Permaculture Guild of Western Massachusetts

The Permaculture Guild of Western Massachusetts promotes permaculture events in the region and provides ways for folks interested in permaculture to gather, share skills & ideas and inspire each other.
To get on our listserv, fill out the online form at
or send an email to

Make a calendar

2009 Calendar of Events:

Below is a listing of the exciting permaculture happenings in our neck of the woods.

Remember, you are the Guild, so schedule your own event...
Just enter a description of your event below the Google Calendar. Make sure to include date, time, what to bring, what folks can expect, and if there are any fees.
  • Want to teach a class? Describe it below.
  • Have a garden you need to sheet mulch? Have a workparty!
  • Need permaculture community? Host a party!

The Google Calendar below has "hotlinks" with descriptions, just click on the event to read a description. If you would like to add or change something on this the Western MA Permaculture Guild Google Calendar email Sebastian at baswein@gmail he would be happy to help you out.

Descriptions of 2009 Events:

Archive of past Events:

Fall 2008

Inspired by the Transition Town/Resilient Communities movement the steering committee is starting a weekly group to address the changes and encourage action with in our communities. We will consider together how to precede in the valley.

Franklin County is also hosting weekly groups that will start in January! More info soon.

The Northampton group will meet every Thursday and 12 Northern Ave Northamtpon MA.
Thursday the 13th will be our first meeting!
5:30 for a potluck and 6:30 for the meeting.
Come for one or both!
ALL are welcome to participate but please note that the principles of Permaculture will be underlying the discussions of the group.
For more information on Resilient Communities and Transition Towns go to: or

For more information contact Alyssa McKim

Spring 2008

Greenfield Community College Weekend Course: February 23-24 (Sat/Sun)

SUSTAINABLE CULTURE & HARMONIOUS SYSTEMS: Introduction to Permaculture Design

*with Kay McGrenaghan Cafasso*
Greenfield, MA (30 minutes south of Brattleboro, 30 minutes north of Amherst)

Permaculture addresses harmonious ways we can transition from a fossil fuel dependent culture and towards a sustainable one.
Weekend presentations & activites address: Global permaculture movement; Fundamental design principles & permaculture designers’
tools; Energy efficient design for house & garden; Forest gardens & local food supply; Urban permaculture.

This will be an inspiring weekend full of presentations, discussions, and hands-on activities. You will gain an understanding of the
fundamentals of permaculture design, addressing homes, landscapes, site assessments, the application of patterning drawn from
nature, and more!
To register, contact Greenfield Community College (this is a credit free workshop):

Workshop registration: (413) 775-1803, 11am to 5pm
24-hour credit card registration: (413) 774-7690
Sustainable Culture & Harmonious Systems- An Intro to Permaculture Design
Course # CSW 629-2 8:30-4:30 Feb 23/24
Practice permaculture in your life and “turn problems into solutions"!

Please email Kay with additional questions at:

Spring/Summer 2008


FALL 2007

Soil Fertility, Carbon Sequestration
Dowsing, Sacred Space, Sacred Geometry
David Yarrow, a Water Angel, food & farm activist, Earth advocate, and master dowser for 30 years, will lead a series of events
in Amherst and Leverett.
Come learn to dowse for water and sacred space, make charcoal, produce renewable energy,
increase soil fertility, access your 6th sense, awaken your intuitive mind!
All events are by donation.
**Friday, Nov. 2nd**      Community Garden, Hampshire College, Amherst
12:30pm:  Sacred Space & Living Water, Learn to Dowse, Water Blessing
3pm: Soil Fertility:  Minerals, Trace Elements, Biomass, & Carbon
Contact Mai Frank for Friday information: 203-515-1765
**Saturday, Nov. 3rd**   Pine Haven Farm, 361 North East Street, Amherst
        9am walk:  Dowsing, Sacred Space & The 6th Sense
        2pm talk:  Sacred Geometry of the Divine Feminine
//Saturday evening keynote presentation//:
**Confronting our Climate Change Challenge:
Biofuel, Soil Fertility & Carbon Sequestration**
6pm  Hampshire College  Franklin Patterson Hall,  West Lecture Hall
suggested donation $5-$20
**Sunday, Nov. 4th**,   Home of Jono Neiger and Kemper Carlsen
163 Rattlesnake Gutter Road, Leverett
        9am:  Charcoal making trial and demonstration
      Using a simple barrel charcoal maker we¹ll do a trial of charcoal
      Also visit a large scale charcoal kiln nearby on Coke Kiln Lane.
        1pm:  Dowsing, Soil & Plant Communities, and Permaculture Design
        5pm:  Open-house & Potluck Dinner
      Visit with David and others over a potluck harvest season meal.
      Storytelling and singing afterwards. Bring a dish to pass.
Sponsored by The Western Mass. Permaculture Guild
Contact: Jono Neiger 413-367-2304, [[|]]
David Yarrow: [[|]] [[|<>]]
[[|]] [[|<>]]

