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Hello Seattle Permaculture Guild!

Newsletter for August 2006




Permaculture course -





Notes on Earth Plaster Workshop which I attended on Whidbey Island July 21-23rd

By Steve Tracy

While a good portion of city dwellers were contemplating global warming and record high temperatures, I was thoroughorly enjoying an earth plaster workshop on beautiful Whidbey Island . The workshop was presented by Ancient Earth School of Natural Building. I was joined in the workshop by two enthusiastic and joyous apprentices to the school, getting hands on experience in the preparation and application of earth plasters.

Projects included:

  • Overview of surface preparation details.
  • Clay/soil testing and clay/sand selection.
  • Doing a scratch coat to a light straw/clay slip walled sauna(interior and exterior), constructed during a previous workshop.
  • Fresco work to the outside of the sauna(see picture).

Fresco on sauna
  • Lime plaster finish coat mixing and preparing test batches
  • Color testing sample batches for final wash coating.
  • Applied a base finish coat(color wash coat to be added later) to a unique(tortouise/hare combo – see sketch - neglected to take picture) newly (apprentice) constructed cob oven.

turtle/hare cob oven

The days were hot, but the shade of tall trees, hose showers and interesting work kept my mind off from the heat most all of the time. Another interesting discovery was that clay slip on the skin works as an insect repellant.

All this, surrounded by other inspiring structures such as a strawbale yurt, earth bag wall meditation hut(under construction), composting toilet, bamboo groves, and vegetable/fruit gardens, surrounded again by a bird filled forest canopy.

I was also fortunate to be invited to several community events including swimming at a local lake and attended a festive birthday party. Both east and west beaches of the island are an easy ½ hr walk away, which I did every morning , gathering and eating just ripening blackberries along the way.

At first glance you may think that our thoughts were far from the issue of global warming, but I assure you that everyone involved at this school shares a deep conviction that by encouraging our rediscovery of our ancient building methods we can have a significant impact on climatic problems, while at the same time providing healthy, affordable, inspiring shelter to all people of the world, and especially to all the homeless currently existing around the world.

I’ve taken a small step and wish to continue rediscovering our Ancient Earth building methods, and hope that others will too.

Their next workshop is scheduled for August 12-13th and will be the constrution of a cob oven. If any of you decide to take this workshop, I’m sure it will be both fun and informative.



Wednesday, August 9th

Fertile Ground Community Center Presents… An evening of Possibilities… Ecovillages, Community, and Intention….

Diana Leafe Christian: “Ecovillages as ‘Lifeboat Communities’-- Alternatives in Place Now" Diana is the author of Creating a Life Together and the editor of Communities Magazine. She resides at EarthHaven Ecovillage in NC.

Brandy Gallagher-MacPherson: "How Ecovillages Might Be Considered Mainstream - Where Community Meets Regulatory Reform" Brandy has worked with building inspectors and engineers to revise her local building codes to accommodate alternative water treatment facilities and cob, strawbale, and light clay structures at O.U.R. Ecovillage on Vancouver Island.

Fertile Ground Community Center: 311 9th Ave, Downtown Olympia 5:30 pm: potluck dinner 7 pm - 9:30 pm:

Presentations Begin $10, suggested donation

For more information, or to register, contact: Marisha Auerbach (360) 943-5262 or check out

August 10, 6:30-8:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday, August 12-13, 10:00 am-3:00pm, Creating Garden Harmony: a Permaculture Workshop for the Urban Dweller

This three-day workshop will provide participants with an introduction to permaculture and offer skills for interpreting and applying these principles in an urban setting. Participants will have the opportunity to create hands-on permaculture garden projects that will offer the skills and experience needed to replicate them in their backyard. Specific topics include, garden planning, natural patterns in the garden, inviting wildlife into the garden, and plant and people communities. This course is designed to inspire the city gardener to think and act more permaculturally and provide resources for making further connections related to permaculture in the Seattle community. Co-sponsored by the Seattle Permaculture Guild.

The class will meet Thursday August 10, 6:30-8:30 pm, Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13, 10:00am-3:00pm. Thursday's class will be held at Bradner Gardens Park. Saturday and Sunday classes will be held at the Good Shepherd Center garden in Wallingford. This intensive workshop costs $105 per person or $95 for Tilth members. Advance registration and payment is required. To register, go to

August 10-13th - Aerious Creation Festival in Deadwood Or, YewWood Forest Retreat Center a Nature Sanctuary.

