The Tantra of Permaculture: Connecting Inner and Outer Landscapes

A Permaculture Design Certification and Tantra Intensive

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

December 13th-29th, 2010

Ashevillage's Education and Site Director will be facilitating a Permaculture Design Certification in Nicaragua in December. Ashevillage Support Staff, Keri Evjy, of Healing Roots Designs will be co-leading this course. The Tantra of Permaculture expands upon the standard 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification curriculum by integrating a deeper exploration of our relationship with ourselves, our communities, and the environment. Each step of the course is an individual and collective embodied learning experience.

For more information, please visit http://www.inanitah.com/, or contact Brandy Hall, 434.284.3057, brandy@ashevillage.org

Introduction to Permaculture: Backyard Sustainability

Date: October 23, 2010 10-6pm

Location: Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site, near downtown Asheville, NC

In this introductory course, participants will gain interactive experience with easy-to-implement solutions that have the potential to solve humanity's most pressing challenges and advance the health of our planet's ecosystems.

Come and engage with the following:

  • Permaculture Principles and Ethics
  • The Permaculture Design Process
  • Keys to Naturalist Observation
  • Take-home Solutions for the Global Transition

Fee: $95. Scholarships and trades available. Participants bring a bag lunch.

To Register: Send a $50 non-refundable deposit. Include your name, telephone, email, and address to "Ashevillage Institute." 80 Buchanan Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801. Remaining $45 due upon arrival.

For more information: Contact Brandy Hall, Education and Site Director, brandy@ashevillage.org, 434.284.3057.


Want to get involved?

Please come join us on our Volunteer Days, Wednesdays through October 20th from 1-6 pm. Bring garden gloves and work clothes. Please be sure to RSVP so our Site Manager will know to expect you: brandy@ashevillage.org


Permaculture Design Certification and Apprenticeship is underway!

The Permaculture Design Certification and Apprenticeship has begun! So far, the Apprentices have worked with Brandy Hall, Patricia Allison, and Keri Evjy in the Permaculture Design Certification course, exploring the ethics and principles of Permaculture and the design process, as well as in the field with wonderful hands-on work in Earth Plastering and Wild-crafting!

Also, the greenhouse is cleared and ready to be planted for fall, and all of our starts thus far have been transplanted.


PERMACULTURE APPRENTICESHIP: Design Certification & Hands-on Immersion

Last seat in the house could be yours!!!

THIS PERMACULTURE APPRENTICESHIP offers a group of six participants the 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification 1 day per week, ENHANCED by field work 2 days per week at a variety of nurseries, edible parks, community gardens, and urban homesteads in the Asheville area.


DATES: August 10 - October 28, 2010, Tuesdays thru Thursdays; 10am-6pm. LOCATION: 12+ sites in Asheville, NC SPONSOR: The Ashevillage Institute

  • Become a Certified Permaculture Designer.
  • Connect with veteran Permaculture practitioners.
  • Get a broad sampling of local Permaculture hot spots.
  • Explore your internal landscapes through Nature Connection, Yoga, and meditation.
  • Gain relevant field experience in: organic food production, soil building, nursery production, backyard chickens, aquaculture, fermentation, wild-crafting, edible forest gardening, rainwater catchment, grafting, primitive skills, natural building, and more.


Ashevillage Founder teaches at annual earth skills gathering

Janell Kapoor, founder of the Ashevillage Institute, led a "Clay Paint Making" workshop this past weekend at the Firefly Gathering. Firefly is an annual event for people seeking to deepen their connection with the natural world through rewilding, primitive, homesteading, and sustainability skills in WNC.

The group included locals, as well as folks from as far away as New York and England, with one guy on his way to Mali, Africa for the next 5 years (he can come back and teach us a thing, or two). We started the class with finding clays and sands from 100' around us, and finished with an impressive palette of soft orange, beige, and gray paints. Thanks to the Firefly crew for hosting all of us!!!

Bring it Home Project - Bothwell Speaks

Cecil Bothwell

Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell attended the "Bring it Home" Project ribbon cutting ceremony on July 20th and had some very important things to say. He says, "Ashevillage is modeling our urban future. Local food security will become more and more vital as the world gets hotter and more crowded. Best estimates suggest that world grain production will fall by about 10 percent for each degree C increase in average temperatures. We will add about 3 billion people by mid-century and at least one degree of heat. Best estimates are for a 4 degree increase by 2100. You don't have to read between the lines to see the problem we face. Permaculture is one way to address the crisis in our backyards, and Ashevillage is showing Asheville the way."

