Food security is achieved when “all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life,” according to the World Health Organization. With 1 in 8 families facing hunger in Northern Illinois, our suburban communities are not food secure. The current food system’s dependency on cheap fossil fuels and transportation infrastructure cannot be sustained as resources become constrained, not to mention the impacts their practices have on soil, air, water, and human health. If food delivery trucks stop coming into your community, how long do you think you will be able to feed your family with the food you have access to in your home and from your land? Most communities are said to have only about three days worth of food in their local grocery stores.
It is imperative that we begin growing a new food system that places food security as the primary goal. With more than half of the U.S. population living in the suburbs and an abundance of land, the suburbs can become food producing communities able to feed themselves and support neighboring urban and rural communities.
We started The Resiliency Institute because we believe permaculture can positively transform the way we do things in our lives, landscapes, and communities. Permaculture provides us with the framework and tools to design resilient systems that care for people, care for the earth, and distribute our resources. Join us to discover the power of permaculture and work with us to transform the suburbs!
We have been amazed by the interest we are receiving and the opportunities that are coming our way. Get involved in our growing organization to grow food security and build resilient communities using permaculture design. Donate, Sponsor, Volunteer or take a course!
The Resiliency Institute offers evening and weekend classes, workshops, and certification courses. Classes are taught by knowledgeable and experienced regional instructors with class sizes ranging from 6 -30 attendees. Whether you are a novice or an expert, you will find a class that is right for you.
Most education courses, unless otherwise noted, are taught at the Clow Education Center on The Conservation Foundation’s McDonald Farm at 10S404 Knoch Knolls Road in Naperville, IL.
The word “permaculture” was coined and popularized in the mid 70′s by David Holmgren, a young Australian ecologist, and his associate / professor, Bill Mollison. It is a contraction of “permanent agriculture” or “permanent culture.”
Permaculture is a design system based on observing nature for developing ecological landscapes, lifestyles and communities. “Permaculture is not a discipline in itself but rather a design approach based on connecting different disciplines, strategies, and techniques.” (Hemenway, Gaia’s Garden)
Permaculture Design Certification
The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course is a training program that utilizes the teachings of Bill Mollison’s Permaculture Design System. The goal is to achieve a basic working understanding in ecologically-based planning, site design and management. A PDC provides a comprehensive introduction to Permaculture principles, applications and design practices as first set out by Permaculture founder, Bill Mollison. The PDC meets a common international standard as a foundational course for Permaculture practitioners and teachers. At The Resiliency Institute, the course is taught by Peter Bane, Rhonda Baird, & Keith Johnson over 3 extended weekends for a total of 11 days and 88 hrs.
Edible Wild Plants Certification
Open your eyes to the world of foraging with our Edible Wild Plants Certificate. Each season a five to six week course is offered to teach you how to identify plants, what edible wild plants to look for, what part of the plant to harvest; how to harvest it, prepare it, and eat it. You will learn to identify over 200 species of edible wild plants from handling actual specimens and from seeing them in their natural environments.
The Edible Wild Plants Certificate courses (Taste the Trees, Graze on Greens, Feast on Flowers, & Sup on Shrubs) are taught both in a classroom and through site visits to various public and private locations to provide a comprehensive experience of the plants. To earn your certificate, you are required to take all four courses and pass four seasonal exams (using your notes and books) to demonstrate that you can identify edible (and poisonous) wild plants successfully. These courses will be offered each year, so if you miss one, you can take it the following year. Certificate courses are open to everyone, whether or not you’re pursuing the certificate.
Students prepare recipes during each course using edible wild plants to demonstrate their new knowledge and to share with classmates. A full year of recipes are compiled into a recipe book and given to each certificate recipient during the annual graduation ceremony.
Reskilling is learning the skills we need to become self-sufficient and resilient as individuals and communities during a time of economic and climatic change. These skills span the spectrum of land management; food production, preservation and preparation; sustainable living; community building; water management; renewable energy; and ecological building. Classes can be viewed by category or date on our course calendar.
As an educational benefit corporation, our mission is to provide a forum for people to learn about permaculture, a philosophy for designing resilient systems for lifestyle, land, and community. A cooperative is the ideal structure to bring together a group of people with a diversity of wisdom, skills and character from which we can all benefit.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about The Resiliency Institute and the work that we will be doing is invited to attend our meetings. Meetings will be hosted in the Chicago suburbs at public and private venues that encourage conversation, learning, sharing, and community building.