FRIENDS OF THE TREES SOCIETY (FTS) is a small, grassroots non-profit which has been operating continually since 1978—  thirty-five years of service to the trees and to tree-lovers worldwide. Our work has touched over 100,000 people so far.

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Latest Newsletter


2014


North American Permaculture Convergence:An epic opportunity!

August 29, 30, 31, 2014
Harmony Park, Clark’s Grove, Minnesota
 
EVERY PERMACULTURIST IN NORTH AMERICA IS INVITED!
Old and young. Experienced and novice.
 
The NAPC is a historic moment.
It marks the cusp of a new era, the turning of the wheel, the passing of the guard.
Be a part of this historic event.
 
This is a meeting of the minds.  This is a gathering of the experts.
 
This very first North American Permaculture Convergence offers a special opportunity to meet up to 1,000 permaculture movers and shakers from across North America to share our successes and strategize how to create a permaculture future. Permaculture pioneers, authors, teachers, organizers, consultants, visionaries and farmers getting together to talk story and build symbiotic relationships. The NAPC offers the permaculture movement an opportunity to build a more cohesive movement. It offers us a chance to discuss curriculum, certification, organizations, mentoring, etc. Vast amounts of information will be exchanged via workshops, presentations, hands-on activities, roundtables, exposition and many other modalities.
 
There are a number of levels of participation:
 
The core group currently comprises 8 people.  Michael Pilarski, Montana; Monica Ibacache, New York; Koreen Brennan, Florida; Bill Busse, Minnesota; Adam Brock, Colorado; Rashid Gilanpour, California; Mario Yanez, Florida; and Sarah Ashley Baxendell, New York.
 
Paid staff/coordinators.  These are people who take on major responsibilities for specific facets of the event. There are 22 positions at this time, some of which will be co-managed by two people. Unfilled positions will be advertised within the next month.
 
Action Teams. There are currently 13 Action Teams listed on the NAPC website which people can now join. More teams will be created as we go along.  There is no limit on how many people can be involved in the Action Teams.  All of the Action Teams will be facilitated by a staff person or core group member.
 
Bioregional reps and advisors. We would like one or more people from each bioregion to do outreach in their bioregion and give us feedback.
 
Work Trade. NAPC is offering 25 full work trades and 50 half worktrades to people who need financial help to attend.  There is now a place on the website where people can apply for work trade.
 
Sponsorships. There are varying levels of sponsorships and corresponding benefits.
 
Permaculture Exposition. The NAPC Exposition will feature a wide array of permaculture organizations, businesses, services and products. Exposition participants can sell books, T-shirts and products. Organizations and companies can promote their causes and services.
 
Convergence participants. We are anticipating 1,000 permaculturists from around North America to attend. We are keeping admission costs low to enable wide participation. $133 is the early bird price till June 1.  Some scholarships will be available. There will be tours, field trips and special trainings both before and after the NAPC.
 
Please visit the NAPC website for more information.  Some areas of the website are not functional yet and some need tweaking.  Please bear with us as we move forward.  There is lots to do and we didn’t want to wait any longer to get the show on the road. 
 
PLEASE JOIN US!   northamericanpermaculture.org

 

Permaculture Design Course with Michael Pilarski - Hot Springs, MT - April to June


On-line Permaculture Design Courses - A list compiled by Michael Pilarski


The number of on-line permaculture design courses are proliferating rapidly and there is a wide range of quality.  I have compiled a list of a few I know about.  I've given some comments where I know something about them. Additional info can be sent to me at: friendsofthetrees@yahoo.com
 
I used to scoff at on-line pdcs, but I now see that there is a place for them.  They are particularly good at the introductory phase. I doubt any skilled permaculturist would want to sit through an on-line course.  They are also useful for people who live in places where on-site pdcs aren’t offered and who have a hard time leaving to go to a venue.

View the List


Michael Pilarski’s 2014 Schedule

February 8-9. 1st Gathering of the Realms, Kauai.
www.gatheringoftherealms.com
 
Feburary 14-16, 1st Kauai Singing Alive, Kauai.
www.singingalive.org/kauai/
 
February 22- March 9. Permaculture Design Course, Kauai.
www.permaculturekauai.com
 
PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE,
Hot Springs, MT, 6 Weekends,
http://inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com
April 11-13
April 25-27            
May 9-11            
May 23-25
June 6-8
June 20-22
See All the Details...
 
