We are pleased to offer a Permaculture Teacher Training in Traverse City this summer…

“Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, a simpler question, which came first, learning or teaching?  Since learning does happen without teaching (it even happens despite teaching) we believe learning to be a priority over teaching.

In fact, this is our basic assumption towards education in general and our approach in this manual. Learning is what we are really interested in, teaching to us is the process of creating an environment in which people can learn. To us, the needs of the learner are more important than the needs of the teacher.”  ~from Skye and Robin Clayfield, authors of Teaching Permaculture Creatively.


Consider this proposition: 
Events make the best teachers.  The most significant learnings of our lives mostly come from situations we have experienced, and even when people lecture well, they make their presentation an event from which we learn.  Given that events make the best teachers, it follows that effective educators focus their energy on designing effective learning events.  How does this apply to teaching permaculture?

From June 10th-21st, this nine-day intensive Permaculture Teacher Training explores how to create permaculture learning events, applying ecological principles and processes to the design of permaculture workshops, courses, and other experiences.  Learn how to quickly assess students’ learning modalities, eight intelligences, and other niche characteristics; create effective learning environments; design multifunctional, functionally interconnected courses where the whole experience is far greater than the sum of the sessions!


Each trainee in this course will design and run short classes and exercises, speak in public, plan and budget an event, and co-teach in a week of our permaculture Summer Camp for children and youth, with an opportunity to teach a workshop in a PDC in late summer/early fall.  What do whole learning systems look, feel and sound like? Come find out!  The best way to learn is to do, and to have fun doing it!  Join us!

Limited to 15 folks with a passion for permaculture and working as an educator to pass it on.  Preference will go to those who are certified permaculture design course graduates. Pre-course preparation required.

Registration open until June 8th, 2013.

This training course will be led by Penny Krebiehl, who took this teacher training in 2009 from Dave Jacke and a team of teachers in High Fall, NY.  This course is directly inspired by the training model that Dave, etal designed with the course manual through “Teaching Permaculture Creatively” by Skye and Robin Clayfield. This course is also greatly influenced and inspired by Penny’s experiences with and the mentoring and teaching methods of Starhawk, Penny Livingston Stark, Peter Bane, Keith D. Johnson, Larry Santoyo, Toby Hemenway and a several hundred children, youth and adults.

Other resources used in this teacher training are:

  • Permaculture Teachers’ Guide – a collection of lesson plans from a wealth of experienced teachers, edited by Andrew Goldring
  • Outdoor Classrooms, a Handbook for School Gardens, by Carolyn Nuttall and Janet Millington
  • Thinking in Systems, a Primer, by Donella Meadows.
  • People and Permaculture – Caring and designing for ourselves, each other and the planet by Looby MacNamara
  • Permaculture Design – A step by step guide by Aranya
  • Teaching Creativity, Marvin Bartel, Emeritus Professor of Art, Goshen College.

Since 2009, Penny has taught dozens of workshops and courses throughout the state of Michigan using the principles you will learn in this training.  This is the third teacher training she will lead.

Joining Penny in this course will be well seasoned educators, including local, regional permaculture practioners, as well as, artists, farmers, educators, and designers.

Permaculture Teacher Training, June 10-21st, M-F, 9-5 pm, with some evening presentations

Course fee:  $750.00 does not include food or lodging.

Local currency, Bay Bucks accepted, some work exchange opportunities through the LLOOF program available.  LLOOF positions and scholarships very limited: net proceeds from this course are very tight, so no one will receive a full funding support from us. However, you may qualify for the tuition fee through a work exchange program, so please inquire!

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION for the Permaculture Teacher Training contact Penny Krebiehl:  penny.ok.art@gmail.com

This Permaculture Teacher Training will take place in Traverse City, with our main classroom at O’k Art & Permaculture Design Studio, in the Alley.

Applications still being accepted through June 8th,  contact: penny.ok.art@gmail.com for an application for the 2013 Permaculture Teacher Training.

SUMMER CAMP NEWS for children, youth and their families!

