Vermont's Permaculture Institute
Tag Archives: keith morris
Hands on- Fruit and Nut Tree Pruning
A day long exploration of the science and practice of ecological tree crop management for diverse yields.
Willow Crossing Farm
SUNDAY, March 31
10 am – 4 pm
Join Tree Farmer Keith Morris for a day of hands-on practice with fruit and nut tree pruning, in a diverse permaculture forest garden setting. Spend the morning in the large yurt learning the science and ecology of how trees lose limbs and ‘heal’, and explore the deep traditions of how humans beings observe and interact with this phenomenon.
We’ll synthesize a variety of pruning ideas, strategies, and techniques to help you develop your own philosophy, understanding, and confidence to go out and work with trees in your landscape in a regenerative and yielding way. After lunch and some hot cider we’ll go outside to explore one of VT’s oldest permaculture designed food forests- a reforestation of old pasture and hayfield in the floodplain of the Lamoille River.
We’ll briefly tour ‘Productive Buffers’, wildlife corridors, and stop to work in zones of Plums, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Berries, Vines, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, and more– driven by the group’s interest, and discussing pruning techniques for trees both young and old. We’ll look at and evaluate previous years of pruning decisions and ensuing consequences, and explore some natural tree injuries and healing responses, helping participants to better understand the implications of our pruning decisions over varying periods of time. We’ll finish the day practicing with different tools to cut wood cleanly- with an eye towards maximizing production, fruit quality, ease of future maintenance, and minimizing pest and disease pressure. We’ll also set the stage for top-working, multi-variety grafting, species changes (i.e.. Peaches on Plum roots), and other forms of propagation. In preparation for our April 7 Grafting Workshop and Scionwood Exchange We’ll also prune mature, bearing Hazelnuts and manage black locust, walnut, butternut/ buartnut, pecans, and more for nuts, firewood, high-value lumber, succession, aesthetics, and other long-term aims.
We’ll pass around, demonstrate, and allow you to trial favorite tools, including pruners, saws, pole saws, etc.; speak to their selection and maintenance, and discuss hygienic practices to promote orchard health and reduce cross-contamination.
This workshop kicks off our series for 2018!
Please enter your email in the box on the right hand side of the page, or ‘like’ us on Facebook to get the calendar and details for our other offerings such as: fruit tree grafting (April 7), nursery plant sale, natural beekeeping workshop, nut production, diverse understory planting, spring development for gravity fed irrigation, natural building, compost heat, season extension, earth oven construction, stone masonry, and more. Our Nursery Plant Sale pre-orders are open now, with plant pick ups scheduled to begin April 23.
Our 2018 Permaculture Design Certification Course will be offered July 22- August 3, and they are filling quickly. Applications for our Advanced Permaculture Design / Build /Grow / Teach internship, and APDC guided portfolio development will now be accepted on a rolling basis!
Event is $40-60 suggested donation/ sliding scale, including warm or cold cider during lunch and a round of hard cider tasting (21 and over) afterwards. No one will be refused for lack of funds.
*We are looking for photographers or videographers to help document the event, or create a short educational video.*
Please pre-register, and dress to spend the day outdoors.
We’ll need your email address if you’re planning on coming because the weather will determine where we’ll have people park. Feel free to bring your *clean, sterile, and sharp* pruners and saws.
Keith Morris has been collecting and experimenting with rare fruit and nut trees for 20 years, and teaches ecological design throughout the northeast. He has worked to help create resilient, diverse, socially just, and economically viable food systems around the world since 1996. Please spread the word to potentially interested friends and networks. Thank you for your support of our work!
Thanks, Keith and Crew Willow Crossing Farm www.willowcrossing.org
For rideshares, conversation, or sharing with facebook friends- please visit the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/270680720016950/
You can view some photos from last years event HERE.
Art Exhibit and Hands-On Wild-Crafted Paints and Paintbrushes with Nick Neddo of ‘The Organic Artist’- May 30
We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be offering an opportunity to study and practice the creation of wild-crafted art materials hands-on with Nick Neddo– author of recently published book “The Organic Artist”!
