Permaculture is a dual combination of the words permanent and agriculture as well as permanent and culture.

This Summer O’k CSA, is partnering with Little Artshram and offering a series of weekend trainings, focusing on Urban Permaculture Design. Longtime teachers and permaculturists, Peter Bane and Keith Johnson will be joining the Introduction to Urban Permaculture team, as instructors in August.  Peter Bane has recently authored The Permaculture Handbook for Town and Country, which is being used as part of the text for the course.

The following videos demonstrate that Urban Permaculture is not only possible, but that it has been successful in a variety of municipalities in the U.S. and world. Why not here in North West Michigan, as we are one of THE most beautiful places in the United States of America, focusing on useful landscapes in public places. From Traverse City to Detroit oridinary and creative folks are re-thinking systems with the buzz-word of “urban renewal” being “tweaked” by permaculturists, addressing food security and the practicality of growing food inside or close to the city where it will be consumed.

Many of our schools are adjacent to City, State parks, or along the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore where even as little as five thousand square feet of land allocated to permaculture could yield year round produce and instruction opportunities to our children. The City could offer property tax incentives to associations that implement urban permaculture. With our abundant, fresh water lakes, and nutrient rich soils permaculture can be a reality here to the benefit of our environment, economic and consumable needs, cultural enrichment and the next generation.

Parts 1-4

Find out about the Traverse City Introduction to Urban Permaculture Design, a 40 hour training course (30 hours classroom, 10 hours of field practice) in beautiful North West Michigan. June 23, July 14, August ll, 25, 26, 9am-4pm.


Introduction to Urban Permaculture Design, this Summer in Traverse City,

Heard of WWOOF? Well, hereʼs an opportunity to get a whiff of an exciting new opportunity to LLOOF!

What is LLOOFing? LLOOFing is: Learning Local on Organic Farms. LLOOF is organizational framework creating an educational and cultural exchange in our home-towns. And, it is debuting in Traverse City. The LLOOF project is an exciting new opportunity taking place this summer, for 16 year olds through adult aged-folks, to take part in a local, urban farming project.

What is the origin and inspiration of LLOOF?
LLOOF is inspired by the principle of exchange, and in particular by WWOOF which is a worldwide network of organizations connecting individuals with the desire to gain a first-hand experience of organic farming to hosts willing to share insights into sustainable ways of living.

Founded in England in 1971, the early organization was the initiative of Sue Coppard, a London secretary who recognized the need for city-dwellers to get away from their desks and the demand for a more practical understanding of organic farming. Originally called ʻWorking Weekends on Organic Farmsʼ, large numbers immediately responded to the concept of skills trade.

The name was later changed to ʻWilling Workers on Organic Farmsʼ, in recognition of the demand for longer stays; and more recently, to ʻWorldwide Opportunities on Organic Farmsʼ, which acknowledges the international nature of the organization as WWOOF has gradually been adopted by countries world- over, in climates as diverse as Scotland and Sierra Leone.

The difference between LLOOFing and WWOOFing is bringing the focus of experience back to “zone 0”, or to re-wire some of the broken down systems in our home-places before trekking out across the beautiful planet. We still encourage learning and experiencing world-wide adventures, but, most of us return home, and wish for it to be welcome return. LLOOFing is focused on LEARNING and applying what we learn to local exchange, right where our roots are, and where we come from.

LLOOF will begin offering exchange opportunities with the 2012 Market Garden and Oʼk CSA program. In this first-time exchange program, volunteers willing to work an agreed number of hours (Generally, five-four hour days…work hours for newly skilled workers are valued @ $9 per hour…. five days a week).

Although LLOOFers do not have housing provided for them, in exchange for their work hours they will receive:

1.) A 5 week Introduction to Urban Permaculture training, valued at $650.00, with an opportunity to continue in a full Permaculture Design Course in 2013, at a discounted rate. (See more info below)

2.) A full share in the Market Garden and CSA, valued at $350.00, which includes fresh veggies, herbs, and flowers.

3.) An opportunity to take produce, flowers and herbs grown in our urban garden farms to a weekly market for sale (after costs).

