2017 Mastodon Valley Permaculture Design Course
June 17-25, 2017 – Viola, WI
Humans evolved in savannas – grasslands with scattered trees and grazing mammals – the most diverse, productive, and functional ecosystems on Earth. We believe that savannas offer the ultimate model for healthy, sustainable, and permanent agriculture and food systems in many parts of the planet. As modern humans with unprecedented access to genetic and natural resources, we are capable of designing, planting, and maintaining abundant, beautiful and productive planet-healing ecosystems. Whether you call it farm-scale permaculture or regenerative agriculture, this is a very different type of land management than any since the dawn of agriculture, and requires a new (or very old) way of observing, relating to, and behaving in the natural world……
This 8-day PDC and farm-immersion course will get you up to speed on the ecological theory and practical skills you need to design and manage regenerative agro-ecosystems.
- Certified Permaculture Design Course
- Experienced team of instructors with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives
- Hyper local, beyond organic, paleo-friendly, regeneratively grown pastured meats and veggies, expertly prepared for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, everyday
- A Permaculture Chef Seth Peterson will be cooking meals and sharing experiences at the intersection of preparing food and building community
- Classroom and Lodging on the scenic Kickapoo River with daily kayaking and swimming opportunities
- Pre-course webinars cover the basics, get everyone on the same page, and optimize our time together
- Experience life on a working permaculture farm and off-grid homestead
- Develop your own designs and receive feedback from other participants and instructors
- Hands on work – surveying and laying out keylines, digging swales, planting trees, etc
- Women in Permaculture – Leading women in permaculture will be sharing their all around badass skills and stories
- Tour New Forest Farm with Mark Shepard to observe and learn from his maturing system, twenty years in the making
- Tour Beyond Vineyard and Winery
with mIEKAL aND and taste the excellent small and unusual fruit wines, ciders, and meads from his permaculture orchard
- Whole animal breakdown and butcher demonstration with Minneapolis butcher, meat manager, and good friend, Emma Schroeder
- Learn how to fly a drone and create a 3D landscape model with Jim Barmore of Harrier Geographics
- Solstice bonfire, community gathering, and hog roast featuring former Polyface apprentice and local farmer/chief Dan Solberg of Stack Farm and Foods.
- Meet amazing people doing amazing things. This is always the highlight of our year. We think it’ll be the highlight of yours, too.
- Join a growing network of regenerative agriculturalists providing continuing education and supportCheck out our
- Site assessment and reading the landscape
- Multi-species rotational grazing
- Holistic Management for farm and family decision-making
- Keyline Design and water management
- Perennial crop establishment, maintenance, and breeding
- Grafting and orchard management
- Nursery establishment
- Appropriate technologies, building, and renewable
- Homestead layout and design
- Marketing and logistics
- Land access and acquisition strategies
- Farm start-up and cashflow strategies
- Grants, cost-share, and funding opportunities
- Enterprises, corporate structures, and taxes
Every year we bring together a team of leading permaculture practitioners, educators, farmers, and entrepreneurs to provide a diversity of perspectives, contexts, and and and experiences.
Peter is an ecologist-turned-farmer and applies his background researching and teaching ecology and complexity science towards the design, restoration, and management of diverse and agriculturally productive savanna ecosystems. He and his wife Maureen founded Mastodon Valley Farm, a 220-acre farm in Southwestern Wisconsin where they are developing an off-grid homestead, planting lots of trees, and grazing lots of animals.
Based out of Minneapolis, Lindsay designs permaculture systems from urban lots to broad-acre farms. Since 2005 she has worked with Ecological Design designing, implementing, and managing integrated edible working landscapes. Her current work involves consulting on issues of land use, creating perennial crop systems, and establishing whole farm management plans. After a year of working on permaculture farms in Guatemala including I’jatz Cooperative and Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (IMAP), Lindsay became Program Director at Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate. For more than ten years, she has worked with farmers, local foods nonprofits and chefs in Minnesota to organize and strengthen cold climate permaculture networks. You can find Lindsay teaching her children how to grow food in their own gardens as well as on Twitter and Instagram.
Grant is the Founder of VersaLand and known in some circles as the “Mad Scientist of Permaculture”. As a farmer-hacker-artist, Grant develops new tols and techniques for creating and managing agroecosystems, including GPS Keyline technology, custom tree planters, and electric tractors. Leveraging a background in agricultural and commercial land management and brokerage, Grant will share innovative ways to gain land access, design a diverse farm, and create a broadacre permaculture farm that yields abundant rewards.
Eliza is an orchardist, fruit explorer, public speaker, farmer activist, and sometimes consultant. She’s been obsessed with learning about growing fruit trees since 2007. After learning the management practices that go into producing flawless fruit, she started to question the ethics currently involved in producing the status quo. She’ll be joining our course for several days to share her knowledge and experience in designing and managing orchards, renovating old orchards, grafting, and fruit exploring. Learn more about Eliza at elizapples.com
Maureen is the Mastodon Valley head gardener, chef, and accountant. She will share insights on transitioning from city life to farm life, and raising a family in an off-road, off-grid homestead. She’ll explain how to keep good records, file taxes, and best practices for farm accounting. She’ll also be growing all the veggies and preparing all the course meals.
LODGING AND ACCOMMODATIONS
We are partnering with our friends and neighbors at Nature Nooks Retreat on the beautiful Kickapoo River for classroom space and lodging. Everyone will have access to electricity, water, showers, and kitchen, with wifi available in the classroom.
A non-refundable deposit of $300 is necessary to secure your spot for the course. Tuition for the 2017 course costs $1500 and covers:
- 8 full days of classroom and hands-on learning and experience
- Campground with access to showers, electricity, and kitchen
- Beds available indoors for an extra fee
- 2 pre-course webinar sessions
- Permaculture Design Certificate
- Best Food Ever. Seriously. We know because we grow it – veggies, fruits and nuts, and pastured meats. Let us know your dietary needs and we can accommodate. 3 meals/day + locally roasted coffee, herbal teas, and snacks.
- Access to an extensive library of permaculture, ecology, and agriculture books and resources during your stay.
- Continuing support and education
- A new crew of superbestfriends
- Ask us about discounts for couples, active farmers, and military veterans