The Field Beyond Difference by Kathy Jourdain

This guest post by Kathy Jourdain is one of a series leading up to our 2017 Maine Art of Collaborative Leadership training program coming up in November. Watch this space for more from Kathy and her partner Jerry Nagel, both of whom will be joining us for the training.

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing

There is a field

I will meet you there



Rumi’s words, with a slight variation, encapsulate the experience of an amazingly culturally and age diverse group of participants, apprentices and hosts who gathered September 11-14, 2012 in the middle of the Phillips Community of South Minneapolis where all of us discovered there is a field beyond difference and we are willing to meet each other there.


There was a tremble in our fourteen member hosting team as we prepared to welcome over seventy Somalis, Native Americans, African Americans, Anglo Americans, Latinos, people from Liberia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia and more, together with two translators: one for Somali and one for Spanish.  We were not sure how many would come, how many would stay or how many would come back the next day.

This Art of Hosting training, supported by the Bush Foundation’s InCommons in partnership with the Meadowlark Institute, was called by Amina Saleh a co-founder of the Native American Somali Friendship Committee, in the hopes that bridges could be formed across the  multiplicity of cultures that have come to reside in the Phillips residential area of South Minneapolis.  The original residents of this community were primarily African Americans, Native Americans and Anglo Americans.  In the 1990s immigrants and refugees began moving into the area in search of affordable housing.  Over the years, the cultures clashed, tensions rose and violence across the cultures, particularly between the Native Americans and Somali communities, occurred.

Amina found herself at an Art of Hosting training in March 2012 and became curious about what might be possible if a training was hosted right in the middle of her community, in the community centre, where the children congregate after school.  Well, we found out!

We started with a beautiful Lakota sage ceremony offered by Lemoine Lapointe from our hosting team, to open the space, to cleanse ourselves, open our minds and, even more so, our hearts.  An offering from one of the cultures present in the room, inviting others to also offer in a right moment or opportunity.

Lemoine Lapointe

Each one of us was then invited to bring our voices into the circle by responding to: my name is…, I live…, I’m from…, my ancestors are from… and I speak …. languages. As we listened, we became aware, beyond the diversity of skin colour already visible in the room, of the richness and multiplicity of cultures and languages represented in the space, the richness that showed up sometimes in a single individual as well as in our field.  It took our breath away and opened our curiosity.

The purpose that emerged for the four day training was: Hosting meaningful conversations as a way of giving life, (1) inviting in our full selves and each other, (2) sharing language and frameworks, (3) staying in it – together and (4) building “whole” community. The phrases in the purpose statement framed each of our four days; scheduled to begin around 9:00 with a hard stop at 3:00, because this is when the children arrived in the community centre we were in and when some of the single moms in attendance also needed to be home to greet their children.

Beautiful visual depiction of our 4 day flow by Nou Ka Yang

Our first afternoon was a café.  What is in your heart that brought you here today? What is in your heart for your community? What would you like to give life to here for your neighbourhood?  Powerful, surprising questions, giving pause like unexpected questions do.  Silence at the first café round while people let the question sink in, then decided how fully they wanted to bring themselves into the room, into the conversation, into the others also at their table. Cautiously, at first. What is in your heart? Not, why are you here? Not, what’s in you mind?  What is in your heart? Are you willing to go there yourself, let alone speak it into the centre of the table?

By the third round there was a beautiful buzz in the room as people began to relax into the invitation to bring their full selves.   In the harvest, one man offered, “Unlike Vegas where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, what happens in this room should not stay in this room. We all need to take it back out into our communities.”  This became a mantra for participants for our full time together.

People were ready and willing to offer their rituals, ceremonies and stories into our collective space.  In addition to the opening sage ceremony, we experienced a Somali coffee ceremony, an Aztek ceremony and a Hmong ritual and an African American dramatic story telling: Sojourner Truth, in addition to Native American ceremony, song and round dance from the Dakota and Lakota cultures. We gifted each other with prayers and blessings.

Sometimes it was a bit uncomfortable with the varying perspectives and cultural norms around touch, song, dance and partaking in another culture’s ceremony; but only just in that moment before understanding blossomed and more ease entered with the witnessing of things precious.  Graciousness, curiosity and respect filled the space and the conversations. Deepening our individual and collective listening skills invited us all to show up even more fully.

The realization that issues, concerns and passions arc across cultures invited people into bridge building. Education, children, community housing, racism, racial profiling, relationship with police, healing, well being.  Learning to navigate the dominant culture and stand up, both for what is right and for rights of an individual no matter each person’s roots or ancestral history.  Awareness of commonality in the diversity. People care about many of the same things even if their way of approaching them or their cultural norms may be different.

Invitation to Open Space

As we gathered in our check out team: Amina Saleh, Kadra Ahdi, Lemoine LapointeMolly Matheson GruenSusan Phillips, Bob-e Epps, Anne GomezLori Lindgren Voit, Nou Ka Yang, Marcela SotelaJerry NagelTuesday Ryan-HartGinny Belden Charles and me, there were tears.  Tears of hopes realized, connections made, community strengthened, deep sense of belonging.

