Exploring Permaculture from Principles to Practices:

Design a synergistic, holistic site plan for your own back yard,
bringing to life a sustainable, abundant edible landscape, and more!

Saturday, May 7th and Sunday, May 8th, 2005 (Attend one day, or whole weekend)
Sunnyside Learning Center
1801 Avondale Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI
(for those in Ontario: this is west of Detroit, about 4 hour drive from Toronto; car pooling will be arranged)


Permaculture Slide Show and Organic Potluck Dinner
(Open to those not attending the workshop; include for those who are)

Saturday, May 7th
6:45 – 7:45 p.m. Organic potluck dinner
8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Slide show and discussion

Puttting Permaculture into Practice:
Design Skills for Your Yard and More!

Natural Edible Urban Agriculture for Your Yard

Learn the fundamentals of permaculture and put this information into practice by creating a design for a 100-acre organic farm, which is also home to a living foods healing retreat centre (New Life Retreat Center). Learn even more by doing hands-on projects to implement the designs we created. Bring in the details of your site, and get ideas about what you can do once you’re back at home!

At the Weekend Workshop you will:
• Get an introduction to permaculture, with a focus on how to bring it to life in your yard
• Develop your skills of observation, plant identification, and landscape reading
• Perform a zone & sector analysis, and a needs & yields assessment
• Have fun learning to create synergistic designs through a wild design exercise
• Perform a site assessment, and learn to map an area
• Learn how to build soils, create no-dig beds, and compost properly
• Explore vertical growing, including multi-story forest gardening
• Get an edible landscape started from scratch by planting fruiting trees & bushes, and other cultivable annuals and perennials!
• Explore the integration of greywater systems, and ponds into the landscape
• Examine plans to add structure to the property: solar shower, composting toilet, and a greenhouse
• Develop real-life designs for the New Life Retreat Centre yard, and your yard as well!


Permaculture Slide Show (and potluck dinner) - open to those not attending the workshop
Saturday, May 7th
6:45 – 7:45 p.m. Organic potluck
8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Slide show and discussion
This slide show is a great opportunity to see images of natural building, renewable energy, alternative waste and water treatment, organic growing, ecovillages, cohousing, and more!


You can attend for 1 day or 2. If you are only attending one, the Saturday is the foundation day; Sunday is more of a hands-on design day where we will cover new materials and spend lots of time outdoors on site, and you will get support for your home projects.


  • 9:00 - 9:30 Registration, informal meeting, perusing literature, breakfast (please bring a breakfast potluck item if you wish to nibble in this time and/or in the mid-morning snack break)
  • 9:30 - 10:00 Opening Circle: Introduction of course facilitators, self-introduction of course participants; overview of the day and weekend (Please note that start times are prompt )
  • 10:00 - 1:00 Introduction to permaculture: vision, ethics, principles.
    Design methodologies: zones & sectors, needs & yields assessment
    Wild design exercise (brings all the morning’s materials together in a fun, creative, interactive design session)
  • 1:00 - 2:00 Lunch
    - included in fee: organic salad and bread to complement your packed lunch; please bring anything else you would like to eat
  • 2:00 - 6:00 On site:
    - Observation skill development exercise
    - plant identification
    - fundamentals of biophysical landscape structures
    - learning to “read” the landscape
    - learn about soil: how to compost properly, and how to build soil building through sheet mulch gardening
    - Beginning of “Client “ interview with our host, Ellen Bogard of the Sunnyside Learning Center
    - Beginning to relate what we learned to your site
  • 6:00 - 6:30 Closing; prep for Sunday
  • 6:45 – 7:45 Organic Potluck Dinner -bring a dish to serve 8 (open to those not taking the workshop)
  • 8:00 - 10:00 Sustainable Living Slide Show and Discussion (open to those not taking the workshop)


  • 9:30 - 10:00 Arrive, socialize, organic fruit provided for snacking
  • 10:00 - 10:15 Opening Circle (Please note that start times are prompt )
  • 10:15 - 12:30 Morning Session
    - Recap of and questions/observations about Saturday
    - Client/Self Interview: getting clear about your needs & wants
    developing a pragmatic staged approach to "growing" your garden
    - The Spiral Design Process
  • 1:00 - 1:30 Lunch (organic salad and soup included in fee)
  • 1:30 - 5:30 Hands On Afternoon Session:
    - Full Site Assessment
    - Mapping Exercise
    - Design work
    - Execution of first stages of design, including siting and planting of fruit trees and berry bushes
  • 5:30 - 6:00 Next Steps, and Closing


The course will be offered in English.


