You are here

Convergence Presenters

Submitted by inpgadmin on Sun, 07/02/2017 - 7:22pm

Below are listed the generous and knowledgeable people who will be sharing their skills and experience with us at the Convergence. More presenters and more detail will be forthcoming.

Would you like to present at the Convergence? If so, go HERE.

Bill Harp
     Darién Information Systems, Inc., - Information Systems Technologist, Cultural Anthropologist and Geospatial Analyst
Information Systems Technologist, Cultural Anthropologist and Geospatial Analyst

Bill is a fifth generation Idahoan who has worked as a field archaeologist and cultural anthropologist in both North Idaho and Panama. During his time in Panama he did research among the Emberá people in eastern Panama, spent many years working for the Department of Defense specialized in mapping and geospatial technology applications in defense and intelligence. He was also a program manager for the United Nations REDD (Reduction in Emissions, Degradation and Deforestation) program in collaboration with the Panamanian Ministry of the Environment and a Commissioner with the Panamanian Ministry of Tourism for sustainable heritage and eco-tourism. For the last three plus years, Bill has been the Director, Technology for Bonner County Government. Bill and his wife Susan, also an archeologist, journalist, editor and anthropologist, alternate between their country homesteads in Panama and Sagle, Idaho where they maintain subsistence gardens and orchards.


Native American Horticulture, Ecology, Ethnobotany and Cosmology

In Latin America a number of cultures still practice traditional subsistence horticulture. The Emberá of eastern Panama are one of these small-scale, egalitarian, lowland tropical rain forest cultures that not only practice traditional horticulture but speak their native language, hunt, gather and fish from the rain forest and still practice their traditional beliefs in spirits and practice associated rituals. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and an extensive ethnobotany that includes the use of entheogenic plants. Many of their subsistence agricultural concepts are in congruence with the ideas of Permaculture. This talk explores this convergence and how a traditional belief system or cosmology may inspire our understanding and relationship to our natural, cultural, geological and geographical landscapes. This understanding manifests itself as an integrated systems of complex, interacting relationships that build on the knowledge, practice and spirit of traditional cultures. This undeniable heritage energizes our commitment to sustainable living, energy efficiency and belief in the resilience and intentionality of the spirit of living systems.

Charlotte Anthony
     Victory Gardens for All
Charlotte Anthony

Charlotte has been gardening and farming for 50 years. She took her PDC at the time of Hurricane Katrina  (2005) and realized that permaculture was the language for what she had been doing for most of her life -- observing the earth, the weather and plants and adjusting what she did accordingly. Lifelong she has had a desire to serve and after learning about permaculture felt that permaculture had the answers for the most of the world’s problems. She and her team helped create more than 650 gardens in people’s yards with a pay it forward system. Permaculture was used to enhance the soil and great yields with minimum imputs were gotten in these first year gardens, especially with microbe innoculations. She helped people create food forests in Oregon and California. She was on the board of the Northwest Permaculture Association and helped put  on the Northwest Permaculture Convergence, twice.


Easy No-till Farming

We will present on the why and how of no-till without machinery.  We will include ways to do no till without bringing in off-site materials that will work in your first year.   it involves growing the plants with microbe partners which means in addition to no till, cover crops or multi crops, and can include inter-planting with trees. All of our farming and gardening practices that inhibit soil biology are the problem and the opportunity.   M. Fukuoka said that most of our farming work and problems are compensating for interfering with nature.   We have taken this to heart and want to expand on how this can make your gardening easier, your food healthier and even more how doing these techniques will lead to functioning ecosystems and reverse climate change. This is wu wei or non doing farming.

Workshop 2:

Ecological Farming

We are starting an initiative for the purpose of restoring ecosystems around the globe in order to reverse climate change.    This involves turning lawns, pastures, commercial agriculture and regenerating the forests.  We want this to be a self-organizing system and to go viral.

We will present the 10 points that need to be changed in our practice of farming and gardening.

Come and see what we have done so far and please contribute to how we can go forward with this.

Droughts, floods, and global warming are related to the damage we have done to our ecosystems. This comes with our way of farming and gardening.  The good news is changing how we garden and farm will mitigate climate change.

Workshop 3:

Living In Our Ecosystem

When I heard Toby Hemenway's video Why Agriculture Can Never Be Sustainable, it explained so much to me.  As a multigenerational farmer, I imbibed the lessons of living in the ecosystem early in my life.  I have participated in community with plants, soil biology, animals etc.   I did not really understand until this video what is blocking most people from participating in our ecosystem.  It is simply that we live in a culture where our minds are our masters, and one thing our minds seem to dictate is that we are outside of nature, separate from her and need to control her.   Our minds could be very good servants for a life in which we all participate together in creating opportunity for functioning ecosystems.