Our work began in the hosting team itself on our prep day.  It was the first time many of us had met in person as is common in these trainings.  There was a great variety of experience and understanding of the Art of Hosting in the team, from lots to little to almost none, with people eager to deepen their skill, grow their capacity.  The team quickly became strong and cohesive with each person stepping in, contributing, supporting as one fluid movement, offering what we each could, asking for what we needed. We formed community.

We became a field to welcome the larger field of community activists and organizers from across cultures who showed up.  And came back. Day after day.  For four days. They sensed something different. Became engaged in possibility in new ways. They made plans for next steps on very specific projects. Co-creating a new hope for the future. Giving life to community from a different place.  Stepping into courage, transcending fear, reaching out, seeing the human face of diversity and knowing that shifting the shape of the communities they live in and touch is possible to ever greater degrees.  Humbled, touched, delighted to be in this work that matters so deeply.

This guest post by Kathy Jourdain is one of a series leading up to our 2017 Maine Art of Collaborative Leadership training program coming up in November. Watch this space for more from Kathy and her partner Jerry Nagel, both of whom will be joining us for the training.

The Resilience Hub & Maine Tool Library Launch Local “Repair Cafe”

As part of our ongoing mission to build resilience at the personal, household and community levels, The Resilience Hub is excited to offer the first “Portland Maine Repair Cafe” event tonight at our space on Anderson Street.  The Maine Tool Library is co-hosting and will have their doors open for this special event, allowing access to full suite of tools for our repair and fix-it needs!

Upon hearing of the event, member Margy posted “OMG- I have so much stuff to fix !!” and Jill says “This sounds great! I will bring jewelry, knives, scissors and some homemade gluten free cookies.” (It is a social “cafe” space after all, so snacks and beverages are party of the deal).

Eight to ten “repairers” have volunteered for this inaugural event, with skills ranging from clothes mending to mechanical engineering and basic carpentry.  We may even have some electronics experts on hand in case you want to get that vintage turntable back in order.

The Portland Maine Repair Cafe is in good company; there are hundreds of Repair Cafes happening around the world as part of community efforts to be less wasteful, get more life out of our valued items, build community and skills while becoming more resilient in face of uncertain world conditions.

If you know of any hardware stores or recycling/reuse oriented organizations that would like to co-sponsor a future Repair Cafe, let us know!

Contact us with questions or just come on down tonight!

LisaF for The Resilience Hub


A Food Forest Emerging in Augusta #Maine

Site of the future food forest at Viles Arboretum

On a hot summer day in 2016, Shana Hostetter (the Hub’s lead designer), Dan Schenk (one of our Advanced PDC grads) and I strolled a grassy savannah-like area of Viles Arboretum in Augusta, Maine.  Dotted with sculpture and surrounded by some lovely specimen trees, the south-facing “bowl” we toured seemed ideal for one of Viles’ new projects:  a food forest!

Tracy Weber, a Viles Volunteer trained in permaculture design, and Mark Desmeules, Viles Executive Director, shared some of their thinking with us:

“The Viles Arboretum wants to inspire people with the possibilities of local sustainable food production, educate our community about how it can be done and then encourage people to replicate this system in their yards and in public spaces. We aim to show that providing food for ourselves does not have to and should not deprive other living things of food and shelter. The Viles Arboretum has a reputation as a destination for learning, respite and connection with the outdoors. This, along with its history as a farm, makes it an ideal location for this project.

The Food & Forest Project will begin as a 1 acre demonstration plot designed with permaculture principles to integrate trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals into a food ‘forest’. Permaculture is a system of design that takes into account the whole ecosystem when designing for food production by harnessing the assets of a landscape such as aspect, topography and water. This permaculture plot will serve as the site of and jumping off point for numerous community collaborations and educational opportunities. We envision a fenced in plot for annual vegetables and additional community garden plots. There will be berry production and an expanded orchard managed organically. A food “forest” of edible shrubs and trees such as walnuts, persimmons, hazelnuts, blueberries and elderberries will provide food for people, pollinators and other wildlife.”

In addition to this great vision from Tracy and Mark, other members of the region’s agriculture, permaculture and “sustainability” community have been involved, including Mid-Maine Permaculture group members and many of our own PDC grads.

The Resilience Hub, having been engaged to help with the design of the site, suggested doing as much awareness-raising and “participatory design” as possible, because our experience suggests that these activities not only strengthen the quality of the resulting design as well as help interested community-members get involved early on.

First draft concept sketch for the food forest at Viles Arboretum

Last week nearly fifty people turned up at Viles for a viewing of INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective and to hear a little bit about the project.  The first draft of the food forest design was on display as well!  The Resilience Hub is currently incorporating feedback and working on the final drawings to be delivered in a couple of weeks.

If you would like to get involved in this project at Viles Arboretum in Augusta, Maine, contact us and we would be happy to connect you with Tracy or Mark.  First stages of the install are on deck for this year!

