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Northwest Permaculture Convergence and more . . .

Dear friends,
Here is info on my next leg of the journey.
How is your 2010 growing season going? Here in Tonasket most of my crops are doing well. My potatoes are so-so this year.  But I count my blessings. 
My fellow farmers in Russia’s grain belt are having a bad year with big droughts, record 1,000-year, hot temperatures in Moscow and now one-fifth of the grain crop has burned up in the recent forest fires. The Russia government has just announced no wheat exports will be allowed in the remainder of 2010. Wheat prices on the commodities market have risen on the recent downgrading of the Russian crop.
Pakistan is having its worst floods in 80 years (recently revised from the worst in 70 years) affecting many farming areas and the monsoon season is not over yet. Government help is perceived to be inadequate and civil unrest is high.
Meanwhile, the lower latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere are having an exceptionally chilly winter. 
One growing season after another. . . All of us farmers around the world are gambling on an average (or above average) growing season. We are all also hoping for good market prices. But it matters not the price if the growing season doesn’t cooperate and crops fail or yield is reduced.
I have heard numerous reports from western Washington this year that the extended cold, wet spring of 2010 has been difficult for farmers and gardeners in that region.
At 1.75 acres, I might have the acreage of the average, small subsistence farmer worldwide. But I currently grow about 100 crops on that footprint. Crop diversity spreads the risk. About 10% of my crops are having a bad year, 40% are having a medium year and 50 % are having a good year. 
In other words, it will not be an exceptional crop year, but I keep counting my blessings. At least it looks to be a reasonable crop year. The fall raspberries will be exceptional.
May all your crops prosper,
whether in the fields of plants or society,
Hope to see you down the trail,
Michael Pilarski


NW Permaculture Convergence Sept 17 - 19

Get your tickets now!
SEPTEMBER 17-19, 2010
This year we will be having our convergence in the heart of the city; on the 50-acre campus of South Seattle Community College. Camping will be available at nearby Camp Long, and we will be arranging home stays for those who need other arrangements. Transportation will be easy to arrange - come by train, plane, bus, carpool or boat - just don't miss the best permaculture family party and networking opportunity of the year!
Tickets for this informative and engaging event are $65 till August 15 (extended deadline till August 20th if you mention Friends of the Trees or Michael Pilarski), $85 August 20 through Sept 15, and $100 at the door.
After two successful annual events in 2008 and 2009, the Washington State Permaculture Convergence has become the Northwest Permaculture Convergence, a decision which came out of a meeting of Oregon and Washington permaculture teachers held this January 16-17 at Wild Thyme Farm near Oakville, Washington.
Contact Pennie at for more information.


The Northwest Herbal Faire rides again!

After a five year hiatus the Northwest Herbal Faire will be reborn in 2011! The tentative date is the 3rd weekend in July, 15th to the 17th. The first ten herbal faires were held from 1996 to 2005. 500 people attended the first faire and 1,200 people attended our 10th anniversary, which makes it one of the largest herbal gatherings in the USA. Our faires were always characterized by lots of fun, festivities and a great line up of entertainment, as well as by a plethora of herb workshops. Our last gathering had over 100 workshops from nationally-known herbalists as well as herbalists from around the northwest region.
We are in the beginning phases of planning next year’s event and are taking nominations for venues, organizers, presenters, entertainers and vendors. If you would like to be involved in any of these capacities contact Michael Pilarski. Skagit and Snohomish counties are our top choices for venues but we will consider sites around western Washington and the east slope of the Cascades.
You can also post any comments/suggestions/recommendations on the discussion thread on my new "fan page" on Facebook
The team coming together includes some of the main organizers from previous faires (Michael Pilarski, Burke Mulvaney, and Saphir Lewis) as well as new team members.
Bringing the herbal community together from around the great Pacific Northwest.
Grassroots, low-cost, camping, family-friendly, introductory and advanced workshops.


Michael Pilarski's videos on agroforestry on YouTube

6 YouTube videos of Michael Pilarski’s agroforestry systems!
You can also do a search for "Michael Pilarski" on YouTube.

on YouTube!


Okanogan Family Faire Oct 7 - 10

Vendor spots for sale for this fall’s Okanogan Family Faire (a.k.a. Tonasket Barter Faire).
The dates for the 38th annual barter faire are October 7-10. This is the first year that the barter fair has sold advance vendor tickets.  You can pick your spot on the circle ahead of time!  Michael Pilarski’s Friends of the Trees booth will be at the northwest corner of the barter circle as usual.  Anyone like to reserve a spot near me?  This is the best corner of the barter faire.  Let me know if you’d like advice on picking a spot. One of the premier alternative events on the West Coast. Currently running around 10,000 participants.  Camping passes now for sale and vendor spots soon will be. 
* Note that camping passes are from October 8-10, but vendors are allowed entry on October 7th , Thursday.


Finally on Facebook!

As of yesterday Skeeter on Facebook, and a new website is in the works!
Fan page :articles, videos, workshops, gatherings and herbs!
Skeeters' personal page

Contact Info:
Spring Blessings!
Michael Pilarski
Friends of the Trees Society
PO Box 826
Tonasket, WA 98855
(509) 486-4056
Use an explanatory subject line. For quicker results - write “Respond quickly” as part of the subject line.

In This Issue:

NW Permaculture Convergence Sept 17 - 19
The Northwest Herbal Faire rides again!
Michael Pilarski's videos on agroforestry on YouTube
Okanogan Family Faire Oct 7 - 10
Finally on Facebook!
Singing Alive Summer Harvest Sept 3 - 6
Recommended Permaculture Resources on the Web
Wendell Berry’s 17 Rules For A Sustainable Economy
Contact Info


Singing Alive Summer Harvest Sept 3 - 6

As we move into the new moon of August, this is a reminder that the 4th annual gathering of the Song Tribes, Summer Harvest SINGING ALIVE, is less than a month away. YaY!! This year to be held over Labor Day weekend, Sept 3 - 6, at the same rivermeadows (Lillebakke) in the magical coastal rainforest of SW Washington.
Spread the word, may they fly like birds. For those who would like physical flyers sent to them, let me know. Many Thanx to all who attended the Spring (Oregon), and Winter (Costa Rica) SINGING ALIVE's this year for their contribution to the strengthenng of the Spirit of this Gathering.
May we be yet further Blessed in the Great Work of planetary renewal in the events to come.
Love and Blessings ~~ Morgan, aka MT Xen

Singing Alive



Recommended Permaculture Resources on the Web


Wendell Berry’s 17 Rules For A Sustainable Economy

Wendell Berry is a strong defender of family, rural communities, and traditional family farms. These underlying principles could be described as the preservation of ecological diversity and integrity, and the renewal, on sound cultural and ecological principles, of local economies and local communities:
  1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth.
  2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the native creatures – within the membership of the community.
  3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.
  4. Always supply local needs first (and only then think of exporting products – first to nearby cities, then to others).
  5. Understand the ultimate unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of ‘labor saving’ if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.
  6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of national or global economy.
  7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm and/or forest economy.
  8. Strive to supply as much of the community’s own energy as possible.
  9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community for as long as possible before they are paid out.
  10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within the community and decrease expenditures outside the community.
  11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place), caring for its old people, and teaching its children.
  12. See that the old and young take care of one another. The young must learn from the old, not necessarily, and not always in school. There must be no institutionalised childcare and no homes for the aged. The community knows and remembers itself by the association of old and young.
  13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or externalised. Whenever possible, these must be debited against monetary income.
  14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded loan programs, systems of barter, and the like.
  15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighborly acts. In our time, the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, which leaves people to face their calamities alone.
  16. A rural community should always be acquainted and interconnected with community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.
  17. A sustainable rural economy will depend on urban consumers loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy that will always be more cooperative than competitive.
See also Wendell Berry’s The Idea of a Local Economy.


Fairy & Human Relations Congress • Skalitude Retreat Center, POB 74 • Carlton, WA 98114
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