Please Note:
This is the archived version of the Friends of the Trees Society website. The new website is at
As of Dec. 12, 2015, these pages will no longer be updated.

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



Permaculture Design Course - 2016
Woodinville, WA
Six weekends, starting in March.

Medicinal Herb Growing & Marketing Conference
Port Townsend, Fort Worden, Olympic Peninsula
April 15-17, 2016

View a more readable version of the PDC poster HERE
Get a printer-ready, high-quality version HERE to put up in your neighborhood.
Watch for updates as they become available.

Venue: The 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living in Woodinville, Washington
Co-presenter Jacqueline Cramer's website:
Earth Care by Design Collaboarators
Field Trip Location(s):
Beacon Hill Food Forest





Port Townsend, Fort Worden, Olympic Peninsula

April 15-17, 2016


Herb farmers | Herbal product manufacturers

Herbalists | Herb stores

Essential oil businesses | Wildcrafters

Researchers | Students | Trade Show

The conference is focused on the Pacific Northwest, with a warm invitation to British Columbia. People from other regions are welcome.

Herb growers, this conference is especially for you to talk about the practical aspects of herb growing.  Markets are very important for growers so this conference is designed to acquaint herb growers with new market niches and buyers.  The conference is an opportunity for herbal product manufacturers, herbalists, and retailers to source their herb needs direct from growers. This conference will be valuable for anyone thinking about growing herbs as a cash crop.

The Conference will feature workshops, keynote presentations, round-table discussion groups and network building. The conference will explore the state of the Pacific Northwest herb industry. We will look at the issues of sustainability, ecological issues, regulations and more. What are the potentials of herb growing in our region for import substitution, export, new niche markets? How can we produce the highest quality herbs and herbal products?

Fort Worden is located on the northeast tip of the Olympia Peninsula where the deep waters of Puget Sound and the Straits of San De Fuca meet. Fort Worden features seashore and forest, stunning views, a range of accommodations, good food, and conference facilities.

Contact: Michael Pilarski

[email protected]

Confirmed Speakers:

Jeff Carpenter, Zack Woods Herb Farm. Hyde Park, Vermont. Author (with his wife Melanie) of the recent book, Organic Medicinal Herb Growing.

Peg Schafer, Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm, Petaluma California.  Author of The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm.

Ryan Drum, Island Herbs, Waldron Island, Washington.

Tina Glaessner, Crimson Sage Nursery, Orleans, California.

Danielle Hawkins, Trout Lake Farm Manager, Trout Lake, Washington.

Jeff & Elise Higley, Oshala Farm, Applegate Valley, Oregon .

Debbie Jakovac, Blue Moon Herbs and Rene Cassie Tea, Polson, Montana.

Denise Joy, Mountain Spirit Botanicals, Port Townsend, WA

Leslie Lekos, Wild Root Botanicals, Alger, Washington. We plan on a panel/discussion session on growing for essential oil distillation. Leslie is helping coordinate this aspect. 

Nome McBride, Pharmacopia Herbals and American Herbal Dispensary, Eugene, OR.

Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Botanicals, Port Townsend, Washington and Hot Springs, Montana.

Yvan Rochon, Herbal Vitality, Sedona, Arizona

Laura Stuart. Consultant on cooperative marketing. Eugene, Oregon.

Mercy Yule. North West Asian Medicinal Herb Network. She will address the emerging market for Chinese medicinal plants and organoleptic evaluation of Chinese medicinals.



Farming practices. Friday intensive by Jeff Carpenter. Workshops and ring discussions with growers.

Asian Medicinal Plants. Peg Shafer and Mercy Yule will do a Friday intensive as well as other workshops roundtable and/or ring discussion.

Northwest native plants and Native American perspectives. This will include a panel and discussion.

Growing for essential oil distillation. Growers and distillers are invited to participate. We plan on a panel/discussion session on growing for essential oil distillation. Leslie Lekos of Wild Root Botanicals, Alger, Washington is helping coordinate this aspect. 

Herbs used in beers, wines, liqueurs and spirits, kombuchas, and beverages. What is happening now. Future trends. Tastings at the conference.

