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Geoff Lawton presents Principles of Water as Directive to Designers - Advanced Permaculture Intensive: Earthworks, Watershed Design, & Food Forests - Oct 16 - 19, 2012, GreenFriends Farm. Castro Valley California
Principles of Water as Directive to Design
Geoff Lawton Advanced Permaculture Intensive: Earthworks, Watershed Design, & Food Forests, Oct 2012

Internet Earthworks Design
Combining Permaculture, Appropriate Tech and Indigenous Wisdom


Meetings with the Masters

After attending the 2012 Permaculture Convergence in the Bay Area, Northern California and then Geoff Lawton’s Advanced Permaculture Intensive: Earthworks, Watershed Design, & Food Forests, I was hooked – my being had made a permanent shift to a new way of perceiving. This was a turning point, where I realized my Permaculture, Natural Resources and Surveying studies, work parties and homestead visits over the previous four years had created a solid foundation upon which something more profound was being built. Could I perhaps have found my Life purpose?

I stayed a few days with some old Bay area friends before heading back to Shasta, but while there the familiar West Marin trails I had hiked many times before were suddenly new. I could see “keypoints” and “contour lines” and notice how water flows and trails follow patterns which shape the landscape. Nature became even more alive with a subtle, yet overpowering vibrancy that was alarming to me. It was as if I could “see” beneath the surface of the landscape into the geology, history and hydrology of what makes that land what it is.

Some part of me had received a “transmission” from spending time with Geoff – a master Permaculturalist – and seeing landscape through his vision had changed how my perceptions were taking in and making sense of my surroundings. There was no turning back. I had become an “Earth Steward”.

What is an “Earth Steward”

As practiced by Steve Westin, master teacher of the “Reams Biological Theory of Ionization“, an Earth Steward is a teacher and developer of products, practices and techniques that “bring soil, plant, animal (2 & 4 legged) to their highest genetic potential, Steve termed this process as ionic-bio plating. His ultimate prayer is to share his knowledge and understanding of healthy living and good food, providing the tools needed to help others understand that food must be grown/raised by a husband/wife of the soil. The ancient ones engineered everything in their lives and practiced good science, which is why they lived for hundreds of years.” Steve passed away May 2015 but his legacy lives on (see SteveWestin.com and BioNutrient.org).

Why I hate “Sustainability”

To me “sustainability” can also imply maintaining a running extractive system over time – one can sustainably exploit the Earth for somewhat consistent production. I prefer to observe and bio-mimic Nature in a way that conforms to the basic Permaculture principles – Good for Earth, Good for People and Return of Surplus (recycled back into a network/system).

Truly Regenerative system design can repair degraded landscapes, while also building resilient, inter-connected elements and sub-systems on a property, retreat center or homestead. If part of a good Permaculture network design gets wiped out one year, you will still get production out of the system. If  a substantial part of a mono-cropped field is wiped out, you may reap little or nothing. A diverse garden of interspersed species may continue to produce something. One element or system in a network design serves many functions and each function in the system is provided by multiple elements. “Do no harm, and let nutrition take care of the rest.”

Internet Earthworks Offerings

Earthworks: Available for Permaculture Walkthroughs, surveying, onsite consultations, pointing out water flows, laying out earthworks projects and Permaculture education. Goals clarification, client interviews and research services available. We can help you vision and build your dreams.

Internet: Provide webmaster support, online marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), Google Analytics, custom programming and website development services for eco-minded companies and individuals.

Logistics Support: Also available for logistics, site setup, recording, photography, web promotions and post-event services for Permaculture, sustainability and natural building/cobb projects and organizations. Sign up for the newsletter if you wish to stay informed of projects and classes.

Onsite Consultation, Permaculture Walkthroughs and Education.

Ask me about a walkthrough of your landscape to assess its challenges, onsite resources and opportunities. What are your goals and desires and how would the land respond to them? How can a cooperative relationship be forged in which you are truly working with the land, not simply extracting from her, so it’s a mutually regenerative win-win for all?

Available for onsite Permaculture Walkthroughs, introductory topical presentations and Permaculture education consultations. Click here to contact us for information and to make an appointment.

Click to check out the Blog.

~ N E W S   &   C L A S S E S ~

Sustainability Immersion | Laytonville 2017


Sustainability Immersion | Laytonville 2017

What is Bio-char?“>PermacultureEcovillage.com

Optical Surveying / Reading the Landscape

Where do you start in evaluating a landscape for its potential and challenges? Once you identify major features in the landscape, how can you understand the natural flows and how to harvest and store more water in the earth? Becoming familiar with the use of basic, hand-held optical surveying tools can help you become more intimately familiar with your property. Weather it’s laying out trail systems, site pads, swales, ditches or ponds, basic, inexpensive “non battery operated” tools can be employed to great advantage.

Come learn the basics of map and compass reading, A-frame and water levels and how to layout level contours. Learn how to stake a gentle slope trail that can make it easier to transport supplies and materials through your property, while also serving as water collection features for ponds and swales. Learn a neat way to acurately layout a level pad for building a future garden hoophouse or cabin.

Weekend course [was] June 27-28, 2015 In East Meredith, New York. This will be during the glorious summer in picturesque Northern Catskills. Camping will be available on the project property.

Click Here for more information and to register for the event. Early-bird discount ends June 20.

Class size may be limited, so reserve your space now.

Limited Scholarships available – must request before June 15 if you can help with promotion.


Past Classes & Events

Practical Permaculture – Finding Your Sustainability Niche
Sat May 23, 2015 – 10-4pm at SEVA Foundation, South Kortright NY



Brief description:

Practical Permaculture — Finding Your Sustainability Niche

An introduction to Permaculture principles, ethics (of “Care for Earth, Care for People and recycling surplus through the network-system), and the basics of reading landscapes. Hands-on may include building A-frames water level tools and doing basic surveying of the land with site levels to lay out simple swales. How would this swale design alter water flow and soakage in and on the landscape? We may meet again in Sept or Oct if there is interest to review and re-examine what we observed and learned and see how our ideas would influence the local vegetation and environment.

Each student is encouraged to keep a notebook and chronicle their experiences and “ah-ha’s” as they discover their niche in Earthworks.

Presenter: John-­eriK (InternetEarthworks.com) is a certified Permaculture Designer and Aquaponics enthusiast. He has studied Advanced Permaculture and Natural Resources Sciences, worked on and visited Permaculture Homesteads since 2007. Recent projects include rocket stove mass heaters, cob buliding, “herb spiral”, “key-­hole” and Hugelkultur gardening, landscape surveying, restoring stream banks and creating swale-tree-irrigation systems.
BYO lunch

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