June 16,  Green Path Herb School, Missoula, MT
www.Greenpathherbschool.com
 
June 27-29. 14th Fairy & Human Relations Congress.
www.fairycongress.com
 
July 1,  Green Path Herb School, Hot Springs, MT.
www.Greenpathherbschool.com
 
July 11-24 Permaculture Design Course: Co-Creating with Nature Spirits. Lawton, Michigan.
www.pennykelly.com
 
August 9-10. Wildcrafting Medicinal Herbs: Hands-on Workshop. Hot Springs, MT
 
August 29-31. 1st North American Permaculture Convergence
Minneapolis area.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/napermacultureconvergence/
 
September 5-7 or 12-14. 7th Northwest Permaculture Convergence.
Puget Sound.
http://northwestpermaculture.org/
 
October weekend. 41st Okanogan Family Faire.
www.Okanoganfamilyfaire.net

On-line Course

How to Grow a Medicinal Food Forest

Image of Michael Pilarski and young food forest Please check out my twelve-part on-line course entitled How to Grow a Medicinal Food Forest on the Organic Life Guru website.
You can view a free video course overview and sign up for the course right there.

Cost: $45
The course lives on the web and you can access it whenever you want.

What is a Food Forest
The History of Food Forests
Freinds of the Trees
Site Preperation
Planting Part 1
Planting Part 2
Planting Part 3
Planting Part 4
Fencing
Watering Systems
Scaling to your Backyard
Tour the Completed Food Forest

Go There Now...

Organic Life Guru is an organic gardening, permaculture, and sustainable food systems education publishing company.



PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE

Anahola, Kaua`i, Hawaiian Islands


February 22 - March 9th, 2014
with Michael Pilarski, Ray Maki, Paul Massey and other local guest speakers
Permaculturists holding hands in
                                  a circle.

Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ethical design system for creating human environments that are ecologically sound & economically viable. Permaculture integrates innovative science into the conscious development of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, & resilience of natural ecosystems.

This 2-week design course offers a unique opportunity to learn the theory, principles, & practice of permaculture in a subtropical rural agricultural community, as well as to learn from local Hawai’ian farmers & educators.

More Info...


KAUAI GATHERING OF THE REALMS

Nature Spirit Communication: A Sharing of Traditions


The Taro Patch, Anahola, Kauai
February 7-9, 2014


You are invited to the Kauai Gathering of the Realms, a gathering of nature spirits and people who love the nature spirits. Everyone is welcome!

Lets work for the health of the land and the waters. A sharing

 with respect for all voices
for all paths.

With respect and love for
Mother Earth.


WORKSHOPS
CIRCLES
COMMUNING WITH NATURE
HUMAN & FAIRY MEDITATIONS
SHAMANIC JOURNEYS
RITUALS TO WORK WITH LAND AND SEA
SINGING & DANCING
FUN! MAGIC!! INSPIRATION!!!

This gathering is for old traditions and new ways to come together with the common goal of respecting, honoring and sending love to the nature beings that surround us.

More Info...

SINGING ALIVE - KAUA`I, HI

February 14–16, 2014


Image of living singers

Aloha Song Weavers! We are honored to bring Singing Alive home to the heart of the Earth, across the Rainbow Bridge to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Nestled in her ancient mountains, rushing rivers, and vast sea, we will gather to share power through song, as a pathway to our deepest inner knowing and fullest expression of Self. Together as One, we will raise the vibration of our collective consciousness through the portal of song ~ expanding our voice, opening our hearts, and spreading our wings! As our offering to the Spirit of the land (Aina), we will come to share, teach, and commune with songs of celebration ~ to honor our earth, strengthen our communities, and clarify our paths of life.

Singing Alive Kauai is a celebration of sacred song circles, honoring our deepest desire to sing from the Heart. It is a sister celebration to Singing Alive, a gathering of the song tribes birthed in the bosom of the Pacific NW (Cascadia) bio-region eight years ago. It provides resources in the form of: 1) Songs, 2) Community to sing them, and 3) Support for those of us who want to live the teachings, the sadhana, of the songs. We invite all who feel called to awaken and nourish their spiritual life through communion with songs (and prayers, chants, blessings, and so om) of celebration. 


More Info...