Nursery Production, Propagation. Seed Business. Wildcrafting.

Regulations, Legalities, Re-coding. GAP (Good Agricultural Practices). Workshops and round-table discussions. Danielle Hawkins of Trout Lake Farm will do a workshop on GAP.

Fair Trade, Learning from the international experience and applying it here. How can we support fair trade for growers/wildcrafters in other countries?

Marketing.  What’s out there? Who’s been successful? What’s been successful? Value added. Cooperatives, aggregators, hubs, herbal CSAs, on-line notice boards,

Radical Herbology

Power to the people. Broad-based public knowledge of common herbs. Grow your own. Self-reliance. Localization. Decentralization.



Two New Videos by Will Crombie:

Interview with Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski at the North American Permaculture Convergence 2014

"Faces of the NAPC 2014" Featuring Songs & Stories by Michael Pilarski


5th Annual


September 10-13, 2015

At Heartsong in Tumtum, WA

On the Spokane River/Long Lake just north of Spokane.

 The 2nd year in a row that INPC will be held at Heartsong.

2015 INPC Venue

Field trips on Thursday and Friday morning.


Saturday Evening


Farm Dinner. Local Food. Live Music!


What are all the tricks we can think of to maintain production while conserving resources in drought years? Water harvesting, water conservation, wicking beds, deep rooted perennials, swales, broad-based terraces, mulch, sunken hugelkulturs, drought tolerant crops, and more will be discussed. Let’s share our tips and techniques. 


This year’s goals include:

Education galore, presentations, round-table discussions, plant walks;

A regional reunion of people in the permaculture movement;

Building alliances with a wider diversity of people and groups;

Building the movement;

Local to international scale;

Permaculture techniques for drought years;

Good food, good company, stimulating conversations, useful connections, great workshops;

Swimming in Red Lake (adjacent to Heartsong);

Have a fun time!


Field trips on Thursday and Friday morning.  (to be confirmed)

Visit interesting properties on your way to the main convergence site. 

Spokane: Phil small’s yard on the South Hill. Ed Bryant’s yard. Janice’s Urban Farm, Whitworth College’s terraced gardens, Thom and Torie Foote’s homestead;

Stevens County (north of Spokane): Estella Farm, Deer Park; Joe Petrucelli’s cooperative garden and Gabe Gaul's permaculture garden; Glora and Marc Flora’s Terra Flora Gardens.

Lincoln County (west of Spokane): Tolstoy Farm, the longest-lived, non-religious intentional community in the U.S., home of the very well-known Tolstoy Farms organic market garden;

Sandpoint Idaho, Biodynamic farm.


Admission is by donation. You select what feels right to you.  $70 is the suggested donation for the whole event and $30 for single days. You can pay ahead of time via paypal on the INPG website (coming soon), or pledge with your registration and pay at the door. Please, please pre-register even if you don’t pay now.


The initial organizing crew includes Kelsey Crane, Gabe Gaul, Ryan Herring, Grant Modderman, Chrys Ostrander, Michael Pilarski, and Phil Small.  Who else wants to take on some coordination role or organizer role?  Fill out the coordinator form on the INPG website (coming soon).


If you are interested in participating in any way, please email Michael Pilarski at [email protected]

Sponsored by the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild and Sustainable Obtainable Solutions

2015 Schedule of Workshops, Courses and Events

Michael Pilarski’s North Cascadia Workshop Tour, April 2015

Wildcrafting Native and Non-Native Plants
1000 Crops for Northwest Growers /
The Emerging Alliance between Humans and Nature Spirits

Two-week, residential intensive Permaculture Design Course at the Heartsong Retreat Center, Tumtum, WA, May into June

Click on the image above to access the course documents.


A prospectus. Version #1, January 2, 2015
Prepared by Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Society

[Note that everywhere the words ‘earth repair’ are used here, the words ‘ecological restoration’ could be substituted.]


1) Produce a website that brings information together from around the world on how to do earth restoration and who is doing it, news, reviews, and useful information.  This will be an interactive website.

