Prospect Rock Permaculture

Design and Education for Ecological Culture

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Our Nut Research Featured in Sunday’s Free Press!

We were honored to have our research and breeding trials featured in this Sunday’s Burlington Free Press Article:

 

Nut farming hard to crack in Vermont

Nut trees serve and protect.

ELMORE – Pears dropped with a distinct plunk as David Fried ambled through a varied crop of fruit and nut trees. Kiwi vines, black walnut trees, and hazelberts lined the path.

Squirrels hoard the nuts, and deer eat the drops, but Fried, 56, isn’t easily goaded. “For us it’s something we like, but for them it’s survival,” he said.

His 18 acres, once an abandoned hay field, is now an abundant Eden in Elmore. After being told only apples could grow this far north, Fried has discovered, over three decades of experimenting, what is possible for Vermont.

His Elmore Roots Nursery has sold about 50,000 fruit and nut trees since he opened for business in 1979.

These trees also protect Vermont’s changing landscape in the face of extreme weather patterns. One tree in particular, the Hazelbert, saved one farm during Tropical Storm Irene three years ago.

Vermont hazelnut trees are called Hazelberts, created by Fred Ashworth who was a fruit explorer in upstate New York in the 1800s. “He crossed a European filbert with an American hazelnut,” Fried said. “We carry on that lineage of his trees.”

A line of Hazelberts on the edge of the Lamoille River saved Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson from heavy damage during Irene and the flooding that preceded that storm. “The trees caught four feet of flotsam,” owner Keith Morris said. “Hazelberts bend and slow the water, then they bounce right back.”

Morris, 36, also owns Prospect Rock Permaculture, a landscape design and build firm that helps people plant protective infrastructure into their homesteads. Morris is on a mission to see more nut trees as shelter belts around vegetation, as wind breaks, animal fencing, and on river’s edges across the state.

Photo Gallery: Eden in Elmore

Nut farming in Vermont is a frontier largely unexplored, Morris said. “We look at how we can make farms more resilient,” he said. “Nut trees and can do that.”

Fried’s certified organic nursery boasts eight different kinds of nut trees. He sells about 600 hazelnut, black walnut, pine nut, bur oak, shagbark hickory, butternut, buartnut and American chestnut annually.

Willow Crossing’s Morris started collecting nut trees in 2000, and Morris experiments with about 3,000 species now. The Hazelbert is the most exciting, he said. “There is a huge market for it,” he said. “Nutella is a great example.”

Nutella is a sweet spread made from hazelnuts that has replaced peanut butter in many homes across the nation recently.

Hazelberts produce nuts within a few years of being planted as opposed to other nut trees that generally take about 10 to 15 years to produce, Morris said.

Vermont's Nuts 14

While Nutella is a fairly new item in Vermont kitchens, the butternut pie is a long-standing tradition. “Butternut trees have a dear place in my heart, on my farm, and in the entire state for that matter,” Morris said. “Butternuts were a staple crop for most homesteads here for generations.”

Now Butternut trees are endangered. There is a fungal blight in the state. “The outlook isn’t good,” Morris said. “We are working with the state, and with some hybrid trees that are blight resistant.”

Shelburne Farms Head Market Gardener, Josh Carter, has been growing Hazleberts in Shelburne for three years. “We’re thinking our Hazleberts will start producing enough nuts to sell to the Inn next year,” he said.

The Hazleberts were planted to add interesting, non-traditional crops that fit with the farm’s educational mission. “Since we run a farm-to-table restaurant on site we diversity our market garden operation as much of possible for greatest variety in the menu,” Carter said.

 

BUR 0907 Vermont's Nuts 12.JPGNut farming is not economically viable, Carter said. “We don’t grow many nuts around here in the Northeast,” he said.

Growing nuts is similar to growing hops for beer, Carter said. “People like the idea of growing local hops for local breweries, but there’s a lot of infrastructure involved for starting up and brewing for this refined and processed product to make it viable.”

Carter admits he doesn’t have a passion for growing nuts, in particular, but does have a passion for trying different crops and learning as he goes.

Five years from now, everyone might want Hazleberts, Carter said. “It’s always nice to be ahead of the curve,” he said. “We’re building a pool of knowledge to cash in on in the future.”

Morris said he doesn’t think Vermont will ever have a competitive advantage with nut growing, but nut trees are important to the state’s landscape. “With more growers on board, it makes sense to look into nut butters and oils,” he said. “Hazelnut oil from Europe is a very valuable high quality commodity.”

Morris is also working on a hybrid pecan and hickory tree called a hickan tree. “People say pecans won’t grow in Vermont, but they do,” he said.

It might take 15 years to see nuts grow on a hickan tree, but there will be 500 years of nut harvesting after that, with no tilling, weeding, or seeding.