This is our 9th year in the Grand Traverse area, presenting a Summer Camp program and the 20th year of programming for Little Artshram The Summer Camps will again take place in our beloved Munson Woods, meeting at Higher Grounds Trading Co. who will be hosting us at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City, Michigan.  Our “wild garden and outdoor classroom” is connected to over a hundred-acres hard-wood forest to explore, and this year we have plans of designing and building a micro-garden and Edible Food Forest for our hosts at Higher Grounds!

We are happy to share the curriculum and schedule outline with you.  Each day we do our best to stick to the “plan”, but also allow for the “it depends” rule to apply to what emerges each day.

The basic intention of our summer camp is to be outdoors ALL day focusing on the following activities: To observe and mimic nature or learn nature’s language(s), including herbalism, and earth skills. Our camps are a creative, outdoor experience focused on discovering the intelligence of nature at work, care-taking the Earth and giving something back, with an emphasis on natural art, cooperative games and hands-on activities.

We have 5 areas, or themes that we rotate activities, games and discussions around throughout the week(s): FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, COMMUNITY and OBSERVATION

The main objectives of our Summer Camp curriculum are similar to those that are applied to adult teachings of permaculture, although tweaked and developmentally appropriate for children and the “wild gardens and woods” that we are spending time in. And, they are:

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.

The daily schedule, Monday through Thursday, with a few variables:

8:45-9:00  Campers arrive, sign in, play a big game

9:25-9:55  Gather as a group, meet/greet, story at the Village/HG green space or woods classroom(behind HG)

10:00- 11:00  “Wild” garden time, and/or “wild”craft/art time, either in one big group or in groups

11:00- 12:30  Get into groups, head into woods for curriculum/theme bits, and lunch

12:30-2:30  Finish lunch, wander and play learning as we go.

2:30  Meet back up @ HG green space, and play big group game

2:50  Camp Story of day, Take home permaculture principal challenge and sign out.

The Friday schedule will look something like this:

10:45-11:00 Campers and at least one parent or adult helper (families are invited)

11:00-11:30  Gather as a group, meet/greet, play a big game

11:30-12:30 Hike into woods, to one of our “wild” gardens/classroom sites, share Camp Story of the Week

12:30-1:00  Meet back up @ HG green space, play a closing group game, say so-long until we meet again.

You’re invited, to join us and find out more about the Summer Camps, with  a fun evening at a Summer Kick-off & Open House on Friday, June 21st, 400-5:3:0 pm@ the green space just across from Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, on Red Drive in the Village of Grand Traverse Commons.

Summer Camp Schedule, three weeks to choose:

June 24-28th,

July 15-19th,

Aug. 5-9th

Fee: $150.00 per week




Permaculture Teacher Training and 9th Annual Little Artshram Summer Camp!LittleArtshram.org
Yippee! It’s our 9TH year of offering the BEST Summer Camp for kids and youth in Traverse City!
Summer Camp 2013
Join us for a week of our 2013 SUMMER CAMP, in the Munson Woods, behind Higher Grounds, for children and youth 5 years and older

June 24-28th,

July 8th-12th &

August 5th-9th

PLUS! Little Artshram is partnering with O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players for 2 weeks of Puppet Camp!  Held at O’k Art Studio in Traverse City, for children and youth 5 years and older,
July 22nd -August 2nd, with a performance at the Traverse City Film Fest!
More information on our summer programs below….
Photo: Yippee! </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>It's our 9TH year of offering the BEST Summer Camp for kids and youth in Traverse City!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>Join us for a week of our<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />2013 SUMMER CAMP, In the Munson Woods, behind Higher Grounds, for children and youth 5 years and older</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>June 24-28th,<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />July 8th-12th &<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />August 5th-9th</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>PLUS! We’re partnering with O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players for 2 weeks of Puppet Camp!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>Held at O'k Art Studio in Traverse City, for children and youth 5 years and older</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>July 22nd -August 2nd, with a performance at the Traverse City Film Fest!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>Summer fun in Traverse City, Michigan!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>Registration information available:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />info@littleartshram.org<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />www.littleartshram.org<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />231-735-8370
What do we do in our Permaculture Summer Camps for kids and youth?
Little Artshram Summer Camp offers a curriculum based in a creative, nature awareness inspired approach, also known as Permaculture – which embodies the ethics of caring for the earth, caring for other people, and giving something back. Our programs are guided by an ecological design process, with permaculture principles demonstrated through projects, and skill-sharing, creating an empowering and paradigm-shifting experience. We spend 99.5 percent of our time outdoors!

