A great line-up of teachers and facilitators will be joining us for the Convergence this year.

Presentations are planned to fill the weekend with hands-on projects, classes, interactive forums, and networking opportunities.
Our schedule will include multiple levels of education & introduction to permaculture

Andy Firk

will lead a wild-edibles walk, specifically previewed for the area where we will be holding the event. Andy visited and scouted there earlier this year, an Atlantic coastal zone that is Sebastian. Local edibles will be itemized in a hand-out pamphlet with description and uses.

There will be a hands-on installation of a ginger/turmeric trail with 40 edible gingers and tumerics, as a part of the long term permaculture development at Sustainable Kashi. This will be a class on all the gingers and turmerics being planted.

POPE – Propagation of Perennial Edibles – with Wendel Martinkovic

Wendel will be teaching the basics of perennial basil, Bahama berry, fig, ginger, jewel of opar, longevity spinach, Okinawa spinach, peppermint and rosemary propagation. Participants will be able to take home cuttings as well as newly rooted plants used in the demonstration.


Rocks on the Inner Landscape — Identifying Them and Clearing Them
– with Jenny Nazak

“Rocks on the inner landscape” are the main obstacle to sustainable human settlements. They are also the main obstacle to the well-being of people as individuals. In this audience-participatory talk, Jenny will outline some common types of “rocks” in human consciousness, and offer practical suggestions for identifying and clearing them (or using them!)


The Yoga of Plants
– with Eric Lewis

A walk and talk in which we will explore permaculture, wild edible and medicinal plants and fungi through the lens of yoga philosophy. Everything will be discussed in simple terms (with more advanced info interspersed, ie botanical names, phyto-chemicals, propagation techniques etc). Everyone from beginners to full fledged plant geeks are encouraged to attend.


Impermanence in Permaculture: Creating Balance in a Changing Environment
– with Loretta Buckner

Some may say that there IS no “permanent culture”, and that what we do in design work is more akin to a consistent adjustment to environmental changes. In the same way that yoga teaches us to flex and stretch our physical and mental muscles to maintain balance, our focus as designers of inner and outer landscapes reflects the need for daily practice as well. Come and enjoy some fun and games designed to shift and stretch your mental and physical edges!


Unburning The Witches: Societal Salvation Through Re-Empowerment of the Sacred Feminine
– with Jay Hardman

A cultural journey through time and paradigmatic shift to “connect the dots” on how we reached the current “tipping point” and how we may influence our dire societal trajectory. We CAN “get ourselves back to the Garden”. Women and their natural bio/cultural nurturing influence, allowed us to survive then. They will do it again if we wake up in time! Hopeful signs are emerging for their re-empowerment.


Inner Landscapes: Creating Abundance Around You By Creating An Abundant Inner Landscape, How Permaculture Principles Can Help Your Inner Garden Thrive
– with Terry Meer

We will shed light and build the bridge between ecology and spirituality using yoga and permaculture principle and practices. We will first explore the soil of your inner garden, and then explore how to enrich the soil of those gardens all around us. The spiritual part of this class will focus on relaxation and inner landscape principles to plant the seeds of love and compassion within. We will focus on social permaculture, financial permaculture, and permaculture ethic to help design a more cooperative community together


Small and Slow Solutions for Psychological First Aid and for Healing from Trauma
– with Judi Gulko

In this workshop, participants will be briefly introduced to some neuro-biological bases of psychological phenomena, such as the role of the vagus nerve, to increase understanding of what happens to our bodies and emotions and thought patterns when we are in fight or flight or freeze modes, and how to engage the vagus nerve to calm, soothe, connect and gain perspective.  We will then practice other first aid methods.

Then we will explore how healing from trauma happens, including the role of mal-adaptive beliefs in blocking healing, and how to shift and compost these beliefs, working with appropriate therapeutic doses, not too much, not too little.  Emotions themselves do not need to be healed: they are simply necessary, natural, healthy pulses of energy, like water, wind and sunlight.   Mal-adaptive beliefs provide us with distorted views of ourselves and the world, and block healthy experience and flow of emotion.  With mindfulness, body-mind and emotional work, visualization, trance work, certain types of sensory stimulation, free association, creative arts and relational connection, trauma and negative beliefs are composted and released. More authentic, realistic and ecologically sound beliefs can flow in, take root, and strengthen.
We will work with cases examples, games, experiential exercises and demonstrations.


