I’ve been working with Transition OKC (TOKC) as a volunteer co-chair and co-founder for going on three years now. The Transition model is deeply rooted in the Permaculture design system, and although I am still very much a beginner when it comes to understanding Permaculture’s beautiful principles and how to implement them, no matter how often I read about them, and see them in action, I never fail to be inspired.
So it is with great excitement I write about this Permaculture Course TOKC, which is a program of Sustainable OKC, has organized. And full disclosure – I’m selfishly really looking forward to taking the course myself!
A full-scale Permaculture Design Course, all 72-hours of it, is now open for enrollment, and will take place in Oklahoma City and at Turtle Rock Farm near Red Rock this fall. The course will be taught by Scott Pittman, of the Permaculture Institute of Santa Fe, with guest teaching by Oklahoma City permaculturist, Bob Waldrop.
The course will take place from Aug.–Nov. 2011 and is designed around two long weekends (Thurs.-Sun.) and two weekend-only sessions (Sat.-Sun.), for a full 12 days of instruction. This means working people will miss only four work days total (calculated on a regular work week being M-F). Classes are generally 9 a.m.–5 p.m. This is a certificate-level class.
A $300 deposit is required to reserve a spot in the class and a short questionnaire/essay is also required, to be submitted at the time of deposit payment. The Permaculture Institute is handling registration via their website – dates of the classes, registration, course syllabus, essay outline and other details are available.
Permaculture design offers an array of solutions for growing and designing resilient, healthy and sustainable communities, and compliments fields such as biomimicry which emulate natural models. Or as Bob put it in a recent article about Permaculture in the Oklahoma Gazette,
“It [permaculture] is the art and science of designing sustainable human habitations and systems that care for people, care for the planet and have a care for the future.”
Some long-range planners, analysts, designers, sustainability advocates and environmentalists believe Permaculture has the potential to guide humanity through many of the challenges we face, such as economic instability, volatile energy supplies and prices, peak oil, climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. As an affirmation of this concept, last year the U.S. Army sent several members of Oklahoma's National Guard through a specially designed Permaculture Course at the Permaculture Institute in Santa Fe prior to deployment to Afghanistan. You can read more about that inspiring effort here.
Transition OKC received a grant from the City of Oklahoma City Office of Sustainability which lowers the full fee for the class to $750 (a very nice discount from the usual $900 or $1,000) so we’re very blessed. Big shout out to Transition OKC team member Randy Marks for obtaining the grant. Lodging and meals are not included in the tuition and are the responsibility of course participants.
The first session will take place at Turtle Rock Farm Retreat near Billings, Okla., about an hour and half north of OKC. This is a working farm, Platinum certified with Oklahoma Tourism’s ECO program, and part of the Oklahoma Agritourism program as well. They serve as a center for sustainability, spirituality and healing, and are located on the beautiful, rolling Oklahoma prairie. Grounds include a labyrinth, a recently completed straw-bale hermitage and lake. The farm has alpacas, honey bees, gardens, chickens, wheat and cattle.
- Meals – Bring your own lunch.
- Lodging. Participants are responsible for their own lodging.
- Turtle Rock offers a limited number of accommodations on a first come, first serve basis. Accommodations include a 100-year-old farmhouse overlooking the prairie and a brick rambler overlooking a lake. Some rooms include double beds so if you’re willing to share a bed with someone, more spaces are available. If you stay at Turtle Rock, a continental breakfast is provided. More details on Turtle Rock’s website or contact them directly if you have questions. You’re also welcome to camp out on the farm and utilize their bathroom facilities. They may also have a teepee available for camping. Please bear in mind it will be Aug. – likely very hot.
- Perry and Ponca City are about 20-25 minutes away (Perry is south of the farm, Ponca City is north) and both offer lodging and eateries, with Ponca City being the larger town. Both offer the usual hotel/motel chain lodging as well as locally owned B&Bs and inns. TravelOK.com offers great information on lodging and dining for both towns. Just go to the website and enter the town/city name in the search line, you’ll get info on the offerings in both categories – just click through to see what appeals to you.
Please feel free to share this info with others.
Here’s to happy Oklahoma permaculturing!