington DC before moving to California in 2013 to work with Transition US. Marissa and her partner, Jeremiah, have recently relocated part-time to her hometown of Oconto, Wisconsin (north of Green Bay on Lake Michigan) to begin a regenerative agriculture project there.  

Designing Kinstone

This session will be a walking tour of the convergence host-site led by Wayne Weiseman. He will discuss the design's elements and how the landscape and owner's input helped shape the design.     

Wayne Weiseman


Wayne Weiseman is a Permaculture teacher, designer,  consultant and author. He lives in Carbondale, Illinois with his wife, Frances and daughter, Halima.  He was certified to teach Permaculture by Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture, and is recognized by the Worldwide Permaculture Network as an instructor of the Permaculture Design Certificate Course. Mr. Weiseman is certified by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to teach continuing education in Permaculture to licensed architects and landscape architects. Wayne has taught hundreds of Permaculture Design Certificate courses and advanced work, lectured and consulted internationally for many years. His design portfolio includes numerous master plans for various clients.

Wayne is the founder and director of The Permaculture Project LLC, a full-service, design, consulting and educational business that promotes eco-agriculture, renewable energy resources and eco-construction methods. He is also the director of education at Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture, an educational organization teaching advanced, applied Permaculture and whole systems design, located in Fountain City, Wisconsin. He is a former member of the board of Permaculture Institute North America (PINA), a national certifying organization for Permaculture designers and educators.

Wayne is a co-author of "Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems"that was published in August, 2014. 

Backyard Chickens: A Permaculture Approach

This session will focus on simple Permaculture techniques for keeping a healthy urban flock.

Rob Czernik


Rob Czernik is a certified Permaculture designer and teacher who has has been involved in social and environmental activism for over 20 years. Under the umbrella of Big River Permaculture, he launched the Twin Cities first season long Urban PDC course in April of 2016 with 14 students.  He also teaches chicken keeping with Minneapolis Community Education. When not talking Permaculture, he runs Powderhorn Feed Co, a chicken feed and consulting business. He lives in Minneapolis.

Paradise gardening with under Used Plants

A whimsical and information packed tour thru 20+ years of experimenting with growing under utilized fruits in the upper Midwest.  Fruits discussed include pawpaw, hardy kiwi, mulberries, cornelian cherries, aronia, seaberry, seedling peaches, heirloom rhubarb, elderberries as well as container culture with figs, citrus, eugenia (aka Surinam cherries) and bananas.  Focus will be on cold hardy cultivars, propagation tips, pretty pictures, and sources for acquiring plants. Questions are encouraged and mIEKAL will be available afterward for more in depth information sharing.


mIEKAL aND lives outside the constraints of academia in the most lush and rural part of the unglaciated Driftless area of southwest Wisconsin. Choosing to focus on creating wilderness and abundance surrounded by the perfect setting for limitless imagination his course of action includes demonstrating alternatives to inbred aesthetics, delighting in the play of DIY culture, and making art and writing that is both anarchic and noisy. He lives at Dreamtime Village, a permaculture/media community in Richland County, Wisconsin and is the caretaker of Driftless Sacred Grove, a permaculture demonstration begun in the early 1990s.

Restorative Permaculture: Using Regenerative Techniques to Restore Degraded Ecosystems

In this two part session, Bryce will cover how to use regenerative techniques to restore degraded ecosystems with an emphasis on choosing appropriate plant species by functions and succession strategies. Two classes, one each day. Saturday: Introduction and Restoring Small Sites. Day two: Restoring Large Sites. 

Bryce Ruddock

Bryce has been practicing Permaculture since 1984 and is the author of the Plant Guilds eBooklit, and a co author of Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems. His main interests are in the field of ethnobotany and restoring degraded ecosystems.

Mushroom Cultivation: From Spore to Fruiting Body for Culinary, Medicinal, and REMEDIATION use.

In this session Tavis and Roxanne will cover different types of mushroom cultivation techniques for cultivation and remediation projects. The session will include log inoculation and soil remediation demos.

Tavis Lynch


Roxanne Hanna

Tavis Lynch has 30 years of experience with wild and cultivated mushrooms, and regularly holds classes on mushroom identification, ecology, and cultivation in northern WI. His farm, Tavis's Wild and Exotic Mushrooms, cultivates organic shiitake, oyster, and wine cap mushrooms, as well as foraged morels, maitake, chicken of the woods, and many others. 


Rox Roots is the owner of Grow Wild Apothecary, producing small-batch high-quality wildcrafted herbs and extracts. She is working as an intern at Tavis' Wild and Exotic Mushrooms, assisting with both cultivation and foraging of mushrooms, as well as conducting a mycofiltration experiment in the creek on the farm property.

