Building Your Permaculture Property – Mini-Course

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Welcome to the Course!

This course was recorded in October 2020 with a small group of eager students and offered an exclusive sneak-peek of Building Your Permacuture Property in six-sessions covering the five key chapters:

  • Clarify your vision, values and resources
  • Diagnose your resources for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Design your resources to meet your vision and values
  • Implement the best design that will most improve your weakest resource
  • Monitor your resources for indicators of well-being or suffering

Course Content

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Showing 15 comments
  • Holly Cleveland

    The imagery for my property in Google Earth Pro is extremely outdated…2003 to be exact…Before it was clear cut. Do you suggest I try and open the file using this old image? It’s a quarter section on a mountainside with fairly significant elevation changes

  • David Hick

    Hello you fine permaculture peeps out there! Hope you are doing well traversing all the recent hurdles and stopping when you are down to smell the roses!

    A little info on us; My wife and I have lived on a wonderful little 3 acre property east of Edmonton in Strathcona county for 16 years now and also have two young kids. As for myself; I’m a journeyman red seal welder and much of my career has been heavily involved in building industrial pressure piping systems and welding of specialty alloys. As an oilfield portable rig welder, I’ve always been a walking contradiction as a hippy from BC working in the Alberta oilfield. I am happy to report; the step back towards hippy has been set in motion for some time now. I am a father, husband, graphic artist, audiophile, voracious consumer of knowledge, I am constantly inventing, designing and building anything from a one of a kind wood splitter to a custom portable greenhouse attached to a forty foot shipping container.

    My wife is also a red seal welder but has since been a full time mom to our two young kiddos and she is also is an amazing crafts person, part time gardener, amateur landscaper, yarn spinner, yarn dyer, and semi-pro knitter of all things, I could go on here but you get it lol. Her family is very supportive and we’ve done great things such as constructing an earth bag/homemade stucco, dome shaped sweat lodge, complete with wooden hobbit door and rocket heater, and cedar flooring.

    I bought the BYPP book this spring and subsequently purchased the course with nearly zero hesitation. The inadvertent change in plans was initially quite disheartening and almost devastating for a small second or two but quickly I reasoned that it was obviously for a pretty epic excuse! I then busied myself with prior ongoing projects and gardening and furthering my permaculture knowledge with other courses, verge vids and yourtoob etc. all the while, impatiently waiting for any news as to why the change in direction.

    Now I’m back on track with even more focus and determination than ever. My next step is to find an accountability partner and I thought I’d throw it out here first even though I know it’s not the ideal location. Please feel free to contact us if you are nearby and I’ve peaked your curiosity! Even if you are from the city and would merely like to check out our little hobby farm-ish and alternative creations hit me up!

  • Jordan Saunders

    Due to an unforeseen work commitment I wasn’t able to attend the Q&A on the 17th but would really love to be able to hear what everyone had to say. Is this able to be uploaded for review?
    Thanks again guys. You changed my life 10 years ago for the better and every interaction I have with you nudges me forward and helps build momentum when I’m feeling stagnant.