At this point in time, it is crucial that we learn how to work with what I call the community of all beings to live in and restore our ecosystems.

This workshop is about specific techniques to get connected in our gardening and in our lives in general with nature.

Cindy Santi

David Max
     Valhalla Farm

Debbie Jakovac
     Blue Moon Herbs

Delyla Wilson


Gabe Gaul
     Fungi Permastead

Gloria Flora
     Sustainable Obtainable Solutions

Jacqueline Cramer
     Beacon Food Forest

Jessica Spurr
     Earthly Apothecary

Jill Russell
     Valhalla Farm

Kareen Erbe
     Broken Ground

Kareen is the owner of Broken Ground, a Bozeman-based business that teaches people how to grow their own food. She has been teaching organic gardening, composting and permaculture workshops to people in the Bozeman area for 6 years as well as designing edible gardens for clients. She and her family live on a 3/4 acre lot that they are converting into a cold climate demonstration site with kitchen gardens, a pond, greenhouse, chickens, ducks, a food forest and a greywater system. An experienced permaculture practitioner, Kareen obtained her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2006 at the Taranaki Environment Centre in New Zealand and completed an advanced permaculture program taught by renowned designer Geoff Lawton, at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. This included specific training in earthworks, composting methods, soil biology, and urban permaculture design. Kareen was also trained in teaching permaculture by Rosemary Morrow, author of the Earth User's Guide to Permaculture. 

Kareen also has training in Ecology Action's Grow Biointensive methods and participated in a Food Forest Design Charrette for Helena's 6th Ward Garden Park with author, teacher and designer, Dave Jacke. She has also worked as a permaculture consultant for the sustainability organization, GoodtoChina, in Shanghai, China and volunteered on numerous organic farms in Australia, New Zealand, Western Massachusetts and Montana, including Gallatin Valley Botanical and Three Hearts Farm in Bozeman.  

She is a regular contributor to Rocky Mountain Gardening Magazine, having written several articles on permaculture-related topics and was featured in The New Pioneer. She is currently working with the Trust for Public Land and its design of an Edible Food Forest Trail that will be part of the Story Mill Community Park in Bozeman.



Keynote Address: Beyond the Backyard Garden - Expanding Permaculture's Reach

Karie Lee Knoke

Kelly Ware
     Permaculture Montana

Mariah Cornwoman
     Heart of the Highlands Farm

Michael Pilarski
     Friends of the Trees Society

Michael Pilarski is a naturalist, farmer and educator with 45 years of experience. Michael has been commercially wildcrafting medicinal plants for 22 years in Washington State, north Idaho and Northwest Montana.  He farms a diversity of medicinal and food plants in complex, agroforestry systems and has expertise in seed collecting, propagation and nursery stock of many native and non-native species. He is the author of “Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology Resource Guide” and “Growing & Wildcrafting Medicinal Plants in the Pacific Northwest”. He blends permaculture, restortion ecoogy and ethnobotany to come up with restorative land practices.


Permaculture, restoration and ethnobotany. How they can inform land management practices.

Workshop 2:

Growing Medicinal herbs for home use or commercially through a permaculture lens.

Michelle Mahler
     Circle of Healing Essential Oils

Michelle Mahler has 15 years of experience as an Aromatherapist making custom blends for people and pets and 25 years of experience in professional home & office cleaning. She spent 12 years of her cleaning business testing green cleaning recipes and essential oil disinfectants and odor neutralisers. Circle of Healing is based in Snohomish, Wa. Michelle speaks and teaches workshops all over northwest at the Local Co-ops, herbal and holistic fairs and private events. Her passion is being an community advocate for self-care and wellness through prevention and strengthening the immune system by topical use of essential oil remedies.She has a drive to keep learning new ways to incorporate subtle aromatherapy into our lives for wellness, vitality & better quality of Life.

Michelle Mahler 425 210 2532


Herbs & Essential Oils for Home & Petcare

In this workshop you can learn about how to safely manage common pet wellness issues, and non-toxic ingredients to use for everyday cleaning. We will take home recipes and notes for disinfecting sprays that remove pet odors, repel fleas and ants and help everyone breath better while you clean with them. We will have demonstrations on cleaning powders & sprays, general pet health such as and ear and skincare, calming blends, for dogs and cats with non-toxic herbal infused olive oil, borage oil, rosewater and organic essential oils.

Stan Wilson


Terry Du Beau


Sustainability at Standing Rock

Convergence Year: