Van-Kal Permaculture

Various Apples

Fruit Tree Cultivar Repository

Since many of us have fruit trees growing, and most trees some require annual pruning for optimal health, I thought it would be a good idea to have a place to collect info on what people have, so that we can exchange ideas, comments and scion wood with each other. This is purely voluntary...

Grain Co-op Planting

Grains Co-op First Planting Day 2014

4 of us met on a Saturday morning in mid-April to plant oats and barley in some fields that Steve had worked up previously. Beautiful weather, nice soil, great conversation, good food and lots of fun, as always with this group. We’re experimenting with growing our own grains organically in permaculture-minded systems, on a...

Native Pollinator Workshop

Native Pollinator Workshop at Riverview Launch

Dale, Tomme and Sam teamed up to organize this wonderful event at the Riverview Launch in Kalamazoo, just in time for spring. Ann Fraser from Kalamazoo College gave a very good presentation on the importance, habits, and life cycles of native bees (and other pollinators), and afterward we all got to assemble cool little...

Tree Pruning at Rachelle's

March Meetup and Apple Pruning

Our March Van-Kal Permaculture meetup was at Rachelle’s place. We spent a couple hours outdoors pruning a really overgrown old apple tree (Thanks to John and Josh for the pruning guidance and Tomme and Steve for their skill and daring in tree-climbing). We also had an excellent meal and conversation indoors. A great time...

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Colette O’Neill

Looking at pictures of the Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage, it seems completely impossible that such beauty and abundance could have come from 3 acres of north-facing, wet, rush-infested land, without the help of any chemicals or tilling. It’s even more remarkable that this garden of Eden was built almost entirely by one woman...

Bill Mollison

Bill Mollison

Bill Mollison is a name that should be familiar to most people who’ve had any exposure to Permaculture, as he is the co-originator of the term and practice (with David Holmgren), and probably its most widely-published author and widely-traveled teacher and promoter. He was 50 years old when the seminal Permaculture One was published...

Martin Crawford

Martin Crawford

Martin Crawford is a pioneer in temperate-climate forest gardening, taking up the work of Robert Hart but applying it at a larger scale, with better plant spacing and arrangement, an academic fastidiousness, and much larger number of species. He has been publishing the excellent Agroforestry News from the UK since 1992, and more recently...

Portrait of Mark Shepard

Mark Shepard

Mark Shepard may be the first person in the U.S. to apply Permaculture at the scale of a 100+ acre farm, with tree crop polycultures as the primary focus. He took up the lessons of J. Russell Smith and put them into practice on a hilly, beat-up farm in SW Wisconsin in the mid-1990s....

American Persimmon Fruit

Oikos Tree Crops

Oikos Tree Crops is a national treasure of temperate-climate permaculture plants, and we are very lucky to have them right in our area (Lawton). While they are not a retail nursery—they do not let people go there and “shop” or take tours, on account of it being a mail-order / internet business staffed by...

Grandpa's Orchard

Grandpa’s Orchard

Grandpa’s Orchard is a local (Coloma, MI) nursery that sells a good variety of grafted fruit trees, specializing in apples, peaches, plums, pears, cherries, apricots, etc. Group members have reported that their plants are of very high quality. From their site: Grandpa’s Orchard® is your home for the biggest selection of bareroot fruit trees...