Thank you Mr. Bothwell for your support of this project and your continued support of sustainability in our community.


Bring it Home: Wrapping Up

The Bring it Home project is wrapping up and it has been a huge success!! The ribbon cutting ceremony is coming at 7pm this evening. Here are a few more photos to show off our work!

Rain Delay...

Bring it Home: More Pics

Here are some more photos from the Bring it Home Project with Ashevillage and The Legacy Center

Prudencio, Jeff, and Amy

Mixing concrete for posts.

Volunteer Shawn taking a moment for a photo. Thanks Shawn.

Volunteers Bruce and Prudencio working hard ing the hot sun.

Bring It Home: Day 2

More Photos from the worksite:

LiAna and Kim, Legacy Project captains working on bird houses for the grounds.

Ashevillage volunteer, Justin working hard!

Lots of planting being done.

The results...

Bring It Home: Backyard Solutions for a Sustainable Future

The project is in full swing and headed toward the finish this evening with the ribbon cutting cermony at 7pm. Lots of work is happening everywhere from wood carving to landscaping and planting.

Betty Houston of lanscapers Organic Resource Group is volunteering her time to the project. She is very excited about using her experience here in her own work in the Hickory area.


The Legacy Center & Ashevillage Institute invite you to... Bring It Home: Backyard Solutions for a Sustainable Future
Monday July 19 & Tuesday July 20; 8am - 7pm Tuesday 7pm: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony ... An Extraordinary Story of One Backyard This is a one-time community opportunity to create a real "Transition Town" backyard in a neighborhood next to downtown Asheville, NC. Join us to complete an inspiring demonstration of water and food systems that model our way into a more resilient future. We Will • Build a deck next to a rainwater catchment pond • Plant edible/medicinal/aquatic plants • Construct an edible entry arbor • Create bird houses for habitat • Document the whole process • Be fed, work hard, have FUN :-) Join In!!! We are seeking volunteers with all levels of experience including: • Experienced carpenters to help with the deck and arbor • Landscapers with local plant/permaculture knowledge • General hands-on support for digging, planting, etc. • Folks with trucks to help haul materials, pick up plants Contact
Liana Johannaber Project Coordinator :: Legacy's BRING IT HOME 828.777.0331 :: lianawithwings@gmail.com http://www.ashevillage.org/avi/legacy.php Background On July 1st, an intrepid group of visionaries a part of the Legacy Center's Leadership Program decided that they wanted to make a profound difference in their community by creating a project that would tangibly shift the cycle of harm to our planet. As a part of the Legacy Leadership Program, each leadership team creates a project of unreasonable measure and extraordinary result that leaves a legacy in the community where the project takes place. The project is designed in a couple of weeks and must be completed in only two days! Hence, BRING IT HOME began....


Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Photo Updates

The following is a compilation of photo updates taken as the demonstration project progresses. Please take the eleven part tour for a full explanation of how the system works.
Overview of the site with greenhouse pond, reflecting channel and lower pond visible. The containers in the front channel accept the waste water from the greenhouse pond. Photo of the finished propagation pond. The pond is separated and insulated from the rest of the pond. We did this by sandwiching 1.5" of styrofoam between two layers of pond liner. The propagation pond is covered with a removable dual pane sash, styrofoam and greenhouse plastic to keep the water and seedlings warm. Close up photo of propagation pond. We can start 400 seedling in the warm propagation pond heated with an aquarium heater. Tropical minnows like Tilapia can overwinter in this pond as well, providing fertilizer for the seedlings and pruning the roots. Wicking hydroponic system next to the pond with stacked containers to create different hydrologic planting zones. More wicking hydroponics next to pond. Overview of wicking hydroponic channel below greenhouse pond. Waste water is siphoned from greenhouse pond to feed and water channel with containers. Close up photo of hydroponic channel with keyhole access points. Photo of chicken yard. This area will be sepated into three forage area for summer, fall and winter rotational forage for chickens and humans. Compost is thrown over the fence in the morning so the chickens will eat it before the rats have a chance at night. Over time, finished compost builds up along downhill for collection.


Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Part 11

Stairs leading to parking area installed by Rafael Moreno's crew.
One of two retention ponds in the front of the houses. These accept rainwater from the roofs of the houses as well as water from the ponds if we need to drain them. Eventually this area will be planted with an edible and medicinal forest garden.

Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Part 10

An ultra efficient inline pump moves the water between ponds allowing us to filter the water and grow more fish in a smaller area. I put the pump inside a used 50 gallon barrel with the bottom cut off. The barrel is buried in the ground to prevent the pump from freezing. This also places the pump below the water level in the pond so we don't need a priming pot or check valve. The outlet in the barrel is connected to an above ground switch so it's easy to turn on and off. We have two different siphon systems to empty the water from the ponds and extract wastes. The nutrient rich water in the bottom of the ponds can be siphoned off into this channel through a permanent piping system. Containerized plants and worms will be grown in the channel. From here the water has two choices, it can either go back into the recirculated pond system for recycling or it can go into a retention area for pond draining.
The easiest way to harvest fish is to drain the pond and pick the fish up off the bottom. This system makes it possible with the turn of a valve.
This system also allows us to empty wastes from the pond. This will increase the amount of oxygen in the water making the fish happy. The waste water will be used to fertilize our plants.
A vegetated retaining wall will be installed here and will accept some waste water from the channel in the previous photo.

Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Part 9

During the warm season, water will flow from inside the greenhouse and down the waterway next to the greenhouse. This ponds acts like a reflector giving us extra sunlight inside the greenhouse. The waterway will eventually be packed with aquatic plants, mussels and minnows. Black locust keyhole bridges give better access.
Next, the water flows down the waterfall to the right of the stairs and then under the locust foot bridge.
The water finally ends up in the lower pond. A float valve is hidden inside the fork of the keyhole bridge and automatically gravity feeds water from the upper reservoir when the water level drops. The green algae floating in the pond is filamentous algae, a favorite food of tilapia.


Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Part 8

The shower is connected to the greenhouse. Warm waste water and nutrients flow into the pond inside the greenhouse providing long lasting heat. The smaller box is a drain down system to remove water from the copper pipes to prevent freeze damage during extreme cold.
Detail of locust shelf.
This is the biofiltration bed. Bacteria live on the high surface area media and break down the ammonia. When the pump is running, water cascades out the small holes on the front into the pond.

Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Part 7

The chicken roost is inside the greenhouse. The chickens provide heat and carbon dioxide to the greenhouse. The drawer on the bottom slides out to remove the manure. Ammonia could build up to toxic levels for plants if large amounts of manure collect on the drawer.
The drawer can be left out allowing the manure to fall into the pond when necessary. Ponds are usually fertilized when the water temperature is above 68 degrees. This will stimulate phytoplankton growth creating a basis for a fish and aquatic food web. Manuring stops when dissolved oxygen reaches low levels.
From the outside the coop has two lower cabinet style doors with laying boxes on top. One of the doors has greenhouse plastic cut in slits to allow the chickens outside access without letting too much heat out.
The other door give access to the automatic waterer for cleaning. The entire floor slides out to empty collected manure. The coop holds 9-12 hens if you let them out during the day or 4 if you don't. The chickens have about 600 square feet of yard that will be partitioned into smaller forage areas.

Tour of the Ashevillage Institute Demonstration Site Part 6

Welcome to 2010: a hoophouse odyssey. We're finally ready for plants.
This is the most advanced hoophouse I've ever seen. The entire floor is a pond measuring 18" - 24". The pond is part of a larger recirculating pond system including two more outside ponds and a waterfall. The water acts as thermal mass, absorbing the suns energy during the day and releasing it at night.
A boardwalk runs the length of the pond connecting recycled french doors on both ends. The boardwalk is made of black locust cut and milled on the property by Treecyclers. A chicken coop (in red) and shower (behind coop) are also connected to the greenhouse.
The boardwalk has two fixed bridges notched in and one movable plank for access to edge areas. The greenhouse has four types of aquaponic growing systems utilizing fish and chicken wastes as a fertilizer. The plants help filter the water allowing us to grow more fish. The containers on the edge are a "wicking" type of hydroponics. A mixture of compost, peat and perlite in the containers wick nutrients and water up from the pond.
The white styrofoam is a "floating" hydroponics with net pots filled with expanded clay pellets. The bright white trays in back are speedling trays with 200 cells/flat. They will be filled with perlite and vermiculite for seed starting. The speedling tray area will be heated with an aquarium heater and isolated from the rest of the pond. This will create a warm seed starting pond within a larger cooler pond.