How to Mow with a Scythe

This session will discuss how to avoid common misconceptions and pitfalls, by understanding the true function of scythe design. A good scythe is potentially one of the most powerful handtools for a permaculture farm or homestead, if you understand how it works.

Botan Anderson

Botan Anderson is the owner of One Scythe Revolution. He became interested in Natural Farming in the 1980's/ He's been farming with a scythe since 2001. He's been using a scythe correctly since 2006. To spare others the long learning curve that he went through, he became a member of the International Scythe Network in 2006 and began importing the higher quality lines of scythe equipment from Europe, that were previously commercially unavailable here. He has been selling these scythes and teaching 3-5 scythe workshops per year ever since.

BeeKeeping in the Midwest

Julia will cover the ins and outs of beekeeping in the Midwest region with a focus on urban beekeeping that stems from her experience raising bees in Iowa.

Julia Mcguire

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Julia McGuire enjoyed and learned about the outdoors with her grandmother (who was also her next door neighbor) from a very early age. Incorporating elements of the outdoors life to suburbia since 1999, she watched her daughter become a beekeeper in 2008, and inherited her daughter’s bee hives in 2011. She currently keeps bees in multiple urban residential yards.

Julia is also the creator of, a website where anyone can find local city code regarding honeybees in 97 Iowa cities. She empowers prospective and current beekeepers to locate their apiaries lawfully and to facilitate code changes with their local governments. She is also the coordinator of her local beekeeping club, volunteer legislative liaison for her state honey producers association, and sits on the board of directors for her regional bee club. She has worked for and been involved with the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network since 2014.

Symbiosis: Integrating Livestock & Trees

Grant will provide participants with insight on integrating livestock with tree systems, also know as "Silvopasture."

Grant SCHultz

Grant is the Founder of VersaLand and known in some circles as the “Mad Scientist of Permaculture”.  As a farmer-hacker-artist, Grant develops new tools and techniques for creating and managing agroecosystems, including GPS Keyline technology, custom tree planters, and electric tractors.  Leveraging a background in agricultural and commercial land management and brokerage, Grant will share innovative ways to gain land access, design a diverse farm, and create a broadacre permaculture farm that yields abundant rewards.

Integrating Herbs into Land and Life for Health and Diversity


JOhanna O'Tigham

Johanna grows and wildcrafts healing plants from her home base near Viola, WI, and is an active member of the Kickapoo Herbal Education Network. She is a whiz in the kitchen and garden, and is experience in identification of cultivated and wild plants. Her favorite activity is sharing the joy and abundance of the Earth. She earned her community herbalism certificate from the NorthEast School of Botanical Medicine in 2006, adding to those she holds certificates in permaculture design and natural building. She is a founding member of both the WildFarmacy Project and the Driftless Herbal Exchange Network, and admin for the Tea for the People collective. Contact her for custom education and consulting in a wide range of resiliency skills, including foraging, herbalism and homestead plant walks. Students report that her classes are enlightening, fun, and almost always hands-on.

Nut Crops for Wisconsin Farms and Homesteads

In this session Casey will cover the different species and varieties of nut crops suited for Wisconsin that people can grow in their yards, homesteads and farms.

Casey Dahl

Casey grew up in Southeast Wisconsin and developed an interest in the natural world at a young age. His love of roaming in fence rows and woods led him to learn about ecology and environmental issues in his teen years. Part of this education was acquired at Prairie Dock Farm, where I helped with their CSA and was first exposed to Permaculture. Since then, he has interned and worked at vegetable farms, and later ran his own market garden and CSA at Prairie Dock Farm. However, he became more and more interested in tree crops and their potential. This led him to start Feral Farm, a tree crop farm that grows various fruit and nut crops in polycultures. He work with The Savanna Institute by sharing data about tree crop farming so that farmers can better understand the economic, ecological, and management aspects of growing tree crops in an agroforestry system that mimics a savanna.

Whole Hog Butchery & Processing

This session will cover the ins and outs of whole hog butchery & processing. It will include a hog butchering demonstration.

Dan Solberg

Dan Solberg is Papa, proprietor, farmer and chef at Stack Farm & Food in rural Neshkoro Wisconsin. Stack is both an innovative farm and food business that aims to use food as vehicle to connect people to their own native ecology and culture.

Dan grows American guinea hogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, vegetables, herbs, soil biota, ecosystem systems, amazing kids, and an old farm dog. Dan cooks the exceptional products coming off of his, and his neighbors farm, as well as from the wild, highlighting the amazing products our state and foodshed has to offer.