Featured Article:
PRAYERS TO THE DEVAS OF RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS

By Michael Pilarski. November 4, 2013
Photo of Damaged Reactors

Within the next two weeks the workers at the Fukushima plant are going to try to remove spent fuel rods that are suspended on damaged racks. They weigh about 400 tons all together and contain radiation equivalent to 14,0000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. This is very dangerous work, not just for the workers, or Japan, but for the entire world. There's a media blackout about the gravity of the situation (and has been for two years) but right now I believe that prayers are needed more than ever.

The seriousness of it extends far beyond the removal of the airborne fuel rods, but this one act of removal is extremely dangerous and could impact all of us within a rather short amount of time. I believe it needs out utmost attention and prayers. I would like to ask that we join together in daily prayers* for the next month focusing on stabilization of the plant, of the fuel rods, of the workers safety and fair working conditions, and for their utmost competence in facing this daunting global responsibility. A request that p prayers focus on the world community coming together, encouraging the best nuclear specialists and global engineers to step forward in a unified manner, bringing their expertise and best plans in stabilizing and containing leaks and damage to the plant.

Lastly, may we pray for stabilization for the entire nuclear plant, including the end of radioactive leaking and contamination of the Waters, and for the renewed health of our Pacific Ocean, and all marine life there.

All thoughts on how to add or build onto this multi-faceted prayer for stabilization, safety, and protection - of the plant, workers, families, waters, marine life, and global community.

Amaji has asked us to pray for a successful conclusion of the removal of the fuel rods at Fukushima’s crippled reactor pools. There is a potential for a catastrophic explosion during this process which would cause a huge emission of radioactive elements into the whole world.

Here is one such prayer, which you can add to as you see fit.

Prayer to the Devas of Radioactive Elements

“I pray to the great devas of the radioactive elements, uranium, plutonium and others that they will closely oversee the removal of the Fukushima fuel rods without great release of radioactivity. Furthermore, I pray that they will closely oversee Fukushima and all the other nuclear power plants until they can be closed and safely dismantled. I include here all the nuclear weapons on the planet as well. I appreciate the natural role that the radioactive elements play on the Earth. It is humans that have concentrated the radioactive elements for their own ends. May you assume your natural roles and not be allowed to be used for evil purposes or to greatly harm the human race and other species.

I ask my guides to carry this prayer up to the highest levels they can reach and so on until this prayer reaches the ears of the highest devas of the radioactive elements and to the ears of the great deva which overlights all of humanity. I send this prayer also to the ears of the great Overlighting Logos of the planet Earth. Sanat Kumara, Gaia or whatever other names may be used for this great Being that ensouls our planet.

Thank you for hearing our prayers. So be it.”

Of course we should also be praying to all of the spiritual allies of the human race.

*Perhaps the prayers could begin everyday at 10:00 am Pacific time, 11:00 Colorado, 12:00 noon Chicago, 1:00 East Coast time. Other suggestions?
PLEASE SHARE
From: Shoshana Avree

2013


Okanogan Valley, north-central Washington. An opportunity to take a pdc with the Inland Northwest’s leading permaculture teacher.
Early-bird price of $1,000 extended until July 7.
 
Probably no better investment at today’s point in history. Learn how to grow food in climate extremes. Learn how to work with nature to create bio-diverse, fully functioning ecosystems that are biologically and economically productive. Permaculture has solutions!
 
Plant walks, design teams, field trips, hands-on, and internet resources are all part of the agenda for the course. 
 
Lots to see at the course venue.  Including a 6-year old permaculture forest garden that Michael Pilarski installed in 2008.
Check out the youtubes of Michael Pilarski at the course venue.
 
 
 
I have spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest and am very familiar with both the wet maritime and the semi-arid interior Northwest bioregions.  Right now I am trying to fill my August 3-16 course in the Okanogan valley of North-central Washington. This is an opportunity to take a pdc from an instructor with deep knowledge of the Northwest biomes and land at a site where there are lots of permaculture plantings to look at and work in. The 200-acre site has been under development since 1972 and I started putting in plantings there six years ago. You can taste the productivity during the course. And the course is a reasonable fee of $1,000. Most pdcs are more expensive.
 
We are keeping the early bird price of $1,000 until July 7 (the poster says June 1). Please help us fill this course.  Are you interested?  Who do you know who may be interested? Please email friends, list-serves or like the event on Facebook.
 
