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GERC

It is late January. While walking around a consulting client’s property yesterday, I saw the early bulbs just beginning to peek up above the soil. In my own garden, spring herbs are already beginning to conservatively creep across the ground in the warmer, protected spots. Spring seeding is beginning to happen, and I know that the buds on the trees are beginning to change in the warmer periods.  Nature doesn’t have an on/off switch like our mechanical systems. There is resilience built in to the constant use of energy. Just so, I believe that most people have in the back of their minds and the depths of their heart a desire and a commitment to a beautiful, healthy, just world. The rush and stress are there—but beneath them is the courage and imagination to see a better world.  At the Global Earth Repair Conference in Port Townsend, Washington last May,…

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[Note: This blog first appeared as the initial section of my editorial for Permaculture Design magazine’s November 2019 issue. In that issue, several authors spoke to this moment in time, the need for Earth Care, and the connection to People Care–two core permaculture design ethics. Readers appreciated the editorial, and so I thought I would share the beginning here.] The times we live in are both a challenge and an opportunity. Both are presented with increasing urgency. As the year winds down, I have been evaluating and clarifying to which challenges and opportunities I can effectively contribute. Do I put effort into teaching and facilitating? Designing? Collaborative projects? The local community? Regional networks? More? Each of us has different skills and capacities cultivated through our own personal visions of a better world. From where I stand, our task is to align ourselves with each other in work which allows us…

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This post is likely to change over time…just as our understanding of how permaculture fits in the world changes over time.  It is often said there are as many definitions of permaculture as there are practitioners. One of the permaculture elders documented dozens of definitions many years ago. Just the same, everyone comes to study permaculture for different reasons. Here are some of the things Rhonda has seen and recognized after teaching the design course for more than fifteen years: Permaculture designers and educators have curated some of the best strategies, tools, and techniques to support anyone in the work of Earth Repair. Because permaculture designers work from an integrated, systems approach, the capacity to come up with elegant, efficient solutions have been noted by leaders in Earth Repair projects (including the Ecosystem Restoration Camps). By extension, permaculture projects can build resilience into communities and regions. This might be an extension…

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In 2016 I joined up with William Faith (Chicago) and Milton Dixon (Ann Arbor), to form the Great Lakes Permaculture Design Collaborative. Since that time, we’ve run a few very successful permaculture design courses, an advanced design course, various workshops, and supported our advanced design course students in developing a children’s garden and food forest in Hillside, IL. We’ve spent a lot of time weaving together permaculture people in the Chicago-area and pushing innovative approaches in our PDC. In support of our workshops (listed on the education page), we’ve begun doing occassional videos and offering more information at our website. If you spend time with us, you’ll see that our team is enriched by diversity of views, experiences, and approaches to permaculture. It’s a rich, inclusive, and inspiring collaboration which continues to show the healthy effects of emergent design. We hope you’ll join us! Our next workshop is on Urban…

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yellow daylily

I’ve decided to link my occasional writings with this business website and would love for you to peruse the archive here at Vital Connection. I’ll be adding more about the projects I have underway and insights here on Sheltering Hills Design. Contact me to let me know how it resonates with you–and enjoy.

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