What Water Does For Us; What We Can Do For Water
A Permaculture Weekend in Northern Michigan

August 18-20th

A family friendly educational camping event PACKED with valuable info and hands-on activities focused on being good stewards of our precious waters.

Topics: All living things depend on a healthy hydrologic cycle; Water solutions to Climate Change; How to build a rain barrel and rainwater catchment; DIY garden ponds; Strategies to capture, store, and re-use water; Water-wise gardening and irrigation methods; Introduction to Permaculture Design of water systems; Our personal, practical relationship and gratitude for water; and more…

Course Dates

Friday, August 18th
to Sunday, August 20th

Course Location

3830 Bowerman Rd. Kingsley, Michigan
(Chelsea & Corey Hansens’ homestead 30min from TC)

Course Price

Individual: $150
($120 before Aug. 1st)
Family: $325
($260 before Aug. 1st)
+$50 to take home a Rain Barrel

Weekend Agenda

Friday (Optional)

ARRIVE and settle in
9am-11am – Volunteers/Work traders arrive to help with setup
3-5pm – Early-comer attendees check-in/set up campsites.
6:30 pm – Shared Potluck meal
7:30 pm – Clean-up kitchen
Informal tour of homestead (Chelsea & Corey)
Fire-pit Storytelling & Music

[See: Saturday]


(Farm Chores with Chelsea & Corey, helpers welcome)
7-8 am – Qi-gong and Yoga
8:00 – Wake-up call
8:30 – Breakfast with Morning Singing
9:15 – Breakfast Clean-up
9:30 – Session One: Discussion – Planning a DIY Garden Pond/Wetland with Rhonda Baird, Keith Johnson, and Peter Bane
10:30 – Break/shift
10:45 – Session Two: Hands-on Skill-Share – Building the DIY Pond/Wetland
12:00 – LUNCH
1:30 – Gather in and CLOSING Circle Activity
2:30 – ZERO-Waste Clean-up/break-down campsites

ADIOS and much water-love-gratitude!


(Farm Chores with Chelsea & Corey, helpers welcome)
7-8am – Qigong and Yoga at the “Dream Spot”
8:00 – Wake-up call
8:30 – Breakfast
9:15 – Breakfast Clean-up
9:30 – Session One:  Welcome – Logistics/Orientation/Map
10:30 – Session Two: The Story of Water with Peter Bane
11:30 – Break-Shift
11:45 – Session Three: For Love of Water (Plus Home Water Audit) with Rhonda Baird
12:30 – LUNCH
1:30 – Gather in Activity led by Corey Hansen
2:00 – Session Four: Hands-on Skill-sharing – Home Water Collection (Rain Barrel building), Irrigation, and Greywater re-use with Rhonda Baird, Peter Bane, and Corey Hansen
3:00 – Break-Shift
3:15 – Session Five: Hands-on Skill-sharing – Earthworks for Water Harvesting using Swales and Building “Hugelculture” Beds with Penny Krebiehl, Keith Johnson, and Levi Meeuwenberg
4:15-5:00 – Open session to review project progress, finish/clean-up from activities
5:00-6:00 – DINNER with music by Rokko Jans &Nic Talantis
7:00-8:00 – Guest Speaker Peter Bane on The Water Solution to Climate Change
8:30-10:00 – Music by Rokko Jans & Nic Talantis then Self-organizing Music (bring your instruments!)
10:00+ Fire pit, Quiet time, GOODnight!

Rain Barrel & Passive Irrigation Hands-on

Saturday at 2pm

In this hands-on session, we will be building rain barrels to collect the rainwater off a roof rain gutter, with a hose spigot in the bottom for use in your garden. You can take home one of these rain barrels for $50. Or you can just take the knowledge home, and build one for yourself at a later date!

We will also get hands-on experience setting up drip irrigation; and other water-savvy garden strategies such as contour planting, cover crops, deep mulch gardening, and more! This session will be led by Rhonda Baird, Peter Bane, and Corey Hansen.

DIY Small Garden Pond Building Hands-on

Sunday at 9:30am

In this hands-on session, you will learn how to plan and build a small garden pond using affordable/repurposed materials, then plant it out with beneficial species of plants, fish and more. We will go over the planning process, and rules of thumb to ensure the pond functions correctly on your site. Then we will get our hands dirty digging and building a small pond on site.

A garden pond adds a whole new layer of diversity and functions to your home. It can grow edible plants and fish, attract amphibians that help to manage your pest insect populations, acts as backup water storage, and helps to moderate the temperature near it. This session will be led by Rhonda Baird, Keith Johnson, and Peter Bane.


