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News and Events - 2008





  • contact an SPG facilitator
  • sign up for newsletter (once a month email with SPG highlights,and link to this page)
  • how to host a meeting or potluck
  • SPG on
  • SPG online forum





SAVE THE SOUND, BUILD A RAIN GARDEN: Free workshops throughout Seattle and King County

Please join Stewardship Partners and WSU Extension for a hands-on classroom workshop on rain garden design and construction. We have several classes scheduled throughout King County and the Seattle Metro area beginning January 22nd in Bellevue.

A rain garden consists of native trees, shrubs, herbs, and grasses planted in composted-amended soils in a shallow depression and strategically placed to effectively capture rainwater and slowly infiltrate it into the ground. Rain gardens work like native forests by capturing and infiltrating stormwater from rooftops, driveways, and other hard surfaces. Rain gardens reduce localized flooding; help recharge groundwater aquifers; provide beneficial wildlife habitat; and filter oil, grease and toxic materials before they can pollute local waterways.

Workshop participants will receive a rain garden handbook and other useful materials. They will also be invited to participate in several full scale rain garden installation workshops scheduled later in the spring and summer.

Classes are from 6:30 to 8:30 PM

  • Thursday, January 22: Bellevue, Bellevue City Hall
  • Thursday, February 12: Carnation, Carnation City Hall
  • Tuesday, March 3: Renton, Renton Technical College
  • Tuesday, March 17: Downtown Seattle, Seattle Aquarium,
  • Thursday, March 26: Seattle Tilth in Wallingford
  • Thursday, April 23: South Seattle, NW Environmental Education Center

Workshops are free and registration is required. Participants will be sent site-assessment instructions in advance to help maximize their learning at the workshops. Contact Becky Abbey at Stewardship Partners to register and for more details:

Call (206) 292-9875 or email ba at and visit for more rain garden information.

Ask us about our rain garden poster.

How to Design and Build with Local, Natural Materials

by Elliott Ridgway, Golden Home Design

See also the SPG Meetup Group

Join us for an afternoon presentation on modern natural building techniques! Today's methods are are feasible, affordable and quite easy to incorporate. Elliott Ridgway, owner of Golden Home Design, will share slides showing construction of earthen ovens (also known as cob ovens), saunas, a timber-framed temple, straw-bale homes, a straw-bale library and more. Ridgway's presentation will illustrate a wide array of the current techniques being used for less toxic and more sustainable homes and structures. Natural building can incorporate recycled and reclaimed materials along with local natural materials, to create low cost, low ecological-footprint projects.

Contact: Jocelyn Campbell,

Next Thursday, April 16th, Sustainable Tacoma-Pierce is hosting a "Skills for the New Millenium" event at the Center for Spiritual Living. There will be a Potluck, Permaculture Presentation and Permibus Tour, which will include information on basic permiculture principles, bio-fuels, solar power, greywater, humanure composting, hydroponic garden, permaculture curtains, and composting (including chickens and worms).

The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Center for Spiritual Living, 206 North J Street (at Division) in Tacoma. A $5 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Bring something to add to the Potluck and we'll all have a great feast and learn some vital skills for surviving these trying times!

Please RSVP so that we'll have an idea of how many folks will be attending. If you have any questions, email or call 415-990-4446.

Thank you! Sustainable Tacoma-Pierce

After their stop in Tacoma(see above) the Permibus will make a visit to the West Seattle Farmers Market this coming Sunday, April 19th. The bus is a mobile classroom giving information on basic permaculture principles, bio-fuels, solar power, greywater, humanure composting, hydroponic garden, permaculture curtains, and composting (including chickens and worms). You can see more about the Permibus at :

April 18, saturday - Hands-On Fungi Workshop 12–5 pm

Bastyr University Gardens, Seattle, WA

Learn how to grow edible and medicinal mushrooms, including shitake, mitake, lion’s mane, oyster mushrooms and more! All ages and skill levels welcome

$50 course fee includes all materials and some mushrooms to take home

$25 for Bastyr students and faculty

Pre-registration is required

For complete details & to register please contact:

Greetings Permies!