“I hope my work will build a legacy, so that generations of Vermonters to come might have plenty of pecans,” Morris said.

 

 

Contact Lynn Monty at LynnMonty@FreePressMedia.com and follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/VermontSongbird.

 

Thank you Lynn for a great story!

 

Here is a link to the original article:  http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/vermont/2014/09/06/nut-farming-hard-crack-vermont/15214289/

I will return and annotate/ correct this as there’s even more to the story!

 

Stay tuned for an audio file of our Nuts for the Northeast presentation at NOFA MA- we’re also looking for someone who wants to collaborate on making a simple video from the slides or who would like to edit the audio.

Thanks to everyone for coming out and sharing our event with DARREN DOHERTY!  It was a great success.

Out ROOT CELLAR DESIGN BUILD WORKSHOP will be October 18-19- stay tuned for more details or email to register!

INHABIT: Willow Crossing Farm- a Productive Riparian Buffers Video Vignette

Hi Folks!

I know we’ve been sending out a lot of plant sale announcements lately, so we just wanted to take a minute and THANK YOU for supporting our work!

Here’s a short vignette of our riverbank reforestation work captured on the water and created by filmmakers Costa Boutsikaris and Emmett Brennan captured last spring.Costa

Enjoy!

Costa successfully funded the Northeastern Permaculture Documentary in 2012

with footage taken here with Prospect Rock Permaculture at Willow Crossing Farm.

http://kck.st/KaocHr

 

They are now fundraising for the finished product, which is looking incredible! Check it out:

We’ve put a few hundred more fruits, nuts, berries, vines in the ground this spring thanks to your support of our work!

Next week, we’ll begin design and installation for a Permaculture Plant Nursery at St. Michael’s College, while training the schools first Permaculture Design Certification Students!

I’ll be announcing a few public events if you’d like to come check out a film or speaker, meet the students, and network with some other professional growers, ecological designers, and builders.

Bare root Hybrid Hazelnuts, Black Locust, and Gooseberries are still available from the farm. A limited selection of all of our plants will be available in pots by appointment throughout the summer.

Stop by or give a call if you want to pitch in on some farm building or tree planting this spring, and otherwise I hope to be off the computer!

Peace and Trees!
Keith

Nursery Plants for Sale

Spring 2015 Nursery Sale Pre-Order pricing will be announced to subscribers this fall-

Please add your email to the box on the right and confirm your subscription (‘Following Blog’).

Fall Nursery Sales!

We have a limited number of plants in pots which we’d rather help find loving homes than overwinter!

Black Locusts ~2′ tall potted $20.  The exceptionally fast growing Nitrogen Fixing Tree has delicious edible flowers loved by bees.  Its also exceptionally rot resistant and hot burning fire-wood.

Aurora Pea ~6+’ tall grafted Fruit Tree, XL pot- $50

Grafted Paw Paws ~1′ tall in deep pots.  ‘Pennsylvania Golden’ and ‘NC-1′ varieties.  $25

Various Nut Trees ~2′ tall in deep and/ or large pots.  Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Carpathian Walnuts, Butternuts, Buartnuts  $40 each!

Sugar Maples  ~5+’ tall potted trees $30 

Kiwis  potted, assorted varieties $25

Siberian Pea Shrub ~2-4′ tall potted trees.  Beautiful N Fixer with edible flowers and small peas often used as chicken fodder and/ or living fence.

 

Please stay tuned and follow the blog- our availability and pre-orders for spring 2015 will be announced soon!

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Spring 2014

(for reference only- most of these plants will be available for similar prices Spring 2015)

Hey All!

Thanks everyone for your support of our most successful plant sale to date!  By last count we’ve helped place several hundred fruits, nuts, berries, vines, and other useful plants throughout the northeast just this spring!

All plants are available for pickup ASAP in Jeffersonville, VT or at Willow Crossing Farm by appointment, unless otherwise noted.

All trees are potted in organic compost potting mix.  For the best prices on trees, please subscribe for details about our late April / early May Bare Root Plant Sales.

We still have nice, well branched PIXWELL GOOSEBERRIES  $20/ plant- make a small deliciously fruiting, mildly thorny hedge around your garden to keep the critters back!

SIBERIAN PEA SHRUB- One of our favorite Nitrogen Fixers, this plant feeds bees, has delicious edible flowers (for people), and its small edible peas are traditionally grown as a chicken feed.  $20/ Plant

CONSTORT BLACK CURRANT- widely adaptable, shade-fruiting, delicious- White Pine Blister Rust immune- yum! $20/ Plant

HYBRID HAZELS-  One of our favorites for a future crop in VT, now well into production here at Willow Crossing, these multi-stemmed trees will begin to bear nuts in as little as 3 years from planting. They also make nice hedges, living fences, privacy screens, or snow fence. $30/ tree.  (Available for Pickup this weekend by appointment).