Art Exhibit and Free Public Talk
Saturday, May 30 7:30 pm
Wild-Crafted Paints and Paintbrushes
Saturday, May 30 10 am – 4 pm
at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT
Learn to make paint from stones! We will hunt and gather rocks from the landscape and grind them into powder. From there we process and refine the rock powder into a fine pigment and transform it into paint!
We will also approach the art of making paintbrushes from a variety of angles, using a wide variety of natural materials found on the living landscape.
You will also be able to purchase “The Organic Artist” directly from the author, and have him sign your book (with a wildcrafted pen and ink 😉
The workshop is sliding scale- suggested donation $80 with materials provided. No one will be refused due to lack of funds! However- space is limited and registration is required regardless.
About the Instructor:
Nick Neddo is a sixth generation Vermonter who has been making art since he could first pick up a crayon. He grew up exploring the wetlands, forests and fields of his bioregion and developed a profound curiosity, respect and love for the community of life around him.
He makes his art supplies from materials that he gathers from the landscape, which is the topic of his new book: The Organic Artist. Nick enjoys clean air, water, food and dirty hands.
As a young teenager Nick identified primary focuses that would become life-long pursuits: study of the natural world, Stone Age technology (popularly known as primitive skills) and creating art. Trusting the inherent value of these skills, he continues to embrace their pursuit with a ravenous appetite fueled by a genuine love of the living world and the creative process. He has traveled the country extensively, visiting the last great wildernesses, seeking traditional skills and experiencing the landscape’s majesty, which are common themes in his artwork.
Nick has been teaching wilderness survival and living skills, tracking, drawing and nature awareness professionally since 2000, although he considers himself a perpetual student. He currently instructs at Roots School in Vermont, as well as other venues. You can find his latest artwork, other creations, and purchase a copy of ‘The Organic Artist” at www.nickneddo.com.
About Willow Crossing Farm:
Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont’s longest running permaculture research and education center. We are committed to fostering ecologically regenerative culture, and sharing our efforts to meet human needs while increasing ecological health. We are an entirely community supported, debt-free farm, incredibly diverse tree and medicinal herb nursery, wildlife refuge, and pollinator sanctuary.
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June 6-7 is our COMPOST TOILET DESIGN BUILD WORKSHOP- email to reserve your space stay tuned for more details.
There is still space in our farm-based Summer Permaculture Design Certification Courses! Click HERE for more information.
Details for our annual Nursery Plant Sale can be found HERE.
The full calendar of events can be found HERE.
We are still accepting applications for Internships, Apprenticeships, and looking for a Vegetable Production Partner and Chef. Opportunities can be found HERE.
7:30 PM- VERMONT CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE HERBALISM
250 Main Street, Suite 302
Montpelier , VT 05602
Join us for an evening of envisioning ecologically regenerative and resilient cities- and learn about many projects on the ground actualizing this vision.
Think you need a ‘farm’ to grow food? Think again!
When it comes to ecological health and food production in today’s cities, there’s very little we might want to “sustain”. As urban populations continue to grow worldwide amidst the convergent crises of energy depletion, climate change, and economic ‘uncertainty’, its critical we redesign our cities to provide for more of their residents’ needs. This workshop focuses on practical skills usable by communities in cities and elsewhere to achieve greater local access to and control over life’s essential resources. We’ll discuss simple and affordable techniques for soil building, bioremediation, rainwater harvesting, intensive food production, micro-livestock and aquaculture, small scale autonomous energy production, and other infrastructure retrofit.
We’ll explore some exciting existing urban farms, “urban homesteads”, and other examples of urban permaculture to better understand the ways we can design and establish our homes and communities as ‘human ecosystems’ that are not only less fuel reliant, but also beautiful, productive, ecologically regenerative, and wholly nourishing.
Scott Kellogg is the co-author of the book Toolbox for Sustainable City
Living: A Do-it-Ourselves Guide (South End Press) and the primary teacher of R.U.S.T. – The Radical Urban Sustainability Training, an intensive weekend workshop in urban ecological survival skills.