Please join Olympia Community School at the first annual Community Sustainability Fair featuring Paul Stamets – mycologist, author, inventor and Bioneer. Paul will speak about the ways we can use the mushroom kingdom to help save the world. He will discuss how we can engage fungi to clean up the environment, fight disease, replace chemical pesticides, create renewable energy, and much more. If you are concerned about the health of the planet and humanity and are looking for real solutions that have actually proven effective, then this is an event that you will not want to miss. The Community Sustainability Fair will offer you the opportunity to enjoy Paul's lecture in a small setting, ask questions and engage in thoughtful discussions. Paul will have copies of his latest book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, available for sale and signing. There will also be plug spawn demonstrations, offering you the opportunity to learn to grown your own edible and medicinal mushrooms. Please come join us for this fantastic event. We look forward to seeing you!

  • Date: Saturday - April 18, 2009
  • Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Location:
    • The Olympia Center
    • 222 Columbia Street NW
    • Downtown Olympia, WA
  • Cost: $12 - $20 sliding scale. Tickets can be purchased through or at the door. Space is limited, so please buy your tickets in advance.

  • WHAT: Permaculture Design Course with Toby Hemenway
  • WHEN: The second weekend of each month from May 9, through October 11, 9AM – 5:30PM.
  • WHERE: South Seattle Community College, 6000 16 Avenue S.W. - Seattle, WA 98106-1499

Seattle Tilth is hosting Toby Hemenway in Seattle to teach a 72-hour Permaculture Design Course over six weekends May through October, 2009 at South Seattle Community College. Permaculture uses ecological principles to create sustainable human communities that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. This certification permaculture design course offers a framework for decision-making and right livelihood, and will give you holistic tools for food, water, and energy security; building healthy communities and economies; and many other issues. This life-changing course is ideal for homeowners, gardeners, teachers, design and real estate professionals, and anyone interested in creating a sustainable future. The course is adapted to a wide variety of learning styles and is presented via lecture, images, video, group discussion, exercises, and design projects. Course graduates will receive a Permaculture Design Trainee Certificate from the Permaculture Institute (USA). The lead instructor, Toby Hemenway, is the author of /Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture/, for the last six years the best-selling permaculture book in the world.

COST: $900 for 12 full-day sessions To register visit

Sunday, May 17 - Permaculture For Renters with Leonard Barrett and Marisha Auerbach (Regenerative Design For the Landless Many)9 am - 4 pm, University Heights Center, Seattle, WA

Come learn strategies and hands-on techniques for creating abundance wherever you live!

  • Topics include:
    • Growing Food in Small Spaces
    • Plant Propagation
    • Growing Edible Mushrooms
    • Strategies for Paying Your Rent Through Micro-Enterprise

To find out more and register, check out

May 29 - 31, 2009 - Introduction to Permaculture Weekend Workshop

Where: At the Bullock's 30 year old Permaculture Homestead, Orcas Island, WA

Instructors: Douglas Bullock, Sam Bullock & Dave Boehnlein


Tour, lecture, hand-on projects, presentations, group discussion, and networking. We will cover Permaculture design theory & practice, forest gardening, perennial food systems, plant propagation, efficient water & energy systems, fertility management - beneficial plants/healthy soils, and ecological systems as a model for human communities.

Course Tuition: $200; includes delicious, mostly organic meals & materials. Camping space is provided. Payment is due upon course registration. Course is limited to 50 participants.

For more info or to register contact: Dave Boehnlein 360-840-8483


June 5 - 14

  • Village Building Convergence 9
  • Momentum: Powered by the People
  • Sponsored by the City Repair Project, Portland, OR

The Village Building Convergence 2009 (VBC9) is a 10-day event from Friday, June 5th – Sunday, June 14, 2009 in which neighborhoods activate to build shared public places that they have envisioned, designed, funded, and will maintain for themselves. VBC9 will include hands-on education in permaculture design and construction, ecological building, and public art. All projects are built through collaboration, community conversations and commitment of a neighborhood to strengthen itself. Everyone is invited to attend evening events at a central location, to participate in workshops or listen to visionaries speak about various aspects of sustainable culture.