SILVER MAPLES- 3-4′ bare root trees.  Stately!  $15/ Plant SOLD OUT

SUGAR MAPLES- 4-5′ bare root trees.  The classic!  $25/ Plant

LODI GREEN APPLE- 3/4″ truck caliper (over 6′ tall) bare root trees- $30/ plant  SOLD OUT

NIJISEIKI ASIAN PEAR- 3/4″ truck diameter (~5′ plant) bare root- $30/ Plant. SOLD OUT

AURORA RED BLUSHED PEAR- 3/4″ truck diameter (over 6′ tall)- $50/ Plant. ONE LEFT- BIG TREE!

BLACK LOCUST- 18″- Permaculture stacking function ‘superhero': the fastest growing, most rot resistant, hottest burning, thorny, Nitrogen Fixing, bee-supporting, edible flowers. $20/ Plant

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Ericoid Mycorrhizae infect the roots of blueberries, and expand their reaches for minerals, nutrients, and water exponentially!

WATERMAN BERRY FARM ERICOID MYCORRHIZA INNOCULATED MATURE BLUEBERRIES  magic mushrooms for blueberry roots!  MEADER, BLUE GLOD, ELLIOT $35/ Large Potted Plant

CONCORD GRAPESThe classic hardy blue grape known for its vigor and disease resistance, and delicious fresh grapes, juices, wine, jams, and preserves. $20/ pot

BLACK WALNUTS- 2-3′ bare root trees.  $30

BUTTERNUTS- 12-18″ bare root trees- $25

*CARPATHIAN/ ENGLISH WALNUTS- 2-3′ bare root trees, $40

XANTHOCERAS- 3-4′ bare root trees, $25  SOLD OUT

Still just a few potted: KIWIS, SEA BERRIES, ARONIA, ROSES, ARTICHOKES, and some VIKING ASPARAGUS!

More details on the plant sale are available here.

If you want something left bare root for you let us know!

Thanks so much!

Keith, Family, and Crew

Only a few spaces remain in this summer’s Permaculture Design Certification Course, and we’re able to offer full scholarships to income eligible Vermonters and Women Farmers.  Two spaces will be reserved for ‘second PDC’ students looking to deepen their practice and experience.

Happy spring- get planting!

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2015 Permaculture Design Certification Course July 19 – 31, 2015

The 2015 Summer PDC is

 July 19- 31, 2015

This world-reknown course fills early!  Please clear your schedule and confirm your space now.

We are excited to announce that as the only Fully Accredited Permaculture Institute in Vermont

we have secured full scholarships for income eligible Vermont State residents.

Scholarship applicants should be in touch with as much notice as possible.

The 2013 summer course was a blast!    Stay tuned for some photos, design work, and student comments- it was an incredible experience for folks from all over the US and four countries.

Unlike all other Permaculture Design Certification courses- students work to create both collaborative and individual designs, allowing the opportunity to practice the design process twice, work with real-world clients and sites, as well as developing ideas for your own sites, bioregions, and specific interests with professional guidance.   Students’ final individual design presentations are from a wide geographical and cultural diversity- ranging from 100+ acre farms, to vacant-lot community gardens, to natural building renovation, ‘renter’s permaculture’ apartment / urban strategies, and more!   The balance between collaborative and individual work, combined with the diverse students we attract make each design a highlight, and broaden our collective experience and practice.  This ‘two-design’ format, increasingly being used by other courses and other instructors, is Prospect Rock Permaculture‘s unique innovation to augment the requirements of an fully accredited and internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification Course.

Read below for more course details and flyers.  Click here for more information about the Registration Process.

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Burlington Permaculture and Prospect Rock Permaculture are pleased to offer our Sixth-Annual summer Permaculture Design Certification course.  Immersed in wild ecology, beautiful scenery, and the abundance of Willow Crossing- our Family Farm and Vermont’s oldest Permaculture Research Site- we practice the art of re-visioning and remaking Heathy Human Whole Systems.

The two week residential intensive course goes above and beyond the internationally recognized standard curriculum with focus on Community Resilience, Social Justice, Food Security, Farm Design, Transition, Environmental and Outdoor Education, Natural Building, Horticultural Therapy, Community/ Commercial Scale Production and Propagation, Appropriate Farm Machinery and Tools, and visits to the vibrant farms, homesteads, nurseries, and ethical businesses that contribute to the resurging agricultural economy of this most Fertile Valley of Northern Vermont.

