Applying permaculture principles and methods for building community abundance

This session will cover practical examples of how to create community impact on a major scale from the bottom up, and a step-by-step guide for implementing the 8 forms of capital, zone/sector analysis, and S.W.O.T analysis to create abundance out of scarcity.


Jonathan Dodd

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Jonathan Dodd is the founder and executive director of Keipos, a nonprofit focused on food, farming, and education. Keipos offers 12-week internships and PDC courses, and also provides garden programming for at-risk youth in a local youth detention center as well as at a YMCA summer garden camp, along with other education opportunities for their community. Through his work with Keipos, Jonathan has established 5 garden sites on donated public and private land in Papillion, NE, growing literally tons of food for families in need and volunteers.  Keipos started in response to rural needs in Nicaragua, where they have helped with the issues of water, sanitation, appropriate technologies, and community involvement. Jonathan has worked in this area of Nicaragua part-time for the past 8 years.

Jonathan is also the owner of New Earth Farm & Goods, a 5-acre polyculture farm that boasts diversified perennials, fungi, and multispecies grazing.  He has taken root and planted in Papillion, NE for the past 6 years, alongside his spouse and three children. New Earth Farm & Goods is the home and heart of Keipos, Inc.



Understanding Soil Microorganisms

Have you ever wondered how healthy your soil is?  Does it have the correct ratio and diversity of microorganisms for the plants you are growing?  Understanding the answers to these questions will increase plant yield, build soil structure, suppress disease, retain and recycle nutrients, decompose toxins, and reduce water usage. You are invited to learn about the foundation of the soil food web in this session.


Carol Christensen

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Carol Christensen resides in Madison Wisconsin and is an active member of the Madison Area Permaculture Guild as well as a recent student of the well know soil scientist, Elaine Ingham. She offers consultation services that help her clients analyze their soil and develop written reports detailing the ratios of soils microorganisms - good and bad. Based on this information she helps design custom compost, compost tea, and or compost extracts to provide her client's plants, shrubs, and trees with the essential microorganisms for optimal health and yield.

Carol Christensen: MS (Adult Continuing Education), BA (Physical Geography), University of WI-Madison; Soil Life Student with Elaine Ingham, PhD; Permaculture Design Certificate; WI Master Naturalist.


In this session we will explore our ancestoral roots from Otzi and the tinder conk mushroom to the Roman Bathhouses all the way to the advent of Rocket Stoves while making many stops in between. Come fuel your inner pyromaniac and step back into a personal relationship with your BTU consumption.


Jim Schalles

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Jim Schalles is the Founder of Tallgrass Vernacular. After receiving his B.S. degree for Environmental Sciences in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, he traveled through Patagonia where he became enamored with Natural Building in the town of El Bolson, Argentina. Upon returning to the United States, he headed out for Oregon where he began his education at Aprovecho School of Permaculture, earning his PDC while simultaneously taking an in depth natural building practicum.  He has taken various natural building classes and workshops up and down the West Coast of the U.S. and began his own building career by practicing with Cob Ovens which has turned into a passion of wood-fired devices. He is now a member of the Masonry Heater Association of North America and is well versed in numerous natural building techniques. His hope is to start a School of Natural Building for the Great Plains in the Loess Hills of Western Iowa were he, his partner Ashe and their great dane Adobe live.  The dream is to one day have a baby bison grazing on his Tallgrass Prairie planted living roof.

Cultivating Family Nature Connection

Learn 4 simple but profound tools for creating a more meaningful experience together in nature.


Heidi Huebner


Heidi Huebner is owner and steward at Bluebird Hill Homestead, an off-grid venue for nature connection classes for kids and adults. She is a homeschooling mom, an artist, author, nature mentor and healer.

Mentoring Children through Permaculture

Research based methods for encouraging children to connect with nature. How to encourage observation skills and a deeper understanding of the natural world.