VBC will feature projects located in or adjacent to the public right of way and private projects that support community in various neighborhoods. Private site projects will be structures or systems that are built by and available to the communities concerned with that site, and hopefully available to some extent to the larger community. These will include public squares and meeting houses, community kiosks and benches, solar-powered and artistic innovations, and many other new ideas. Each project is initiated and managed by neighborhood groups with support from the VBC Placemaking Committee. The Placemaking coordinators will help neighborhoods facilitate and coordinate the outreach/public involvement process, community decision-making and design workshops, and the permit process with the City.

For more information, check out

June 23 - July 7

Permaculture Design Course with Marisha Auerbach, Leonard Barrett, Matt Bibeau, and Laura Dvorak

2 week intensive at Tryon Life Community Farm, Portland, OR

TLC Farm will be hosting a full 72-hour Permaculture Design Course this summer. This course will be a two-week non-residential intensive that will meet from June 23rd to July 7th, in conjunction with the Sustainable Community Immersion program. The fee for the course is $1000 - $850 sliding scale. Limited work trade may be available.

For more information about this course, please email:

or call Matt Bibeau or Laura Dvorak at 503-245-3847

For more information, check out:

"Rocket" Stoves and Mass Heaters

Get Hot in a Good Way ~ Build Beautiful Functional Earthen Art ~ Play With Fire ~ Eat, Drink, and Be Muddy!

When: July 31-August 2, 2009

Where: Wise Earth Ecological Landtrust in Snohomish/Maltby, WA. Directions and address provided with course registration.

What: "Rocket Stoves" are super-efficient, wood-burning heaters. They use a fraction of the wood required by a woodstove, and provide steady, comfortable heat just where you need it. See the permies alternative energy forums for drawings, pictures, videos and discussions.

Join us for 3 days of hands-on fun! - Build and test super-efficient woodstoves with your own hands, use earth-friendly natural and recycled materials. - Play with fire like never before: make flames burn sideways and smoke disappear. - Brush up your bricklaying skills, turn mud into earthen masonry. - Explore creative heating solutions to suit your situation, local biofuels, and safety needs.

At the end of this workshop, you will have all the skills you need to build a Pocket Rocket or Rocket Mass Heater from available materials.

Recommended Reading: Rocket Mass Heaters, Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build! by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson. Available at, or by mail-order from Cob Cottage Company, Coquille OR.


  • Ernie Wisner is a builder, mariner, forest-fire fighter, and veteran instructor with Cob Cottage Company, TrackersNW, and Portland's Village Building Convergence.
  • Erica Wisner is a freelance writer, artist, and science educator who has worked with OMSI, Cascadia Wild, and The City Repair Project.
    • As a team we entertain the brain, satisfy the senses, get your body moving, and foster creativity, understanding, and confidence;

Fees: TBA

Contact: Jocelyn Campbell,, or 206.779.3707.


  • Contact an SPG Facilitator:

at seattlepermacultureguild at gmail dot com

  • Sign Up For Newsletter (Once a month email with SPG highlights,and link to this page):


  • How to host a meeting or potluck, and how to meet other folks at the permaculture guild:

just set a date and post it here! (or if you're confused about posting, send the info to the email above) We're busy folks who sometimes forget to meet regularly, so we only meet when someone volunteers their place for a get-together. PS. We'll work for free! Host a workparty about something interesting, with a potluck afterwards. We'll come!