Hybrid Hazelnuts in the Midwest

Karen will cover all things hybrid hazelnuts and the pros and cons of incorporating them into your temperate Permaculture designs.

Karen Vaneck

Since September of 2014, Karen’s been working alongside Mark Shepard as the Nursery  Manager of Forest Agriculture Enterprises, the tree crops nursery based on New Forest Farm in Viola, WI. Karen’s educational background is in restoration ecology of the Midwest. She utilizes her skills in landscaping, farming, research, botany, and nursery work to further her goal of transforming degraded landscapes to be ecologically-sound and economically-profitable.

The nursery, Forest Agriculture Enterprises, offers bare root tree and shrub seedlings commonly used in agroforestry designs and those that are not typically accessible from other nurseries. These plants produce fruits or nuts for human consumption and/or silvopasture systems with the potential to be planted en mass for harvesting as an added income stream. Click HERE for the latest plant list and availability.

Additionally, Karen offers services in ecological design, consultation, maintenance and education through her company, Green Karen LLC. She is motivated to help others realize the potential of revitalizing landscapes, whether it be from a plant consultation, native plants tour, or designing forest gardens.

The Law and Regenerative Agriculture

This session will explore the invisible structures of federal and state law and policy as it relates to regenerative agriculture.  Chris will explore the opportunities and hurdles of the current state of affairs and offer up some solutions worth working towards that would better support the efforts of earth healing enterprises.

Chris Gutschenritter

Chris Gutschenritter is an attorney and an advocate for agricultural and environmental issues.  He is a founder of Three Brothers Farm, LLC in Oconomowoc as well as Borrowed Earth Permaculture, LLC.  Chris is an avid permaculturalist and works as a consultant to a land conservancy to protect and regenerate agricultural land in Waukesha county and the surrounding area.  Chris has legal experience at the federal level, state level and with local non-governmental organizations.

Embodied Permaculture: Body Mechanics for Land Workers

 Join permaculture landscaper, farmer, massage therapist and Ayurvedic yoga instructor Jeremiah Garcia for this unique movement-based workshop that will teach you how to be good to your body while working the land. Learn proper postures, warm-ups and safety tips to keep your Zone Zero happy and healthy while you tend to the earth.

Jeremiah Garcia

Jeremiah Garcia is an experienced massage therapist and landscaper, also trained in Ayurvedic yoga and, and Permaculture.

Jeremiah is an unconventional activist and a fun and encouraging ally in holistic wellness, who is eager to learn and share about regenerative lifestyles that make us feel vital & alive, beginning with embodied Permaculture.

Born in Sonoma County, Ca, Jeremiah is visiting Wisconsin with his partner, Marissa, as part of a tour to catalyze and support regenerative agriculture and forestry projects that enhance human well-being and environmental stewardship.

The Fizzeology philosophy of relationships

This session will cover and discuss life-style choices in our consumer driven culture. Participants will explore how they can support each other on this journey to create a culture that sustains.

Faith Anaker


Faith Anacker, owner of Fizzeology Foods is committed to social justice and sustainable life practices. 
A visionary fermentologist, mother of 4, forager, carpenter, and lifetime student of mother nature, she has been blessed with many great teachers on her path.

Faith and her husband hand built their homestead and landscape despite insurmountable challenges.
After 18 years of observation and relationship with the landscape, Homestead Sanctuary is bursting with life and beauty and ready to provide for community.
Relationships are what tie her passions together- connecting body, mind and spirit.
She loves learning through practice and connecting through the exchange of information.

Faith offers workshops and lectures about fermentation, wise traditional lifestyle, and consumer awareness to support her mission of raising health awareness with Fizzeology Foods- a small fermented food producer in Viroqua WI.

The Importance of Storytelling

This session will cover how to tell a story, how to use stories to reintroduce people to communal life, pass on useful skills and knowledge, and paint a picture of what we want to future to look like.

Varun Bhaskar

Varun Bhaskar is editor of View on the Ground, a small traditional newspaper dedicated to serving Dane County. The paper intends to train people to in the art of journalism, and rebuild the habit of reading news.

Varun is interested growing a self-sufficient economy to serve the working poor, and protect the environment. To this end he is currently organizing a trades guild in Madison, WI, setting up an self-education system, and finding ways to draw people back into community life. He firmly believes that traditions and practices from our near past will contribute to rebuilding our Democratic institutions, but only if people will surrender the self-defeating comforts of industrial life.

Permaculture Basics: What is permaculture?

This session will cover the history, foundation, current status, and discussion of Permaculture's future.