All food served during the course will come from our farm and immediately local farms visited during the course.  With opportunities to see, practice, and implement permaculture solutions at varying scales; thorough grounding in the process of design, first-hand study of ecology- and guided by the most experienced designers, farmers, and educators in the U.S. – this course affords opportunities for development and engagement in personal and community abundance and security like no other.

ABOUT THE SITE                                                                                                              TEACHING TEAM

Hands-on Design and Co-Creation of Vibrant, Wholly Nourishing Human Landscapes:

Together, we engage in whole-systems ecological design and implementation of permaculture solutions for a multi-use community garden specifically focused on the needs of food-insecure Vermonters.  Learn alongside students, architects, activists, community planners, homesteaders, farmers, natural builders, business owners, and others while solving real-world design problems as a team, and generating full designs for a site of your own choosing- while guided by some of the world’s foremost professional designers and being immersed the wild and cultivated beauty of a 12 year old permaculture site.

Our approach explores the way human beings- as individuals and communities- can participate in the creation of ethical, socially just, and ecologically regenerative perennial support systems.  We apply the sciences of Ecology, Anthropology, Ethnobiology, and Evolution to agriculture, the built environment, and social and economic organization (‘invisible structures’) by integrating plants, animals, buildings, people, communities, economies, and the landscapes that surround us through careful analysis and thoughtful design.  We also practice permaculture ethics, principles, techniques, and skills by collaborating on real-world projects repairing, restoring, and regenerating human ecosystems.

We welcome graduates of other permaculture design courses to refresh their certification, gain new perspective and experience, build their networks, and advance their practice with the Advanced Permaculture Design and Teacher/ Facilitator Training opportunities available through this course.

Permaculture is a design science focused on the intersection of social and ecological health.  We explore the relationships between the built environment, food security, energy, water, and natural communities, in order to retrofit this infrastructure to respond to the confluent crises of the 21st century with localized resilience, abundance, and ecological regeneration.  Build your skills and capacity by taking part!

Our dynamic natural site in the midst of an agriculturally vibrant area affords ample opportunities to study and observe wild ecology, fruit, nut, vegetable, and medicinal herb production, natural/ alternative beekeeping poultry care, natural building, alternative energy, community-scale resilience, etc. In addition to all farm sourced food, immersion in wild ecology, radical sustainability, and the site offers us the opportunity to swim, hike, paddle, and camp in the beauty and inspiration of the early Vermont summer.

All farm sourced, local organic meals, travel to field trips, canoe and kayak use, and camping accommodation is included in the course cost of $1600.  There are other lodging options available at additional cost.  There are limited opportunities for professional development grants, work trade, scholarships, and other financial aid.  Discounted registration for groups, couples, referrals, and travel to the course by boat, bike, foot, or other non motorized means, is available for early registrations.  This course has historically filled quickly, please contact us to reserve your space as soon as possible.

As always, permaculture designers, activists, and alumni are welcome visit to present, review students designs, network, or just join us for a (very) local organic meal!  Many sessions will be open and free to interested public.

Instructors and guests include:  Keith Morris, Mark Krawczyk, Alissa White, Lisa DePiano, Andrew Faust, Skotty Kellogg, the Beehive Collective, and more!

This course is available for 5 credits through the University of Vermont.  Please visit http://www.learn.uvm.edu for details about registering through the University.

Our partners at WAGN The UVM Extension Women’s Agriculture Network have set some funds aside to help Vermont Women Farmers with enrollment.

We are fully accredited with VSAC (Vermont Student Assistance Corporation), and funds are available for full scholarships for income-elligible VT residents.

Thanks!

REGISTER HERE

Space is limited, and the course typically fill well in advance.

Please inquire about work trade and other scholarship opportunities.

Keith Morris and Dr. Elaine Ingham at NOFA MASS – this weekend!

Howdy friends!

Apologies for the late notice, but those of you in or near Massachusetts may want to catch a keynote presentation with Dr. Elaine Ingham- renown soil biology researcher, founder of Soil Foodweb Inc., and chief scientist for The Rodale Institute.

 

She’ll be presenting her keynote “The Organic Biological Revolution” this evening, Saturday, August 9 at 7:30pm.

I’ll be presenting at 10 am with Connor Steadman:

Agroforestry for Riverlands and Beyond

Agriculturally productive buffers (APBs) are an emerging agroforestry option for vulnerable river lands, which combines crop production, conservation, and flood resilience. This workshop provides an overview of ecological functions, crop systems, planning, and economic considerations for productive riparian buffers, plus case studies from current APB trials on Vermont farms.

