February 25, 2014


Hi all! Spring is quickly approaching here on the plateau, and we are excited to be preparing for the April Permaculture Course Creating Productive Food Forest Ecosystems.

I thought I'd write to let people know more about the event, and what we've been up to in preparation for it.

Our goal for the course is to give a detailed overview of the establishment of a productive and resilient forest or woodland garden/ecosystem to provide food and other essential materials for living from the land.

The ecological principles we will be discussing have relevance over a wide range of conditions: from urban, suburban, small and large acreages.

We will also be focusing on unique the challenges and opportunities which present themselves in various environments, as well as how methods of esablishment and aspects of design can be adjusted to better suit the differing scales of permaculture systems.

The course topics will be broken up into two primary sections, Design/Theory and Practical/Hands-On. Below are discriptions of the content and intent of these sections:

Design and Theory

Site Analysis
A look at the climate and topography of the PNW and their impact on design; as well as how to work with existing ecological systems and infrastructure in Zone and Sector Planning.

Productive Ecology of Forests and Woodlands
A deep look into the structure, yield, composition and patterns of different forest based agro-ecological systems, focusing on arid and temperate regions.

Successional Planning and Earthworks
Establishing self-evolving food forests in varying conditions; including pioneering guilds, fertility building strategies for degraded sites, and the use and benefits of swales, terraces, and hugelkultur.

Hands-on Stuff

Constructing a Hugelkultur Bed
We'll be constructing a 60ft hugelkultur bed as part of Windward's evolving Zone 1 Garden.

Walk-through Windward's systems
A look at Windward's systems as working-models of different methods of establishing permaculture systems.

Preparing for the April Course

As winter subsides, we have begun work on getting the trenches for the hands-on hugelkultur section of the course laid out and dug. For the course, we will be focusing on the construction of the bed, but we believe it is important for you all o understand what goes on behind-the-scenes to prepare the ground for course.

Walt uses the Backhoe to dig out the trench for the next hugelkultur bed.

Supplemental Materials

Over the years we have put together quite a lot of information about permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and documentation of what we are specifically doing here at Windward.

Below are some links to articles and materials that we think are relevant to people comming to the course.

Large Hugelkulture Bed in Windward's Terraced Hillside Garden

A video made for 2013's course. Outlining much of the same stuff we will be doing in April.

2013 Workshop Particpants getting geared up to build the hugelkultur bed.

Article Updating on the planting of trees uphill of the above hugelkulture

Zone 1 Hugelkultur Contour Garden

Materials from previous permaculture courses

Video: Intro to Permaculture - Lindsay Hagamen and Andrew Schreiber

Video: Intro to Ecology - Lindsay Hagamen and Andrew Schreiber