Lisa Fernandes, Resilience Hub Founder

#Resilience Hub Staff & Colleagues Certified in #REX Farm-scale #Permaculture Design

File_000 (1)The demand for regenerative agricultural design and practices is growing in Maine and across our region.  What if, in the process of producing food and making a living, farms could leave their soil deeper, healthier, more fertile and more able to withstand drought and flooding, year after year? What if the act of producing food for the markets of our region resulted in cleaner water and air and less reliance on fossil fuels? What if running those farms represented a more-than-ample living wage and quality of life for the farmers and workers?

From August 4-14 of this year, staff from The Resilience Hub in Portland, Maine as well as collaborators from other parts of the Maine permaculture network, participated in the final  North American version of the 10-day Regenerative Agriculture Design Course (aka “REX” training) offered by Regrarians Ltd. File_000 Regrarians is an Australia-based firm led by Lisa Heenan, Isabella Doherty and Darren Doherty.  They have performed farm and ranch-scale land planning services for well over a thousand farms around the world.  The training provided a quantum leap in our local knowledge about how to design (or redesign) farm enterprises for much greater resilience into an uncertain future.

File_000 (2)
Jesse Watson, Shana Hostetter, Ken Hahn, Lisa Fernandes and Tyler Omand cross Lake Champlain to get to #REX10NewYork

“For over 20 years our family have travelled the world helping to regenerate communities, landscapes, farms & most importantly soils. Having helped develop 1000’s of projects with nearly 2000 clients we have broad expertise & knowledge in our field. Since 2001 we’ve trained over 15,000 people in a broad range of methodologies drawing on the practical wisdom that comes from knowing what we’re doing, not just talking about it.” (from the Regrarians website).

The Regrarians design platform and training draws on Holistic Management, permaculture and a modified version of P.A. Yeomans “Scale of Permanence” framework (as well as our trainers’ 25+ years of experience of course!) Each of the ten days of the training  focused on a different “data layer” of this framework, starting with Climate and working through Economy and Energy.  Read more about the platform here.

For this course, Megan Giroux of Vermont Edible Landscapes offered up her newly acquired property in Essex, New York as the design canvas:  Interlace Agroforestry Farm.   It was a blank slate and day after day we worked through the Regrarians platform to design layers of her new enterprise on this land.  File_000 (4)

Apart from the invaluable design practice and learning we experienced through the training, many of us forged professional connections and bonds that will last well into the future.  Over the course of 2016, Darren and family will have conducted more than a dozen REX trainings around the world and our extended international “community of practice” is already in action via online shared resources and collaborative forums for REX graduates.

Interested in designing, planning or re-designing a farm enterprise? Hit us up for advice or a consultation!


2016 Maine Permaculture Day Activities

bef & aft- front 2Thank you to everyone around Maine who has offered to host an open house or other events for 2016 Maine Permaculture Day!  This is a distributed and decentralized way to share some of the things that are happening in the Maine permaculture world with each other and those who are curious.

Maine Permaculture Day is August 20th!

If you are new to permaculture, perhaps do a bit of reading before heading out! Remember that permaculture is a design method and set of strategies that expresses itself differently on every site!  And it’s also important to note that one permaculturist’s aesthetics can be different than the next…so even if something looks too “tidy” or more “wild” than you might prefer, there is still probably some great learning for you in that site!

If you’re in Southern Maine, don’t forget to join us for some social time and a screening of “Inhabit” at the Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland Saturday evening!


  1. Please know that this is not a “manicured garden tour” type of event! These are often working landscapes and works-in-progress.  Your hosts may be only a year or two into implementing a 5 or 10-year plan for their site.  The idea here is to stimulate connection and conversation.  What are the goals of the site? What elements are supporting that?  What has worked well?  What was challenging?  What was surprising?
  2. In some cases, event hosts and organizers have given parking guidance for you to follow (in the directory listings if applicable).
  3. The open house hosts may or may not have their bathrooms available for use so the best practice would be to attend to those needs prior to arriving at someone’s place.

Click here for a printable directory of open houses and events (sorted by zip code).

Click here for a smartphone formatted web page .

2016 Maine Permaculture Day Directory by Zip Code

2016 Maine Permaculture Day DIRECTORY – SORTED BY ZIP CODE

Activities & Open Houses as Reported by Hosts

Caroline Rose
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM
63 Woodlawn Avenue
Kittery, Maine 03904

Phone: 207-475-2969

A look at the early stages Permaculture design being implemented on 1/10 of an acre: chickens, food production, composting, redefined zones for a more urban setting. Event includes a walk through the neighborhood and a discussion on how interpersonal connections can support resilience and foster a community-wide sense of security.

Site features: Tree Crops, Rainwater Collection, Livestock, Composting (any kind), Green or Natural Building Techniques, Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, De-Paving Techniques, Natural Play Spaces, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Shrub Crops, Vertical Growing, Foraging Systems

Deborah Ganster
GreenFleece Farm
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 1:00:00 AM
576 Emery’s Bridge Rd (note – follow the actual numbering, not GPS)
South Berwick, Maine 03908

Phone: 207-676-9886

GreenFleece Farm Open House
We have been integrating permaculture design ethics and principles for 6 yrs

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Renewable Energy, Livestock, Beekeeping, Hugelkultur, Composting (any kind), Green or Natural Building Techniques, Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Shrub Crops, Vertical Growing, Foraging Systems, alternative forages, labyrinth, natural wool dyeing

Parking is available along the fields close to the entrance gate, a gravel road.