If you have any questions about the course content you can call me (Michael Pilarski) at 406-741-5809.
 
If you have questions about payment, registration, worktrade or facilities call Joseph Willging  at 360-913-2242.
 
PS. Joseph is looking for an intern at the Okanogan permaculture farm where the course is being held.  Would anyone be interested in taking the course and staying on as an intern?
 
PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSES
The Balance Between Universality and Uniqueness
Some thoughts by Michael Pilarski
 
There are many similarities between pdcs and most all of them tout that they are delivering the Bill Mollison curriculum. The ones that offer certification in particular take pains to keep a lot of the original curriculum.  In truth, every single permaculture design course in unique, even by the same instructor because the students change. The majority of pdcs are structured to focus on the climate zone and culture in which the course is held.  For instance, when I teach a course in Missoula, Montana, the course has a focus on the inland northwest climates, landforms, soils and biomes and Montanan society. We also look specifically at the ethnobotany and life ways of the interior Salish and other tribes from the region. I have taught four courses in the Hawaiian Islands and they focus on subtropical climates, soils, landforms and the biomes of Hawaii and Hawaiian ethnobotany.
 
PDCs cater to the climate and culture that the participants are from. That said, a permaculture course worth its salt will be useful for people working in any climate or culture on earth.  In other words, pdcs were set up to have universality.  The plants may change, the soils might be different, each culture is different but the permaculture ethics, principles and methodology are universal in their application.  That is what a pdc teaches first and foremost.
 
The curriculum developed early on by Bill Mollison has remained the standard for pdcs today. The first pdc was held in 1980 in Australia.  When I took my first course in 1982 (with Bill Mollison and Andrew Jeeves) the standard pdc curriculum was already developed and has changed little over the years. The standard course curriculum addresses all the major climate zones and parts of the world. Tropical, subtropical, warm temperate and cold temperate. Strategies, plants, animals, housing styles, and techniques for each major climate zone.  This is impressive. Some pdcs still aim to do this, particularly international pdcs.
 
That said, it is a difficult thing to deliver and few teachers can really do it justice like Bill Mollison could.  Most pdcs include a few sessions on other climate zones, but for the most part pdcs world round focus on the climate zone and the culture(s) the participants come from. This is a good thing. Permaculture is very much about diversity, decentralization and localization.
 
You can view the standard course curriculum online at Scott Pittman’s Permaculture Institute USA website. Go to http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/professional_practise_pages  and click on Permaculture Design Certificate Course Handbook. I adapt the standard curriculum for my course curriculum to make it place-based, but I always consult the standard curriculum to make sure I don’t leave any topics out.
 
I recommend that people do some research before deciding where to take their first pdc and with what instructor(s). Most likely you will want to take a pdc in the climate zone you live in, locally adapted so to speak.  Closer is better than farther in most cases, but some people travel quite a distance to take a pdc with a particular instructor(s). For some people cost is a factor in their choice.  For people who have the time and the money, I would recommend taking a number of pdcs with different teachers and even in different climates.  I have now gone through 36 full pdcs and sat in (or guest taught at) many more, mostly in the US and Canada. Nepal, Belize and the Hawaiian Islands have been my subtropical pdcs.  I learn lots at each new pdc and I am always learning and evolving between pdcs. This means my courses evolve as well.  This will be a certified pdc, certified by the respected Cascadia Permaculture Institute.

Read More...


2012


Hawaiian permaculturist Anrea Brower created this petition about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement will hurt farmers and local food systems. Andrea says "I think we really need to start bringing together the activism 'on the ground / in the soil' and that in the realm of trying to create the economic and political conditions in which permaculture can flourish!"

Make a difference: Sign the petition. Stop the TPP! Stop the corporate free trade agenda! Food and the right to produce food are human rights!

HELP NEEDED AT MICHAEL PILARSKI’S FARM
 
I have just returned home from teaching a very successful permaculture design course in Dayton, Montana.  This took me away from the farm for three weeks and as a result I am really behind on the growing season and could use some help to get back on track.
 
Anyone have time to come out to Tonasket and give me a hand?

A weekend… a week… short term or long term job…??
 
In the next month we will be planting thousands of plants – trees, shrubs, berries, herbs and vegetables.  Lots to do and lots to learn.
 