The Creation Festival is a more intimate gathering of friends and family old and new for creatively stimulating active personal and planetary transformation by remembering and encouraging your heart and being to shine. This year´s theme is "Gathering the Spirits: Greening With Life" and it´s a journey to unlock the mysteries of yourself thru becoming a lightening rod combining heaven and earth for healing and empowerment.

Presentations and participatory events and options continue evolving and include:

  • Firewalk Friday evening with Ginger Cloud
  • Astrological Wisdom and personal bonus advice thru Mark S. McNutt
  • Dance of Life (Cherokee power movements for planetary well-being) thru MaryGold
  • Vibrational (Flower) Essences and Herbwalk with Ouapiti Robintree, the faeries and devas,and surprise guests

Check our website at or more information at 541-964-5341 or

August 12/13th EARTH OVEN Coarse: Whidbey Island,WA This will be a fun and information packed workshop on building a clay oven and baking in it. Come with a sense of wonder at this ancient art of using the materials under our feet to build a wood-fired baking oven. We will cover material selection, earth mixing techniques, foundations, corbelled domes, and finish plaster. We will spend a day and a half building and if all goes well, fire and bake in it on the last afternoon. Lunch provided both days. Ancient Earth School of Natural Building PO Box 1061 Freeland, WA 98249

Eli Adadow & Marta Mulholland 1-877-673-4296

August 13th - Visioning Potluck - Dencity Research

Have you ever wanted to live with other people? Have you actually done this? What is your fantasy community?

Come share your thoughts on intentional communities at the next Visioning Potluck. Sunday August 13th 5-9pm, at the House of Peas by Greenlake. 1130 N. 81st St, zip is 98103, one block east of Aurora, house has plenty of bushes and large tomato plants in front so if you are lost feel free to call.

We will present some ideas and models of different living communities in the region. If you live in an intentional community and would like to give a short (5 minutes max) presentation let me know before you arrive.

Please bring good food, open minds and good friends. This is open to all, so feel free to forward this message.

Remember an intentional community is any where people come together with a common intent. This is as simple as riding a bus with the same people on a daily basis.


Morgan 206.406.5523

August 14th - Global Warming meeting - How to Fight the Right on Global Warming

All the heat last week is making global warming more real for all of us! I have discovered a new book: 50 Simple Things You can do to Fight the Right. (It's by the same people who did 50 Simple Things to Save the Planet several years ago.) It's excellent! I'd like to have it be the topic of our next meeting at the church on August 14th! "How to Fight the Right on Global Warming."

We not only need to get people to take action, we need to counter the disinformation campaign the right is putting on.

At our next core group meeting (to which you are all invited) we will discuss how to approach this at our big meeting on Aug 14th.

Aug 7th meeting: 7:00pm at 711 N 60th St (between streets Fremont and Linden).

Aug 14th meeting: 7:00pm at Lutheran Church across from West entrance to zoo.


August 19th - Saturday - Day Workshop in Redmond 'Mapping and Design'

9am-12 class, with potluck vegan(raw cuisine appreciated) lunch, and workparty afternoon

Instructor: Kelda Miller cost $10, plus afternoon work-party if you can stay!

Pre-registration required, class limited to 20.

Permaculture is a design system for creating and restoring habitats of sustainable human lifestyles. In practice, it is often the combination of organic food forests with appropriate technologies, natural building, etc. into an ecosystem that can manage itself. In this class we'll be learning the first steps: how to see what's there, map it, and create a vision of what the land can be. This is on a home site that is in the beginning process of implementing many permaculture techniques.

For more information and directions email

August 20th - Sunday

Hey all, looks like I will be going to the oven building class (as long as it isn't canceled) so I was thinking it would be cool to have a cob workshop at my place august 20th. How about arrive at 9:30, break for lunch, build more in the afternoon, and then for those just interested in the pizza part, you can come to the party around 6:00, bring something to share, and we will have a good time burning stuff :-)

RSVP 206 767 0976, or, so I know how much help to expect, and, also, how many provisions I need to provide..........thanks, looking forward to seeing you all soon, Amy

August 23 - Convergence of the Tribes: Wednesday 6:30-9pm at Linden Orchards (N. 67th and Linden in the Phinney Neighborhood). Potluck co-hosted by City Repair Seattle, NW EcoBuilding Guild, NW Biodiesel Network and the SPG.