Currently, Scott is developing a new organization in Albany , New York named the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center . It is planned to be a demonstration of environmental technologies and sustainable micro industries applicable in today’s urban environment. So far, a half acre lot in Albany to house the project has been purchased, and a use variance form the City of Albany to permit the project has been granted.
Scott is also a co-founder of Austin, Texas’ Rhizome Collective, (www.rhizomecollective.org), an urban sustainability education project, and worked as the director of its sustainability program from 2000-2009. In 2004, the Rhizome Collective was donated a 10 acre brownfield property in Austin , as well as a $200,000 brownfield cleanup award form the EPA. Scott worked as the site coordinator for the cleanup, and oversaw the removal and recycling of over 15 tons of debris from the site.
In 2005-2006, Scott worked with a team of environmental engineers to establish a community based bioremediation program in post-Katrina New Orleans .
Scott is an experienced teacher, activist, ecological designer, and father. He presently lives in the Albany Free School Community in Albany , New York . He is currently earning a Masters in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University .
He has extensive experience designing and building numerous sustainable systems and has taught numerous workshops and multi-part sustainability courses in locations as diverse as Mexico , East Timor, Canada, and inner city America .
He has been interviewed in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television programs and is regarded as an expert in the field of community based sustainability.
Scott has taught at numerous universities in the US , including Virginia Tech, Wesleyan, Evergreen, Washington College , University of New Orleans , and Michigan State University .
Keith Morris is a farmer and designer based in northern Vermont who is committed to preserving, advancing, and distributing the collective knowledge of our ecosystems and vibrant agricultural communities to the ends of food justice and right livelihood. He works regularly with urban farms, rooftop gardens, community gardens, and is a Permacorps International ambassador. He has helped design and implement food security and resilience initiatives in the Freetown Christiania; with the Ibo in Biafra , Nigeria ; ‘La Toma’ squat city Santiago , Chile ; the communities displaced by the Newmont Gold Mines in Ghana ; and elsewhere.
Farms for the Future
Ecological Regeneration and Economic Viability for Northeastern Farm Legacy
FRIDAY, November 15, 2013
6:00 PM — Newport, NH
As the 21 century gets underway, it appears ever more likely that we will face continued challenges and change at an unprecedented rate- likely even greater than experienced during the 20th century. As we face uncertainty in regards to climate, energy, government, and the global economy- we can fear change, scramble to react, or adapt appropriately and with intention.
Join with professional farm designer Keith Morris to explore how the study of ecology, history, and ecological design can help us act on the tremendous opportunities we have at present to make our farms more resilient, ecologically regenerative, and economically viable with an eye towards healthy communities and a lasting legacy into the future.
We’ll look to a few inspiring examples from here in the northeast and beyond of farms using permaculture to create health and abundance by combining tradition with new crops and techniques- focusing on the intersection of social and ecological health, and caring for future generations.
On Friday, November 15 at 6 pm, you are invited to join us for the 67th Annual Awards Dinner for the Sullivan County Conservation District. There will be a farm-sourced meal, recognition for stand-out farms and educators, and an opportunity to weave connections between area veteran farmers, young and new growers/ homesteaders, extension agents, and state and local representatives looking to engage in making a viable agricultural future for the region.
$15 Includes Dinner and Award Ceremony, to make a reservation, please contact Lionel Chute, ASAP
6:00 PM in the Sugar River Bank Community Room
10 N. Main St. in Newport, NH
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT FSMA (the Food Safety Modernization & Safety Act)!?
Comments are due by NOV. 15!
The rules, as currently proposed, have the potential to be very damaging to many farms – especially those who are focused on veggies and fruits, or concerned about Food Sovereignty.
RURAL VERMONT, NOFA VT, UVM EXTENSION, New England Farmers’ Union, and the VT Agency of Agriculture have pulled together some of the best analysis of what you need to know and what you CAN DO to add your voice to the protest over how these proposed rules could devastate small scale agriculture in the northeast.
We’ll also be presenting with MARK SHEPARD (whose farm is pictured in the flyer above) during this Winter’s NOFA MASS Conference on January 11.
