Keynote Presentation

Social Permaculture

In this presentation, Pandora will show us how to grow social justice within our movements as well as the nourishment we all need to thrive.

Pandora Thomas

Pandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen who works as a teacher, writer, designer and speaker. She studied at Columbia and Tufts University and with several permaculture and greenbuilding design programs. Her writing includes a children’s book, various curricula and a manual entitled "Shades of Green" for individuals wanting to teach green building to youth. She has keynoted and lectured on topics ranging from diversity, social justice, youth and women's leadership, social entrepreneurship and sustainability. She has taught groups as diverse as Iraqi and Indonesian youth to men serving in San Quentin creating inspiring and hands on programs around permaculture design, sustainability, and outdoor and environmental education. 

Pandora co-founded Earthseed Consulting LLC, a holistic consulting firm whose work expands the opportunities for sustainable living for diverse communities. Her most recent projects include co-founding the Black Permaculture Network, working with Toyota to design and currently serving as a coalition member of the Toyota Green Initiative, which supports African Americans in understanding the benefits of adopting sustainable lifestyles and co-designing, teaching with and directing Pathways to Resilience, a Permaculture and social entrepreneur training program that worked with men and women returning home after incarceration

She has studied four languages and lived and worked in over twelve countries and her other achievements include presenting at Tedx Denver and SF, and being awarded internships and fellowships to Columbia University, Green For All, the Bronx Zoo and the Applied Research Center.  When she is not working you can find her spending time with her beloved mother and cats or in the redwoods.

Holistic Health When Dealing with Medical Diagnosis

In this session Danèlle will go over a list of practices her family does for general precaution, nutritional elements, and how to create relationship with the medical community that compliment a holistic approach.

Danèlle Lejeune

Danèlle Stamps is a permaculture farmer in Southern Iowa, a beekeeper, a mother, a poet, a dreamer, and a stargazer. She writes of life happening, as it happens, sometimes while alligators think of eating her. Her poetry and photography contribute the cultural aspect of permaculture, sharing the lifestyle in an accessible way to the general public.

semi-Mobile Rocket stove Design

This session will cover how to build a semi-mobile rocket stove, where the core (insulating fire bricks and burn chamber) will be built on a dolly laying sideways. Participants will walk away with handouts containing guidelines on how to build this type of rocket stove and other rocket stoves appropriately.

Craig Dietz

Craig Dietz is a nature and technology enthusiast who loves simple, effective design, preferably manufactured from materials harvested from a dumpster or local surroundings. During his second retirement he attended a natural building workshop where he learned that a simple and luxurious life is attainable. He currently works for the man in the hopes of one day buying land, maybe joining or starting an eco-village, and leading a less contradictory life. The semi-portable rocket mass heater (RMH) is his first RMH, informed by plans and discussions on 

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.

Permaculture Seed Saving

Saving your own seed is a great way to add another yield to the Permaculture Garden and the surplus is easy to share with others. The very act of doing so can contribute to personal and community resilience. 
In this presentation Steve will discuss the basics of seed saving within the context of Permaculture systems.


Steve Sandlin

Steve is a plant geek with 32 years in the horticulture field. His experience includes plant propagation and greenhouse management, native ecosystem restoration, landscape design and vegetable farming. 

Steve completed his Permaculture Design Course in 2013 and is cofounder of the Ozaukee Permaculture Guild and an active participant in the Seven Hills Seed Library. He currently lives with his wife and family in Northern Ozaukee County where he manages a large property on the Lake Michigan shoreline. 

The Gibbs Farm: Western michigan University's Permaculture Project

In this session Joshua will talk about the Gibbs Farm which is a 2-acre historic homestead currently undergoing a landscape re-imagining to create an engaging environment for students, staff, and the greater community. The historic Gibbs House is home to 5 student staff each year who lead projects that emphasize traditional and appropriate technology solutions to some of our greatest problems.

Joshua Shultz

Cedar Creek Permaculture Farm is located on 1.5 acres in Barry County Michigan and was started by Joshua Shultz in 2013. The farm was incorporated as an LLC, shortly after Joshua's return from working abroad teaching Permaculture and Aquaponics in The Bahamas. Cedar Creek Permaculture Farm is focused on a farm scale permaculture design for growing diversified perennial food, a year-round aquaponics system, and permaculture design work for businesses in the Southwest Michigan region. 

Joshua holds a bachelor degree from Western Michigan University with a dual major in Environmental Studies and Business Management and a focus on small business and entrepreneurship. He also has two Permaculture Design Certificates, one in tropical permaculture from Rancho Mastatal in Costa Rica and one in temperate climate permaculture from Midwest Permaculture in Illinois. While at WMU, Joshua was part of the Gibbs House for Environmental Research and Education for two years where he developed a community garden, rain water collection, a small greenhouse, and drip irrigation systems for the property. 