August 25-27th - Northwest Regional Permaculture and Bioregional Gathering will be held at Dharmalaya in Eugene, Oregon Cost is $50 including food

Visit Eugene Permaculture Guild for more details.

September 8 Art of Community Northwest: Co-Opportunities for Sustainability When: Friday, Sept. 8 - Sunday Sept. 10, with possible site visits to communities in the area during the day 9/8 Where: Bastyr University in Kenmore (near Seattle) - Why: To promote and support communities that recognize and practice sustainability What: Interactive workshops/playshops, plenary speakers, music, art, fun live auction, networking opportunities, tables available for groups.

  • Meet People from Existing and Forming Communities: Ecovillages,

Cohousing, Egalitarian, Housing Cooperatives, Collectives

  • Build Real Community Where You Are: at home, at work, at church, in

other organizations

  • Tools You Can Use: Facilitation, Consensus, Ecological Assessments
  • Be More Sustainable: Green Building, Local Agriculture, Bio-Diesel,


Contribute! Submit a proposal for an inspiring activity or workshop you are willing to lead or perform: practical tools, inspiring stories and energizing activities on all levels, including a children's program. (Proposals due by June 1.) Know someone you think could lead a great session? Tell us about them. See details in the attached Call for Presentations, or contact:

Ma'ikwe Ludwig, Program Coordinator, email: , telephone: (505) 514-8180 or Gretchen Sleicher, Program Team, email:, telephone; (206) 324-1226

September 8 -10th - We are holding our 2nd annual biofuels/veggie conversion course at the Bullock homestead.

Currently there is space for four cars to be converted. Participants pay for parts, we put them in.


Chris Shanks

September 15th-30th - Permaculture Design Course - At the EcoVillage in Port Townsend, WA Instructors: Jenny Pell, Larry Santoyo, Chuck Estin, & many local guests

This course will focus on building practical design and hands-on skills for immediate application in your home, neighborhood, and community. We will examine in-depth strategies for local self-reliance, community development, and thriving local economies.

Join us in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for a 14-day intensive!

  • Permaculture design principles and methodologies
  • Reading landscapes, mapping, and site analysis
  • Patterns in nature
  • Plant propagation and seed saving
  • Indigenous cultivation, traditions, and practices
  • Perennial polycultures and food forests
  • Alternative technologies
  • Water catchment, pond building, and aquaculture
  • Whole systems theory and Ecoliteracy
  • Herbs and medicinal plants
  • Integrated animal systems
  • Passive and active solar designs
  • Natural building, Ecovillage design, and more...

Cost: $1,000 to $600 sliding scale---discounted price includes worktrade. Includes delicious vegetarian meals made from local and farm-fresh foods

Deadline to apply: September 1, 2006. $250 non-refundable deposit required.

For complete details and to register please contact Jenny Pell: or (206) 949-0496

Tel: (360) 385-1991 Cell: (206) 949-0496


October 4-22 - Wise Earth Deep Ecological Permaculture Design Course:

$580 if registered before 9/22, more expensive after

Join us for 2-plus weeks in Permaculture immersion on the Wise Earth Ecological Landtrust outside Woodinville, WA. Learn permaculture design and techniques with many great hands-on projects: edible and useful plants, hugelkulture, ponds and swales, chickens, natural building, greywater, etc. We will also be travelling to and setting up a Permaculture demonstration camp at the Okanogan Family Barterfaire. Teachers are Marisha Auerbach, Kelda Miller, Albert Postema and many great guest instructors including Michael Pilarski, Sam Bullock, Heidi Bohan. Registration info: Tami at 360-668-2452 or


Non tribe members can send event info to This info will be compiled by a rotating volunteer twice a month and posted to the permaculture website, the tribe, and emailed to the guild list. If you've planned an event, and didn't make the newsletter, take advantage of tribe and post your event there.