AND with NOFA VT on February 15
LASTLY- Our internationally recognized, farm-based PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATION COURSE will be held this summer July 20 – August 1, and is already beginning to fill! Please reserve your space now, and feel free to share course information with potentially interested friends and networks.
Keith and Family
Hi Friends and Colleagues,
Here is a last minute invitation to any of you who may be interested in joining a small group of students, researchers, and folks with NOFA and UVM Extension for an informal tour of the ‘productive buffers’ and Tree Crops collection at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT.
As our rivers, riverside farms, and riverside towns are increasingly put to the test with erratic weather we look forward to contributing to the conversation about the health of our rivers and agricultural economy with over a decade of experience testing 100s of species of plants suitable for ‘productive buffers’ and productive floodplain reforestation. This event is to prelude a larger event this fall, and a multi-day ‘Tree Crops Symposium’ scheduled for the late spring of 2013 with some of the world’s foremost experts in tree crops, nut production, agroforestry, and non-timber forest products.
Willow Crossing Farm (Prospect Rock Permaculture) has been dedicated to making floodplain reforestation profitable and ecologically regenerative since 2001. Through combinations of native riparian plants with both native and rare nut, fruit, sugar, timber, and firewood producing trees, berries and medicinal herbs, we’ve worked to reforest our river’s corridors and flood prone sections of our farm aiming to prevent erosion; conserve soil and nutrients; shade waterways and improve water quality; create fish, wildlife, and pollinator habitat; and offset atmospheric carbon- all while adding to our long-term bottom line.
We grow many different varieties of plums, apples, cherries, pears, apricots, peaches, berries, paw paws, and over 17 species of nut trees.
Last summer, our systems were put to the test with two 500 year floods within 4 months and largely performed as designed- catching and diverting flotsam and protecting cultivated areas, greenhouses, and other farm infrastructure. Now, we are inviting other farmers, and anyone interested in watershed health and the potential for ecologically regenerative and carbon-negative farming systems to take inspiration from our trials, and share in our mistakes, successes, and other information gained.
Please be in touch with Keith Morris (Keith@ProspectRock.org or (802) 734-1129) if you are interested in attending.
Please feel free to share with students or other potentially interested contacts or networks.
Open Consultation, Participatory Design Charrettes, and Lecture Series
Turtle Hill Community and St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
August 9 – 11
Tuesday August 9
9:00-12:00 2-Part Open Lecture:
Permaculture is an evolving and expanding design system used to create agriculturally productive human habitat at scales varying from balconies to broader regions. Spend the morning with professional ecological designer Keith Morris exploring this design science used by individuals and communities to create ethical, socially just, and ecologically regenerative perennial support systems during an ‘Open Consultation’ for the Turtle Hill and St. Lawrence University Communities.
The History of Permaculture and ‘Participatory Ecology’
As permaculture rapidly expands around the world, the field is constantly evolving and taking new directions. We’ll discuss the history of permaculture and ecological design as we look to the sciences of ecology, anthropology, and evolution for inspiration and guidance to establish our homes, gardens, and communities as ‘human ecosystems’ that are less fuel reliant, beautiful, productive, ecologically regenerative, and more wholly nourishing.
What is the potential for human beings as ‘Keystone Species’? How have we acted as such in the past? We’ll explore the ways human beings have ‘co-created’ ecological communities in the past, at present, and our potential to do so more insightfully in the future, with a particular eye to the unique challenges and opportunities of the Adirondacks and Northcountry region.
Designing an Ecological Energy Descent Culture
As we acknowledge the convergent crises of the 21st century, we can be overwhelmed with visions of apocalypse- or embrace some of the greatest opportunities to restructure society with ecological and ethical sanity, localized resilience, and abundance. We explore the relationships between the built environment, food security, energy, water, and natural communities, in order to retrofit this infrastructure to better adapt to a changing and potentially challenging future. By examining today’s multifaceted problems from a systems perspective, we focus on the intersection of social and ecological health, and find the best opportunities for leverage to affect change in our personal lives and communities.