2) Produce an in-print and on-line book which addresses the current state of the art, the current state of the worldwide movement and best models, completed and ongoing.

3) Set up a training center to teach earth repair techniques (such as tree planting, erosion control, etc) as well as permaculture, wildcrafting, and wild seed collection.

4) The center would include offices, library, greenhouses, and production of seeds and nursery stock and food for the staff and students. There would be lots of hands on components.

5) Attract staff members and funding to do the above. 

Read More


Starting in June I'll be teaching a two-week, residential intensive Permaculture Design Course at the Heartsong Retreat Center, Tumtum, WA

2015 Permaculture Design Course

with a special emphasis on Earth Restoration

A two-week, residential intensive course

May 23 (Saturday) 10:00 am

to June 7 (Sunday) 12:00 noon


At the Heartsong Retreat Center, Tumtum, Washington

½ hour northwest of Spokane


Instructed by Michael Pilarski

& guest speakers


Permaculture design can be applied to any property large or small … urban or rural.

Learn permaculture design from the region’s most experienced permaculture teacher.



100's of useful plants/crops,

100's of ideas for income generation,

100's of techniques for earth healing,

100's of ways to improve our social & economic systems.


For more information, contact:

Michael Pilarski

Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild

PO Box 1133 Port Hadlock WA 98339

360-643-9178  [email protected]


Course Fees:

$850 full course fee.

Couple rate of $750 each.

Single Days: $80.


The course fee covers instruction, meals, permaculture design certificate and curriculum materials.

A limited number of partial work-trades are available. Inquire for particulars.



Permaculture Directory for the Maritime Pacific Northwest
by Michael Pilarski

DRAFT, Version 2, November 22, 2014

The Permaculture Directory for the Maritime Pacific Northwest is the tip of the iceberg, but it is a start. For the time being this directory focuses on Washington and Oregon west of the Cascade crest.  There is some information for western British Columbia as well and a bit in northern California. While northern California and coastal BC are part of the Cascadia bioregion, they have other permaculture organizations serving them and I am not as familiar with the permaculture situation there. Ideally, someone from those areas will put together a list for their regions. The long-term goal is to have credible directories for all regions of North America.  I made a first edition of a nationwide list to take to NAPC. This first edition of the maritime PNW is another baby step forward. Let us inspire each other.

I have already done a Permaculture Directory for the Inland Northwest (Columbiana bioregion). Montana, Idaho and Washington and Oregon east of the Cascade Crest. It can be found at: click on INPC Directory.

It is not a list of permaculture design course graduates, which would be many times larger. It is a listing of people and entities who are publicly promoting permaculture.  It is based on my personal knowledge (albeit incomplete memory) and some internet searching. I hope not too many people get mad at me for forgetting them in this first edition or for adding them to this list or misspelling names or getting numbers wrong. I did the best I could this first round and it can only get better.

To see the Permaculture Directory for the Maritime Pacific Northwest, please go HERE (the website for the Northwest Permaculture Convergence).

The next step is to install input forms on the NWPC website, so that people can add themselves, modify their listings, and add a photo if they wish. The Directory will become an expanding, crowd-sourced, public project.

An Epic Opportunity

Old and young, Experienced and newcomer!!

Transforming the landscape, culture and economy.,,,,,,
Homes, Neighborhoods, Communities
Go to our website for information on
sponsorships, presenting, roundtables, worktrade,
action teams and the Permaculture Exposition.

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.

People will have different reasons for attending NAPC. For me, I view NAPC as a tremendous networking opportunity to meet permaculture movers and shakers from across the continent. As one of the permaculture movement’s historians I am also excited to use NAPC as an opportunity to collect more permaculture history.

The permaculture movement in North America is huge and growing fast!

The following list gives you an idea who the NAPC is inviting:

The following incomplete list gives you some idea of permaculture’s scope in North America.  This is just the beginning of a North American Permaculture Directory that Michael Pilarski is working on which will be expanded at the NAPC with everyone’s help. The eventual directory will be much expanded from what you see here and will include city, website, contact info, and names of people involved. Inclusion in the following list is not meant to be an endorsement, nor is absence meant to be a slight.  This is just what I could pull together at the moment.

