Permaculture conference slated

By : 
Bob McGinnis and Zach Weiss
Original Publication Date: 
Thu, 11/01/2012

The Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild is sponsoring its Second Annual Permaculture Conference at the University of Montana in Missoula Friday through Sunday, November 9, 10 & 11. Everybody who is interested is encouraged to attend (there is an admission fee). Presenters will share their knowledge on how to live and work in harmony with nature and to create a more harmonious society. There is, for example, an opportunity for ordinary people to learn how to build their own low cost environmentally friendly housing and buildings. Other presentations are on innovative techniques to make cold, dry Montana land bloom and produce an abundance of organic fruits, vegetables and livestock by using natural landscaping to rehabilitate the land.

These presentations are based on the work of famed Permaculturist Sepp Holzer and his recent educational visit to Montana. There are presentations on converting a field or suburban yard into a “food forest” garden that produces organic fruit, nuts and berries. New highly productive organic farming methods that work with the natural plant and insect diversity of nature and that need less mechanized and human labor and less ongoing maintenance will be discussed. Another presentation is on innovative low tech local renewable energy techniques that could make Montana energy self-reliant, such as biochar. Other topics include making our communities stronger & happier, a Montana "ecovillage" community, medicinal herbs, wild edible plant harvesting & preparation, and many more.

Presenters include Bozeman area permaculturists. Kareen Erbe of Broken Ground Permaculture will describe her work and current Bozeman area permaculture activities. Zach Weiss of Perpetual Gardens will discuss his work with natural geothermal, passive solar and ecosystem greenhouse designs that greatly enhance growing climate and that can be used for personal homeowner food production. Alison Rooney will make a presentation on Cloud Nine Farm.

Permaculture is about empowering ordinary people to become active in actually participating in solving problems in their own community by, for example, learning about and initiating, creating and maintaining these solutions themselves. This will be a friendly and intimate gathering that will allow people to talk freely with presenters and meet like-minded people. The permaculture community in Montana and the Inland Northwest is growing. Last year's first Inland Northwest Permaculture Conference in Spokane, Washington was very successful.

This year's Conference is at the University of Montana's University Center. Presentation & workshop details, costs and accommodations are on the main Conference page at There is a link on the main page to forums to coordinate rides & accommodations. Student rates, work trade provisions, camping and some low cost accommodations are available. The U of M cafeteria will serve local organic food during the event. More information on Permaculture is on the main Conference page and at

Bob McGinnis a medical doctor who lives in Bozeman. Zach Weiss is the founder of greenhouse design and construction company Perpetual Gardens, see •