And at 1 pm:

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Nuts for the Northeast

     Since the dawn of time, nuts have been some of the most important food plants for human beings.  Nut trees and shrubs offer some of the most nutrient dense foods, provide habitat, show the potential for a ‘carbon-negative’ and flood resilient agriculture, and are economically valuable for a variety of products in addition to nuts themselves.
Join with grower and international farm designer Keith Morris to explore the fascinating ecology and mythology of a few nut trees particularly suited to growing on farms and in neighborhoods throughout in the northeast.  We’ll focus of hardy proven nuts, and introduce some of the breeding, trailing, and hybridizing happening at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT to select for disease resistance, organic production, high quality timber, oils, medicinal properties, and to migrate some important nuts typically grown in warmer regions.  Participants will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of some trees commonly found in towns and hillsides, and be introduced to promising less common nuts.
Keith Morris is the founder of Willow Crossing Farm and is Professor of Permaculture Design at the University of Vermont.  As a grower, builder, and designer, he has created ecologically regenerative and economically viable food systems in New Zealand, Colorado, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Quebec, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nigeria, Ghana, Denmark, and the Netherlands- working regularly throughout New England and in New York City.  He has spent over 20 years developing permaculture with farms, towns, schools, indigenous peoples, squats, activists, and in solidarity with exploited populations.
Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont’s longest established permaculture research and education facility, and a debt-free ‘financial permaculture’ working family farm.   We host one of the most diverse collections of tree crops in the northeast, offer farm-based dining and educational opportunities to the local communities, and host annual events that attract people from across the country and a surprising variety of international students. We grow a variety of fruits, nuts, berries, and vines in an organic nursery; experiment with new crops, techniques, and regenerative farm infrastructure; manage production to create wildlife refuge and pollinator sanctuary; and have been focused on developing ‘productive buffers’ to reforest floodplain and riverside banks with marketable production.
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Also- subscribe to our blog (just enter your email above to the right) to receive announcements about Farm Tours and to view our fruit, nut, and medicinal plant collections, view the listing for the Nursery Sale, and other related workshops and conferences.

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Upcoming Events -

 

ROOT CELLARS AND COLD STORAGE DESIGN/ BUILD:

Oct 18 -19

Basement Retrofits –  Root cellars and food storage can be retrofitted into most any existing basement providing easy access to crops in winter and a more an overall more affordable project. In this project we will retrofit an existing basement with super insulated walls, and doors and install venting and shelves for effective crop storage. Participants will use power tools, build and hang doors, fashion a passive venting system out of Pipe and fittings, and learn important factors for design and construction of a small family sized cellar in an existing victorian home basement in downtown Jeffersonville.

Farm and Restaurant Coolbot Walkins – Learn how to build a super insulated and durable affordable Walk-in cooler that will be used for storing farm produce at Willow Crossing Farm. In this workshop we will construct a Cooler shell in an outdoor Kitchen to be cooled by a coolbot operating system tied to an air conditioner providing an affordable summer and on farm cold storage alternative. Participants will learn to estimate storage volumes needed for crop storage, scale mechanical systems for energy efficiency and effective cooling, learn the pros and cons of using this system instead of Compressor based mechanical system,  and effective ways to build a super insulated and durable shell for long term commercial use.

Winter- Spring Weekend Format PDC!

Please write to express your interest.  Details TBA soon.

 

Earth Activist Training PDC with Starhawk this September!

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EATLogo

2013 Earth Activist Training (EAT)

UrbanPC

At Willow Crossing Farm and Wildlife Refuge

Johnson, VT

September 7 – 21, 2013

with Starhawk, Charles Williams, Keith Morris, Lisa DePiano, Skotty Kellogg, and Special Guests

Permaculture, earth-based spirituality, organizing and activism… with Starhawk and a team of stellar teachers and designers.

Permaculture is a design system for creating health and abundance- through careful observation of ecology and the study and practice of new and old skills in ecological design, natural building, organic growing, and homestead arts.

An Earth Activist Training can set your life on a new path…or show you how to save the world. Green solutions are sprouting up all around us, but permaculture shows us how to weave them together into systems that can meet human needs and regenerate the natural world. EAT is practical earth healing with a magical base of ritual and nature awareness, teaching you to integrate mind and heart, with lots of hands-on practice and plenty of time to laugh.

Our two-week intensives are Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) scourses, offering the basic, internationally-recognized 72-hour permaculture curriculum with an additional focus on social permaculture, organizing tools, and spirit.

To Register, please click here.                                                                                                                                                                               For more information about Earth Activist Training (EAT) please visit here.

