Convergence Presentation Schedule released

sponsors2016Many of the region’s most active permaculture practitioners and teachers will be assembled at the Finger Lakes Permaculture Convergence on August 28th, 2016. Learn and network with many of the people who have made the Finger Lakes region a hotbed of ecological and sustainable design.

Presenters will offer ideas on sustainable agriculture, gardening, community organizing and many other subjects related to our growing ecological design scene.

Sunday, Aug 28th

Convergence & Plant Sale:

Networking for the Regional Permaculture Scene

Download our schedule: Finger Lakes Permaculture Convergence Schedule.pdf. (updated August 24)

Download the Convergence Program: PermacultureConvergenceProgram.pdf  (updated August 24)

Admission is free, however your financial support is needed and appreciated.

A plant sale will happen concurrently.

Food trucks will be on hand for lunch.

Community organizations are invited to table in the convergence expo room.

Contact <> if you would like to sell plants or present your community organization’s work.


Presentation Schedule (subject to change):

10:00-11:00 AM

Rice and Bean Trees

Akiva Silver, The Café

The practical aspects of growing tree crops in upstate NY. This presentation will focus on chestnuts and hazelnuts. It will cover their propagation, culture, harvest, processing, and their potential as perennial staple crops.


Lawns Gone Wild: the ethical, profitable landscape

Matt Bowman, Room 118

This presentation explores residential scale permaculture landscape implementation and maintenance.  Once 90% of the work is done, let’s add the final polish to increase buy in from our community, make money, draw interest, and engage ourselves as home owners.  We will focus on the aesthetic value, the last item on the scale of permanence from implementation to key successional horizons.  This presentation lays out business models in the landscape field as options for leveraging the least change for the greatest effect in our homes and communities.


Permaculture Living Lab at SUNY Oswego

Grace Maxon-Clarke, Room 122

The Permaculture Living Lab (PLL) was designed to mimic natural systems to create a thoughtfully designed landscape which maximizes beneficial interactions among plant, insect and animal species. The development, design and implementation of the project both at the social and technical levels will be discussed including, campus community collaboration, promotion, volunteerism and supplemental course work. This presentation will discuss the challenges and successes of developing, designing and implementing the PLL at SUNY Oswego.


11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Growing Mushrooms for Food & Medicine

Steve Gabriel, The Café

Mushrooms are an essential part of any ecosystem and readily consume organic materials to build healthy soil while producing delicious foods with potent medicinal compounds. This presentation highlights the beneficial role fungi can play in any farm or garden, turning perceived “waste” resources into valuable yields.


Towards a More Inclusive Permaculture Movement

Karryn Olson-Ramanujan & Anna McCown, Room 115

Permies are folks who know that diversity is a great thing, and we design for connections between diverse elements in our ecosystems. Most of us would also say we value diversity in our social networks. Yet permaculture movements often end up NOT reflecting the diversity we value. This workshop will explore questions like “What’s privilege got to do with permaculture?” “What is the difference between diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency?” “How do we compassionately address oppressive behavior by ‘calling each other in?” “What’s collective liberation?”  This introductory workshop is envisioned as the beginning of an initiative to build a truly inclusive permaculture movement in our region.
Please plan to attend the whole session.


Silvopasture: Sustainable Woodland Grazing for Benefits to Land, Livestock & People

Brett Chedzoy, Room 118

Silvopasturing is an important new agroforestry system for the Northeast that allows for the sustainable production of timber, forages and livestock on the same land.  This session will cover basic principles, but also focus on practical applications of the knowledge for participants to evaluate, implement and manage silvopasture systems on their own operations.


Popular Education for Social Change

Rebecca Day Cutter, Room 122

This workshop is an introduction to the theory and practice of Popular Education as a philosophical and pedagogical approach to collective impact work in your community.


12:30-1:30 PM



1:35-2:30 PM

Urban Design and Sustainability Program: Permaculture for Children

Monica Ibacache, Café

Why teach permaculture in schools? What are its benefits? How can it enhance STEM education to create STEAM? How can we overcome public school bureaucracy to bring it to those who can’t afford enrichment programs? These questions and more will be answered. A brief synopsis of what permaculture education for children looks like in practice—including examples of lesson plans and classroom management—will also be shared.