4.) A friendly and welcome invitation into the urban garden farming community in the Traverse City region, with wonderful opportunities to meet like-minded and brilliantly ordinary people who are making great change in their lives and with the benefit of growing their own good food.

ABOUT The Urban Permaculture Design training: The Introduction to Urban Permaculture Design is a prerequisite to earning a Permaculture Design Certificate through Little Artshram

To earn a PDC requires no less than 72 hours of class time plus a group design project, field practice and a final test. (See attached brochure on the Intro to UPD)

After the 2012 growing season, and pilot of LLOOF with a Market Garden and CSA program in Traverse City, our vision is to expand and offer LLOOF throughout Michigan, dividing into regions. Each regionʼs organization will exist independently within the LLOOF network and charge a low annual membership fee from LLOOFers in exchange for host contact details, from which LLOOFers can organize their stay directly.

LLOOF is founded by Penny Krebiehl, who continues to develop art and permaculture projects and programs for children, youth and families in Michigan, recognizing the continued need for city and town-folks to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of practicing urban gardening, farming. LLOOF is also a means by which to share permaculture education directly linking to developing food security plans, as we learn to live a lower energy lifestyle.

CONTACT: Penny Krebiehl

Updates on the LLOOF program and Urban Farm Project will be posted weekly, here at:


Looking for a few good LLOOFer’s …..for the Traverse City Urban Farm Project…

Introduction to URBAN PERMACULTURE DESIGN, With Guest Instructor:
Peter Bane, editor of the Permaculture Activist, and author of The Permaculture Handbook: For Town and Country.
40 hour training course (30 hours classroom, 10 hours field practice) in beautiful, North West Michigan

Place: O’k CSA Studio, in the Alley, 510 1/2 Second St., Traverse City, MI

Time: 9am – 4pm

Dates: June 23, July 14, August 11, 25, 26
Registration closes: June 15th

Discount of 10% for Registration before June 1,  2012
Regular course fee: $650
We will be meeting some dates at the Historic Barns Park community gardens, located in the Grand Traverse Commons, which are open for visits from dawn to dusk.  The Barns Park community garden is located between Red Drive and Silver Drive, in Traverse City, on the old State Hospital grounds.
Instructors: Penny Krebiehl, with guest instructor, Peter Bane, Keith Johnson and local teachers

Cost: $585 before May 31st, $650 after June 1st.
Some work trade through O’k CSA’s LLOOF program(Living Local on Organic Farms)
is available, with inquiry and application due by May 20th.                                              Contact:

Intro to Urban Permaculture Design description: The Intro to UPD is a 5 day intensive exploration of permaculture. The Intro to UPD certificate verifies that you participated in a permaculture training course. Ten additional hours of field practice are required to earn the certificate.

1. To introduce students to fundamentals for sustainability.

2. To teach cooperative dynamics and positivism.

3. To learn about useful plants and ecosystems design.

4. To relate our needs to our local and global resources.

5. To study homesteading skills and off-grid technologies.

This course on traditional permaculture topics such as energy use, buildings,

This course on traditional permaculture topics such as energy use, buildings, food, waste streams and water systems will utilize current information in the media and classic truisms from voices of experience. To step into the rapid transitions that are in process, the emphasis is on social change and cooperative structures with lots of field models and hands on learning opportunities. Soil building and bioremediation techniques are at the forefront of our urban “farmlets” and referenced gardens, showcasing plants for food, medicine, craft and wildlife support.

Raising our quality of life, improving the commons, analysis of global outlooks, business ideas and healthy lifestyles will all be included. Held at Oʼk Art Studio with site visits to Traverse Cityʼs Historic Barns Park, this model at a park and in an urban neighborhood is focused on useful landscapes in public space in Traverse City. Ranging further than a weekend intensive, yet requiring less commitment than a PDC, this course offers an approachable format for those who are new to permaculture and a comfortable re-entry for those who seek further practice. Ten additional hours of field practice are mandatory. Intro to UPD certificate upon completion. Urban Permaculture Design Certificate options are available by individual arrangement.

