International Permaculture Day – Free Event ← Spiral Ridge Permaculture

International Permaculture Day – Free Event

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Date(s) - May/Sat/2015


Spiral Ridge Permaculture


Tags community building, homesteading, off-grid, permaculture, Tennessee

International Permaculture Day - Free Event

International Permaculture Day – 3rd Annual Free Talk & Tour followed by a Plant Sale

Permaculture Day at Spiral RidgePermaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is about designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining and largely self-reliant and have minimal impact on the environment.

International Permaculture Day –  A day in early May, when a range of permaculture events occur across the globe. Open homes, gardens and farms, films, educational workshops, permablitzes and a host of other activities provide an opportunity for the public to see positive permaculture projects in action, to talk personally to the people living it and experience the permaculture movement first hand.

We will be holding our event on Saturday, May 2, in honor of International Permaculture Day. NOTE: The Permaculture Day promotional materials say May 3.  We wanted to make it easier for church attendees to come, so we moved the event to Saturday, May 2, instead of Sunday, May 3.

A Permaculture Homestead Talk & Tour 


jen bio 3It’s time again for International Permaculture Day!  This will be Spiral Ridge Permaculture’s third year hosting this event.   The theme for this year is to celebrate the International Year of Soils!  

Consider for a moment that….

Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production.

Soils are the foundation for vegetation which is cultivated or managed for feed, fibre, fuel and medicinal products.

Soils support our planet’s biodiversity and they host a quarter of the total.

Soils help to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle.

Soils store and filter water, improving our  resilience to floods and droughts.

Soil is a non-renewable resource; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future

– source – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

plant sale at Spiral Ridge


A Cornell University Study, which pulls together statistics on soil erosion from more than 125 sources, reports:

  • flowers at spiral ridge PermacultureThe United States is losing soil 10 times faster — and China and India are losing soil 30 to 40 times faster — than the natural replenishment rate.
  • The economic impact of soil erosion in the United States costs the nation about $37.6 billion each year in productivity losses. Damage from soil erosion worldwide is estimated to be $400 billion per year.
  • As a result of erosion over the past 40 years, 30 percent of the world’s arable land has become unproductive.
  • About 60 percent of soil that is washed away ends up in rivers, streams and lakes, making waterways more prone to flooding and to contamination from soil’s fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Soil erosion also reduces the ability of soil to store water and support plant growth, thereby reducing its ability to support biodiversity.
  • Erosion promotes critical losses of water, nutrients, soil organic matter and soil biota, harming forests, rangeland and natural ecosystems.
  • Erosion increases the amount of dust carried by wind, which not only acts as an abrasive and air pollutant but also carries about 20 human infectious disease organisms, including anthrax and tuberculosis.

It’s time to get serious about soil…

Spiral Ridge Permaculture has been for years….in fact, it is a bit of an obsession.  Come visit our site and see what we doCliff Davis of Spiral Ridge to improve and build our soil. How do we keep it from eroding?  How do we elevate it to the status is deserves?  If you are serious about learning more about how to take care of your soil, consider one of our other events, such as the Garden Design and Soil Fertility Class 4/18-4/19 or our Rainwater Harvesting Class 4/25-4/26 to prevent erosion.  A full list of courses are available on our Event Calendar.

Who are your hosts?  We, Cliff Davis and Jennifer Albanese, have been developing an off-grid  permaculture homestead for the last 5 years, on marginal land that was previously logged.  We also run a permaculture & regenerative farm design firm, New Agrarian Design, as well as teach and host permaculture related courses.   Come on out and find out what permaculture is all about.  If you have been considering taking one of our courses, now is the opportunity to meet us as well as many of our course graduates, who will also be attending.


10:00 – 11:30 Introduction to Permaculture and Soils talk.

11:30 Tour of our homestead.  We will share what has worked, what we would do differently and more.  We have a forest garden, nursery, organic garden, many earthworks demonstrations,  animal systems and more.

12:30 – Plant Sale -I have started heirloom and open pollinated tomatoes specifically chosen for this region, many varieties of peppers, eggplants, herbs, and perennial plants like yarrow, chives, comfrey and more.   We have expanded our selection from last year.  More about how we grow our plants below.

Registering is easy.  Just enter your email to tell us you are coming.  This event is totally free.tomato plants

 More About Our Yearly Plant Sale

Seed, Soil and Sustainability

Seeds – We source our seeds from companies that are committed to Non-GMO policies.  Many of the varieties are open pollinated, heirlooms.  We have also included some hybrids that have excellent disease resistance in our area.

Soil – Our plants are grown in a mineral-rich custom blend of the finest all organic ingredients.  We use:

Homemade vermicompost and castings – We make these products in our worm farm in the high tunnel.  Casts contains eight times as many micro-organisms as their feed!  Pathogenic bacteria are reliably killed in the worms’ gut. Worm casts also contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, and 11 times more potassium than ordinary soil, the main minerals needed for plant growth. Also rich in humic acids, which condition the soil, have a perfect pH balance, and contain plant growth factors similar to those found in seaweed. There’s nothing better to put in your garden!

Peat Moss – Canadian sourced from a company that restores harvested peat bogs to functioning wetlands.  We reduce our Peat Moss use by including…

Coconut Coir – Renewable resource and excellent potting medium made from coconut husks.

Perlite – prevents soil compaction

Kelp – Kelp releases nutrients slowly as they are broken down by soil microorganisms. Kelp contains over 70 vitamins and minerals beneficial to plants.

Azomite – a natural re-mineralizer for soil. It contains more than 67 trace mineral elements and every essential micro-mineral needed by plants and animals, including a wide range of rare earth elements and other minerals not included in fertilizers or animal feeds.

Lime – to neutralize acidity of peat moss.

Collodial Rock Phosphate – soft rock phosphate is insoluble in water, will not leach away, and therefore is long-lasting. Has 18% phosphorous and 15% calcium as well as trace elements.

Greensand – For Slow-release Potassium & Trace Minerals New Jersey Greensand (also known as glauconite) is an organic source of potassium (3%).

Feathermeal – an excellent long-term source of nitrogen

Endomycorrhizal Fungi – We sprinkle inoculant onto the roots of the plant when we up pot.  The fungi colonize the root system and form a symbiotic relationship with the plant.  This increases water and nutrient absorption capabilities and helps protect the plants from pathogens.

Sustainability – We use soil blocks to reduce the amount of plastic used during the initial stages of growth.  We transplant into recycled plastic pots that have been cleaned or bought pots that are made from recycled bottles.  We use recycled plastic yogurt containers or recyclable wood for our plant tags.


This event is fully booked.