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ABOUT THE SITE:
Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont’s longest established permaculture research and education facility, and the only debt-free ‘financial permaculture’ working farm we’re aware of. Its a family-run homestead; organic fruit, nut, and medicine nursery; wildlife refuge and pollinator sanctuary; natural building and regenerative infrastructure experimentation site; and venue for farm dining, education, and music.
We host one of the most diverse collections of tree crops and other multi-use plants anywhere- providing unique opportunities to practice permaculture directly hands-on, and to immerse yourself in wild ecology. Our location allows us close working relationships with (and to visit) some of the nation’s leading herb farms, organic seed companies, winter vegetable production operations, farm restaurants, and other food-system revolutionaries- as well as immediate adjacency some of the best hiking, boating, biking, and rock-climbing around!

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Starhawk has been the foremost international leader and advocate for women’s empowerment, racial diversity, social justice, and earth-based spirituality in permaculture.

Starhawk is a world-reknown author, activist, permaculture designer, and one of the foremost voices in earth-based spirituality. Her twelve books include The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and The Earth Path, and her first picture book for children, The Last Wild Witch.  She has lived and worked collectively for thirty years, and her book on group dynamics is just out: The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups.

Starhawk is a veteran of progressive movements, from anti-war to anti-nukes, and is deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism.

Earth Activist Trainings were founded by Starhawk as intensive seminars that combine permaculture design, political organizing, and earth-based spirituality.  With over ten years of experience in permaculture design and teaching, she has pioneered the application of permaculture principles to social organizations, policy and strategy.  Since its first course in May of 2001, Earth Activist Trainings has graduated over 600 students who now shepherd projects that range from community power-down strategies in Iowa City to water catchment programs in Bolivia, from inner city gardens in San Francisco to women’s programs in the West Bank of Palestine.  Starhawk’s own expertise is in the communication of ecological systems thinking through images, writing, and innovative teaching techniques. Starhawk is perhaps best known best known beyond permaculture for her work brining scholarship of goddess religions and earth-based spirituality to the feminist and environmental movements in the 70s- and remaining a word renown leader and activist since!

Charles, a certified permaculture designer, comes to EAT through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one’s hands is sacred work.
Over the past two decades he has stewarded many pieces of land throughout the United States, including Diana’s Grove in Missouri, Farm & Wilderness summer camp in Vermont, and Golden Rabbit Ranch in California. His approach simultaneously promotes both preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic. His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management. Charles also understands the need for healthy community and knows that skilled human implementation is an essential part of any design. In these challenging times, he finds hope for the future through the interlocking, symbiotic relationship of spirit, community, and action.
Charles is a talented facilitator and conflict mediator. He has worked with many groups, from mass mobilization meetings with over 100 people to a handful of people working for progressive organizations, from Quaker-style Unity to anarchist-style consensus, from inexperienced teens to highly trained professionals. Through a rough and rugged process he has gained an eye for what helps build community and support.
As an accomplished tinker Charles brings a wide range of practical and somewhat obscure hand skills. He has installed complex systems such as solar electric arrays, gray water filters, and veggie oil diesel conversions. He has implemented simple systems such as emergency water filtration, humanure composting toilets, and rotational grazing plans. He is talented in wilderness tracking, solo canoeing, gathering and tending wild edibles, starting fire by hand, and mapping. He loves to work with his hands, whether he is tanning hides or repairing a generator, and this love is reflected when he teaches EAT’s hands-on segments.
Charles believes that no problems are unsolvable as long as we work together to develop and implement our plan effectively and honor the holy in our work.

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Keith Morris has been applying his lifelong love of nature and culture and experience as an activist to permaculture and ecological design since 1996 — working as a designer, builder, grower of ecologically regenerative, socially just, commercially viable, and culturally appropriate whole-systems around the world.

He is the founder of Prospect Rock Permaculture (www.prospectrock.org), Willow Crossing Farm (www.willowcrossing.org), co-founding board member of the Permaculture Institute of the NorthEast (P.I.N.E. ), and teaches permaculture and ecological design The University of Vermont, Sterling College, the Yestermorrow Design/ Build School, and with other community organizations.
He specializes in farm infrastructure design/ build and is an accomplished beekeeper, nurseryman, and social entrepreneur.  For the past 17 years, he’s been consulting with forward-thinking landowners, community organizations, schools, towns, farmers, homesteaders, watershed organizations, land trusts, and others to interpret ecological context and make human-managed ecosystems more connected, beautiful, and productive-   assisting people to better grow food, build soil, secure fresh water, harvest the sun, and harmonize with natural communities.
While his expertise is integrated farm infrastructure and tree crops systems for cold temperate/ arctic climates, he works regularly in New York City and has designed and implemented systems in New Zealand, Colorado, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Quebec, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nigeria, Ghana, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
We’re honored to announce we’ll be hosting Starhawk and team for an Earth Activist Training (EAT) Permaculture Design Certification course- for the first time in the northeast in several years!At Willow Crossing Farm and Wildlife Refuge

Johnson, VT

September 7 – 21, 2013

with Starhawk, Charles Williams, Keith Morris, Lisa DePiano, Skotty Kellogg, and Special Guests.