Andrea Fourness

3D Site Design with SketchUp, Drones, and RTK

This session will be an introduction to the technologies and workflows involved in creating realistic and accurate 3D models of your permaculture designs. Session will explore how 3D models are developed in Trimble SketchUp with data from drone-based surveys, GIS, and on-site measurements. .


Jim Barmore

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Jim received his B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville in 2005. Afterwards he adventured across the country in search of experiential learning in the realms of permaculture, intentional community, natural building, and alternative energy. He has worked as a riparian zone habitat technician, built homes, stomped cob, erected meteorological towers, and performed two terms of service with AmeriCorps.

In 2014 Jim founded Harrier Geographics LLC, a small business specializing in 3D property modeling, mapping, and drone imagery. Much of Jim's work takes place in the field of eminent domain law where he is hired as an expert witness to illustrate the impact of highway and transmission line projects. On occasion he assists those in the permaculture and regenerative agriculture community by creating site plans, contour maps, and 3D models. Jim enjoys long walks on Wisconsin River sandbars, white-knuckled motorcycle adventures, and lives in Dodgeville, WI with his dog Casey.

how to plant trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants (kids)

Children and adults will join Emily in this hands-on session covering the ins and outs of planting trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Emily will share tips and tricks she has learned while everyone gets their hands dirty.


Emily Steinwehe


Emily has been an environmental educator since 2002 and an avid gardener since 2005. Emily started pursuing her edible landscaping business idea in 2011 and planted over 200 trees in 2015. In addition to her business, Emily Plants, she works at Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, WI, educating children about the natural world. She also works at Blooming Grove Preschool and Door Creek Orchard.

Emily and her husband, Greg Dixon, maintain two apple trees in their yard, along with two cherry trees, a plum tree, three blueberries, three gooseberries, two honeyberries, strawberries, and four serviceberry (juneberry) plants. All of these food plants, plus native plantings, an asparagus patch, and a vegetable garden fit comfortably in their backyard in Madison, WI, providing organic food throughout the year. Emily earned her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015 from the Madison Area Permaculture Guild.

Starting a Permaculture Farm from Scratch

This talk will go through a list of helpful strategies and techniques for starting up a permaculture farm from scratch.


Peter Allen

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Peter is an ecologist turned farmer who started Mastodon Valley Farm in Southwest Wisconsin where he and his family have built an off-grid homestead and raise pastured beef, lamb, pork, and poultry that they sell direct through their meat CSA. He teaches courses on regenerative agriculture and helps beginning farmers establish profitable regenerative agricultural systems.

Peter brings his ecological background to his farming practice. He spent a decade at UW-Madison, teaching courses in ecology and complex systems theory, and researching the history and functioning of Midwestern ecosystems. He realized the critical role that animals play in the creation and maintenance of functional ecosystems. Peter realized that in order to achieve broad-scale ecological restoration, it must be an economical viable pursuit..

What is Permaculture?

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



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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.

Cooperative Land and Life

This participatory session will range from the nitty-gritty of getting a cooperative land management project up and running, using Wild Abundance Community Farm in Jefferson, WI, as a case model, to group discussion of broader models for creative land access solutions. Challenges will be covered to dispel some of the romanticism typically associated with intentional community. Yet, the workshop will hopefully leave you empowered to start building alternative models (or join ours!) based on your own resources and vision.


Anne Drehfal

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Anne has been digging in dirt on organic vegetable farms in the Madison, WI area since 2007, and started her own organic vegetable farm ( at Wild Abundance Community Farm (WACF) in 2012, while in the cooperative planning phase. She loves the quality of life she can create sharing a homesteading vision with others – making time for community, creativity, and self-care. This project has taught her so much about winnowing what is important as a daily choice. She sees it not only as an opportunity for land access, but also as a process for designing a reality where isolation doesn’t have to be part of farming and exhaustion doesn’t have to be a status symbol. Teaming up with others gives space for celebration, joy, shared responsibilities, and challenges. While she's drawn to being able to do all things homesteady (Orchards! Seeds! Bees! Herbs! Pigs! Oh, my!), she's grateful to partner with others to collaborate on creating a full-system farm design that has many elements, but not burn-out by being in charge of them all.