Jesse McAvoy
Libby Farmden
Open House
From 10:00:00 AM to 5:00:00 PM
35 Libby Avenue
Westbrook, Maine 04092

Phone: 207-228-4444

Libby Farmden Open House
We have .46 acres that over the course of three years has been transformed from 100% lawn to a productive food forest and garden. There are now many fruit trees, a growing hazelnut hedge, and the beginnings of an apple espalier. We have a flock of chickens, and a family of ducks. There is also a natural pond that we dug three years ago, with fish and frogs (and sometimes ducks) inhabiting it. We have hugelkultur, keyhole beds, and companion planting.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Rainwater Collection, Water Features, Mushroom Production, Livestock, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Hugelkultur, Composting (any kind), Annual Veg Production, Shrub Crops

There is plenty of street parking directly in front of the house, and down the street as far as need be.

Dawn York
Urban Farm Fermentory
A film screening or evening event
From 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

200 Anderson Street
Portland, Maine 04101

Maine Permaculture Day – Social Hour, Potluck and INHABIT Film Screening at UFF

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016, 5:30 PM

Urban Farm Fermentory
200 Anderson Street Portland, ME

14 Permies Attending

Join us to celebrate Maine Permaculture Day with a late afternoon/early evening potluck and social hour (5:30 to 7:00) followed by a screening of INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective (featuring a bunch of local permies!).This event is co-hosted by The Resilience Hub and our friends and neighbors at the Urban Farm Fermentory here in East Bayside.So…

Check out this Meetup →

Evening Social Hour & Film Screening (Inhabit)
Join us to celebrate Maine Permaculture Day with a late afternoon/early evening potluck and social hour (5:30 to 7:00) followed by a screening of INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective (featuring a bunch of local permies!).

Feel free to park at Resilience Hub and walk over

Laura Mailander
Cultivating Community
From 11:00 to 2:00 PM
Eastern Promenade
Portland, Maine 04101

Sheet Mulching the Community Garden
Join Cultivating Community and Portland Food Co-op to generate a huge amount of people power to create new community garden spaces on the Eastern Prom!

Carol Karlsen

Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Self guided tours are best, though Dave Homa and I will be available to answer questions and plant identifiers will assist visitors who wish to know the range of plants in the garden.

26 Caleb Street
Portland, Maine 04102
Phone: 899 0686

Permaculture Open House, Urban Food Forest. Featuring fruit and nut trees and bushes, including peach, pear, elderberry, and hazelnut; arbors planted out with grapes, hardy kiwi and schisandra, multiple planting beds with hoop houses; a small pond with water plants; and both perennial and annual vegetables. This property benefited from the talents of many, most notably permaculture designers Dave Homa, Heather Foran and Sarah Bostick and 24 community members who planned and implemented a permablitz on the property in July, 2013.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Water Features, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Composting (any kind), Annual Veg Production, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Shrub Crops, Vertical Growing

Street parking is plentiful, two city buses stop half a block away on the corner of Caleb and Congress Sts, and assistance can be arranged for anyone who requests it.

Elaine G McGillicuddy
Open House
From 11:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM
I’ll be on hand to chat with visitors and show the things that didn’t turn out that well, e.g. Cinnamon Vine (though it’s still growing) and the kiwi arbor (No kiwi yet) They can also see the chicken coop, not in use now, but I’d like to “rent it” to someone interested.
62 Avalon Road
Portland, Maine 04103

Phone: 207.653.7004

Scroll one third of the way down here, on my website, to the section entitled “Permaculture”: Eight hyperlinks lead to the Portland Maine Permaculture website where photos were uploaded of past work parties and past open houses held here. This link offers exactly the information I want to share.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Renewable Energy, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Shrub Crops

Avalon Road is a street without sidewalks. Simply park where you can without blocking neighbors’ driveways.

Sally Moon
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 3:00:00 PM
We will be onsite to answer questions but tours are casual and can be either self guided or guided.
98 Wellington Road
Portland, Maine 04103

Phone: 207 232 6578

Backyard Rain Garden open house house
Our residential yard is the product of a permaculture design by David Homa, which was implemented with the help of many friends in the community during a perma-blitz. Our goals included dealing with water flooding our back yard, expanding our living space by creating outside dining and seating areas, installing gutters and rain barrels as well as growing food. It is a work in progress but we are excited to share it with others.

Site features: No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Water Features, Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Raingarden or other stormwater re-use

On street parking is available. If folks need to park closer they are welcome to use our driveway.