  • We’re going to aim for meeting once a month for folks interested in making sure the guild is running smoothly. Please come!
  • Organization of events and volunteers will be headed by whoever cares about the specific task the most! If you have an event idea, etc. consider organizing it. If not, perhaps post it on the guild’s wiki and someone else might pick it up.
  • For members who like networking online, want to check on last minute events, or post last minute stuff, etc.

check out the Seattle Permaculture Guild at and join the tribe.


  • 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 for the 2nd Annual Community Fruit Tree Harvest!

Rather than letting backyard fruit fall and rot on the ground, residents in Wallingford, Fremont, Phinney, and the University District neighborhoods can donate their surplus fruit to those who need it most - to our local food banks and meal programs.

For its second year, the Community Fruit Tree Harvest, a partnership between Lettuce Link of the Fremont Public Association and Seattle Tilth, will organize volunteers to glean healthy fruit from neighborhood trees and deliver it to local meal programs.

Meet new people, eat fruit, learn about fruit trees, and fight hunger! Come join our efforts to connect nutritious, organically grown produce to low-income individuals and families in Seattle neighborhoods.

How can you get involved and fight hunger?

Volunteer to pick fruit! To sign up, call Lettuce Link at 206.694.6754. Volunteer commitments are 2 hour shifts, August to October, Tuesday evenings and/or Saturday mornings. Visit our website at:

Donate fruit from your fruit trees! To register, call the Natural Lawn & Garden Hotline at 206-633-0224 or email Tree owners will be asked a series of questions, followed by a possible visit to determine if the fruit is healthy enough for donation and accessible. If it is, volunteers will come out to do the leg -- and ladder -- work.

from Lettuce Link - Volunteer orientation meeting for Fruit Tree Harvest events.

Our first volunteer orientation will be on Wednesday, July 26th at 6pm, held in the first floor conference room at the FPA. Address is 1501 N 45th St. There is bike and car parking behind the building off of Woodlawn. Please RSVP so I know the snack count.

Also, for any returning volunteers from last year. We've got a couple of trees that may need to be harvested before the 26th. Anyone interested? Let me know.

Thank you and see you on the 26th! Michelle

  • House of Peas Community House - 2 Rooms Available Soon!

We, Rob, Paul, Dane (14 years old), Hedy, Maria and Noah (6 years old) are a community of people who choose to live cooperatively and consciously to create a better way of life. We strive to be more than just housemates and are attempting to create a community, one in which people care for each other and this place we call home. This includes participating in various community projects, cooking, housekeeping, organic gardening and sharing one or two meals together a day. In addition, three of us have permaculture experience (a natural design methodology). We strive to take that experience and incorporate into our daily lives.

Who are we? Rob is a semi-pro soccer athlete, Paul manages an online community, Dane, Paul's son, is a creative high school student and aspiring film maker, Hedy, our resident angel, is an artist, dancer, martial artist, and cook, Maria is an herbalist, doula and life-long explorer of the ancient ways, and Noah, Maria's son, adds his own creative personality to our community. We strive to care for one another and for the natural systems that nuture us; therefore, no smoking or drugs of any kind on the property.

We practice open communication, recycling, composting, organic cooking and pesticide-free gardening and community living (an on-going personal growth experience... :)

The house, a craftsman, is a pleasant, 3 floor structure with lots of light and is 3 blocks north of Green Lake. There are 3 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 3 refrigerators, 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 washers, 2 dryers, 1 large deck, 1 porch, 1 raised bed emerging garden with all day sun and 1 herbal, kitchen garden with most-of-the-day sun, 2 plum trees and 1 fig tree.

Currently, we have 1 room available, it is on the top floor, facing south, is approximately 10 feet by 13.5 feet with attic-type sloping ceiling. Another room will be available August 15th and is 10.5 x 12.5 ft. with 9' ceiling. Rent is $500 per month plus utilities. To move in you'll need first and last month's rent (no deposit).

Our house is open for people with children, couples or individuals who would like to be a part of this still developing community household. Unfortunately, we cannot have pets. We would prefer more female energy at the moment.

If you think you'd be interested in being a participant in this household, please tell us a little about yourself and what you are looking for in a community. Send e-mail to paul at


All this and more at Check out our wiki and post permaculture info (see May events newsletter for details).

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Page last modified on August 15, 2006, at 07:28 PM