Permaculture offers useful knowledge and creative applications for almost everyone: Environmentalists, Agriculturists, Farmers, Landscapers, Land Owners, Interested citizens, Educators, Gardeners and Youth. This course is suitable to both home owners, and those who rent. The material will focus on urban and suburban contexts, but this does not preclude implementation of the ideas covered in rural areas.


Instructor Jillian Hovey is a seasoned international permaculture teacher who is dedicated to inspiration and education about healthy and sustainable living. Jillian holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, and is waiting to sit her final exam for a Masters in Environmental Studies in Sustainable Community Planning and Design from York University in Toronto.

Jillian sustains herself financially through her teaching, design, and facilitation work, which is focused on eco development projects. She has worked across North America and down into Central America, and has wonderful slide shows of the eco projects and ecovillages that she has visited and worked with. Jillian recently supported a forming ecovillage projects in Quebec and Costa Rica, and is presently helping to create a sustainable, off-gird community with a Mohawk tribe in Ontario.

Born and raised in Quebec, Jillian is based in Toronto, where she founded and runs the Sustainable Living Network ( www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org ). She also focalizes the volunteer-run Sustainable Living Books project which makes over 2,500 titles on sustainable and healthy living available at special events and shows (the draft site www.sustainablelivingbooks.com will be fully operational in the fall of 2004). Her organization offers courses and workshops on a wide range of aspects of permaculture, and is extensively networked with other people and organizations in Ontario, and around the world. There are opportunities for apprentices and volunteers, as well as summer student positions.

Jillian has a warm, present, and inclusive facilitation style, which, coupled with the wealth of her experience, and her passion and commitment to sustainable living, helps to create a rich and supportive learning environment. Feel free to approach her with your project ideas: if she can't help you herself, she always knows someone who can!


Jillian Downey, resident of Great Oaks Co-housing, Ann Arbor, MI

Mike Levine, Co-owner of “Nature and Nurture, LLC” a local Organic gardening, Edible Landscaping, Ecological Restoration business www.natureandnurture.org

Ellen Bogard of Sunnyside Learning Center


Sunnyside Learning Center is an alternative education center for children in a suburban neighbourhood. We will we be designing an edible landscape, examining plans for additions of a passive solar greenhouse addition to the house, and developing a learning playscape for the kids.


Organic soup, bread, and salad will be provided, please bring anything else you may desire for lunches. The Saturday night Slide Show is preceded by a Potluck dinner: please bring a dish for 8-12 people, preferably organic, with ingredients noted on a label for display as some folks are vegetarian, others are vegan, some are raw foodists! Be creative, and please don't be shy to contact us for advice/support - this is part of the learning as well!

No accommodations are included. If you are from out of town and need a place to stay, your options are as follows: we can recommend a hotel or B&B in the area; we may be able to arrange a billet with another workshop participant.


  • 1 Day: $70 - 125 (includes Saturday night slide show)
  • 2 Days: $125 - 230 (includes Saturday night slide show)
  • Slide show alone at Sunnyside Learning Center (Saturday): $5-25 ; slide show attendees on the Saturday evening can come early for the potluck if they bring a dish (preferably organic).

* While we allow for participants to attend only one day due to other inflexible obligations they may have, we strongly encourage people to attend both days to obtain the full benefits of this experience.

*We endeavor to make our workshops be accessible to all those interested. There are a few partial and full works trade options for people in need. Before you approach us for a reduced rate and/or a work trade, we ask that you reflect upon a balance between your ability to pay and honoring those who make it their life’s work to offer these experiences. Let us work together to be accessible and healthfully sustainable!


1801 Avondale Avenue , Ann Arbor , MI


Limit of 20 participants – please contact us early to secure your spot!
Please contact Jillian Hovey at jillian@permaculture.net, 416-410-7581

Design a synergistic, holistic site plan for your own back yard,
bringing to life a sustainable, abundant edible landscape, and more!

Workshop poster

Pictures Copyright © 2005 Jillian Hovey.
Copyright © 2005 Sustainable Living Network.