Joshua worked at the Cape Eleuthera Institute for three years designing and installing a commercial aquaponics system and managing the eighteen acre property. This included gray water treatment ponds, farm animals, compost systems, living roofs, a biodigester, a two acre seven-layer food forest, and all of the building landscapes. He currently works at WMU's Office for Sustainability as Permaculture Program Coordinator for the Gibbs House Farm and also serves on the Education Committee for Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

Permaculture Principles and their use in a urban fruit garden

Joshua Feyen

Josh Feyen writes The Urbane Farmer blog about his ongoing adventures as a middle-age man, raised on a farm and now in the thick of urban gardening. He share perspectives, opinions and farm wisdom that may or may not work in an urban setting. He's passionate about community gardening, permaculture, kids discovering vegetables and other urban and organic gardening topics. 

He's also passionate about building community at the micro scale, on his urban block, where he enjoys organizing events, sharing knowledge and produce, bartering, and giving others a hand. You'd be surprised how much community five minutes of small talk on the sidewalk can produce!

• 2013 Permaculture Design Certificate 
• attended 2014 Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence
• attended the 2014 North American Permaculture Convergence
• member of the Madison Area Permaculture Guild
• enrolled in the Edgewood College Sustainability Leadership Masters Program
about Josh


The Power Of Gratitude

Self-care for activists.  Inspired by Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects, we will explore the healing power of gratitude, by sharing gratitude with each other.

Judy Skog

Judy has cared for the environment since she was driving 55 mph in the 1970s. She received a Permaculture Design Certificate from Midwest Permaculture in 2009. It changed her life. Now her neighbors wonder what the heck she's doing in the front yard (where there is sun). In 2012 she was blessed to attend a 5-day workshop with Joanna Macy on the Work That Reconnects. That also changed her life. Now she shares that work whenever she gets the chance.

Farmscale Permaculture

Grant will provide an overview on establishing elements in a polyculture system from a clean-slate field, and requisite economics of possible venture. 

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.

Permaculture in the Kitchen

You've obtained a yield, now what do you do? You can apply permaculture principles in the kitchen the same way you do on your land. Learn to cook, eat, and store food the Permaculture way.

Jessica True


Jessica True is a Permaculturist, wild foods forager, folk herbalist, and organic gardener. She’s a recent transplant from Colorado, where she began her permaculture studies in 2008. Since then she’s received four Permaculture design and teacher training certificates and has trained with Sandy Cruz, Peter Bane, and many others. She also recently completed an eight-week apprenticeship with herbalist Linda Conroy. She was originally drawn to Permaculture through her love for food and cooking, and she spent two years as a volunteer urban farmer in Denver.

Jessica and her husband recently moved to their new home on 2.75 acres, where they are now caretakers of a small patch of forest, an ephemeral pond, and all the wildlife and woodland plants that come with it. They are looking forward to spending this year observing and interacting with the land and their new community.

Fermentation: ins and outs

This workshop will cover the basics of fermentation, including how to ferment your favorite vegetables 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 leadership

In this session you will discuss a new paradigm of leadership and how we incorporate Permaculture principles and lifestyles into our work. How can all of us develop our own personal leadership skills to share this lifestyle with other people?

Jessy Servi

Jessy is passionate about building healthy relationships, fostering community and developing conscientious culture. She believes that through business we have the opportunity to transform local, regional and global challenges with effective leadership; leading with integrity, care and concern for people, planet AND profit. In 2013 she earned her MBA with an emphasis on sustainable business practices from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jessy Servi is the sustainability manager for Outpost Natural Food’s in Milwaukee. Prior to working for Outpost, Jessy taught English as a Foreign Language in Chile, Argentina and Costa Rica. She brokered this experience into travels through South America and Southeast Asia. In Thailand she was introduced to permaculture, where she learned first-hand about living sustainably. When she returned to the states, she lived, learned and taught at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, California before moving to Indiana to open a healing arts center and organic CSA farm, now called Living Roots Ecovillage. She left Indiana to move back to Milwaukee to help with her family’s business (Rawson Contractors, Inc.). She is involved in developing sustainable urban agriculture leaders in Milwaukee.


Permaculture and Intentional Communities

Lessons learned from a year on the road visiting intentional communities and living in one for another year.

