MOSES Organic Farming Conference

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service hosted its annual Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI and I went! My blog and twitter have been silent for a while, but I assure you alternative farming systems are always on my mind. I’ve worked on a local organic farm, joined the Duluth Young Farmers Coalition,…

NAPC Schedule and a Case for Learning Close to Home

First things first! The final Northern Alberta Permaculture Convergence schedule is live and can be seen below at the bottom of this post!¬† I’m really excited for our lineup of workshops. One of the many things that make this Convergence special is our line-up of social permaculture workshops. Social permaculture is a more recent, and…

That’s It! (Well, not quite)

August 31st was not only Jupiter’s “got-me” day, it was also technically the end of my Fulbright research term. With the beginning of the 2016 school year and the end of the 2015 fiscal calendar, I am now a Fulbright alumni. The University of Alberta will be shutting down my UAlberta email and no more…

Alberta Open Farm Days: YYC Growers Tour

This weekend is Open Farm Days in Alberta, where farmers welcome anyone interested into their farms to see how food is grown locally. I was enlisted by one of my research farms, Leaf & Lyre, to help out with the YYC Growers and Distributors tour. It was a hoot! Not worry, I live tweeted and…

2016 is the Year of Pulses!

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization calls 2016 the Year of Pulses. Pulses are your legume crops: beans, lentils, chickpeas, ect. The FAO almost seems to be taking¬† leaf from the Permaculture manual. Last year was the year of our beloved soils and this year focuses on one of our favorite permaculture elements: nitrogen fixing…

What is Permacutlure? Revisited

On this blog I’ve presented a simple definition of permaculture and tried to unpack what constitutes¬† “real” permaculture and even questioned the very sustainability of permaculture. In my recent research survey of individuals practicing alternative agriculture in Western Canada (find posts analyzing the results here and here) I asked: ‘How do you personally define “permaculture”?’…

The Results Are IN [Part 2]

Preliminary Research Survey Selected Results Last month I posted a blog reporting results of the preliminary survey for my ongoing research. I asked alternative agriculture practitioners in Western Canada to complete a survey online and the number of responses exceeded my expectations. My first report looked at the organizational structures and administration of respondents that…

The Results Are IN!

Preliminary Research Survey Selected Results For the past two months I have been asking alternative agriculture practitioners in Western Canada to complete this survey online for my ongoing Fulbright research. I have been wonderfully overwhelmed with responses achieving nearly 4x the number of submissions I expected. If this is the first you are hearing of…

Is Permaculture Sustainable? (Class Presentation)

Here is the brief presentation (with some minor revisions) I gave yesterday in the University of Alberta “Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture” class. The assignment was to choose an agriculture system or strategy and discuss if it is sustainable. I used the presentation as an opportunity to share my research and also share a very simplified version…

Searching for Alternative Ag in Canada!

Western Canada, that is. The purpose of this blog is to follow my progress conducting my Fulbright research. I am now happy to finally unveil the first official stage of this research process: the preliminary survey. I am asking all willing alternative agriculture practitioners (permies, homesteaders, gardeners, farmers, and everyone in between) in my region…

Defining “Real” Permaculture

I recently read the article, “If That’s Not Permaculture, What is?” on Permaculturenew.org. While Permaculturenews.org articles often covers more technical topics, like nitrogen fixing trees for differing climates, how to build varieties of greenhouses, and all of the benefits of bamboo, this piece takes a more philosophical approach. The author questions what it means to…

A Need for Research

Permaculture needs rigorous academic research. Most permaculture practitioners or “permies” are endlessly enthusiastic about how permaculture can save the world, provide food security, improve human health, create communities, and restore the environment. I have a lot of hope that permaculture can do all of those things. As person with background in environmental sciences and a…