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News and Events - 2010




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“What on Earth is Permaculture? An introduction to sustainable human habitats in Tacoma and around the world.”

When: January 28th 2010. 6:30-9pm Where: First Methodist Church of Tacoma, 621 Tacoma Ave S. It will be in lower level of the church. Enter through Court E (Alley between 6th and 7th) Cost: Free! Donations accepted

PERMACULTURE IS a solutions-oriented approach to sustainable living. It is a design system for creating ecological human habitats (food, water, housing, energy, etc). It honors diverse earth-based traditions while nurturing a positive vision of our collective future.

The evening includes

  • Descriptions & history of the ‘Permaculture’ concept
  • Slideshow of community projects worldwide
  • Slideshow and summary of permaculture projects in Tacoma
  • Stories from within the local movement
  • Envisioning the future of a more sustainable Tacoma
  • Seed Exchange


  • Information about the upcoming Tacoma Permaculture Design Course, along with introductions to teachers and guest presenters who will be participating in the course.

Contact: Kelda Miller 253-370-9946 More info:

Event: Permaculture Design Course
Date: February 12 - 28, 2010
Location: Sahale Learning Center, near Belfair, Washington (southern Puget Sound)

A two-week, residential, intensive course for the Maritime Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The course will teach permaculture design principles and a methodology which can be applied to any environment, rural or urban. If you are interested in increasing food production and local resilience in your community and bioregion, this course is for you. Strategies for local food security, energy conservation, sustainability and restoring the health of native ecosystems are synthesized. Through lecture, slide shows, discussion, observation, field trips and hands-on activities, permaculture design students will develop the practical skills and knowledge necessary to design and implement sustainable systems that are in harmony with the natural world. We will cover hundreds of crops which can provide family needs or cash income. The course will focus on the Maritime Northwest but the principles can be applied to any region.

Course instructors are Larry Korn, Marisha Auerbach, and Laura Sweany. The course fee is $800 plus $450 - $195, depending on accommodations for room and board; please visit for more information and registration.

Just 20 minutes from Belfair, Washington, Sahale is an easy drive from Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and the Olympic Peninsula.

Contact: Laura Sweany, 206-369-7590.


Feb. 19th. Kelda Miller. “The Ethics of Permaculture”. Permaculture is distinct from other design systems by having a strong grounding in ethics. Learn how these ethics shape work locally, and globally, to have an impact that truly empowers people and restores ecosystems.

Kings Bookstore, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma 7-9pm, $10-$5 sliding scale This is part of the Friday lectures series from Tacoma Permaculture Design Course

Announcing Tacoma's first Permaculture Design Course!

Feb-Sept 2010. Come learn practical tools for garden, home, and communities! Permaculture is a design system of self-reliant skills for sustainable human habitat. Participants will learn to model from nature and organize by realistic priorities. Taught by a handful of local permaculture designers and sustainable-skills experts.

  • Perennial Gardens
  • Food Forests
  • Water Stewardship
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Primitive Skills
  • Appropriate Tech
  • Natural Building
  • Sustainable City Design
  • Localized Economies,
  • and much more

Come join the growing movement of Permaculture enthusiasts who are creating abundant green spaces throughout Tacoma. Participants of this course will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate.

When: One weekend a month Feb-Sept, including Friday night presentations.

Where: Kings' Books and Tacoma Waldorf School, plus many other sites around Tacoma

Cost: $800-$650, includes over 100 hours of classtime, catered lunches, course handbook, field trips, etc

See Tacoma PDC flyer

For more info and to register, contact Patricia Menzies 253-565-2599 or

Course details at

March. 12th. Heidi Bohan. Author of The People of Cascadia:Pacific Northwest Native American History. Ethnobotany, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Sustainable Living This event will NOT be at King’s Books. It will be at Manitou Community Center, 4806 S 66th St, from 7-9pm

Manitou Community Center, 4806 S. 66th St, 7-9pm, $10-$5 sliding scale This is part of the Friday lectures series from Tacoma Permaculture Design Course

Traditional Skills & Knowledge For a Sustainable Future Mentorship with Heidi Bohan and Friends at the Hjertoos Farmhouse in Carnation with visits around the valley and beyond…

Spring Season Begins!! March 12-May 29 Fridays 10-2 Saturdays 11-3 2 of each per month (4/month) New seasons will follow

Friday track will have a general focus on native plants, wild harvests, traditional knowledge and skills, carving, ethnobotany Saturday track with a general focus on sustainable living skills, gardens, woodworking, food preservation; Basketry, medicinal plants, personal care, plant propagation, ecology and more will be interwoven. Combined tracks for a comprehensive program. Drop-ins okay by special arrangement and dependent on space

Mentorship group sizes will be kept small, so please register early. Each day will involve hands-on, skills building activities for a range of knowledge levels, and will ideally involve several ‘stations’ with activities. Geared for adults but children may participate by arrangement....