Building Botanical Habitat for Woodland Restoration and Edible Foraging

The permaculture Zone 5 is in trouble. Many plants are disappearing from our landscape. Learn to assess and raise the carrying capacity of your woodland and prairie resource.


Daniel Halsey

Daniel Halsey is a certified permaculture and professional agro-ecosystem and restoration designer, author, and lecturer. Daniel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Temperate Climate Polyculture Design and a Masters of Professional Studies in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota. He is hired nationally and internationally to design private homesteads, intentional communities, and broad-acre transition. He teaches in Haiti, Lebanon, Costa Rica, Canada, across the United States, England, Alaska, and South Africa. Dan is also managing director of PRI/USA and the Natural Capital Plant Database.

Vermiculture: Let the Worms Do the Composting

In this session you'll learn the ins and outs of keeping worms as part of your compost system. This method is especially helpful here in Wisconsin, where outdoor composting is difficult in the winter months.


Scott Johnson

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Scott is the founder and director of the Low Technology Institute just south of Madison, Wisconsin where he researches strategies for people and communities to become self-sustaining in a post-fossil-fuel world. The Low Technology Institute offers classes on topics related to housing, clothing, and feeding ourselves without fossil fuels. Scott holds a Ph.D. in archaeology and combines this academic rigor with a lifetime of tinkering, inventing, and constructing.

Preserving the Harvest with Fermentation

Putting food up with fermentation helps you to preserve your bounty with little energy input, while adding beneficial bacteria, vitamins and flavor. In this session, you will learn how to make various fermented foods that you could easily make at home.


Laura Poe

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Laura Poe is a dietitian in private practice in Viroqua, WI, where she specializes in individualized healing with traditional, whole foods. Originally from Missouri, she has been braving the Wisconsin cold for 4 years. Along with her practice, she is an avid fermentation fan, and integrates these foods into her practice as much as possible. She teaches classes and workshops on nutrition and traditional foods preparation all over the region, and is a contributing writer for Edible Madison.

You've got your PDC, Now What?

Gaining confidence in your design, installation, and business skills to grow a successful permaculture landscape business. This includes the basics of setting up a business in the Great Lakes region.


Pete Widin

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Pete is a landscape architect and permaculture designer, based in the twin cities, MN. He has helped build landscape design-build firms, and also has his own design business Artisan Environments, LLC.

Soil Safari - digging into soils on-site

In this hands-on workshop, we will dig into soils at several locations on-site and learn qualitative methods of assessing and comparing composition, quality and biological health of these soils.


Nance Klehm

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Nance Klehm is the director of Social Ecologies, whose work engages local residents in building healthy habitats and spreading holistic, systematic thinking. Social Ecologies has worked internationally on designing and training others on regenerative soil, compost and water systems.

So, You Want to Start a School Garden? Let's Talk

Those attending this workshop will take part in the journey of the 7000 sq foot Riverside Middle School Garden (RMSG) in Watertown, WI, which includes a 16’x32’ hoop greenhouse, 10’x20’ pergola that serves as an outdoor classroom, 8’x12’ utility shed and an 1150 gallon roof water collection system. Using an extensive assemblage of candid photographs and stories from RMSG, Peter will walk through, step-by-step, the process of planning, installing, growing, and maintaining a successful – and nutritiously delicious – school/ community garden.


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Peter Watts of Watertown, WI has been a science educator for over 30 years. Among his accomplishments in the area of environmental activism are prairie restorations, annual river clean-ups and storm drain stenciling, implementation of the 7,000 square foot Riverside Middle School Garden (RMSG) located in Watertown, Wisconsin, as well as other environmental and permaculture projects in his community. Over the past 3 decades Peter has proven to be a successful grant writer, having written or assisted with writing awards totaling well over $500,000. He has also consulted on projects ranging from curriculum writing to ethical land use.

More Sessions Coming