Monday, January 11, 2010

Design for Living, Home-Scale Permaculture Course offered at Heathcote Community

Heathcote Community, in Freeland Maryland, is offering a 7-day course in “Permaculture Design” with an additional 2-weekend Design Certificate option. Beginning February 14th, the course meets every other weekend through June 2010.

Ecologists and authors, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, from the University of Tasmania, created the concept of Permaculture to infer permanent culture, and permanent agriculture. The term implies a way a life that insures the survival of all earth’s species and natural resources. Mollison’s theories evolved from childhood observations of traditional stewardship behavior of the neighboring aboriginal community.

Using both ancient and modern knowledge, Permaculture Design mimics universal survival patterns found in nature. As both a theory and practice, it is a system of designing human-initiated ecosystems that relate food production to other human needs (such as shelter, water, and community), bioregional resource flow and conservation. Permaculture is a frame of reference for analyzing specific human habitats and finding sustainable solutions to their inherent problems or needs. A small-scale backyard, or large-scale farm, village or city, can be transformed into a healthy ecological human habitat. Permaculture principles provide basic criteria for ecologically informed decision-making, suggesting limits to land development, and individual independence.

This course will appeal to anyone interested in living a more community-reliant, environmentally responsible life-style. Class time will involve hands-on outdoor demonstrations, lecture and scale drawing (no experience necessary). Students will apply sustainable concepts of biological diversity, water harvesting, food production, renewable energy, natural building, ecological waste management, and wilderness conservation in a design exercise for a familiar property of their own choice.

Heathcote Community, a School of Living land trust, provides a focus for interdisciplinary study and research, illustrating practical applications of sustainable living. To register see

For more information call 410-357-9523 or email

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seed Conference - 3rd Annual, Lehigh Valley, PA

On Saturday and Sunday January 23 and 24 from 9am to 5pm ,on both days, the Alliance for Sustainable Communities-Lehigh Valley and the School of Living will be holding its third annual SEED Conference at the Fowler Center--The Northampton Community College South Bethlehem Campus on Third Street. A suggested donation will be on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. $10-25 for one day and $15-35 for both. The Conference will be co-sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Food Coop and the School of Living. The Lehigh Valley Food Coop will handle lunch and refreshments.[Lunch is not included in the donation] Registrants will get more detailed information on this. Several organizations will have information tables set up for educational purposes. Groups and individuals are welcome to bring old seeds or seeds thay have saved to exchange with other participants.

The Conference was begun in 2008 as a way to address Seed isues in local agriculture and food growing. We addressed food quality[organic vs nonorganic and GMO's], seed saving, seed catalogues, permaculture and general issues of the food supply. It has expanded into a gathering to cover a broad range of local food concerns.

The public can register by calling Steve Hoog at 610-756-6867, or emailing him at payment can be made at the door----please register by Weds. January 20.

Tentative schedule---subject to change

Saturday Jan.23
9am-Opening remarks--Steve Hoog
Comments on GMO"s, Monsanto, Obama and world agriculture
9:30-DVD-Power of Community----how Cuba respnded to their own peak oil situation when Russia reduced their oil shipments to the island country
10:45- Kelle Kersten-School of Living Board member and founding member of the Ahimsa Village near State College. PA.-----Planting Seeds of Compassion in the Hearts and Minds of Young People
12 Noon--Lunch
1 pm--Bill Mineo--LC'S Farm-near Reiglesville---Seeds for Sustainability--Heirloom seeds from around the world for use in the Lehigh Valley
2 pm-Karen Stupski--School of Living and member of the Heathcote Community in Maryland--Talk on basics of Permaculture,specific real world applications of it and opportunities for learning
3:30--Video--The Synergistic Garden--Based on the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, French Emelia Hazelip details her method of organic no-till gardening without fertilizers.
Another video will follow to be selected.
5pm--End of Saturday session

Sunday-January 24

9am--Opening remarks
9:30--Video or DVD---Urban Permaculture---followed by discussion and getting to know each other
10:45--School of Living Representative----Talk on Community Land Trusts
12 Noon- Lunch
1pm-Lou Cinquino--spokesman for the group Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley--Talk on Community Gardens--this group dedicated to helping local residents establish Community Gardens in their neighborhoods
2pm-Eve Minson-owner of new business called Just One Seed---Local Food Systems---There is a growing interest and demand for developing local food systems beyond the CSA model creating a need for local farm and garden educational programs for kids thru adults-she will review farm based educational programs in the NorthEast.
3:15--Video or DVD to be announced----followed by discussion and looking to the future
5pm -end of Sunday session

Stephen Hoog--Alliance for Sustainable Communities
Member of LV Food Coop
Board of School of Living