Aaron Parker
Edgewood nursery
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM
There will be guided tours at 10:00 and 1:00, each lasting 1-2 hours depending on level of participation / interest, feel free to come late or leave early from the tour.
4 Cruston Way
Falmouth, Maine 04105

Phone: 207-653-2065

Edgewood Nursery Open House and Guided Tours
Stop by and see our 9 year old forest garden, featuring over 100 species of edible, medicinal or otherwise useful plants. Also tour the nursery where 30-40 species of edible / useful plants are available to purchase, some of these species are not available anywhere else in the state (a few nowhere else on the continent).

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Livestock, Plant Propagation / Nursery Techniques, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Hugelkultur, Composting (any kind), Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, Shrub Crops

Limited parking available at the end of the driveway, but feel free to park anywhere along the right hand side coming down the driveway.

max boudreau
winslow farm
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 5:00:00 PM

291 gray rd
falmouth, Maine 04105

Phone: 207-807-0000

We are working on a farm-community scale permaculture project. Some of the many elements include food-forest farming, perennial guilds, mulching and minimal tillage.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Water Features, Mushroom Production, Livestock, Beekeeping, Plant Propagation / Nursery Techniques, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Composting (any kind), Annual Veg Production, Shrub Crops, Crops Grown for Market, Foraging Systems

plenty of parking. Landscape with diverse terrain.

Geri Gajewski

Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 1:00:00 PM
40 Kaler Rd
South Portland, Maine 04106

Phone: 207-749-9331
We have lived at residence 3 years. Front yard has been transformed from lawn to garden for herbs and flowers for pollinators. A permablitz event last summer added rain barrels for water collection, raised beds for vegetables, season extension bed and green “room” with beginnings of perineal fruit and vegetable production. Approx 1/3 acre lot. Permaculture techniques: Sheet mulching, water conservation/collection, berms, companion planting, season extension. We use heat pump and wood for heating sources.

Site features: Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Renewable Energy, Composting (any kind), Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Raingarden or other stormwater re-use

Parking on the street. Uneven grade and downward slope to back yard. Not handicapped accessible.

Scott Vlaun
Center for an Ecology-Based Economy
Open House
From 10:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM
26 Whitman Street
Norway, Maine 04268

Phone: 520 0575

Community Garden and Food Forest Tour
CEBE will be teaming with the Alan Day Community Garden to offer informal tours of both the Community Garden and the Community Food Forest

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Renewable Energy, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Hugelkultur, Annual Veg Production, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property)

Please park on the street outside the garden

Scott Vlaun
Center for an Ecology-Based Economy
A film screening or evening event
From 7:00:00 PM to 8:30:00 AM

447 Main Street
Norway, Maine 04268

Phone: 520 0575

The Promise of Permaculture: Presentation and Discussion
CEBE Executive Director Scott Vlaun will present a slide show entitled “The Promise of Permaculture for Maine’s Western Foothills” providing an in-depth look at the climate and resource challenges ahead and how permaculture principles can be applied to finding ecological solutions. An open discussion will follow. Light refreshments will be served.

Site features:

Park behind Fare Share Food Cooperative

Scott Vlaun
Moose Pond Arts and Ecology
Open House
From 12:00:00 PM to 4:00:00 PM
Green Building and Forest Management tour at 2pm
35 Moose Pond Rd
Otisfield, Maine 04270

Phone: 520 0575

Moose Pond Permaculture Open House
Open House of a 2 acre site transitioning from a market garden to perennial polyculture. Green Buildings and Solar Power.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Water Features, Renewable Energy, Mushroom Production, Livestock, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Hugelkultur, Composting (any kind), Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production

Park along dirt rd when you see the field on the right.

Claudia Lowd
The Permaculture Inn
A workshop or other educational event
From 10:00:00 AM to 12:00:00 PM
We will be discussing and designing an outside rain water shower and possible cistern 10 am. We are also discussing the do and do not of the d-i-y solar system that will be redesigned and reinstalled September 2017
42 Mill Street
Orono, Maine 04473

Phone: 207-949-5106
Living applied permaculture lifestyle
We will be designing an outside shower and cistern system, pruning the basket willow, using the outdoor pizza oven and more

Site features: Tree Crops, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Water Features, Renewable Energy, Mushroom Production, Hugelkultur, Composting (any kind), Green or Natural Building Techniques, Annual Veg Production, Natural Play Spaces, Compost Tea Making, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Shrub Crops, Raingarden or other stormwater re-use, Vertical Growing, Foraging Systems

Plenty of street parking with very short walking, garden sitting available or four steps up to a covered porch

Jesse Watson
Midcoast Permaculture Design
Open House
From 10:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM
We’ll break for lunch at noon, so bring a dish to share or a bag lunch if you’re in the neighborhood around that time!
168 west meadow rd
Rockland, Maine 04841

Phone: 691 1605

Midcoast Permaculture Open House
Come see an evolving permaculture design applied to a residential site on a southeast facing slope within spitting distance of downtown Rockland. Some of the forest gardens are approaching six years old and include trees, shrubs, herbs and poultry systems. Mainly focused on perennials with an edible jungle aesthetic. We will also have on display goal articulation statements, the design for the property and examples of other design work from our porfolio.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Water Features, Livestock, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Hugelkultur, Swales and/or Other Earthworks, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property), Shrub Crops, Raingarden or other stormwater re-use, Foraging Systems

Park in the driveway if there is room, otherwise park along the road. The site is hilly, so may be somewhat challenging if participants have mobility challenges.