Give me a call if interested.
 
Michael Skeeter Pilarski

509-486-4056

friendsofthetrees@yahoo.com


Northwest Herbal Fair News


Employment, Unemployment, and Misemployment in the United States
Building a new economic system based on useful jobs.


North American Permaculture Convergence:
An idea whose time has come?


History of the Permaculture Movement
in North America
A book proposal by Michael Pilarski



2011


Pine Nuts for Food and Edible Oil
- A brief commentary
Article March, 2011


The Northwest Herbal Fair
Rides Again
August 19 - 21, 2011


The 2011 Northwest Herbal Fair
is looking for team players!


2010


Paradigm Shifts Happening Now
Article Christmas Eve 2010


A Proposal for a Green Tea Party:
Putting Together a Winning 3rd Party Coalition


Russia's Anastasia and Permaculture
Dec 19 2010


2011 Northwest Regional Permaculture Conference
An update


The 2011 Northwest Permaculture Convergence
is looking for team players


Inland Northwest Permaculture Conference


A History of Permaculture Gatherings held in the US and Canada
and some international gatherings
Scales of Permaculture Gatherings
Dec. 2010


Report on Seattle Conference
Cultivating Regional Food Security
Dec 2010


Rooftop Greenhouses and Gardens
Dec. 2010


Poverty Consciousness
Nov 22, 2010


August 2010 Newsletter


Letter #3 to Skalitude Permaculture Design Course participants.
July 8, 2010


Northeast Washington Herbalist Gathering
August 6-8, 2010
at Pleasant Valley Farm in Rice Washington


2010 Skalitude PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE CURRICULUM/SCHEDULE
June 18 draft


Letter #2 to Skalitude Permaculture Design Course participants.
June 11, 2010


Permaculture Design Course
A two week intensive residential
July 12-25th, 2010
Skalitude Retreat
Methow Valley
North Central Washington


BUILDING THE NEW ECONOMIES:
SOME THOUGHTS AND RESOURCES
By Michael Pilarski, 5/25/2010 version


SHOPPING FOR A PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE?
History and Current Situation in Washington State and Surrounding Regions
By Michael Pilarski, May 23, 2010


A Permaculture Approach to Food Production by Michael Pilarski - April 2, 2010 version


Here is an article I just wrote for a Whatcom county (northwest Washington) progressive newspaper.
I would love feedback and other examples of permaculture design applied at the macro level. - Michael Pilarski


2010 Events and Business Proposals
January 3, 2010


A CARBON SEQUESTRATION PROPOSAL FOR THE WORLD:


Olympia Area Workshops


Bellingham/Whatcom County Workshops


2009


August 2009 Newletter


July 2009 Newletter


Links to recommended websites and articles
on the economic situation and solutions


2008


December 2008 Newletter


Newsletter Critque response


August 2008 Newletter


February 2008 Newletter


"Heads Up" - Financial Emergency! - A Report on the US Economic Picture


Feeding People in Hard Times: What does permaculture have to offer? Part I,II & III


January 2008 Newletter


Sustenance & Ecology on the Edge
A Permaculture View of One Plant Community


Michael Pilarski
Is Looking For Farming Partners


2008 Farming Internships
Four Opportunities


Some of our key programs over the years include:

  • tree sales and exchanges
  • seed collection, production and sales of Northwest native plants and medicinal herbs
  • publishing
  • organizing conferences and events
  • educational workshops on many plant-related topics
  • permaculture design courses
  • organic farm apprenticeship programs
  • Travelers Earth Repair Network
  • networking on local, regional, national and international levels.

Currently, one of our main foci is sustainable wildcrafting and organic growing of medicinal herbs

We hope you find something of interest and use on the FRIENDS OF THE TREES website.

Working towards a greener and happier Earth,


Michael Pilarski, Founder
FRIENDS OF THE TREES SOCIETY

 

 
Riversong herb garden in October, 2006. End of year one.
 
Michael Pilarski in Riversong Farm herb garden. Hood River, Oregon. June 1st, 2006. Planting almost finished.
 
Sunny Pine Farm / Arnica Chamissonis
 
Sheep Sorrell in bloom at Sunny Pine Farm, Eastern Washington
 
    Copyright © 2007 Friends of the Trees Society. All rights reserved.