Plugging Permaculture

I was introduced to the principles of permaculture by my sweetie Keira some years ago. And to be honest, I’ve allowed her to become the expert on the subject, my own role is providing the grunt labour to help fulfill her vision for our yard… I really should post some pictures on how we transformed most of our lawn into fertile growing beds without bringing up the sod (all it took was some newspaper, cardboard, six cubic meters of compost, and countless wheelbarrow loads fueled by a countless cans of Pilsner Urquel). Or maybe I should post photos of the tremendous haul of mostly volunteer* tomatoes that have grown more or less untended. This weekend we’ll be escorting our son Harry on a permaculture for kids campout on BC’s Sunshine Coast which will undoubtedly prove interesting.

Which brings me to another upcoming event, the Practical Permie Weekend Sept 30 – Oct 1, which I will allow Keira to describe herself:

This workshop focuses on the practical gardening side of permaculture aka edible landscaping. Perfect for those who obsess quietly (or out loud) about peak oil, climate change, desertification of farm land, the bland taste and high cost of conventionally grown produce, bizarre hormones and growth agents in our meat and those who are beginner or experienced gardeners who want to sustainably grow more of what they eat and drink.

These practical workshops are taught by a crew of relaxed, funny and extremely knowledgeable facilitators. Robin Wheeler hosts the event and is proprietress of Edible Landscapes nursery in Robert’s Creek and author of Gardening for the Faint of Heart. (A highly recommended, accessible introduction to the gardening side of permaculture. With her as your guide, you realize how much you already know and can apply immediately.)

More information at; and there are ongoing conversations via the web going on at the Vancouver Permculture Network and

I’ll be joining this event mid-way through, arriving directly from this year’s Open Education Conference in Utah (more on that soon). Which strikes me as oddly appropriate, as I expect the respective events will have fairly different vibes, but with some tantalizing correspondences between the principles of permaculture and those of open content and open source projects.

If you want to learn practical ways of improving the way we live, or maybe you just want to bug out with me and few other freaks camping out in a most groovy spot, then by all means get in touch.

* By “volunteer”, I mean to say we didn’t plant them. They sprung up from old seeds, or maybe even some raw compost that we threw into that bed.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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6 Responses to Plugging Permaculture

  1. PeakEngineer says:

    That looks like a neat event. It’s great to see people working on solutions to the challenges we face. I’d love to hear how it goes.

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks — I didn’t know your blog before, it looks very cool. I’m a bit awestruck how you saw this post so fast.

    I’ll try to post reports on the kids weekend and the larger event.

  3. PeakEngineer says:

    I just ran a quick search of the most recent posts on sustainability, and yours was near the top of the list. Have a good trip!

  4. Brian says:

    Oops. Over-zealous anti-spamming took out a legit comment here. Very sorry Marco.

  5. Brooke says:

    Hi Brian! It was good to meet you at the Open Ed conference. I’m hopefully going to chat with my friends out at Lost Valley Educational Center this coming weekend about opening up their content. In the meantime I found this, permawiki:


  6. Brian says:

    Thanks Brooke — I enjoyed talking with you as well. My head is presently buzzing with the possibilities aligning permaculture with some open education tools and techniques.

    Thanks for the link — and great to discover your blog (left a short comment over there too).

Comments are closed.