Gale Davison

A film screening or evening event
From 10:00:00 AM to 8:00:00 PM
Screenings are time specific. Symphony of the Soil at 10am. In Transition 2 at 1pm. Inhabit at 4pm. How to Cook Your Life at 6:30pm. There is about one hour between screenings to allow for some brief discussion and eating brown bag provisions.
25 Eustis Parkway
Waterville, Maine 04901

Phone: 207-861-1695

Four Movies. Come to all or come for one. Symphony of the Soil at 10am. In Transition 2 at 1pm. Inhabit at 4pm. How to Cook Your Life at 6:30pm.
Participants will learn how a PDC graduate’s thinking has evolved since initiating her journey with Permaculture in an urban environment and with a desire to seek out the Earth’s priorities in her design. I’ve been exploring Shamanism since March 2016 and incorporating divination into my inside and outside designs. A divination search for a sacred vortex on my property led me to surprising results. An area with only air and stone. No vegetables in most of my yard. No other fruit trees but apples. The homework to consider my view has been expanded to include intentional sound. I will offer four movies to screen which cover three of my favorites from the PDC course and How to Cook Your Life which adds Zen and social permaculture considerations. Limit 6 people per showing. Please RSVP.

Site features: Composting (any kind), Spiritual spaces

Park on the street in front of my house. My driveway is short and traffic is fast. Two cars would fit on the lawn to the left of the driveway for people with mobility challenges. Two steps to enter front door.

Nick jackson
Jackson ReGenerational Farm
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM

881 lincolnville rd
Belmont, Maine 04952

Phone: 207 702 1705

Jackson Regenerational Farm Open House
Open house and garden tour

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, Water Features, Livestock, Composting (any kind), Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, Raingarden or other stormwater re-use, Crops Grown for Market, Foraging Systems

Park on grass near garage

Erica Buswell and Scott Giroux
Co-efficient Farm
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 AM
We’re happy to give tours at anytime visitors stop by and plan to be available to do so at an point during the course of the open-house.
106 Bog Hill Road Extension
Searsport, ME, Maine 04974

Phone: 207-323-6833
Co-efficient Farm Open House
Visitors are welcome to stop by and see the evolving implementation of our permaculture homestead, including our orchards, sugarbush, annual gardens, fowl, recreational trails, and off-grid solar-powered utility systems. Erica obtained her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015 and we are happy to provide tours and talk with folks about how the principles of permaculture have informed our goals and future plans for our homestead.

Site features: Tree Crops, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Water Features, Renewable Energy, Mushroom Production, Composting (any kind), Annual Veg Production, Natural Play Spaces, A Drawn Design for the Property (or some of the property)

GPS and google maps won’t get you here unless you are certain to include the “extension” part of the address mentioned above. Visitors are welcome to park anywhere along the edge of our driveway. Anyone with mobility challenges can give us a call for more specific instructions about where to park for better access.

Nyla Bravesnow
Many Hands Farm
Open House
From 9:00:00 AM to 2:00:00 PM

269 Files Hill Rd
Thorndike, Maine 04986

Phone: 207-568-3261

Many Hands Farm Open House
Many Hands Farm is a small family farm/homestead on 8 open acres of beautiful sloping fields. The farmers’ intention is to steward the land using permaculture and biodynamics with an open-hearted awareness of the community of people, plants, animals and nature spirits on this little patch of earth. They grow a diversity of mostly open-pollinated, heirloom varieties of vegetables; fruit and nut trees; medicinal, tea and culinary herbs; and many edible flowers. They raise Nigerian dwarf dairy goats, American Guinea hogs, Welsh Harlequin and Ancona ducks, Buff geese, heritage breed chickens, and Mini Rex rabbits who collaborate with some pretty active worms to make the best compost on the planet!

Visitors may take a comprehensive tour of the many permaculture gardens, which demonstrate such techniques/principles as sheet mulching, hugelkultur, edible landscaping, terraced farming, working with the elementals (nature spirits), beauty, harmony and healing. Also see animals, unique cabins and outbuildings that all use a small footprint to create beautiful and highly functional spaces, the bunny/worm composting system, biodynamic compost windrows.

The farm stand will be stocked with vegetables, flowers, berries, eggs, goat cheese and pickles. Also for sale: fresh wood-oven-baked sourdough bread, Nyla’s herbal remineralizing toothpaste, rose petal bead malas and herbal teas.

Site features: Tree Crops, Perennial Vegetables, No-Dig Methods, Season Extension Methods, Rainwater Collection, Water Features, Livestock, Plant Propagation / Nursery Techniques, Forest Gardening / Food Forest Techniques, Hugelkultur, Composting (any kind), Green or Natural Building Techniques, Swales and/or Other Earthworks, Annual Veg Production, Natural Play Spaces, Compost Tea Making, Shrub Crops, Green/Living Roof, Crops Grown for Market, Vertical Growing, Foraging Systems

our homestead has a slope and many dips. It is difficult to tread if one is in a wheelchair or crutches…but not impossible. There are parking signs.