Effie Truchon

As a speaker and entrepreneur, Effie J Truchon offers support, consults, and designs to purvey Permaculture within her environments and communities.  Her diverse education, work and life experience led to a world that is now richly steeped in Permaculture.  Effie is the creator and sole proprietor of ‘Permaculture Designs by Effie’; a small start-up business built and based in cooperation to purvey permaculture.  In the past few years she has created a community garden design for a half acre site and three urban fruit forest designs of which are currently being implemented.   Effie has volunteered for the West Allis/ West Milwaukee Community Garden Committee for the past few years to help promote and build community gardens.  She has also designed and created garden workshops to help build community while sharing gardening information with community garden participants.  She will be co-presenting these workshops throughout the summer and fall to the annual closing of the community garden.  Effie’s other recent ventures include designing and building a Permaculture food forest specializing in fruit crops for a 30 acre site which will also be used as an educational site for Permaculture enthusiasts to enjoy.

Using Computational Models to Explore Hydrogeological and Permaculture Principles for Water Use Planning and Design


Maribeth Kniffin

Maribeth is a PhD student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studies the intersection of water resources engineering, hydrogeology and community planning and conflict resolution. Maribeth received her Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership from Edgewood College. She enjoys visiting, reading about, and the prospect of creating permacultured landscapes in Wisconsin and throughout the world.

Putting up the Harvest with Fermentation

This workshop will cover how the art of fermentation can help you preserve your harvest and why fermented foods are so important to your health.

Laura Poe


Laura is a registered dietitian practicing holistic nutrition and culinary instruction in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Originally hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, she has lived all over the country and has landed in Wisconsin--and is loving it! Traditional food is her passion, and her interests range from fermentation to herbal medicine to cooking with organ meats. With training in both the nutritional science and the culinary world, Laura's vision is to connect people to their food and help to support their body's ability to heal through a more healthful lifestyle.

Permaculture and Poverty

TFor many people the design of our society is not working effectively resulting in a great disparity of resources.  Permaculture’s principles work in harmony with our evolutionary DNA and may be a strategy to correct major design flaws in our modern life. Participants will react and provide feedback to a proposal for Permaculture strategies to help low income families reach their full potential.. 

Richard Thwaits

 Rich Thwaits was a retired educator of 40 years when Permaculture found him.  For 23 of those years he served as a Head Start Director, a federal program serving low-income preschool children and their families. He realized that Permaculture was the systems piece that was missing as he completed his PDC in 2013. What started as looking for solutions to impact climate change has evolved to helping all people lead more meaningful lives while repairing the earth.

Compost Tea: Remediation Recipes and Bioreactor Design

Participants will learn about the Soil Food Web by brewing compost tea and fermented plant extracts with an on-site bioreactor. Rob will discuss remediation recipes, micro-herding strategies, application methods and brewer/applicator design.

Rob Woodworth

Rob Woodworth is a healer, storyteller, and ecological emissary raised by the water of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Finding small solutions within big problems, he works as a grassroots remediator to foster harmony between landscapes and the communities reliant upon them. He also serves as Systems Coordinator and Microherder at GrowHaus, a regenerative hub for learning and growing, concocting compost tea, organizing educational curricula, and facilitating field research. His calling is enlightened by nearly a decade of professional experience tending to the land including residential gardening, landscape restoration, food and medicine cultivation, earthworks, and water conservation.

Rob received his first PDC while studying under Sepp Holzer at the Krameterhof in Austria and more recently completed his Urban Farming Certification through PRI Cold Climate--where he also serves on the Board of Directors. Fusing environmental fieldwork and design with a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies, Rob draws upon his permaculture learnings in order to inform a multidisciplinary approach to land liberation, food justice and reconciliation ecology. In a deeper sense, he sees permaculture as a paradigm of mindful action that will bring us closer to global solidarity.


In this session you will explore how to harvest common medicinal herbs and ways to preserve them. Optimal timing to harvest and then how to make them last throughout the winter will be covered. This will include techniques like drying & using locally produced raw materials like honey, apple cider vinegar and oils/animal fats. Practical applications, storage, samples and demonstration will be included.

Jess Krueger

Thoughtful & exuberant herbalist, medicine maker, wildcrafter & zine writer Jess Krugeger creates utilizing her hands and imaginative mind. She plays with what is seasonally abundant around her home in Viroqua, WI. Jess works with families to develop wellness through nourishing and dynamic herbal education according to their individual needs. She loves to teach people about plants: how to ID them, how to utilize them and how to make magic in the kitchen. She is an active member of the Coulee Region Herbal Institute which teaches the wise and ethical uses of medicinal plants and wild foods. Jess can be followed on her blog at