Adrian Lee

Adrian Lee is a farmer, nurseryman and permaculture designer farming in South Eastern Wisconsin. He is currently the Resident Permaculture Designer and Practitioner at Wellspringa certified Organic Farm and CSA, as well as a nonprofit Education and Retreat Center located near Newburg, WI. Adrian earned his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) from The Draw located in Bayfield, WI. He has lived in one intentional community and visited 15 over the period of two years, while ending up living a more conventional rural life. 

Herbal First aid

Join herbalist Linda Conroy as she shares information about herbs for first aid. The plants that grow around us can help with cuts, scrapes, bites and much more!

Linda Conroy

Linda Conroy is a bioregional herbalist, educator, wildcrafter, Permaculturist and an advocate for women's health. She is the founder and proprietress of Moonwise Herbs, LLC, Midwest Women's Herbal, LLC and the founder of Wild Eats. Wild Eats is a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degrees in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy.

She has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for two decades. She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs and has studied with Isla Burgess of the International College of Herbal Studies. Linda has a certificate in Permaculture Design and has been incorporating Permacutlure principles since 1999. Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

Edible and medicinal plant walk


summer tree grafting

John "Little John" Holzwart

John Holzwart is a naturalist, Permaculturist, educator, beekeeper, wild forager and traditional broom maker. He has a passion for wild foraging and for grafting and growing unusual fruit. He has his design certificate in permaculture and applies these principles to his daily life. John teaches and demonstrates the many traditional skills he practices at events across North America. His kindness and commitment to personal growth shine through as he interacts with the public. He is also the training director for the Wisconsin Mankind Project. You can often find John in the woods looking for broom handles, mushrooms and other wild edibles. You can learn more at

Free Spirit land: Native food and Medicinal plant permanent intercropping

Urban food forest: 7 years in

This session will cover Eric's experience designing and implement a food forest that has not been installed for seven years. In addition he will introduce his enterprise Bay Permaculture and landscapes they have developed.

Eric Frank

Eric, dba Bay Permaculture, has endeavored to make ecological landscape design and construction available at an affordable rate to the Chequamegon region of N. WI since 2006, as well as offering educational and other outreach services. Specializing in forest gardens, kitchen gardens, and habitat conservation, an emphasis is now being placed on teaching, coaching upstart eco-ag enterprises, and transitioning towards a more permanent homestead for person and business.

Great personal pride is taken in the accomplishments of helping friends initiate sustainable ag enterprises, raising a 9 year old boy with a good deal of eco-literacy, and maintaining a happy stock of plant materials and chicken genetics for future gardens. Eric finds joy in a good apple and spirituality in an excellent trout stream.

Constructing a root cellar: an urban experience


Barbara Richards

Barbara A Richards is parent of three adult children and a Permaculturist; a retired Montessori public school educator and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer; a steering committee member of Interfaith Earth Network , Victory Garden Initiative, Transition Milwaukee, Reflo: Sustainable Water Solutions/ Director of Outreach, FORGE Board of Directors, and St Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. “This is what God asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.” …Micah. “You are not required to complete the task; neither are you allowed to lay it down.”…Talmud

Beneficial Insects for Greenhouse pest control

In this session Kate will discuss different species of insects that one can introduce into their greenhouses. Beneficial insects can bolster plant defenses and increase plant vitality.

Kate Field

Kathleen Field

Kate Field is a Horticulture and Certified Permaculture Design instructor at the Pike Creek Horticulture Center on the campus of Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WI. Kate is responsible for managing the campus greenhouses and teaching courses in greenhouse crops, greenhouse management, plant pests, horticulture marketing and plant ID. The greenhouses grow bedding plants, cut flowers, tropical foliage, herbs and vegetables. Kate has used beneficial insects for many years in the Gateway Greenhouses as part of a larger non toxic pest management plan.

Cooperative Permaculture Farming

Cooperative farming and purchasing land with a group of people and the benefits it has for social permaculture (farming is isolating!), land access, nutrient cycling and soil/land stewardship through various enterprises (rather than a homesteading couple trying to do everything).

Anne Drehfal

Anne Drehfal is a farmer & Permaculturalist who co-owns a small-scale organic produce farm, Regenerative Roots, in Jefferson, Wisconsin. While her background is in cultivating annual vegetables, Anne and her partner, Dennis Fiser, continue to incorporate Permacultural principles into their business as they look toward reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. Anne earned her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2009 from the Panya Project, in northern Thailand, a neighboring intentional community to Pun Pun Thailand, where she lived for six months studying earthen building, community living, and seed saving.
In November 2014, Anne and Dennis became co-owners in the land that Regenerative Roots stewards, purchasing the land cooperatively with other farmers and non-farmers alike after a 2+ year process as a group. Anne sees this as a way to not only have an affordable option for owning land, but also meeting many other needs that farming rurally calls for – a strong social support network, camaraderie in caring for the land, and multiple perspectives for long-term decision making. Their cooperative group at Wild Abundance Farm is actively seeking other enterprises to come steward the land, especially an orchard manager. They see this social Permaculture project as a model for supporting celebratory livelihoods, increasing agricultural viability, and improving on-farm nutrient cycling.