Call for Permaculture Site Visit Hosts & Events for #Maine #Permaculture Day! (August 20th)

Different states and areas around the Northeast region have been developing more local or “sub-regional” permaculture gatherings and events over the past few years.  A pattern is emerging that would have these sub-regional efforts alternate with the return of our larger Northeast Regional Permaculture Convergences (which are likely to come back in some new incarnation in 2017).


New Hampshire has been successful at running the annual NH Permaculture Day for several years now.  The Finger Lakes area of NY has seen the emergence of various tours and events.  In Vermont, a more music-and-permaculture oriented festival took place last year.  That brings us to….

2016 Maine Permaculture Day

This year here in Maine we are encouraging permaculture designers, practitioners, farmers and activists to open their doors (literal or proverbial) on Saturday, August 20th to help make permaculture work more visible and accessible in its many varied forms.

How can you participate?

  1. Host an “Open House” at your site (suggested open times for that day are 9:00 am to 2:00 pm).  Your site doesn’t need to be picture-perfect, just demonstrate how you are working with permaculture design, principles and techniques…even if you consider your place a work in progress.  You don’t need to give guided tours during the open house unless you want to.  Just being present to chat and answer questions could be completely adequate.  Feel free to have business cards and literature handy to tell about the work you do, if applicable.
  2. bef & aft- front 2Host a work party or permablitz.
  3. Organize a workshop or skillshare.
  4. Hold a screening of Inhabit or another permaculture or regenerative ag/design film.
  5. Have a party or a tasting of the items coming out of your permaculture system in August.
  6. Attend any and all of the above events!  We will publish the list of open houses and events the week before 2016 Maine Permaculture Day!  Don’t forget to RSVP on our meetup site!

Use this form to register your open house, event or other offering!

This year is an experiment in offering things in a decentralized, volunteer-based way that doesn’t require much in the way of organizing capacity.  But as a permaculture community here in Maine, we may want to build on this in future years!  Thinking back to the amazing energy of the regional convergences we’ve hosted in Maine (2010 and 2014), I could see something even more exciting emerge!


Call for 2016 #PortlandME Permablitz Hosts (Especially Renters!)

We are so excited to launch the fourth full season of permablitzes in the greater Portland area and we’re looking for hosts!

01Are you interested in moving your home towards greater resilience? Have you been interested in implementing a permaculture design but didn’t know where to start? Are you interested in exploring ways that your space or property can support the wider community? Click here to apply to host a residential or community permablitz!

What are Permablitzes?
Permablitzes are day-long work parties in service of a permaculture design. Typically a group of people gathers on a property fueled by teaching and learning important skills, good food, good conversation, and the common goal of implementing a phase of a permaculture design. Click here to learn more about permablitzing in Portland.

Imagine 20-40 permaculture folks working side-by-side for six hours resulting in more than 180 labor hours completed in one day – not to mention equivalent hours of experiential learning, great fun and connection.

Community Blitzes!
In addition to our slate of residential blitzes, we’re excited to both organize (and support the self-organization of) additional community/public/multiple stakeholder blitzes into the mix! Examples would include neighborhood blocks, parks, school yards, co-housing units, areas around businesses or religious spaces, abandoned lots, etc. If you are connected to a space that you think might be a good match, we encourage you to apply for that space!

Important: Please read through the following criteria for this year’s permablitzing sites (we hope to expand this for future seasons as resources allow!). If you feel like a good match, please submit your information by April 29th by clicking on the link at the bottom and we’ll get back to you to see if it will work for this year! And if you don’t feel you meet the criteria this year, consider getting your own local permablitzing network going or hang in there for a future season!

Portland Permablitz Host Requirements for 2016:

21.1Priority for this season’s blitzes will go to renters, as well as to people who are able to be active in reciprocity to the wider community (either through attending blitzes previously or committing to those on other people’s property this season, in actively providing food/medicine, etc. to the wider community, sharing growing space, etc.)

In addition, hosts must:

Have a permaculture design for the property already created OR be willing to a) pay for a design by a permaculture designer, b) have a design done by a permaculture design course student or c) host an “intro to permaculture design class” at your home

Willing to put in 10-15 hours in the month or two prior to the permablitz towards seeking out and providing materials as specified in the design (this might mean purchasing and/or gathering and recycling with the help of the permablitz organizer).

Capacity to maintain the permaculture systems post-permablitz for the duration of the time that they’re designed for.

Located in Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, Scarborough, Falmouth (we’re maintaining our focus in the immediate vicinity of Portland. If you’re from another area please email us, as we’re psyched to help catalyze permablitzing capacity in other towns!)

Space for 10 to 20 people to work, park vehicles, sit down inside or outside for lunch

Able to provide a soup or other main dish for lunch, with attendees bringing other lunch items potluck-style to compliment.

