Permaculture Learning Guild

Published by mwatersong on

Spider on Yaupon Holly

We’re lucky to know so many inspiring humans who are practicing and learning permaculture locally but they’re often doing it alone, or nearly so. As an art that is fundamentally about beneficial interconnections, We know that permaculture really needs to be learned and practiced together.

This is why we’ve organized a Piedmont NC Permaculture Learning Guild. The goals are for us all to benefit from the experience and mutual support of each other (and make friends), and to continue to grow this movement locally so that there are thousands of skilled and supported ‘permies’ and thousands more resilient places of tended wild diversity thriving in the Piedmont.

We’ll share our permaculture needs, skills, projects, seeds, saplings, and stories, and work on a small project as a group, like planting a forest garden or restoring a creek.

Whether you’re new to permaculture, have just completed your PDC, or are actually yourself a walking trellis for a bunch of rare fruit-bearing vines no one has heard of, this will be an experience that will help you continue to learn and stay connected.

We hope to see you there!!

How It Works

  • We gather once a month (and in-between in small guild-organized happenings). Time and place varies.
  • Gatherings will be about 3-4 hours (sometimes with an optional evening fire hang out).
  • All skill levels are welcomed (and needed!). Beginners very welcome (and experts already know permaculture gatherings are joyous feral bursts of life, so what are you doing anywhere else?!).
  • We get together and have a brief structured opening circle where we get a chance to know each other and what we’re working on.
  • We practice a brief permaculture design skill to help us get better at this very different way of seeing.
  • We work on a learn-by-doing project (e.g. making biochar, creating earthworks, planning or planting a forest garden, and so on)
  • We have a closing circle where we bring permaculture questions to the group, offer a way we might want help with our projects, and share resources we might need or that we have in abundance to give including seeds, plants, help, connections, and so on.
  • We’ll also maintain an online community any of us can post to to share notes and photos from the gatherings, announce future gatherings and other opportunities and for any of us to share anything permaculture-related outside of the gatherings.

What We Ask For

  • We all contribute, but facilitating + planning + communications take a lot of energy. For the official monthly guild events, we welcome but do not require a $15-$30 sliding scale donation per person.
  • If you want to put your land-based project in the rotation for a learn-by-doing day and have the ability to host, let us know by posting in the online guild platform.
  • No posting any part of the Guild gatherings to corporate social media. Some people (not all, but including myself) in the permaculture community consider corporate-run social media to be contrary to the ethics of permaculture. It’s OK if you disagree, but please respect this. We will ask someone to volunteer to take notes + photos + videos that can be shared via our private online community.
  • To follow the permaculture principle “use and value diversity,” we commit to doing our best to respect others including their experiences, ancestors, backgrounds, identities, preferences, needs, and truly irritating opinions.
  • We welcome families and children.
  • Bring what you need to be safe and comfortable on the land we host on. There are sometimes bugs, spiky plants, even spikier plants, trippy stumps, hot, cold, hot-then-cold, wet, really wet, social anxiety, and vague inexplicable discomfort.
  • To follow the “observe and interact” principle, we really ask that you notice if you’re talking more than everyone else and just chill it a little and observe. If / when we fail to follow this, you can interact by throwing a soft (preferably small) fruit at us.
  • Totally optional but lovingly celebrated to bring your own surpluses to share of seeds, perennial plants, fermentations and other experiments, herbal medicines, wildcraftings, songs, and things to trade and give…!
  • Be really good to each other!! No hating on each other or people not (yet) in the cult. No hating on plants or animals, either, as they are all our family. Bring your best Self.
  • Be really good to yourself!! Wow, it can hurt to compare ourselves to others or to think we don’t belong in a group – so please let me say, you are welcome here!!! We need everyone knitting together bringing exactly what they bring. Thanks for all you are. You are helping.

Want to Join? Here’s What To Do…!

E-mail and tell us that you’d like to be added to the Guild list. One of us will put you on the list and send an invite to the online platform we use to coordinate the guild.

Matt wants to especially give thanks to a teacher and friend, Zev Friedman, for demonstrating something a lot like this by starting the Piedmont Forest Farming Cooperative, which ended up connecting so many of us in beautiful friendship, and who seems to be one of the most devoted people he’s ever met to getting us to connect in mutual support.

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