Wildness: Zone 5


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.


Peg Cadigan is a servant of Bur Oak Farm. She prefers adapting to nature's offerings while avoiding the work of imposing control. Her favorite Permaculture principle is Observe. The Yield she most wishes to obtain is entertainment.

She has done a few things: bookstore manager, counselor for felons on parole, railroad switcher-braker, factory worker, grocery checker, substitute teacher, writer. 

garlic: community Garden and permaculture Perspective

Sean with cover growing, harvesting, propagating, and storing garlic with a community garden and Permaculture perspective.

Sean Ruddock

Sean Ruddock has been in and around nature his whole life. The natural patterns we recognize as children; the visible movement of water as it flows around rocks, the invisible touch of wind against your skin, to the soil beneath your bare feet and our ability to recognize them is what defines us and make us who we are. 

Sean studied Geology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an emphasis on Seismology. He has worked on relocating and translating earthquake epicenters ( to better understand how and why this world functions the way it does. Sean's current path has taken him to Logistics and is now leading into Coordinate Measurement Programming. Though these paths have been computer and analytical in nature, his natural path has only grown stronger.

Sean earned his Permaculture Design Certificate in 2013. He has since acquired a year round Milwaukee County Community Garden that is approx. 30' x 60' with some shared edges of like minded gardeners. The garden has evolved from bare, rather bleak soil to rich vibrant loam that supports a variety of perennial and annual vegetables, medicinals, and fruits. Garlic has been a side passion for many years. Propagation, harvesting, preserving, and medicinal use, have all been building into him being enamored with of Allium sativum.


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


Jess is an herbalist from the Driftless Region offering plant walks, classes and herbal education consultations. Her life is grounded in nourishment, utilizing locally abundant plants and facilitating the accessible sharing of skills and knowledge. 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

wisconsin biomeiler: Compost hot water heater design

Last year marked the first time a large scale Jean Paine style compost hot water heater had been built in Wisconsin. In this session Drew will cover the successes and needed improvements that will be made to this years run at a compost hot water heater that will heat a large 60ft x 20ft greenhouse through the winter. 

Drew Carlson


Drew has been studying Permaculture since 2009 when he first saw a case study video covering Sepp Holzer's property in Austria. He has received two Permaculture Design Certificates, one through The Madison Area Permaculture Guild and the other through The Permaculture Research Institute (Geoff Lawton). In addition to his PDCs, Drew has taken additional classes covering passive water harvesting earthworks and food forest deign with Geoff Lawton plus Keyline Design with Mark Shepard. He is the lead organizer for the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence and put together the first convergence in 2014. He has designed and implemented projects ranging from farm-scale water harvesting earthworks to backyard food forest.

Drew is an active member of the Madison Area Permaculture Guild and has recently started his own consulting business, Full Circle Design, LLC. He has a bachelors degree in Environmental Philosophy from UW Stevens Point and a Master Certificate in Sustainability Leadership from Edgewood College. Drew has been working in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector for 6+ years and works on biomass heating, solar and wind energy projects. 

Engagement through Story-telling: Victory Gadren Initiative 

In this session Gretchen will share with you her story-telling technique that you can learn to use in your own practice. This technique will help you bring people of all ages, political views, and incomes together to support the work that you are doing, forever expanding movement towards a sustainable future.

Gretchen Mead

Gretchen founded Victory Garden Initiative in 2008. Throughout her career as a social worker Gretchen witnessed firsthand the negative impact that the current industrialized food system has on vulnerable populations. She observed that the poorest were the most susceptible to diet-related illnesses, especially where cheap processed foods are plentiful but fresh vegetables are all but inaccessible.

Gretchen’s outlook was shaped by her upbringing in rural Illinois, where her family harvested the bounty of nearby forests in addition to cultivating a family garden. Her approach to urban agriculture is informed by the principles of permaculture, a theory of ecological design that aims to work with nature instead of against it. Gretchen’s aspiration is to reintegrate our food ecology and our human ecology together in one system. She points out, “Our current agriculture system happens away from where people live; our goal is to reintegrate those systems.”

Gretchen received her BA from Clark College and a Master of Social Work from UWM’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. She has been awarded the 2012 GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Award from UW-Milwaukee.