Criteria for selection:
Host selections will a) give preference to those who have participated in permablitzes previously, and b) people who don’t own their own homes, c) seek to attain a diversity of space options (urban and rural, design constraints, etc.) and project possibilities (including expanding into weatherization and energy projects), and d) seek hosts who are interested in building systems of mutual aid: creative ways that they might give back to the wider community after receiving the blitz. e) seek to support bridge-builders in our community and to bring networks or groups of people together to do shared work.

27More about our goals for this year…

  • Permablitzing at least ten sites: both urban and suburban residential, owner-occupied as well as rental; and at least three of those as public, community, or multiple stakeholder sites.
  • Generating new and creative grassroots ways of leveraging space in support of the wider community.
  • Working with mutual aid and shared work to connect different networks and communities of people.
  • Demonstrating and documenting options for urban permaculture that work within the constraints of rental situations.
  • Supporting renter capacity for self-sufficiency and mutual aid in the face of the rising rent prices.
  • Building reciprocity and a network of mutual aid.
  • Building collaboration across public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as empowering the grassroots.
  • Working with neighborhoods and city blocks to build organizing capacity for permablitzes.
  • Expanding beyond food and water resilience, building in energy and weatherization projects.
  • Supporting the self-organizing capacity of the amazing folks in the permablitz network to accomplish new and unforeseen projects!
43If you’ve read all this and you’re still interested in hosting a permablitz on your property, get your name on the list by filling out this host application now!

If you have any questions, please email our Permablitz Coordinator Heather Foran ( or LisaFernandes (


Everyone at The Resilience Hub

#Permaculture Design Unveiled at Falmouth Schools

In the fall of 2015 The Resilience Hub had the great honor to collaborate with Falmouth Public Schools to design a .65 acre parcel of land that all k-12 students (in addition to the IMG_0035wider Falmouth Community)  will be able to access, learn from and grow many different crops on.  The Falmouth School system is not new to school gardens as they have been a gardening with students since 2002 and participating  in the Farm-to-School movement. The Farm-to-School Committee invited The Resilience Hub to help convene a participatory process that would engage all stakeholders and inform the  final design. Some of the strategies that Rachel Lyn Rumson and I used included:

  • Distributed a survey to collect input from community members, parents, staff, administrators, and school board members
  • Met with 6th and 12th graders to discuss Permaculture and gain feedback from the students on what they wished to see in the new growing space
  •  Conducted interviews with 10 stakeholders from the survey group
  • A draft review meeting was held with students, staff, and community members, showcasing what students had learned during the process, results of many site visit and analysis of the site, and draft design element ideas

Key features of the design include a focus on soil culture, food production, multiple outdoor classrooms, laboratories and zones; including a kiwi classroom, a wildlife pond, an observation area for student exploration, data collection, and physically engaging with concepts such as microclimates, fungal networks, sun path, shadows, and wind direction, multifunctional windbreaks,edible  hedges, and mini agroforestry learning labs. Other elements in the design include a composting toilet, low maintenance rainwater catchment systems and an information kiosk nested in a mini-orchard.

Screenshot 2016-02-23 11.20.27The project culminated in January with a community event unveiling the final design. Community members, parents, students and staff came out to check out the design, ask questions, and  sample some yummy food prepared by the garden manager and nutrition director (a lot of which was made with the most local ingredients; those straight from the schools gardens!)

Falmouth3In the photo at right, high school students present the design to some kindergarteners and field some very important questions!  It was quite a sight to see how invested the High School students were teaching the younger ones that will likely get to play a large part in the planting, learning, and growing in this new space.

We are excited to see this design take shape on the ground as this final draft is just the beginning.  The ground is awakening and as students, teachers, and staff engage with the land and  practice the ethics of earth care, people care and fair share the design will evolve and grow along with the people caring for this patch of campus.

-Julie McLeod, Design Coordinator for The Resilience Hub




#Permaculture Lending Library Coming to The #Resilience Hub in March!

Many of you have gotten a taste of our permaculture library over the years while attending permaculture workshops and events.  Some of you have even helped schlep our “traveling library” in and out of our teaching spaces in our now-infamous blue cargo boxes!

Well, we have finally taken the leap of cataloguing our growing collection (major shouts to of Portland, Maine by the way!), getting glass-fronted library cupboards for our office and will soon be setting up our “open library hours” down at The Resilience Hub on Anderson Street.

ResilienceHub s books LibraryThing

The library (not fully loaded into the system yet) contains more than two hundred titles – books, periodicals and DVDs – on everything permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forestry, green and natural building and renewable energy.  Want to research plants for your own property or farm?  Thinking about building a cob oven?  You’ll be able to come on down to the Hub and use our resources to help your planning.  We will probably pair those library hours with some “Ask a Permaculture Expert” clinics and pop-up cafe events as well!  Our library cupboards will be on wheels, so we won’t rule out rolling these things into the parking lot when the weather is good.

Check back for more details soon but, in the meantime, you can track our growing catalog online anytime!