Building a Permaculture

McDonald Farm Edible Forest Garden, Fall 2013

The McDonald Farm Edible Forest Garden project is beginning to take shape thanks to all of the Permablitz volunteers and sponsors!
Permablitz Volunteers

Jane, Charlotte, Kyle, Jean, Paul, Dennis, Sarah, Justin, Jan, Joe, Casey, Phil, Karen, Dan, Dave, Beth, Emilee, Chris, Margaret, Carrie, Donna, Aidan, Colin, Mary, Bill, Mike, Jeff, Chuck and Dan.


T & M Tree Service
Evergreens of Elwood
City of Naperville


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Herbs for Nourishment and Healing

A few weeks ago we hosted Linda Conroy at The Resiliency Institute to teach Herbs for Health & Nourishment and Herbal Remedy Making.  Linda shared her wealth of knowledge as a bioregional herbalist and empowered us to incorporate more herbs into our diets.

We learned about the nutrient density in a variety of plants, most of which we consider weeds.  These plants contain vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, proteins, phytoestrogens and phytosterols, starches, simple and complex sugars, bioflavonoids, carotenes, and essential fatty acids.  We discussed the traits of weeds – resilient, adaptable, and flexible – and realized these are the same traits we need for health.

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PDC with Peter Bane – Spring 2014

The Resiliency Institute is hosting a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with Peter Bane this coming spring.  The course is tailored to suburban working adults and will be hosted over three weekends (4-3-3) in March and April. Only 25 seats are available, so register today!

A PDC opens your eyes to designing resilient systems for lifestyle, land and community.  The course will cover the core permaculture ethics, principles, and practices. We will introduce you to good design through classroom experiences, field trips, and hands-on activities.  Intro to Permaculture cover

Permaculture is an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how to build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.

The philosophy within permaculture is one of working with rather than against nature, and of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless action. Permaculture design techniques encourage land use which integrates principles of ecology and applies lessons from nature. It teaches us to create settings and construct ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and the resilience of natural ecosystems. In the spirit of sustainability, it also teaches us to allow natural and designed ecosystems to demonstrate their own evolutions.

You can make Permaculture design a career, or choose to incorporate the principles in your own discipline.  The certificate gives the holder the right to use the word “permaculture” in a business or other professional practice, and signifies successful completion of the permaculture design course. It is the prerequisite to further training in permaculture design such as teacher training courses, and other advanced permaculture trainings. The design course is the first step in becoming a permaculture practitioner, whether in design, education, construction, or any one of many other fields.  Holders of the certificate join a growing community of many thousands of design-course graduates who share a common body of knowledge.  This course has been approved for 35 APLD CEUs.

A $200 deposit reserves your seat, so register today

March 13-16 Thursday & Friday
Saturday & Sunday
8:30 am – 6 pm
9:00 am – 6 pm
April 11-13 &
April 25-27
Saturdays & Sundays
8:30 am – 6 pm
9:00 am – 6 pm


Peter BanePeter Bane is the primary instructor for the course.  Peter has published Permaculture Activist magazine for over 20 years and has taught permaculture design widely in the temperate and tropical Americas. He is a native of the Illinois prairie whose interest in good food and simple living led him at mid-life to become a writer and teacher of permaculture design. They also drew him into the arcane world of intentional community as fate presented the opportunity to help create and build Earthaven Ecovillage in the southern Appalachian Mountains. There he discovered his inner architect in the course of building a small off-grid solar cabin and later took on the more prosaic job of rehabilitating a pair of suburban ranch houses in the Midwestern college town of Bloomington, Indiana. That was the first step toward creating a small suburban farmstead where he now lives with his partner and apprentices. A prolific writer in journals and collections on forestry, building and all things sustainable, he consults with universities and municipal governments as well as for private landowners.

Suburban Permaculture

People have become increasingly concerned with the resiliency of our food, water, energy and economic systems and are looking for personal and community security.  This has propelled a global permaculture movement that is permeating the United States and has made its way to the Midwest.  Permaculture has traditionally been used to design systems for large land areas, but recently people have discovered how the principles can be applied to any piece of land or living situation.

The suburbs have been maligned for being wasteful with resources, and they are very wasteful, but since we cannot undo the suburbs, we have to figure out how to reduce their resource consumption.  Suburban permaculture is the answer!  We can apply permaculture ethics, principles, and design concepts to the suburban landscape to transform them into productive self-sustaining communities rich in social capital, and which are economically and environmentally resilient.

The Resiliency Institute is uniquely qualified to educate the suburban population on the application of permaculture, because this is where we live and work!  We can help you detox from your lawn addiction, by designing an edible forest garden with a water management feature where you can relax and harvest your delicious fruits, nuts and vegetables.  Share your harvest with friends and neighbors, invite them to help you preserve the harvest, and enjoy a harvest meal together – all great ways to foster community.  Your children will experience a new environment rich in learning opportunities and may surprise you by eating their veggies.

Visit our course calendar.