The Institute for Natural Learning presents…
Live Lecture Series Part 2 (free!)

This week’s topic:
What is the Art of Mentoring ? Come join us -from your home - for a continued conversation with Mark Morey about Cultural Mentoring models based on the wisdom of thousands of years of traditional culture and relationship to the land.

Call History: First Call: Oct. 10th Intro to the Vision of Community Nature Awareness 45 min.
The first conference call with Mark went forward despite technical difficulties,
(now corrected) and is available for listening and sharing with others, at no charge,
click here:

Next Call:Oct. 24th What is the Art of Mentoring ?
Themes include:
- Applying Indigenous Principles of Education to increase Awareness of Nature, Self, Community, and Spirit
- A Bundle of Approaches that include:
o Cultural Facilitation of the Context of Learning,
o One-on-One Mentoring Techniques,
o Awareness of the Archetypical Energy of the 8-Shields Model,
o Core Routines of Nature Awareness
Logistics: - Free Conference Call Dial-in Number: (641) 715-3840 - Participant Access Code: 406321# (enter the pound key at the end) - The call will be muted to reduce background noise
- The call will be recorded and available for listening or sharing with your friends
Date and Time:
- Wednesday October 24 at 7pm-8pm EST

Bio: Mark is a co-founder of Vermont Wilderness School and the Institute for Natural Learning, two innovative, successful, and transformative educational programs. He has been creating Art of Mentoring programs with Jon Young since 1998 and innovative cultural learning environments since 1991. His background includes art school, Capoeira and Tai Chi martial arts, Outward Bound, corporate training, mens work, rites of passages, native relations and long term passion for nature and community connection.

Mark with Protassia Gatendoh, Gikuyu Grandmother:

Recent description of Mark: a radical, creative artist in the best sense, a visionary educator, a cultural engineer and consultant who designs regenerative holistic communities with timeless, native principles. Mark is a man of heart and passion, who has the ability to shake dust from our perceptions and open us to a bigger picture. This free talk is based on the experiential community leadership program:

The Institute for Natural Learning's
Community Nature Awareness Program 2007-2008

Join founder Mark Morey (co-founder of the Vermont Wilderness School) and Miriam Dror M.A., experienced inner tracker, on an archetypal hero’s journey of adventure, discovery and renewal of vision.
Are you looking to create positive change? Are you seeking alternative possibilities to consumer culture? Have you always wanted to jump into nature awareness training? Are you willing to take the risk to go on an inner quest to discover your gift for your community?
  • A Leadership Learning Adventure: Each weekend is a blend of experiential learning, practical skills sets, community building practices, looking within, and tiny edge experiences to awaken yourself from the slumber of modern living.
  • Weekends: The weekend format allows those to participate who have woven themselves into family, homes, jobs, and other community leadership commitments
  • Intensive and Affordable: CNAP is an excellent mid-level training in nature awareness, self-exploration, and cultural mentoring at 20% the cost of a full-year Apprenticeship programs at other wilderness schools. Participants graduate with an ability to confidently initiate and participate in art of mentoring educational culture.
  • Learning Pace: Intermittent rhythm allows for the gradual integration of skills and practices into daily personal and community life
  • Positive Peer Mentoring: Coming back and sharing the unfolding journey, lessons and successes, is a key aspect of each participant’s experience and integration

Like a true hero, be ready to explore your inner as well as outer realms.
Consider joining us for this profound learning experience, not only for yourself, but for the land, your community and the future generations that will inherit the gift of your legacy. Check it out !