In the garden we learn how to turn waste into compost, guild-building, planting-tending-harvesting, and more; We’ll be learning about trees, “tame and wild” food and plant identification; Bird language; Shelter building; Cartooning and nature sketching; Experiment with mapping and navigation skills; We’ll explore and wander in our nearby woods; Play games, sing and write songs; Make trusting friendships, Learn from inspiring mentors; Have fun with nature games and storytelling; Learn herbal remedies and harvest edible plants and gardening like the forest, and more.
AND, what happens in a Puppet Camp?

Puppet Camp is 2 weeks of Summer fun and puppet story-telling, meeting each day, M-F from 9 am until 3 pm, with a full performance at the Traverse City Film Festival on Friday!

O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players, sharing puppet and mask performances since 2010, will be holding a fantastic and special 2-weeks of PUPPET CAMP to prepare for a performance in Traverse City, including building puppets, set design, story-boarding, puppet and mask performance/acting lessons….Here’s a bit MORE of the Puppet Camp news:

This is amazing, local “organic” puppet theater, which includes a week of production and design, with our continued collaboration with composer and musical director, Mr. Rokko Jans.

We hope you will join us and share in so much summer fun in Traverse City, Michigan!

Registration information available:




BIG Fun in Traverse City! Summer Camp and Puppet CampLittleArtshram.org


The 2013 Earth Day Parade—-in the Grand Traverse Bay area, began publicly, with a Community Sing on March 20th and ended with a lovely parade on a sunny-snowflake of a day, on April 20th, 2013.

But we are not finished yet.

Here are pictures and a few storytelling sentences that were part of this 24th annual community art and street theater project…in celebration of Earth Day…”Seeds! Awesome Vessels of Power!”

Parade workshop photographs

Earth Day Parade Photographs

“Seeds! Awesome Vessels of Power”  is a simple story about the life-cycle of the seed, and how our actions affect our beautiful, seeded world and planet home. If we do not understand what awesome vessels of power seeds are, and that we must tend to our precious seeds nothing on this planet will survive. Our parade is a simple story about life unfolding, and it is a call to wake up and take action. We are pleased to be presenting a fresh version of a story in honor of Earth Day, by recognizing how truly amazing a seed is.

Many thanks to Gaylord Nelson’s idea of a “teach-in”–which was more than just a “sixties jargon”, and to which we agree is defined as educational, school-based, widely distributed, locally controlled and with invitation for mass-participation.

Many thanks to our community for welcoming and participating in the creation of this parade.  Many, grateful thanks to those who have contributed the necessary funds to support this community tradition and project, so far….

Did you support this year’s Earth Day Parade in Traverse City, with a monetary contribution?  If not, can you now give a donation of $20 or more?  Any amount will be gratefully accepted.  Beyond the dozens of hours our staff and parade crew and volunteers donated their time to this event, we are still working to cover the very basic costs of this year’s parade, and will continue to do so until it is reached.

Earth Day IS Every Day: Help us by giving us the help we need to cover this year’s costs (2013), so that we can begin again, and keep this parade going in 2014.

Please know you can easily and immediately donate towards the Earth Day Parade in these ways:

1. On this site www.littleartshram.org click on “Donate: causes” in the top right hand corner, under the sunflower and crow.

2.  Or, mail tax-deductable donations to:

Little Artshram/Earth Day Parade

P.O. Box 844

Traverse City, Michigan 49685


`penny Krebiehl

for Little Artshram



Every Day, Earth Day…AND, way more than just “sixties jargon”….LittleArtshram.org

Little Artshram was nominated for a NMEAC award in the Educator, Agriculture and Grassroots Group category and even though we don’t know who will be “named” as the recipient of that award—-from a distance we send our gratitude for just being in the running!