Permaculture, earth-based spirituality, organizing and activism… with Starhawk and a team of stellar teachers and designers.

An Earth Activist Training can set your life on a new path…or show you how to save the world. Green solutions are sprouting up all around us, but permaculture shows us how to weave them together into systems that can meet human needs and regenerate the natural world. EAT is practical earth healing with a magical base of ritual and nature awareness, teaching you to integrate mind and heart, with lots of hands-on practice and plenty of time to laugh.

Our two-week intensives are Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) scourses, offering the basic, internationally-recognized 72-hour permaculture curriculum with an additional focus on social permaculture, organizing tools, and spirit.

ABOUT THE SITE:
Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont’s longest established permaculture research and education facility, and the only debt-free ‘financial permaculture’ working farm we’re aware of. Its a family-run homestead; organic fruit, nut, and medicine nursery; wildlife refuge and pollinator sanctuary; natural building and regenerative infrastructure experimentation site; and venue for farm dining, education, and music.
We host one of the most diverse collections of tree crops and other multi-use plants anywhere- providing unique opportunities to practice permaculture directly hands-on, and to immerse yourself in wild ecology. Our location allows us close working relationships with (and to visit) some of the nation’s leading herb farms, organic seed companies, winter vegetable production operations, farm restaurants, and other food-system revolutionaries- as well as immediate adjacency some of the best hiking, boating, biking, and rock-climbing around!

ABOUT THE FOOD!
Head chef Emily Wheeler is a clinical herbalist, Permaculture Design Course graduate, and specialized in creating culinary works of art from seasonal local organic food to deeply nourish us all. As Emily is also a member of the teaching team- the meals, food sourcing, modern nutritional science, food preservation, wild-crafting, and localvore innovations are central to the course experience. We are happy and experienced in meeting the needs of gluten or dairy intolerant, vegetarians and vegans, food allergies, and other special diets.

Many people have expressed interest in the last few open spaces in the course- we will fill them based on first come, first served upon receipt of the deposit.

For details or to register, please visit www.ProspectRock.org, call (802) 734-1129, or email Keith@ProspectRock.org

Tonight! Social Permaculture with Lisa DePiano (Weds. July 23)

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TONIGHT!

7:30 at Willow Crossing Farm, Johnson, VT

FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC

Farm Sourced Organic Dinner at 6 pm by reservation only.

From designing and installing the greywater system at Occupy Wall Street to co creating one of the first edible forest gardens on public land to piloting the countries only city wide- bike powered trash and recycling coop Lisa DePiano has been innovating what she calls “socially engaged permaculture”. Through story telling and slides come hear her reflect on the last 14 years of applying permaculture to both public and participatory design solutions.

Lisa DePiano is a certified permaculture designer/teacher faculty member for the the University of Massachusetts and a research fellow at the MIT media lab. For the last 14 years she has taught permaculture to hundreds of students in dozens of courses. She  co-founded  the Montview Neighborhood Farm,  one of the first human powered urban-farm and edible forest garden in the country and worked to establish the bicycle powered compost program while riding with the worker-owned collective Pedal People. She received her masters degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts and loves working with communities to create the world they want to live in.  She has studied permaculture with Starhawk, Penny Livingston Stark, and Dave Jacke and has taught all over the U.S including the Menominee Nation,  Homer, AK, New York City, Miami, FL the University of Vermont, University of Massachusetts, and Wesleyan University. She runs the Mobile Design Lab which specializes in participatory permaculture design and installation.

___________________________________________

This is a series of events which will be open to the community over the next few weeks as we host people from all over the country (and world) for our 7th Annual Permaculture Design Certification Course.

We’re so excited to continue of tradition of sharing our most excellent guests and bringing folks in to share in the experience of one of the nation’s most highly regarded Permaculture Courses!

All evening lectures are FREE and start at 7:30, donations to support farm reforestation and ecological regenerations are gratefully accepted and shared with our guests.

ALL ORGANIC FARM-SOURCED DINNER is served at 6 pm, and available by reservation only for a sliding scale fee of $12-20.  We are happy to meet the needs of vegetarians, vegans, wheat intolerant, ethical omnivores, and localvores.

To join us for dinner, please contact Head Chef Emily Wheeler by phone or text message at

(802) 505-8882

For questions or driving directions, please contact Keith@ProspectRock.org or call (802) 734-1129

MONDAY, JULY 28- MEGHAN GIROUX of VERMONT EDIBLE LANDSCAPES

Interested in attending the course?    Next year’s is already beginning to fill!

