In Community Design, Earthworks, Food, Gardening, Greenhouse, Methods of Design & Patterns, Permaculture, Permaculture Projects, Plants & Living Systems, Soil & Compost, Solar, Water

Last weekend both Jordan and I had an amazing opportunity to be part of Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture’s Design Team, participating in an applied Design Practicum at the Groundswell Greenhouse in Invemere BC. Groundwell is a fabulous network / non profit leading the way in community greenhouse design. They have completed construction of a 300 sq meter geo-solar green house, which is a state of the art facility. Our team had the task of creating an equally impressive outdoor space; One that would allow education, community, food, water and inspiring opportunities to grow. I can’t wait to see how the implementation takes place.

The final design included a brilliant water system that harnesses rainwater from the huge greenhouse roof as well as the adjacent school roof top, the water moves through a series of underground and above ground storage and then through ponds, dry ponds and mulch basins, which all feed the dynamic food forest system. The site has housing and forraging opportunities for both chickens with their chicken moat and ducks with their very own “duckuzzi”. The plan features 12 new raised beds available for community rentals, some of the beds are built as hugelkulture beds, others are wicking beds, and other still will be built up with sheet much fertility methods. An Elliot Coleman style movable green house will further explore season extension gardening. At the heart of the space is a adobe round kitchen with a living roof, living grey water system, cob oven and a stage area complete with grazing bench seating. In all it is set to be a stunning example of what is possible when community meets permaculture design.

Big love and Thanks to the team at Verge for putting this all together (we-heart-verge) and to the team at Groundswell for being such fabulous and fearless hosts! You guys are doing wonderful things in the world of food, energy and eduction. Keep on keeping on!


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  • Chris

    Do you guys plan on incorporating principals of the science Biogeometry? The work of Dr Ibrahim Karim has proven to be an exceptional support to the many causes(organic, sustainable, earth linked, design with living systems quality in mind) that I feel here 🙂 Please have the designers and teachers look into this, unless you already use the ways. Another question, do you all know about the Seed Of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty book? worth while stuff, using earth to help in good ways:)

  • Katrina Kellner

    Such great work! Really look forward to getting more involved as Permaculture continues to expand across Alberta, Canada and the World!!! Thanks Verge for inspiring others to pay it forward!

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  • […] Verge converged with Big Sky Permaculture and 7 apprentices (most of them past students) at the Invermere Community Greenhouse site, to do a design blitz. We had three days to produce a design for an eight thousand square foot […]


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Anatomy of a Rain Water Harvesting system by Rob Avis