Past Events-- Spring/ Summer 2007

An Introduction to Permaculture: Fundamentals of Sustainable Design

at Greenfield Community College
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm
for 7 weeks beginning February 28th
Kay McGrenaghan Cafasso

This is an affordable introduction to the world of permaculture. We will meet to explore the principles and ethics of
permaculture design, practical tools for creating sustainable human communities that integrate, and even regenerate,
natural systems. We will apply these principles at our own local level regarding: urban or rural buildings & gardens; land use;
community development; food, energy and water infrastructures. Join us and become inspired!
To register go to:

Gardening Like the Forest

Thursday, March 8, 7:00 pm
Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic St., Northampton
Presentation by Dave Jacke, local author of Edible Forest Gardens

Edible forest gardening is the design of gardens that mimic the structure and function of natural forests, but grow food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizers, and "farmaceuticals." This talk provides an overview of the concept, with inspiring and practical ideas, images, and examples, as well as information on the multiple uses of some key forest garden plants.

Greenfield Area PC Potluck and Gathering

Friday, March 16, 6:00 pm
Dave Jacke's house
15 Riddell St., Apt. 2

Come socialize and create Permaculture in Greenfield. For info call Kay Cafasso at 413-230-7998.

Seed and Plant Swap and Potluck

Sunday, April 15, 10:00 am
Jono and Kemper's home
163 Rattlesnake Gutter, Leverett
For info: 413-367-2304

Bring any seeds or plants you'd like to give away, then bring home an assortment of new seeds and plants for yourself. Also take a look at the plantings, terraces, pond, etc.

Greenfield GREEN FAIR
Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield

A local showcase of environmentally-friendly goods, products and services. Exhibits will include greenbuilding, alternative fuels, Permaculture design (Keith Z. will be there, so if anyone has any events to publicise, get him some materials), organic gardening, and composting. This may be a great place to meet up with local folks who are part of the eco-business vanguard.
It will be held, rain or shine, under a tent adjacent to the Dole Building at the fairgrounds. For more info see: or contact:

Keith Zaltzberg
136 Lover's Lane
Greenfield, 01301

Movie: To Be Announced- Save the Date

Monday, April 23, evening
Greenfields Market
Downtown Greenfield
For info call Kay Cafasso at 413-230-7998

PC Hardscape Workparty

Saturday, May 5, 12:00 to 4:00 pm
Holyoke Edible Forest Garden
147 Brown Ave., Holyoke

Hardy kiwi vine trellis, micro-pond and edible bamboo rhizome barrier construction. Come join in on these exciting projects and see the emerging Forest Garden in Spring! For info call Jonathan at 413-303-0740.

Introduction to Permaculture

Monday, May 18, evening
Greenfields Market
Downtown Greenfield
Presentation by Dave Jacke
For info call Kay Cafasso at 413-230-7998.

Fifth Annual Three Week Permaculture Design Course

with Dave Jacke, Jono Neiger, and friends

July 20 - August 10, 2007

Sirius Community, Shutesbury, Massachusetts

Sponsored by Living Routes, Amherst, MA

This intensive course has built solid a reputation for its holistic, interactive style, for its strong design-training focus, and for the depth and breadth of participant's learning about all realms of ecological culture design. Imbibe permaculture design by engaging in permaculture DESIGN, using homes in the neighborhood--and Sirius Community itself--as your learning lab for two short design problems and one two-week-long design project. The course also includes field trips to local permaculture sites and old growth forest remnants, paradigm-shifting activities, interactive exercises, and hands-on projects and training. Primary instructor Dave Jacke is the author of Edible Forest Gardens, an award-winning two-volume book on ecological garden design, and has studied, practiced, and taught ecological design since the 1970s. Jono Neiger is a longstanding permaculture designer and practitioner, a conservation biologist, and an all around great guy who homesteads in Leverett, MA with his family. Dave and Jono and their two teaching apprentices create an incredibly well-rounded educational environment with multifunctional and functionally interconnected learning experiences for students of all kinds. If you successfully complete this course, you will know how to design permaculture systems, from basic map-making skills to public presentations of drawings that communicate complex site analysis and design ideas. This is a University of Massachusetts course offering 4 transferable undergraduate credits (Plant and Soil 398P).

For more info and an application, contact Living Routes at 413-259-0025 or 888-515-7333 or visit their website .

If you have questions about the course itself (not about applications, etc.) you may also contact
Dave Jacke at 413-475-3499 or