The class fee has been kept low because many of our projects will qualify as a ‘work trade’ for the Hjertoos House. Each class will cover a variety of subjects, and will be adapted to the season and individual/group interests.

The goal of this program is to offer an opportunity for people to gain sustainable skills and knowledge which can be incorporated into daily life. As such, this will not be a formalized class with a set program, and will work best for those who are flexible and adaptable to change, and willing to participate in that process. We will be offering formalized classes at other times for those who are more comfortable with that learning style.

This program models one I implemented years ago called ‘Catkin Moon Medicine Society’ which was focused entirely on native plants and their uses, and proved to be highly effective at bringing these plants into peoples’ lives. As affirmation, several people from that program will be joining us in this expanded program.

Registration information: Registration Form available at Fridays only (6 classes): $150- 200*;

 Saturdays (6 classes): $150- 200*; Combined Tracks: $300-400*
  • Sliding scale, limited work trades available

As a member of this group you will be invited to impromptu gathering expeditions, special events and projects; be a part of our networking site to share information, join discussion groups, download recipes, project plans and more!

For more details: contact Heidi Bohan- 425-549-0093 or email: ; or


April 3 - June 13th : Vashon Permaculture Design Course - Weekends with: Emet Degirmenci & Kelda Miller

Re-design Your Life, Envision the World! Create solutions for ecological and social change!

Learn permaculture philosophy and design, and how to understand nature's patterns, assess landscapes, create sustainable food systems,steward our forests, choose appropriate technologies, restore soils and watersheds, integrate animals, build eco-shelters, make low-impact urban lifestyles, design for catastrophe, encourage local economics, re-localize, and build community. More info here:

See Vashon PDC flyer here

April 16th. Paul Kearsley With Exos Design presenting the Permaculture Design Process.

Kings Bookstore, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma 7-9pm, $10-$5 sliding scale This is part of the Friday lectures series from Tacoma Permaculture Design Course

May 7th. Marisha Auerbach from Wild Thyme Farm and Herb’n'Wisdom. Marisha will present the slideshow “How to Grow All Your Own Produce in 2½ Years: A Revolution Disguised as Organic Gardening”

Kings Bookstore, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma 7-9pm, $10-$5 sliding scale This is part of the Friday lectures series from Tacoma Permaculture Design Course

June 18th. Cleo Woelfe-Erskine. (To Be Confirmed). With Greywater Action, and editor Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground, and Urban Wilds: Gardener’s Stories of the Struggle for Land and Justice. Cleo will be presenting on the importance of good water stewardship and about greywater retrofits.

Kings Bookstore, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma 7-9pm, $10-$5 sliding scale This is part of the Friday lectures series from Tacoma Permaculture Design Course

July 16th. Jenny Pell with Permaculture Now! will be presenting on Natural Building, Edible Forest Gardens, and Urban Permaculture, drawn from her experiences locally and internationally. Her slideshow informs, inspires, and motivates people to make changes that help move us towards a sustainable future.

Kings Bookstore, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma 7-9pm, $10-$5 sliding scale This is part of the Friday lectures series from Tacoma Permaculture Design Course


  • 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: Permaculture Forums


  • 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-.


My name is Rocky Burns, and my brother and I own 96.82 acres of land by Harrah Washington. My brother Rodney Burns, my friend Bill Gelenaw and I, are starting a non-profit 501(c)(3), halfway house/drug rehabilitation center out at that location. If you cut and paste the following link, it will bring you to it on the yakima county GIS page.

The name is P.I..E which stands for Permaculture Integrated Environment. The reason I am writing you and every other like minded individual is for some advice as to the layout of our land. If you would like to give us any advice into placement of plants/animals that would be awesome, and I welcome any and all to come out and get hands on if you wanted. The land is virgin, completely untouched, and in the middle of the Yakima Indian Reservation, unspoiled by industry for miles.

The goal is to have the residents live completely off the grid, no waste at all, producing everything that is needed themselves. This is a mighty challenge, and I ask your help. Some ideas that we have come up with as to the structures on the site are: 1.A “dorm” made of used shipping containers. (This will be the initial intake of new clients) 2.Housing made of earthships 3.Housing/Buildings made of sandbags (earthbags perhaps calearth) 4.Some structures out of tire bales 5.Any other types of structures made from reusable materials.

We performed a primitive soil test, and it came out about 30% clay 70% sand, and we made a rammed earth wall 16ft long, 4ft tall, 2 ft wide, and it worked out awesome. My dream is to also use the site as a informational place that people from anywhere can come and see alternate ways of living without causing more harm, a smaller footprint.

If you would like to start a workshop out here, I am open to anything, as long as it is in the spirit of bringing the land toward a self sustaining environment. Please note that in the beginning it will be a hardship out there, for it is truly wild, there are wild horses, coyotes, owls, snakes and millions of grass hoppers out there, all that will make the transformation more difficult. Please write me back with any input you might have, and thank you for your time.

       Rocky Burns


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 April 06, 2010, at 11:13 PM