[DRAFT, Version 1, June 14, 2014]


Gaia University [NAPC SPONSOR]
Indigenous Permaculture Program
MesoAmerican Permaculture Institute
Permaculture Activist Magazine
Permaculture Canada
Permaculture Credit Union
Permaculture ibiblio
Permaculture Institute, USA
Permaculture Institute of North America [NAPC SPONSOR]
Permaculture Research Institute, USA
Permaculture Research Institute, USA, Cold Climate  [NAPC SPONSOR]


Arizona Permaculture Convergence
Baja California Permaculture Convergence
Bay Area Regional Annual Permaculture Convergence
Colorado Permaculture Convergence
Eastern Ontario Permaculture Convergence
Florida Permaculture Convergence
Midwest Permaculture Convergence
Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence
Local Food Enterprise (LiFE) Summit
Michigan Permaculture Convergence
North American Permaculture Convergence
Northeast Permaculture Convergence
Northern California Permaculture Convergence
Northwest Permaculture Convergence
Quebec Permaculture Convergence
San Diego Permaculture Convergence
Southeast Permaculture Convergence
Southeast Portland Permaculture Convergence
Southern California Permaculture Convergence
South West Permaculture Convergence
Village Building Convergence
West Coast Women's Permaculture Gathering
Western Canada Permaculture Convergence
Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence

Asheville Permaculture Guild
Austin Permaculture Guild
Arizona Permaculture Network
Ark Valley Permaculture
Bay Area California Permaculture
Bloomington (Indiana) Permaculture Guild
Blue Ridge Permaculture Network
Boise Permaculture Guild
Central Coast California Permaculture Guild
Colorado Permaculture Guild
Columbia Basin Permaculture Guild
East Bay Permaculture
Eugene Permaculture Guild
Fingerlakes N.Y. Permaculture Network
Florida Permaculture Association
Great Lakes Permaculture Network
Great Lakes Permaculture Portal
Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild [NAPC SPONSOR]
Lakeshore Permaculture Guild
Los Angeles Permaculture Guild
Madison Area Permaculture Guild
Marin Permaculture Guild
Michigan Permaculture Community
Montreal Permaculture Guild
North Fork Valley Permaculture
Northeastern Permaculture Network
Northern Alberta Permaculture Institute
Northern Michigan Regional Permaculture
Okanogan Permaculture Club
Permaculture Community Action Worknet
Permaculture Drylands Institute
Permaculture Hudson Valley
Permaculture group for Southern Oregon / Northern California
Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario
Permaculture Institute of the Northeast
Permaculture Ottawa
Phoenix Permaculture Guild
Seattle Permaculture Guild
Siskiyou Permaculture Resources Group
Pike’s Peak Permaculture
Pittsburgh Permaculture
San Diego Permaculture Guild
South Coast Permaculture Guild
Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
Santa Cruz Permaculture Guild
Sierra Permaculture
South Coast Permaculture Guild
Southern California Permaculture Guild
Sonoma County Permaculture
Sonoran Permaculture
Spokane Permaculture Guild
Susquehana Permaculture
The Permaculture Guild of Houston
The St. Petersburg (Florida) Permaculture Guild
Urban Permaculture Guild
Urban Permaculture Guild, Oakland
Urban Permaculture Institute of the Southeast
Vancouver BC Permaculture Network
+ Transition Town groups across the country

