Vermont's Permaculture Institute
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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.
Please share this with potentially interested friends and networks. Hope to see you!
Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop and 5th Annual Scionwood Exchange
March 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Willow Crossing Farm
Join us for a day of hands-on fruit tree grafting. We’ll begin the day in the classroom understanding the science of grafting, and practice bench-grafting apples, pears, plums, and other stone fruits.
Everyone will have the opportunity to graft their own trees to take home!
After lunch, we’ll go out and tour grafted and ‘multi-grafted’ fruit trees (including peaches grafted onto plums) and ‘top work’ multiple varieties onto pears, apples, plums, and other stone fruit. We’ll discuss some pruning basics, different grafting strategies for ‘fruit salad trees’, healing damaged trees, reworking new varieties, revitalizing old orchards, enhancing cross-pollination, and space considerations. We’ll also look at and evaluate both successful and failed past grafts.
We’ll contextualize our work in briefly telling some history of our farm and touring our incredibly diverse collection of nuts, berries, vines, nitrogen-fixing plants, and regenerative DIY farm infrastructure. We’ll also explore the incredible history of grafting, the range of grafting possibilities, and practice with professional grafting tools which make for more successful grafts by novices and experts alike.
Each attendant will leave with an apple or pear variety of their choosing on semi-dwarf or standard rootstock, or a stone fruit variety of their choosing on native american plum rootstock.
$80 suggested donation sliding scale includes cider and tea, and your own grafted fruit trees to take home. No one will be refused for lack of funds, but everyone must pre-register.
Due to the popularity of this event, you much pre-register. There is a possibility of another event later in March or in April, please send an email to express your interest.
Please RSVP by filling out the registration form and submitting payment via paypal to: Keith@ProspectRock.org, or sending a check to:
‘Prospect Rock Permaculture’
P.O. Box 426
Jeffersonville, VT 05464
We must get your email address from you, as the weather will determine where we park cars. and we will also send you some information about how to best collect scion wood if you want to propagate some favorite fruit trees.
The workshop will be taught by:
Zach Leonard is a master horticulturalist and as been the farm manager of Elmore Roots Nursery for 15 years. He and his family have created High Hopes Farm, a diverse off-grid homestead.
Nicko Rubin is the owner of East Hill Tree Farm, where he has been growing and propagating hardy fruits and nuts in the foothills of the Groton Mountains. He completed the master’s program for sustainable landscape design at the Conway School.
Dave Johnson is a timber framer with a passion for fruit trees. His competence with sharp tools and wood translate readily into many successful grafts and a legacy of multi-grafted old wild apples throughout the hills of Vermont.
Keith Morris has been collecting and experimenting with rare fruits, nuts, and medicinal plants since 1996, and is professor of ecological design at the University of Vermont. He’s slowly built his family’s farm debt-free with sweat-equity and has contributed to creating resilient and diverse food systems on 5 continents.
Willow Crossing Farm
As a reminder- only a few spaces remain for our 9th Annual Prospect Rock Permaculture Design Certification Course, July 17 – July 29, 2016
Our Fruit, Nut, Berry, Vine, and Medicinal Plant Sale pre-orders are open now! Plant pick ups begin April 23 and continue through May 22.
Permaculture Design Certification Course
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 2014 summer course was a blast with students coming from across the country and with a wide variety of backgrounds and intended applications for permaculture design! Stay tuned for photos, design work, and student comments- students’ final designs ranged from farms to apartments, communities, and businesses in a wide variety of ecological contexts.
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 2013 flyers. Click here for more information about the Registration Process.
Burlington Permaculture and Prospect Rock Permaculture are pleased to offer our Eigth-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.
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.
Space is limited, and the course typically fill well in advance.
Please inquire about work trade and other scholarship opportunities.
Hardy Organic Nuts for Farms and Yards
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Our 2014 Summer Permaculture Design Certification (July 20 – August 1) is filling fast- please be in touch if you would like to reserve your space!
This is Vermont’s oldest independent Permaculture Design Certification Course, with the most highly regarded PDC and teaching team in the Northeast. Prospect Rock Permaculture has largest body of PDC alumni/ graduates in the North America! We hope you can join us.
Its almost full!
With the Happiest Wishes for your New Year, and Warm Winter Blessings,
The Prospect Rock Permaculture Family and Crew
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