Living Willow Structures for Central New York

Bonnie Gale, Room 115 & Outside in the Garden

Living willow structures (such as gazebos, tunnels, outdoor living rooms) have so much potential in the landscape. Structures are made from long, live willow rods that are pushed into the ground and then woven. Bonnie Gale has installed over 40 of these structures to date in schools, public spaces and for private clients. In this presentation, she will review the methods, planting needs and how they can be included in everyday landscape design in central New York. She will demonstrate the building of a living fence and the audience is welcome to participate.


On-Site Renewable Energy: A Look at Wind and Solar

Melissa Boo, Room 118

No matter how much insulation and window shading we use, there are still some activities that need active energy sources. On-site power generation from wind or solar provides clean energy, electricity price stability, back-up power, and energy independence. This presentation will review the practical aspects of adding wind or solar to your permaculture design – which renewable resource is best for your application, whether to purchase or lease equipment, how to choose an installer, and future distributed energy technologies.


Community As A Living Ecosystem

Rafael Aponte, room 122

Community is often thought of as something separate from our natural environment. Participants will explore our own communities through a permaculture lens and discover relationships and principles at play within our social constructions. We will also observe practical applications from Rocky Acres Community Farm as a case study.


2:35-3:30 PM

Auburn Permaculture Park: A source for community transformation

Peter Cramer & Laura Kennedy, The Café

One year since its inception, Auburn Permaculture Park, a volunteer initiated and run public food forest project in Auburn, NY, is already generating positive reverberations throughout the community. We will highlight the opportunities and challenges we encountered in starting a permaculture park in a small city, and share how this project has become a source for transformation. By sharing ideas with our community we are able to bring permaculture ethics and principles home and find everything we need to take on culture-shifting projects.


Evolving Permaculture: Deepening the Connection with Modern Evolutionary Theory

Ian MacDonald, Room 115

The role of any “theory” is to organize existing knowledge and practices within a given domain and suggest fruitful avenues for further investigation. As the Permaculture movement expands and gains traction in the population, the need for theoretical integration will only increase. Currently, PC draws heavily upon ideas from ecology and systems thinking, but has yet to seriously consult modern evolutionary theory. The primary focus of this presentation will be to introduce the audience to key aspects of modern evolutionary thought and discuss ways in which these elements can enrich the PC movement as a whole.


Introduction to Permaculture

Michael Burns, Room 118

Permaculture principles and design are at the heart of this weekend’s events. Learn about the fundamental ideas behind the practice of permaculture design. This introduction will include the discipline’s history, key authors, ethics, the use of ecological principles and patterns, and the design method.


Money made for Main Street/Building Perma-Capital

Scott Morris, Room 122

Ithacash is a new, alternative form of currency being used within the city of Ithaca. As we grow as a company, we are taking on a new payment platform called Main St. Market through which users can spend both Ithaca Dollars and U.S. Dollars on goods and materials listed by local people and downtown businesses. I will discuss Ithacash as a form of local currency, the launch of Main St. Market, the benefits this will bring the community, perma-capital, and much more.


The second half of this presentation will discuss how to create new sources of community capital from latent resources and turn them into a fund for accomplishing community priorities.


3:35PM-4:30 PM

Dedication to the Great Law of Peace

Jhakeem Halton, The Café

Jhakeem Halton will present on his educational work with youth of color in their responsibility to nature through the Congo Square Market and the Cayuga Wetland Restoration Project in Ithaca, N.Y. He is the founder of both projects and Dean of Student Life at New Roots Charter School.


Thriving in Your Permaculture Right Livelihood

Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Room 115

In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to marry the permaculture design process with basic, but proven entrepreneurial skills–so that you can avoid the common mistakes that can keep permies from thriving.


Permaculture and Resilient Communities in Japan

Erin Humphrey, Room 122

This presentation explores the origins of resilient urban and rural design in historical Japanese society as well as modern Japanese communities, ecovillages, and practices which exemplify permaculture principles and ethics.  We will also discuss design challenges for a resilient future for post-tsunami Japan as well as the unique traditions and innovations in sustainable/permaculture design that Japan offers to the rest of the world.


Home Composting

Ed Cohn, Outdoor Classroom

We all need to compost our biodegradable “waste”. This presentation/demonstration will give you an understanding of a system that is inexpensive, easy to use, compact, tidy, doesn’t smell, and is very effective.



Download our schedule: Finger Lakes Permaculture Convergence Schedule.pdf. (updated August 24)

Download the Convergence Program:2016PermacultureConvergenceProgram.pdf (updated August 24)

Admission is free, however your financial support is needed and appreciated.