Time for a new look! T-shirt contest!!! The PAN Board is launching a T-shirt contest and will be collecting submissions until February 10th (2018). Once all of the entries have been received we will ask for members to vote on the design they think reflects the organization most. If we use your design you will receive a one year membership to PAN and a shirt! We are excited to see what the talented designers in this community come up with! Send your submission to us via email.
PAN hosted its annual board, teachers and organizer’s retreat at the Omega Institute from October 8-11, 2017. This year those in attendance were the PAN board and a small, intimate group of committed network organizers from New York City to Boston. For this year’s retreat we chose to place some stronger focus on “unconferencing” which felt like a tremendous success. We’ve been hosting these retreats at Omega for about five years, and usually we have a full agenda, and between the facilitation and hosting, it doesn’t always feel like a retreat for some of us. This year we planned on plenty of unstructured time to hang out, network and play.
The work time that we put in was productive and we unveiled the standards pledge for feedback, planned for greater collaboration with PINA, reviewed and brainstormed the work that PAN does, came up with a work plan and a list of deliverables for 2018 and asked for feedback from members about benefits we could provide to the network. Your membership dues goes to support the work of PAN so that we can make our work freely available to the network and the world. The voluntary teaching pledge of standards will be an important document that will help aspiring new teachers in their workshop and course organizing efforts.
While the scheduled work times were productive, the “unconferencing” also proved to be very beneficial. We spontaneously decided to do a “show and tell” and give each other a profile of the work that we do in the world. We heard about landscape design and planning, a year-round K-12 grassroots educational program in New York City, and graduate level work defining a rubric for environmental services that can be incorporated into any design discipline.
The mealtimes at Omega were awesome as usual, with a fantastic buffet of local organic food, orange juice on tap and lots of tea. We were able to enjoy many of the amenities of Omega this year in a more laid back manner as well. Those included yoga, tai chi and meditation; an evening camp fire, hiking and boating; and of course the sauna and nap times. Jesse, an avid mixed martial arts fan, even fulfilled a dream of his by introducing a group of very progressive and open-minded permies to the sport on the big screen display we had in our meeting room.
For 2018 PAN is looking forward to organizing less conventions of our own, and we are looking forward to piggy-backing on existing events similar in focus. We are planning on developing a series of webinars that are focused on topics that will benefit our members in the work they do in the world. We are considering hosting the regional Northeast Permaculture Convergence (NEPC) in Maine in the summer of 2018, and we are looking forward to hosting you there! Once again, thanks for all the work you do in the world and thank you for your support of PAN!
Basics for the 2017 Northeast Permaculture Educators’ and Organizers’ Retreat
What: Networking, Co-Creation, and Fun
Date/Time: Sunday, October 8 after 2 pm to Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Where: Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY
Fees: $150 to Omega for dormitory style lodging, meals, and accommodations* plus
sliding scale registration fee to PAN ($40-$90 PAN Members/$50-100 for nonmembers)
Registration – (Note: There will be two steps): I want to register!
Registration deadline is Monday, October 2nd!
Note: This year, Omega’s child care is not available during this time. Babies in arms are welcome to attend with parent(s).
Greetings PAN members and supporters!
We hope your summer has been fruitful, productive and nourishing. PAN has been active this summer with helping to facilitate a distributed model of the summer convergence. We helped raise awareness for local convergence events in Maine, New Hampshire and New York. We staffed a table at New Hampshire permaculture day to talk with supporters, listen to their projects and share with people what PAN does.
We will continue with our outreach efforts, this time at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity Maine coming up next week Sept 22-24. We will be staffing a table for the duration of the fair, and we will talk about PAN’s mission, values, and the work that we do to support the regional network. We will be talking about the 4 C’s of Connectivity, Communications, Convening and Capacity-Building.
This will be a great opportunity to interact with a large volume of people (something like 10k people/day) to talk about the value in the work that PAN does and the value in becoming a member of this organization to support our mission and work.
We need your help! Many of you are likely already coming to the Common Ground Fair, and we need help staffing our table during this massive event. We have a limited number of vendor passes we can give to those of you willing to help us table for a 2-3 hour shift. That gets you into the fair for free!
Please contact us to schedule your volunteer shift and help us build capacity for our regional network! And thank you!
Fun facts about Patty:
- Native to hard clay soils in the Finger Lakes Region of NY
- Lives in Rochester, NY on the banks of Red Creek
- She is barefoot whenever possible!