Abundance Permaculture
Ananda Permaculture Project
Arcadia Commons
Badgersett Research Farm
Barking Frogs Permaculture Center
Barrett Ecological Services
Blue Heron Nursery
Big Sky Permaculture
Broken Ground Permaculture
Bullock Brothers Homestead
Camden Center for Environmental Transformation
Cascadia Permaculture Institute,
Cedar Creek Permaculture (Hastings, MI)
Center for Bioregional Living
Center for Deep Ecology
Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute
Chatham-Kent Permaculture
Chelsea Green Publishing
Cincinnati Permaculture Guild
City of Angels Permaculture Academy
Cloudview EcoFarms
Cob Cottage Co.
Dancing Green
Divine Earth Garden Project
Dreamtime Village, (WI)
Druid’s Grove Permaculture
Dynamics Ecological Design
Earth Learning
Earth Magic Permaculture
EarthFlow Design Works,
EcoEdge Design Ltd.
Ecological Gardens
Ecology Retreat Center
Edible Organic Design
Elfin Permaculture
Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage
Everdale Learning Centre
Falls Brook Centre
Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute
Forest Agriculture Enterprises
Friends of the Trees Society
Gentle Harvest
Global Permaculture Design Group
Green Mountain Permaculture
Grow Permaculture
Harmony Park
Healing Tree Farm
Heathcote Community
Herbn’ Wisdom
High Altitude Permaculture
Holistic Solutions
Holzer AgroEcology
Inside Edge Design
Island Mountain Institute
Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design
Kamiah Permaculture
Keyline Vermont
Kinstone Academy (Fountain City, WI) [NAPC SPONSOR]
Kootenay Permaculture Institute, BC
Liberation Permaculture
Linnaea Farm
Little Artshram
Living Mandala
Lost Valley Intentional Community & Educational Center
Midwest Permaculture
Mindful Generations
Mobile Design Lab
Moose Pond Arts
New Forest Farm
New York Permaculture Exchange
Oasis Design
Oakhaven: A Permaculture Center
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
OM Valley Permaculture Design/Consultation
Real Earth
Pacific Permaculture
Palouse Permaculture
Patricia Michael Design
Pattern Literacy
Peak Moment Television
Perennial Solutions
Permaculture Design & Implementation
Permaculture Now
Permaculture Project GTA (Greater Toronto Area)
Permaculture Project LLC
Permaculture TV
Prospect Rock Permaculture
Punk Rock Permaculture
Quail Springs Learning Oasis & Permaculture Farm
Radix Center
Rain Water Harvesting
Real Eyes Permaculture Homestead
Regenerative Design Group
Regenerative Design Institute
Resilience Hub
Resilience Planning
Sacred Permaculture
Salamander Springs Farm
Sandy Bar Ranch & Nursery
Urban Permaculture Design
Seventh Generation
Siskiyou Permaculture Resources Group
Soul Springs Permaculture
Spiral Gardens
Sustainable Living Network
Sustainable Living Systems
Terra Phoenix Design
The Farm Ecovillage Training Center
The Garden Muse
The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann
The Rhizome Collective
Three Sisters Farm
TreeYo Permaculture
UMass Permaculture Garden
Verge Permaculture Inc.
Whole Systems Design
Wildcraft Permaculture
Wild Thyme Farm
Willow Way Permaculture
Yankee Permaculture
+ all the universities and colleges with permaculture programs

There are various PC directories on-line such as the Permaculture Activist’s Global Directory , PRI Global’s directory, WiserEarth, etc. and we will list and review them in our next edition.

Representatives of many of these organizations, networks and businesses will be attending NAPC.
Support the movement!


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: [email protected]
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.
Feburary 14-16, 1st Kauai Singing Alive, Kauai.
February 22- March 9. Permaculture Design Course, Kauai.
Hot Springs, MT, 6 Weekends,
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
June 27-29. 14th Fairy & Human Relations Congress.
July 1,  Green Path Herb School, Hot Springs, MT.
July 11-24 Permaculture Design Course: Co-Creating with Nature Spirits. Lawton, Michigan.
August 9-10. Wildcrafting Medicinal Herbs: Hands-on Workshop. Hot Springs, MT
August 29-31. 1st North American Permaculture Convergence
Minneapolis area.
September 5-7 or 12-14. 7th Northwest Permaculture Convergence.
Puget Sound.
October weekend. 41st Okanogan Family Faire.

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
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.


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...


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.


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...


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:

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?
From: Shoshana Avree


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.
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?
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  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.


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!

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


[email protected]

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


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!


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

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

By Michael Pilarski, 5/25/2010 version

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


Olympia Area Workshops

Bellingham/Whatcom County Workshops


August 2009 Newletter

July 2009 Newletter

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


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


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
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