In June, I went to the Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017 at Stonehedge Gardens in Tamaqua, PA. This was the first event like this here, but they do plan on having several more like this in the future. Today I’ll give you a run-down on what the Pennsylvania Permaculture Convergence 2017 was all about.
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Several times a day they had exercise classes that included Yoga and a Movement and Rhythm class.
They had a tent where many of the lectures were held, an inside area with a stage where many lectures, workshops and the evening music took place and they had several other meeting areas for the various workshops. The site had two camping areas, one for tent camping and another for RV camping. I stayed at a motel about 10 miles away from the event.
They had a couple of food vendors as well as one lady that was making fresh herbal drinks. They also had a few other vendors there. Some were selling plants and others just passing out various information.
They had an area set up for kids as well. This area had its own tent, chaperones, and activities. All of the kids there seemed to be having a blast.
They had music every evening and the big name was Charlie McGee from Formidable Vegetable Sound System all the way from Australia. His songs are centered around permaculture and are great in a group environment like a permaculture convergence.
I ran into Kevin Smith, one of the coordinators, who was nice enough to give us an idea of what it took to put this event together. Kevin stated that they do plan on doing another event in 2018 in the early June timeframe. More information can be found at stonehedge.us/
The Workshops and Lectures
The first workshop I attended was a straw bale gardening workshop. They described the process of and purpose of straw bale gardening and then we actually planted some plants into the straw bale.
I then attended a lecture on rain gardens and the advantages to having one. That was followed by a lecture on composting. Both of these lectures were given by local Master Gardeners.
The next workshop was a fermenting workshop. We actually made homemade sauerkraut and I had no idea how easy it was. I actually ended up buying a book about fermenting vegetables.
I then attended a few lectures on growing and making herbal medicine followed by foraging for wild mushrooms. The mushroom lecture was followed by a workshop on growing various different types of mushrooms and I ended up making an oyster mushroom kit that I was able to take home with me.
Several times a day they had plant walks with various experts that took you through the woods and pointed out the vast array of edible plants, herbs and medicinal plants. This was one of my favorite things because I love learning about plants so much.
They had a lecture on Heirloom Seed Saving. The presenter had a slide deck where he described some of his successes and also highlighted a few failures so we wouldn’t have to repeat his mistakes.
At the end of the second day they had a panel discussion with several of the presenters and Scott Man of the Permaculture Podcast was the moderator and curator.
Some of the items that they had that I did not attend because of scheduling conflicts include; Herb Spiral Workshop, Permaculture Principles to Radically Change Your Life, Brick Oven Fabrication Workshop, Community Driven Ecological Design, Timber Framing Workshop, Wool Spinning Wheel Demonstration, and a Metal Working Workshop.
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