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Michael Brahier
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Discovery Bay , Washington, United States
Climate Zone:
Cold Temperate

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Recent Earthworks course with Nicholas Burtner

Posted by Michael Brahier about 5 years ago

I recently took an Earthworks course. I'd like to share a bit about it.

I took a ride over to Plano, Texas last month to further my education with Nicholas Burtner at his school he has set up, School of Permaculture. It was a three day earthworks workshop, two days of classroom study and discussion, followed by a day in the field surveying and installing swales for a food forest.

Firstly, let me say that Nicholas is a really great guy. He is funny and cheerful, and immediately puts you at ease so you are ready to begin learning.

The classroom was at his urban demonstration site, just out side of Dallas. There were about a half dozen students so there was plenty of time for anyone with a question to get clarification, which was great. There was also lots of give and take, as many of the students were fairly knowledgable and had anecdotes that helped illustrate the points being made by Nicholas. This student particpation made things well rounded and comfortable.

The classroom setting was excellent, as well. It was pleasant to take a break from whiteboard and lecture to wander around the backyard gardens and food forest. This also helped show how small scale earthworks are applicable.

The final day we traveled across town to the site of Divinekinship, where they will be planting a food forest to help eliminate food deserts in urban enviroments. It was really great feeling to know that we weren't just learning about how to drought proof land and avoid erosion, but we were also starting a process to help feed underprivileged folks nutient rich foods. That's stacking functions!

It was a thoroughly great experience. I gained knowledge, made new friends, and had a blast.

For Nicholas' write up and more pictures go to: http://schoolofpermaculture.com/latest-earthworks-course/#.VFh_TcmwUQMEarthworks group shot



Comments (3)

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John Morrison
John Morrison : Looks great how high were the swales and what were planted on them Just finished 80 meters of swale on my own place and 3 days later had 28mm of rain in 1hours and all were full so on with the planting
Posted about 5 years ago

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Michael Brahier
Michael Brahier : John, these were small swales, as the property was small and so was the machine. I'd say probably two feet deep in the trench and the berm was about the same.

I'm not sure what will be planted in them, because we did not get that far on the project during our time in the course. If you watch Nicholas Burtner's webpage, he will probably be posting updates on that project in the future.

I'd love to see what you did with your project. Please post about it?
Posted about 5 years ago

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Ollie Brown
Ollie Brown : Thanks for sharing. I'll take a look through the write up tomorrow.
Posted almost 5 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Pri verified
Permaculture Design Course
Type: Online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Online
Date: Jun 2013
Other course verified
Earthworks Course
Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Nicholas Burtner
Location: Plano, Texas
Date: Oct 2014
Other course verified
Permaculture Life Skills
Type: Internship
Teacher: Tom Kendall
Location: PRI Sunshine Coast
Date: Oct 2015
Other course unverified
Permaculture Teacher Training
Type: Teacher Training
Teacher: Jude Hobbs
Location: OUR Ecovillage
Date: Mar 2016
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Michael Brahier has permaculture experience in:
Cold Temperate
Cool Temperate
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