  • Tyler Preston

    I have been thinking a lot about all of the things we went over in the course. I first came across permaculture in 2014 on a podcast called “The Survival Podcast” with Jack Spirko and through that I have learned and have been thinking in the way that this course teaches, I just didn’t realize it until now. The other thing that I just realized is that for the past 6 years since coming across permaculture I’ve always felt like I need to start doing shit! I have analysis paralysis! This course made me think about how I can achieve my big goals/dreams but it also made me reflect back on our journey thus far and I realize that that hasn’t been the case. I have been learning and practicing permaculture all along and I am very proud of what myself and my family have learned and accomplished so far over the years.
    When I first discovered permaculture we had already just moved to a 12 acre acreage and that’s where we started learning to garden and raise our own ducks, chickens, pigs and a few small/mini cattle and yaks. We learned how to butcher and butchered for the first time our ducks, chickens and pigs, I also learned how to cure the hams and bacon from those pigs, I was up till midnight on Christmas Eve but I got it done! We had a friend of my mom’s teach us how to butcher our first beef as well. My wife who said she would never do anything like that helped pluck the birds, butchered the pig with me and helped with the beef as well. She also helps work with all of the animals on the farm, I am so proud of her and how far she has come! she also learned how to and started canning and preserving what little things did grow from our garden.
    I also started researching and learning about Holistic Management and rotational grazing from people like Joel Salatin, bought some electric net fence and started rotational grazing the pigs and moving the cows around the already existing different pastures instead of just letting them have free range of the property. After a couple years I wanted to buy a bigger property to expand our cattle herd and start selling grass fed beef. We knew that we wanted to be close to family and had to be close enough to the town where we both work full time. We got very lucky and a quarter section came available 1/2hr from the town we worked but also 15minutes from the town where my in-laws lived, this meant that grandma would be able to babysit our kids full time and we wouldn’t have to send them to a babysitter which was the most important thing to us. The property was just an empty crop feild and was full of weeds, but it did have lots of water and good topography. We moved into a camper and had a mobile home moved on. I did all of the electrical, gas fitting and pressure tank, water lines and hydrants with the help of my wife’s uncle and his excavator. We didn’t have a lot of time to look and plan so had to do some fencing to keep in our small herd of cattle but all of the other pieces of infrastructure (barn, corrals, windbreaks) I got to be portable so I could move them if the location didn’t work out. I built some raised beds and some in-ground beds for a garden as well. We did some more fencing and I started moving the cattle around with hot wires every few days and fenced them out of the slough areas. I built a solar system out of salvaged parts and an old solar panel I found that can be moved around from slough to slough with the tractor and runs my electric fencer and pumps water from the sloughs up to a water trough for the cows on high ground away from the riparian areas. When we moved here 4 years ago there was no vegetation around the sloughs and no wildlife, now with our managed grazing there is a huge diversity of vegetative species including tons of cattails and the amount of different bird species is incredible! There are also a shit ton of muskrats now which is good, but they have been chewing my water hose so have to do some changes to that! The amount of “invasive toadflax” and weeds was insane as we did not spray any chemicals when we seeded the quarter to pasture but I trained the cattle to eat it as its high in protein and easily digestible for them! We “converted” my father in laws cargo trailer into a little “store” for a couple hundred bucks to try and sell our yak and pork meat from the farm gate over a summer but realized it wasn’t for us as we would rather spend our weekends in the summer playing with our kids or enjoying and working on the farm, not sitting in a cargo trailer.
    Each year I have been putting the composted straw and manure from the winter cattle feeding area into the gardens and we have been learning what works and what doesn’t and each year our yields that my wife preserves have been getting better and bigger! We put some feild fence up on just over 2 acres when we got here for the pigs and rotated them through that but found they still would root big holes everywhere so this year I put the electric net fence up around the piles of straw and cattle manure and let the pigs mix and turn it for me, it worked great!
    This spring we added a small flock of sheep to the farm and got a livestock guardian puppy to protect them. I have trained the sheep to rotate through and stay in a 2 hotwire system already and the puppy to stay with the sheep.
    I am just finishing up a small butcher shed that is plug and play with a generator or inverter and car and can be moved anywhere on the farm or even winched onto a trailer and taken to neighbor’s farms for use. Now we will again be able to process our own pork, beef and lamb on farm!!
    Had I not taken this course I would still be feeling like I have done nothing, just sitting here with analysis paralysis, just because I haven’t designed and installed my silvo-pasture swale system with interconnected ponds, when in reality we have done so much and learned so much all the while improving our property each year. We have just been taking a lot of small bird shots but eventually will get to that big project! I now feel like I have the tools to start organizing and planning that big project!! All thanks to Rob, Takota and Michelle!!! Thank you guys so much for everything!!! You’ve made me realize we have come a long way and have accomplished a lot on our permaculture property and I no longer feel the stress and anxiety I did before so I can now move onto bigger things with ease!!!!

    Thanks again,

    Tyler Preston

    • Michelle (Verge)

      Wow! thanks for this, and congrats on your own project. So thrilled to hear about what you’ve done and your continued plans. Best of luck… please stay in touch!

  • Carl Loeffelmann

    I found myself catastrophising last night, and had to remind myself about self fulfilling prophecies and listen to an episode of Hidden Brain. Mental health is arguably the most important aspect of human existence right now.

    Look up the Hidden Brain podcast called “Beyond Doomscrolling”. I recommend all the Hidden Brain podcasts, but that one is particularly pertinent… Also “Laughter: the best medicine”. Stay healthy!

  • Ashton Sheppard

    Has anyone had success downloading the content and playing on a mobile device? I had a round trip to Edmonton and the attached sessions would have been great to review!

    • Michelle (Verge)

      Ashton, you can’t download the video but you can download the audio files… I include a link to the audio file below every video.

  • Tammy Faas

    Hi, I really found the whole discussion about paradigms to be very interesting. This spills into all aspects of our lives.

  • Terry Reichel

    It is amazing to see the amount of people going through a similar stage in life but also everyone around also wants to learn, grow, help themselves and each other.

  • dhash

    I am checking in but do not find anything about an Accountability Partner

  • Deborah Marsh


    I wasn’t able to access yesterday’s ZOOM talk, Saturday, October 24th (maybe because of my Internet connection?).

    Where would I find that talk in it’s recorded version?


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