- Self-employed Virtual Assistant and Business Manager since 2000
- In 2009, attended her first PDC with Dave Feasey and then Starhawk’s E.A.T. in 2011
- Founded Barefoot Edible Landscape and Permaculture – a design-build and consulting firm
- Founded Genesee Valley/Rochester Permaculture and Resilience Network Meetup
- Founded Rochester Permaculture Center, her educational homestead, in 2011
- Founded Lots of Food, a public food forest garden project
- Proud mom of one teen homeschooled son
- Favorite fruit = raspberry
- Wishes she could grow cacao!
- This is the first MailChimp newsletter she has laid out.
Written by PAN Member, Liz Kelly
On February 25, 2017, 18 Permaculture educators and practitioners came together to discuss the continued improvement of Permaculture education opportunities in the northeast. Now that Permaculture, historically a fringe movement, has entered mainstream venues, conversations centered around community education standards and qualifications have sprouted within the network and grown. PAN has been organizing these conversations among teachers and practitioners for the past three years. The focus of the most recent winter retreat, hosted by D Acres Permaculture Farm & Homestead in Rumney, NH, was to collaboratively develop voluntary and community-driven pilot education standards inspired by and for the northeastern permaculture network.
Developing Educational Standards:
The group identified collective education standards as serving multiple purposes: to ensure our actions align with our intent as teachers, to provide a framework of best practices, to support a community of Permaculture practitioners, to produce clear processes for professional development, and to promote a culture of improvement by creating positive feedback loops within education. A beautiful aspect of the Permaculture movement is its functioning as a decentralized, and ideally, self-organizing system. The purpose of clearly defined standards is to improve redundancy and consistency, an important part of any ecosystem. The group found it important to define education standards in a way that would improve quality of education without stifling creativity and/or autonomy among teachers and to create a process of developing standards that is iterative and inclusive. Ultimately, all of us as educators want to ensure Permaculture practitioners, from beginners to seasoned veterans, receive high-quality educational experiences that provide them skills and knowledge to participate in earth and community based restoration work. Determining what content is most imperative for educators to communicate about when teaching permaculture was an important part of the day’s conversation.
The group determined that there were different considerations for content depending on the educational format that the educator was planning for (i.e. introductory workshop, PDC, advanced PDC, etc.). Such considerations based on format included the depth of core content to be taught (ethics, principles, process, systems thinking) and core curriculum topics (soil, water, plants, etc.). Regardless of the format, the group found it vitally important that educators integrate the history of land and people into the course content, that they create an inclusive space that builds relationships among participants, that learning outcomes are clearly defined, and that all types of learning styles are considered in the planning stages.
Some agreed upon teaching ethics the group discussed included promoting inclusion, being respectful, celebrating diversity, ensuring accessibility, creating an interactive experience, embracing knowledge of place, and embodying ethics.
Implementing Pilot Standards:
The group brainstormed a number of ways to present the pilot standards to the northeastern permaculture network and ways for individuals to commit to those standards. Implementation steps that were discussed include:
- Conduct direct outreach to other permaculture teachers and practitioners in the region not present that should be part of this conversation and receive feedback from them.
- Post pilot standards to website and publicize via press release, etc.
- Create a voluntary “PAN Pledge” where teachers can apply to become a “PAN-Certified Teacher” by agreeing to education standards.
- Create an online registry or database of northeastern permaculture teachers that have agreed to community standards and are PAN members. Registry could include teacher bios and be searchable by topic or location. The goal of the registry would be to improve transparency about who the teachers in our region are.
- Encourage peer to peer review. Our network is a valuable resource and we can learn so much about teaching permaculture from each other. PAN teachers could visit other permaculture classes taught by PAN teachers to provide feedback and mutual support.
- Encourage mentorship. PAN teachers can assist other beginning permaculture educators in learning/integrating education standards into their own work.
- Explore models of accountability to ensure Permaculture teachers who have agreed to community standards are upholding them.
A small sub-committee has formed to take these standards, refine them, and build from the suggested implementation steps to come up with a plan for rolling out the pilot standards publicly in the fall. The hope is that these standards will be refined further as more feedback is received from other teachers/practitioners in our community and will be revisited on a consistent basis to ensure they evolve as needed.
This is a grassroots, bottom-up approach to developing and rolling out pilot standards. Your input and feedback is imperative to this process!