Reading: Permaculture, A Designerʼs Manual by Bill Mollison is the main text for this course: it is not required. An Introduction to Permaculture, by Mollison is highly recommended. ALSO, The Permaculture Handbook: For Town and Country, by Peter Bane is highly recommended (more info on ordering here: ). Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles by David Holmgren, Gaiaʼs Garden by Toby Hemenway and Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield are useful as preparatory reading but are not required.

Classroom rules of conduct: No cell phone use during class or field sessions. Students will be expected to be on time. Please wear sensible clothes for comfortable all day sitting. For field study please wear shoes that cover your feet and bring water, and a sack-lunch full of good food to nourish yourself.

The Introduction to Urban Permaculture Design is a prerequisite to earning a Permaculture Design Certificate from Little Artshram and Oʼk CSA. To earn a PDC requires no less than 72 hours of class time plus a group design project, field practice and a final test.

Contact: to inquire about the full PDC program
which will continue through the fall and into the winter of 2013.

For info on ordering Peter Bane’s  The Permaculture Handbook:

Introduction to Urban Permaculture, Registration open for permaculture training in Northern

The Perma-Blitz on Sunday, May 6th, at one of our “farmlet” sites for the Market Garden and CSA was a great success!

Thanks to Keith, Kima, Glen and Gary for providing three urban neighborhood garden growing spaces to help expand our Urban Farm Project in Traverse City.

In celebration with International Permaculture Day, we held a Perma-Blitz at “The Peace Patch” site, laying out a fine, garden plan and putting in peas, onions, and greens. We also planned out a composting and water-catchment system, and discussed preliminary design plans for a mini-forest garden.

Folks can keep up with our Urban Farm Project progress by attending more “Blitzes” (next one is May 20th on the corner of Madison and Front St., in Traverse City) AND/OR, joining our Market Garden and CSA as a share-member or sponsor.

We are offering Full and Half-size shares of fresh vegetables, herbs and flower bouquets, as well as a Restaurant Share, beginning June 15th, through September, with pick-up on Friday’s at the spankin’ new, Peace Patch Farm Market stand on the corner of 7th and Oak St.

The Market Garden & O’k CSA, a part of the Urban Farm Project created by O’k CSA, with the support of Little Artshram, is located in Traverse City.

This is our 5th year as TC’s first Urban CSA involving area youth, young adults and a few older folks too, and we are revamping a bit to make it better than ever!

For info: 231-922-2014

CHECK-back! Updates on the Urban Farm Project/Market Garden and CSA will be posted on:

Little Artshram supports Garden Farming in Traverse


Little Artshram celebrates Community Gardening at the Historic Barns Park!

Welcome to a new garden year at the “Barns Park Garden” a portion of the old State Hospital Farm!

Little Artshram is the Barns Park Community Garden manager and WELCOMES NEW, INTERESTED gardeners to rent a plot in our garden this year.  The theme of this year’s garden is “UNITY IN COMMUNITY”, and we are looking forward to a great growing year with children, youth and adult gardeners!

Plot sizes available:
FULL, approx. 30 x 24’, rental fee $100.00
1/2 size, approx 15 X 24’, rental fee $75.00
1/3 size, approx 10 x 24’, rental fee $50.00

EVERYONE in our garden community contributes at least 10 hours of volunteer hours, which is organized by the CG Coordinator at the monthly potluck meetings.

NO use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides allowed,
only organic fertilizer.

NO dumping or adding of compostable materials to our compost teaching site or on the property. Contact Little Artshram for donations of organic, toxin-free compost, material donation.

The well used to water the gardens is non-potable and should not be used as drinking water.

Little Artshram, is a non-profit organization and the care-taker and managers of the Barns Park Community Garden.  We serve children, youth and families through our art, environmental education and community gardening projects.  Do you know how much we value our community? Here’s one way: Little Artshram accepts 100% Bay Bucks for any of our programs and projects? In addition to organizing and managing the Barns Park Community Garden, we are offering Summer Camps for children and youth, AND, co-sponsoring an Urban Permaculture training this summer and the entire fee can be paid for, by our local currency: Bay Bucks.

Find out about The Barns Park garden, by contacting our 2012 Community Garden Coordinator: Flint Horton,  231-715-1305

UNITY IN OUR COMMUNITY! Garden plots available @ Barns Park Community Garden in Traverse City!!