  • SPG on

  • SPG online forum

our online tool for talking with each other regularly:


  • More events needed. Please organize one and send updates to
  • Collect info on PC sites around town
  • Write/share articles on any topic related to permaculture
  • Create display for tabling at events
  • Staff table at upcoming events (eg Fremont Solstice Parade)

  • Volunteer(s) needed to work with Sustainable Seattle on their 'Regional Sustainability Information Commons'. Seattle has needed a project like this for a long time! Help bring some permaculture knowledge to the table! This project will gather "indicator" data from around the Greater Seattle, and Puget Sound area in a website, so sustainability indicators can be held in a framework, and for users, be it citizens, students, business and policy makers, to understand not only indicators and associated sustainability goals, but the relationships of different indicators to one another. For more information visit here or contact Gary Lichtenstein at -gary at sustainableseattle dot org-.


Want to buy land for an eco-agriculture community? by Michael Pilarski(09/10/07)

In my search for land to live on, one possible avenue is for me to link up with other people and purchase land. If you are interested in purchasing land for a small farming community devoted to research and education, get in touch. I am researching possibilities in Okanogan County.

Hey there all, For those interested in the guerrilla gardening project, we have 3 beds completed along the Burke Gilman next to I-5, there are 2 vegetable beds and 1 herb bed (the Tea garden) but room for many more.

I also want to let you know that we have gotten web space for the guerrilla gardening project, which we have been calling the U-Farm. The site is and so far we have a forum up and working. We are going to have regular updates of what has been going on, as well as scheduling for work parties, watering and other topics. To join the forum click the 'register' link at the top right and follow the directions. So please feel free to start discussions, and advertise work parties.

Hope to hear from everyone soon, -Josh




APRIL 22 TO JUNE 1 time period. Okanogan Valley, North-central Washington. A huge biodiversity of plant material needs to be planted.

ANYONE WANT TO HELP! Short-term or potentially long-term.

I’ll pay your travel expenses and a small stipend. There are two sleeping areas and a common kitchen. If there are more than two helpers at a time then some people will have to bring a tent.

April 25, Friends of the Trees is hosting the Okanogan County Plant & Seed Exchange in Tonasket. A good day to get plant material to plant back at your home.

May 3, Sunday I am teaching a workshop on “GROWING MEDICINAL HERBS” At my farm in Tonasket. Any helpers here at the time can participate in the workshop. We would waive the $25 fee.

I have several other farmer friends in the area who are looking for interns for the growing season. Vegetable growers and also two livestock places. An Okanogan WWOOF may be developing, so keep us in mind when the conversation turns to farm internships.

Prior farm skills, permaculture networking, wildcrafting and other useful skills are appreciated.

Email if you are interested and send your phone number. Even better if you call.

Michael Skeeter Pilarski


Great Outreach - Combine Closer To Home Movie and Permaculture Site Tours

Heres a Great Idea for reaching out to the public. Planning is in the early stages for ten showings of Closer To Home movie in early may in the Seattle area, [with other showings elsewhere in the Puget Sound]. We would love to combine the movie with permaculture site tour follow ups a week or two later.

The film is in production, will feature interviews with eco culture change pioneers and visits to several notable permaculture locations in and near Eugene, Oregon. The film will touch on voluntary simplicity, property conversion, neighborhoods, economics, local food and faith communities. We are currently making contacts in Seattle with organizations that would like to host a showing in early May. Perhaps the SPG would like to host a showing. We are in touch with Scallops and other Seattle green organizations. Please contact me if you would like to help host a showing, publicity/media, organize a local PC tour,,,,

All the film showings and site tours can be part of a single schedule and all organizations hosting the film showings and tours can promote all the other film showings and the site tours. A multiplier effect.

Having tours of best available permaculture sites as follow up to the film will make the movie far more effective. Screen to reality will generate a lot of interest for new people to take permaculture type action. Tours can include gardens, co-ops, property conversions, solar, concrete removal, neighborhood collaborations, creative downsizing, reclaim automobile space,truly green businesses,,,, places that show what the future can look like,,,,,

Please contact me if you would like to be a part of an expansive, creative and ambitious public outreach project. Our website several clips from interviews, or call jan at 541 686 6761 or thanks much! Jan also, check to be featured in the film

Fall Sunrise ---

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Page last modified on May 05, 2009, at 10:14 PM