Penny Krebiehl

Penny Krebiehl’s work is focused through Northern Michigan PermacultureO’k Art & Design and the educational non-profit, Little Artshram. Penny is a life-long Michigan garden-farmer, woods-wanderer, and arts educator. She has been educating and consulting as a Certified Permaculture Designer since 2005, and is a graphic-recorder for courses and presentations.

Corey & Chelsea

Chelsea has a background in art education, and often busies herself working the horses and helping to develop a home and farm that is sustainable and enriching to all living things.

Corey is a respected Naturalist and Outdoor Educator with the Greenspire School in Traverse City Michigan and earned his Permaculture Design Certificate in 2016 and has carried that knowledge and experience to both home and work.

Levi Meeuwenberg

Levi Meeuwenberg runs the permaculture farm, Realeyes Homestead where he raises pastured hogs, makes compost, cover crops, and grows tree crops. He was a founding member of the Edible Trails Project and has trained under Dave Jacke, Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, Geoff Lawton and many more.

Guest Presenters

Rhonda Baird

Rhonda co-originated the Bloomington Permaculture Guild, the Great Rivers & Lakes Permaculture Institute, and supports the Center for Sustainable Living as a permaculture resource for Bloomington, Indiana. She is also an associate editor for Permaculture Design magazine (formerly Permaculture Activist) and maintains a design practice through Sheltering Hills Design and Education through which she has taught more than 1,200 students in 25+ courses.

Keith Johnson

Keith offers design and consulting services with Peter Bane through Patterns for Abundance. Has been a Permaculture and Edible Landscaping Teacher / Designer since 1994, organic gardener since 1976, landscaper since 1980, masonry / hardscapes since 1980. And he has trained roughly 600 students in PDCs in Ca, NC, TN, IN, MI, OH, Ontario.

Peter Bane

Peter Bane is the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country, and published Permaculture Activist magazine since 1990. Peter has taught more than 1500 students in 80+ courses spread widely across the US, Canada, and as far afield as Chile, Argentina and Trinidad-Tobago, for more than 20 years.

Food & Drinks

To keep the cost of this event low, and the quality of experience high, please bring your own food and drinks. This is also keeping in the spirit of being mindful of our own needs. Please see the details below of what to expect:

  • Please plan on providing the bulk of your own food and drink needs.
  • We (the event organizers) will provide some basic snacks and tea/coffee for breakfast, and a large soup for dinner.
  • Please plan on bringing something to share with the group as a side to the dinner soup.
  • Please bring your own dishes/food prep tools. The kitchen will only be available to our cook/food leader.
  • To encourage conscious consumption habits we are asking that all visitors bring ALL the potable/drinking water they need for their stay. We will have backup as needed of course, but this will help us from over-taxing the old on-site well. (Usually 1 gallon per person/day is sufficient)
  • If you need to keep your food cool, it would be best if you bring your own cooler with ice for your short stay.
  • Alcoholic beverages are permitted, but please be mindful of the family context of this event.
  • This is a Zero-Waste event! That means that everything you bring needs to leave with you. There will be no trash/recycling receptacles. Please avoid using plastic water bottles.

Lodgings and Camping

As a guest, you will be provided with ample space to setup your camp, if you choose to stay the night. You are also welcome to go home and return each day of the event. A few details about staying here:

  • There will be no power or water hook ups at the camp site. Please BYOW (Bring Your Own Water)
  • There is not a lot of shade or wind-cover at the camp site so bring adequate supplies to secure your camp.
  • We will have rustic portable toilets available for your use.
  • There will be community fire-pits for your use. Please do not create a fire pit at your own camp site.
  • Please bring your own dishes/food prep tools. The kitchen will only be available to our cook/food leader.
  • Camper-trailers; please talk to us in advance. No utility hookups available.
  • If you have any further questions or needs, don’t hesitate to ask! We want you to be comfortable and content.

Nearby Camping/Swimming Opportunities

The Baxter Bridge State Forest Campground is 5.5 miles from the event location, and is a nice campsite alongside the Manistee river. It also has a hand-pump well which can be used for collecting your water.

Cost: $13/night with a Michigan Passport.

CAUTION: The Manistee River is deep, fast, and murky. (You can’t see the bottom) If you consider staying or swimming there, extreme caution must be taken, especially with kids. There are several access points you can find by visiting the campground website.


Thank you for visiting NMI Permaculture! We’re excited to see you all there! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us!

Don't Forget to Subscribe!

Don't Forget to Subscribe!

We'll send you updates about all the cool Permaculture events, gatherings, and news in Northern Michigan.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This