Cost $95/person, includes GST, lunch will be provided
What is Permaculture?
The word permaculture (coined by Bill Mollison) is a combination of permanent agriculture and permanent culture, and describes the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.
Heritage Seed Propagation
This will be a hands-on session where you'll plant your own Heirloom variety tomato and herb seeds. Beginning gardeners will learn about the cultural requirements needed to care for the plants at home, while experienced gardeners share tips and tricks for growing in the north. Planting supplies and resource materials will be supplied, and as a participant, you will also receive a free subscription to Heritage Farm magazine for yourself or to give as a gift.
Introduction to Permaculture 101
In this session you will explore the basic concepts of permaculture, including site observation and analysis, water systems and base mapping. Don't miss this hands-on experience where you'll start your own site designs! Drafting and design supplies included. This session also includes a free subscription to Heritage Farm magazine, to keep for yourself, or give as a gift.
As a naturalist, outdoor enthusiast and facilitator, Wendy Smith of Heritage Farm is looking forward to connecting with students to help them explore permaculture, conservation and zone 2 gardening in northwestern Canada.
She was born and raised in the Peace region, where she grew up in the rural family beekeeping operation of Sterling & Karen Smith. Her honeybee, leaf cutter bee and seed production background led to a 15 year position at the Beaverlodge Research Farm as an agriculture research technician with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada. This transitioned into a position at the National Bee Diagnostic Centre for an apiculture research project, focusing on honey bee health across Canada.
As a small mixed farm producer, she has been involved with specialty seeds, ancient grains, bees, cattle and the commercial nursery where she worked alongside 4 generations. The Heritage Farm projects soon became a learning resource for Canadian Small Farms & Urban Agriculture. Through Down to Earth workshops, they focus on heritage varieties of seeds and plants hardy to our zone 2 environment, attracting pollinators, small farm sustainability and local food production.
The Heritage Farm projects are published in a quarterly magazine, where the history and stories of other rural families are featured. As the editor of the farm based project, Wendy looks forward to learning about your own projects, stories and experiences.
Why Your Farm Exhausts You
& Isn't Making Money
Most farmers struggle to get all the work done in a day and manage to run a profitable business. This leads to burn out, despair and potential financial ruin. After 10 years of teaching and consulting, Rob will share his top insights into why this happens and how to change the fate of farms in western Canada.
Three Things You Can do to Dramatically Improve Farm Productivity and
Reduce the Grind
Getting all the work done on a daily basis can seem like an impossible feat. Typically we can reduce this time by a factor of 2-10 just by changing the design. In this hands-on design session, Rob will explain why "work is a failure in design".
Peerless Farming - 3 Principles Farms Need to Be Using To Be Profitable
Farmers farm because they love nature, freedom, production & life. Unfortunately, most farmers can't farm without selling their product. There are only two customers for farm products: the commodities market or direct to the consumer. Selling to the commodities market leaves you vulnerable to factors you have little no control over, while selling direct for most farmers is like pulling teeth. In this talk Rob Avis will talk about three principles that farmers can embrace today to transform selling & marketing on the farm to increase profits without selling their soul.
Less than 10 years after Rob Avis started his engineering career in Calgary’s oil fields, he’s now applying his technical expertise as a leading-edge teacher/consultant in regenerative design. Telling aspiring eco-entrepreneurs that Transformation is not only possible, it’s profitable. He’s backing up his message with a permaculture design certification program that gives its students tools to start successful businesses now.
After pursuing international training and certifications in renewable energy and regenerative design, Rob and his wife and business partner Michelle, transformed Rob’s part-time consultancy to Verge Permaculture, now a globally-recognized and award-winning design, consulting, and education company. Since then, they’ve helped more than 1,000 students and a growing number of clients to design and/or create integrated systems for shelter, energy, water, waste and food, all while supporting local economy and regenerating the land.
A popular lecturer, Rob has earned testimonials from permaculture’s bestselling author Toby Hemenway and “beyond-organic farming” superstar Joel Salatin among others. Leading designer/consultant Geoff Lawton describes Verge Permaculture is “one of North America’s premier permaculture design and education companies.”