It will be July 19-31, 2015.

Thanks for SHARING this with your friends, interested networks and listservs, and on social media!

Please ‘like’ us on Facebook, and add your email address on the right hand side of this page to be kept in the loop of other events.WillowCrossing copy

Open Sessions: Dave Jacke!! Monday July 21

dj-flyer14We’re honored and excited to announce an evening presentation with Dave Jacke- author of ‘Edible Forest Gardens’ and the northeast’s most recognized permaculture pioneer-

FREE and open to the public.

Ecological Culture Design: A Holistic View

Monday, July 21

Willow Crossing Farm

Johnson, VT

Nature operates based on a set of foundational laws and principles by which all systems must abide, or they fail. These principles have much to teach us about how to organize human societies. Fundamentally, permaculture aims to design complete cultural systems that consciously mimic ecosystem properties, principles, patterns, and processes.

 

Ecologically, culture functions as the primary adaptive mechanism of our species, and it is culture, as a whole system, that we must redesign. What is culture? How might we approach the design of cultures as whole systems in an ecological context? We can design systems that minimize stress and competition, and maximize cooperation, harmony, productivity, and diversity, while allowing each community member to remain true to their intrinsic nature. We’ll get into some ecological nitty gritty and imagine how we might use what we learn for our own purposes.

Dave will join us with extra special guest and Gap Mountain Permaculture co-founder Doug Clayton!

 

This is the first of a series of events which will be open to the community over the next few weeks as we host people from all over the country (and world) for our 7th Annual Permaculture Design Certification Course.

We’re so excited to continue of tradition of sharing our most excellent guests and bringing folks in to share in the experience of one of the nation’s most highly regarded Permaculture Courses!

 

All evening lectures are FREE and start at 7:30, donations to support farm reforestation and ecological regenerations are gratefully accepted and shared with our guests.

ALL ORGANIC FARM-SOURCED DINNER is served at 6 pm, and available by reservation only for a sliding scale fee of $12-20.  We are happy to meet the needs of vegetarians, vegans, wheat intolerant, ethical omnivores, and localvores.

To join us for dinner, please contact Head Chef Emily Wheeler by phone or text message at

(802) 505-8882

For questions or driving directions, please contact Keith@ProspectRock.org or call (802) 734-1129

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23-  LISA DEPIANO

Will speak on Community Scale Permaculture and Permaculture Economics and share her experiences as a leading activist and empolyee-owner of a diversity of regenerative businesses.

 

MONDAY, JULY 28- MEGHAN GIROUX of VERMONT EDIBLE LANDSCAPES

 

Interested in attending the course?  Please call to see if there are any last-minute cancellations.

Next year’s is already beginning to fill!       It will be July 19-31, 2015.

 

Thanks for SHARING this with your friends, interested networks and listservs, and on social media!

 

Please ‘like’ us on Facebook, and add your email address on the right hand side of this page to be kept in the loop of other events.

 

 

WillowCrossing copy

Free Organic Seed Potato

Did you know, that despite one of the healthiest food systems in the country- Vermont is also one of the most food insecure?   More than 84,000 Vermonters of all ages live in food insecure households…  we have work to do!

FREE ORGANIC SEED POTATO for Food Security Gardens and Rows…

GROW A ROW! Free Organic Seed Potato for VT Community Gardens, Foodshelves, or anyone ‘growing a row’ for VT’s food insecure. Thanks to support from our friends @ High Mowing Organic Seeds, Willow Crossing Farm has organic seed potato available for food security initiatives.

 

Call Keith @ (802) 734-1129 or email Keith@ProspectRock.org

Plant Sale Update!

Hi Everyone-

In case you didn’t get the notice already, the plant sale pick up will be in our garage DOWNTOWN JEFFERSONVILLE.

90 CHURCH ST.  Which is directly across the street from the Post Office just off Route 15 in Jeffersonville, VT.

Here it is much easier for people to drive up, and there is better cold storage for the bare root stock.

There are tons of RED, BLACK, and WHITE CURRANTS, GOOSEBERRIES, GRAPES, BLUEBERRIES, ASPARAGUS, STRAWBERRIES, ARONIA, HONEYBERRY, KIWIS, SEA BERRIES, and some of the LARGER FRUIT TREES are still left.

Next week- we’ll have most of the NUT TREES, PEACHES, large APPLES, XANTHOCERAS, SASKATOONS, PEA SHRUBS, BLACK LOCUST, HYBRID HAZELS, and some BIG MAPLES.

Medicinal Herbs will be available a little later this spring.  I’ll send out a complete list in a week or so.

Thanks for your support and sharing this with anyone who may be interested.

Best,

Keith

 

Constantly updated variety descriptions and prices are available HERE.

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