Greetings from another place—

Good morning! I’m in Minneapolis, invited to dig deeper in my continued education and the learnings of community art and street theater with two weeks of work as a guest giving back to the puppet people at In the Heart of the Beast and their annual Mayday event.

The beauty of this long-term mentoring and relationship with HOBT was seen in the result of the 24th Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade held just last Saturday in Traverse City, with a four week residency with one of their longtime puppeteers, George Meyer working alongside of me and all the friends of Little Artshram that presented our storytelling parade to the TC community!

I wish to share a heap of gratitude and appreciation to the community, including Bob and Sally of the Neahtawanta Center–who invited me to lead a mask-making workshop in 2000— and also to the NMEAC organization for the tenacious-persistence and commitment of honoring all the great folks doing great and good work in our bio-regions in North West Michigan.

Our continued belief in each other with our work and the way in which we do our earth-care, people-care and fair-share tasks is indeed a very basic and understandable need. We need each other through our individual work and self-actualization process as a human species–choosing to do that kind of good necessary work—And also as we re-build basic systems that bring humbling, sensibility, balance, hope and trust into our lives as a human community connected to all the other communities that make up OUR BLESSED planet earth.

The recognition that you are giving to Little Artshram’s efforts as educators—with admission that we are all students and all teachers—As a supporter of and recognizing that agriculture could use a good composting and turning to become in actuality what it needs to be: “im-permaculture”—And your support and understanding that as a “little” grassroots organization one of our valued roles has and will continue as a catalyst for other guild-like structures to branch off, grow their own and remember to keep–focusing on children, youth and families who do care about tending, mending and doing the right thing for our planet.

Little Artshram and myself are deeply honored to be a part of all of the folks being honored and recognized in the 2013 NMEAC awards and if I was actually there—I’d lead a rousing version of “Skinamarink-a-dink-a dink” for you ALL!

We are still working to cover the costs of the 2013 Earth Day Parade.  Can you support us with a gift of $20 or more?

We will gratefully accept any amount, and ask that you send it to us via mail at the address below OR go to the top right corner of this page and just beneath the crow and sunflower you can donate on-line via our Causes account.

Thank you for your support and belief in our work!


`penny Krebiehl

Little Artshram Directress and Founder

Little Artshram

P.O. Box 844, Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Making of the Seeds Circle

Gratitude, Thanks and keepin’ on keeping on…LittleArtshram.org

Hey Folks—We’ve only had one person show up today and the other two parade artist/builders are pooped! Who can help us finish up these cleaning tasks? Today until it’s done….Cleaning floors, hauling cardboard scraps and a few other tidying jobs? 

Give a call and drop by soon, please 231-922-2014


What an incredible parade was had! On State Street with snowflakes still falling, the sun brought itself out and shone down on all of our colorful creations!

Today we send out our gratitude and gather once more to pack the studio and our parade-building headquarters up.

Much appreciation to Blackbird Arts and Melissa Johnson and family for providing the BEST possible space/place for a good part of this parade to “hatch”.

In addition to Blackbird Arts, we have many, MANY more folks to thanks and will be doing that soon along with more photos and story-telling/sharing to come—But part of the parade process is also the clean-up.

So, first we spend this day after our community event gathering to tidy-up, pack-up and show our thanks and gratefulness by leaving Blackbird Arts sparkling clean!

Pitch in and show your appreciation, for the great efforts it took by a bunch of good folks to share this parade with our Traverse City Community!

Our parade-clean-up @ Blackbird Arts from 1-5 pm today.

A So-Long and Send-Off Supper for our 2013 Parade Crew and volunteers will happen afterwards.

Call `penny for q/a and details: 231-922-2014  


Roy the Robin, standing amongst the TC Sings Singing Bees

Roy the Robin, standing amongst the TC Sings! Singing Bees before the parade began.

We need more folks on this clean-up-crew—-Oh, what a Parade…and clean-it/pack-it up Day!LittleArtshram.org