Bio-char Kitchen – with Joe Pierce

Biochar is essentially charcoal that as been crushed and soaked or mixed with any type of fertilizer such as manure or compost tea. Once the porous structure of the charcoal is saturated it can retain the nutrient and moisture for long periods of time slowly releasing them to plant roots as needed. Because charcoal is almost pure carbon it is no longer biodegradable which allows it to persist in the soil lending the benefits of is nutrient and moisture retention properties for thousands of years. Being that biochar is mineralized carbon, that would have become carbon dioxide gas in the decomposition of the organic material used to make the biochar, burying carbon in the form of biochar can greatly reduce CO2 emissions. The process of making biochar creates enormous amounts of heat that can be harnessed for all manner of uses such as cooking, water and home heating as well as electrical production. This workshop will demonstrate multiple methods for producing biochar and discuss preparation and application as a soil amendment and fuel source.


Bringing Permaculture To The Mainstream Through Community Involvement
– with Orlando Permaculture Group

Jeff Trapani, Justin Marcano, and Matt Hunter of the Orlando Permaculture Group will be teaming up in an experience based talk on bringing permaculture to the broader community. The conversation will start with an introduction of their group, how it was established, and ways to start, grow, and engage our own local permaculture groups. Other topics discussed will include outreach, working with outside organizations, city involvement, and various other topics. There will also be time for members of the audience to share on their own efforts and successes. Help us join together for an inspiring conversation. It’s time to grow!


Edible Landscaping Inc: Set-up Procedures and Strategies for Launching an Edible Landscaping Business – with Erica Klopf

Join Erica for a tour through the inner landscape of a young but operating edible landscaping company. Learn about state and federal registration, licensing, insurance, and other procedural activities and methods for staying open for business.  Discuss operations, branding, marketing, and working in the private and public sector.


Beauty and Function in Permaculture Design: Feeding the Inner and Outer Aesthetic, Spirit, and Well Being
– with Anna Lee

There are currently many misunderstandings & misrepresentations of permaculture in the USA.  What had once been given to us by Bill Mollison as a deep and broad understanding of Ethics and Design Principles,  meant to evolve with new design experiments and areas of concern, are now often distilled into a rather static and narrow idea of what permaculture is. Along with this is a human tendency to echo known and accepted ideas and to cling to cultural fantasies to the detriment of exploration and evolution.

Examples are: confusing techniques for design, such as a hobbit house structure of materials not adequate or appropriate for the climate into which it is built; or Russian style structures with a  utilitarian focus rather than something which also speaks to ones soul. The creative force and the aesthetic sense is just as important as the functional need served.  We are complicated and simple at the same time.  We have basic needs which permaculture addresses so well, and among them is this aspect of the need to create, to express oneself, to explore our possibilities and to manifest something unique. This is part of the holistic nature of permaculture.  It is vital to our well being.  It is not often spoken of or studied as our “observation” principle suggests we do.  It is clearly one of the many functions possible in a layered design.  It feeds something in our nature and reflects Nature herself.

It is high time for Beauty to take her rightful place in all our permaculture considerations. Come explore this important and nourishing aspect of Permaculture Design with Anna Lee.


Earth Repair: Permaculture Beyond Farms and Homesteads
– with Mario Yanez and Thais Thiesen

Mario and Thais will share lessons learned from their work designing permaculture-based community solutions through Earth Learning’s trajectory from food summits to local food enterprise campus. They will share experiences launching the company Foodscape Designs, an effort to achieve a significant impact by growing food everywhere. Mario will highlight his newest project, the Community Food Forestry Initiative, a nationwide effort to make food forests commonplace in our public and civic spaces.


Growing Community  – with Alex Ojeda

We are trained our whole lives to be separate and independent from each other while being dependent on a cold and soul-less system. This is the challenge we face building community. Join Alex in this workshop to look at using permaculture principles to “grow” community like a perennial garden.

“Permaculture is the art of living with the earth and that applies to 7 different domains which encompass every aspect of life.”