Introduction to Turtle Hill Community and Site
Turtle Hill Orientation and Site Walk
Observation of Nature/Natural Patterns
4:30 Introduction to SLU Community and Site
7:00-8:00 Public Lecture:
Breeding with Climate Change: New Plants for the North:
While no one’s celebrating ‘Global Weirding’, a changing climate does offer some new opportunities for growers in the cold northcountry. As important as political and personal efforts are to stem the causes of climate change, it may be even more important that we anticipate and prepare for different future scenarios. We will look at the ‘movement’ of ecosystems in nature, and explore ways we can harness this fact to our benefit, and mimic natural adaptation by selecting for delayed flowering and earlier ripening with promising marginal species and varieties. In particular, we’ll look at some ‘new’ fruits, nuts, vines, and grains presently being bred for ‘northward migration’, and will discuss more general strategies for resilient food systems amidst the many uncertainties of the future.
Wednesday August 10
9:00-12:00 2-Part Open Lecture:
Season Extention/ Greenhouse Integration: (Winter Vegetables- even for the far north!)
Greenhouses are an essential component of diversified and season-extended growing in the northcountry, and also a great addition to a low energy and resilient household. Learn how greenhouses can be integrated with homes, animal shelters, barns, and other structures to reduce energy needs, supplement heating and fresh food in the winter, and even- if well designed- help cool buildings in summer months. We’ll introduce the basics of passive solar design, thermal mass, ventilation, subterranean heat storage, orientation, and glazing options, as well as meet some of the unique plants greenhouses allow us to grow. We’ll also look at ‘Quick Hoops’, ‘Rolling Greenhouses’, and other strategies for unheated year round vegetable production, see some photos, (and share some secrets) from some of Vermont’s most established winter vegetable production farms. This spring, presenter Keith Morris received a grant to build Vermont’s first winter-production greenhouse on wheels at Willow Crossing Farm.
Designing your Design Process
Here we’ll get into the ‘brass tacks’ of ecological design. We’ll discuss goals articulation, base mapping, analysis and assessment (ie. ‘reading the landscape’), data overlay through the ‘Scale of Permanence’, and other planning and design strategies. This is in preparation for an afternoon of map-making, graphical analysis, and walking the land with an eye towards refining and communicating our visoins of more resilient food production, processing and storage; on-site waste management and cycling; decentralized energy production; as well as a beautiful and functional landscape that brings neighbors together in abundance and enhances the broader social and ecological communities that provide our context.
Participatory Design Workshop: Analysis and Assessment/Group map-making, etc.
Group Design Session
Thursday August 11
Open Lecture: Invisible Structures – Economic, Decision-Making, etc.
2:00 Meeting with SLU grounds staff and SLU design wrap-up
Keith Morris has been applying his lifelong love of nature and culture and experience as an activist to permaculture and ecological design since 1996. He has worked professionally as a designer, builder, and grower of ecologically regenerative, socially just, and culturally appropriate whole-systems in cities and countrysides around the world since 2000. He is the founder of Prospect Rock Permaculture (www.prospectrock.org), Willow Crossing Farm, co-founder of the Permaculture Institute of the NorthEast (P.I.N.E.), and teaches ecological design at the University of Vermont, the Yestermorrow Design Build School, Sterling College, Paul Smiths College, Burlington Permaculture, and with other community organizations. While his expertise is ecological regeneration, high-performance food production, and shelter systems for cold temperate/ arctic conditions, he works regularly in New York City and has designed and implemented systems in New Zealand, Colorado, Chile, Argentina, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nigeria, Ghana, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
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Prospect Rock Permaculture is a growing edible forest garden, ecological homestead, and education center in Johnson along the Lamoille River. We combine reforestation, wildlife refuge, and ecological restoration with food production and community building, while educating about and experimenting with sustainable techniques and ways of building. We grow seed with High Mowing Organic Seeds, keep bees and wild craft medicinal plants for Honey Gardens Apiaries, grow fruits, nuts, and berries with Elmore Roots Nursery, and also work researching and educating about biodiesel. Be in touch for updates about classes, workshops, tours, and internship or apprentice opportunities.