Designed to Fail: Avoiding Projects that are Doomed to Low Engagement

Hands down, this has got to be the #1 reason why most “ethical or “green” projects, businesses, farms, non-profit organizations and activism efforts fail: We start on a road trip with no gas in the car and no plan to get any.  And that was exactly the path to failure that Lillie House Permaculture was on when we decided to use the design process to rework how we organized our efforts. In this article I’ll tell you exactly where we were going wrong, and how Kim and I changed that to make our business and activism far more successful overnight. … Continue reading Designed to Fail: Avoiding Projects that are Doomed to Low Engagement

Why Our Best Efforts Fail

You just want to do something good for your community, something that will help feed people and demonstrate what people can accomplish when they work together. So you apply for a grant and turn a dumpy old waste lot into a community garden! But if your community garden is like most, what you get is arguments, complaints of theft, untended, weedy pest-ridden plots that neighbors and city commissioners complain about, fist fights, racial tensions and 2 years later it’s back to being an empty lot. No surprise, really, as some experts believe over 90% of community gardens fail in a … Continue reading Why Our Best Efforts Fail

Permaculture Design Certificate Course, Fall/Winter 2016

Growing a Regenerative S.W. Michigan Since it was first created by Bill Mollison, the Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) has always been a catalyst for transformational change. many of the nation’s most forward thinking eco-villages, farms, and regenerative enterprises had their start at PDCs.  And now we want to bring that transformational energy to S.W. Michigan in a special PDC that’s focussed on the resources and opportunities available in our region and the greater Great Lakes biome.  This PDC is being organized in cooperation with Van-Kal Permaculture and Lillie House, and will be held in downtown Kalamazoo, with a few … Continue reading Permaculture Design Certificate Course, Fall/Winter 2016

PDC – Auditing the PDC

For community organizers, market gardeners, farmers, and those working in Food activism, we’re making a limited number of spaces available to audit the PDC. This is a tradition that goes back to Bill Mollison, intended to make the course accessible to a greater number of people. When you audit the PDC, you can attend the courses and participate, but you will not submit a design project, you will not get feedback/mentorship on your design and you will not get certification. If you decide you want to submit your project and pay the additional fees at a later date, we’ll review … Continue reading PDC – Auditing the PDC

Social Permaculture – Designing the Relational Landscape 3: Buildingthe Regenerative Community you Deserve

Hey human! Your life is an ecosystem, whether you want to admit it or not.  Sure, you got the internet on your freakin’ phone, but you still look at it with biological eyeballs, set in a biological body that’s dependent upon a network of interconnected species for survival.  In fact, there’s more NON-HUMAN DNA in your body, than human. You yourself are an ecosystem of 1.  So, is your life a healthy ecosystem, or an unhealthy, dysfunctional one?  Healthy ecosystems are rich with diversity and interconnections, they’re deeply mutualistic and interdependent, and they’re continuously growing in diversity and connectivity.  According … Continue reading Social Permaculture – Designing the Relational Landscape 3: Buildingthe Regenerative Community you Deserve