Appalachian Permies

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Updated: 21 hours 13 min ago

WV Permaculture Non-profit

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 17:02
Greetings! I just became a member and am very excited to be part of this community!

my background is landscape architecture and I got bit by the PC bug at a PA mother earth news fair.  

I am starting a PC nonprofit in WV and am looking for fellow permies in this state.  So far my research has yet to reveal an organized network of PC enthusiasts / hobbyists / professionals.

As this nonprofit will take a collective impact approach, it is crucial to connect with as many as possible.

If you're living in West Virginia, please let me know who / where you are.  You will not be committed or obligated to anything - at this point I'm trying to get a realistic snapshot of our WV community.

Of course, if you'd like to be involved that would be PermaAwesome!

Thank you in advance!

Wet ground - opportunity to pull invasive vines

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 14:54
So after a week of rain, 8 inches plus to be exact, I decided to manage some invasive winter creeper.
Typically, tugging on it breaks the vine quickly and in short chunks, leaving most of the nuissance in the soil where it continues to thrive.

Today, with the soil absolutely sopping wet, the vine is coming out in long strands, and I think I'm seeing tap root come up. Am astonished how easily it is pulling.

Time will tell if it comes back as strong and quick as before, but today at least, I feel like I'm winning.

Couple looking for living space near Asheville, NC

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 13:55
My fiancé and I are relocating to AVL in the very near future. We are looking for living space with room for garden beds to rent- either a house or a small plot of land to put a camper/tiny house.  Ideally, we'd have our own living quarters, but we're flexible.  We're happy to give more details about ourselves via Purple Mooseages if you have an option available.  Thank you!  

Looking for a place to call home.

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 06:30
I've been part of this sight since I was a teenager. Always had a dream of being like the pioneers of old. A simple life, with emphasis on hardwork and the small joys of life. Anyway, fast forward to now where I have a bit more capital and knowledge I'm looking for a place to start. Either land for lease, lease to own, or even sale. I'm in Lincoln County NC, west of Charlotte by about 45 mins, so anywhere in that area would be perfect. Thanks a head of time.

Any ideas for building soil in Western North Carolina mountains?

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 08:04
I'm looking at buying land in Western North Carolina (anywhere from 40-90 acres within an hour of Asheville). The goal would be to slowly (I'm relatively young) as much of it as I can to food forest, while using select few areas (relatively insignificant amounts) for garden/market garden.

I'm from Minnesota, with flat land, black soil, and farm runoff aplenty. I'm in love with the mountains, but recognize that it's quite a different environment to do permaculture in.

It seems that for the mountain climate, the first major task (apart from access roads) is soil building to improve the capacity for planting and erosion control.

My first inclination is to introduce some ruminants (goats come to mind), paddocking with GPS electric fencing collars to cover as much ground with the least human work. Any ideas on other animals that would do well in the mountainous forested environment? Any problems you see with this idea?

Since most of the relatively cheap large acreage is mostly forested, do you think it's worth scattering any seed to improve this process? If so, what cheap plant seed would you suggest, and could any animals help with the process. Pigs come to mind, but I'm not sure if that would backfire and do more damage to soil structure than help.

As far as terracing specific areas goes, hugel terracing seems like a safe way to start to accomplish multiple goals. If I wanted to do terraces/possibly swales with a bobcat or tractor, would I want to wait until more soil is built up, or could I go right ahead and build soil on top of the terraces?

Also, are there any things I would do well to keep in mind when planning water management earthworks like swales in a mountain forest environment? I want to be able to slow down/capture water, but also want to make sure that I don't negatively impact the land in doing so.

Lastly, it seems obvious that I would want property on a south-facing slope. I'm curious though, can you imagine any advantages of a north-facing slope (the problem is the solution and all that jazz kool-aid)?

Starting out in the Piedmont of NC

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 11:24
Wanted to introduce ourselves, we're kind of on the edge of the Piedmont/Mountain region of NC, west of Charlotte.  Just starting out(officially started a blog 8/1/18), we've been on our property for just about 5 years and have definitely gotten a full understanding of the place. We've done a few things(apple trees, natives, annual garden,...). Things are starting to get serious and we're making a master plan that is pretty much completed. We're going to break it down into smaller projects trying not to take on too much. We wanted to document our journey to encourage others in similar circumstances. We both work, we don't have family land, we're not funded by others,... this is just us doing things after our work days and on the weekends to sometime in the future enjoy what we've created.

We have about 4 acres of a hillside that is a wooded mess and 2 acres of flat grass area that has been left un-mowed where our home is. We've taken back some of the grass and planted natives in an area behind the house and with an annual garden in the front with some apple trees. A recent project the past spring was a raspberry, strawberry and blueberry area in front of the house. We also did a really cool project this summer building an off-grid solar irrigation system that we're putting together a blog post for.

Here are some of what we have planned so far:

First, Our master plan calls for moving our 10 apple trees to a better location(we didn't think this out when we planted them), luckily they aren't too large and we will move those over the winter when they go dormant. We unfortunately also suffer from apple/cedar rust on of the 2 varieties of them, but will still let them grow to pollinate others.

Second, the big project that got a little kick start last week when we had a micro-burst come through and take out 10-15 large trees in an area we had plans for. About 1 acre of our hillside is going to be cleared(mostly small <4" diameter) and swales built on a one percent grade that will eventually feed a pond near the house. We will be planting a mix of Chestnut/Pecan/Walnuts with lots of varieties of berries. Since it looks like this may happen in the fall we're going to cover crop the whole area and plant later in the beginning of 2019.

Third, dig out the pond that will supply our irrigation that will be fed by the hillside. We quickly realized the novelty of our 550gallons of rain water collecting is not near enough for a garden of a decent size. We also go through this weird period around June-August were we get little to no rain. The pond looks to be about 30x50foot and we're thinking maybe 6foot deep or so

Fourth, Market gardens, this is still up in the air if this becomes too much to tackle. but we have plans for 32x100foot and 50x75foot plots.  The 32x100 might be installed over winter, and the other probably 2020.

Other than that we've thought about chickens, bees, and other additions but those will definitely come later, one step at a time.

We're calling ourselves, The Piedmont Homestead. Going to try to update here for advice/questions and posting this all on our blog and Instagram pages as well.

Instagram: thepiedmonthomestead
Facebook: thepiedmonthomestead

Any Permies, Homesteaders, Off-the-gridders or sympathizers in the Central PA area?

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 11:26
Hiya, looking for any like minded individuals in my area. My friends would appreciate it too. You see they cannot tolerate one more discussion on compost, waterwheels, solar food dehydrators and the like....... Their eyes glaze over and i'm pretty sure they are losing consciousness.  So if anyone near here finds themselves in the same position I would love to meet up and reassure myself that there are real live people like me.

Thanks for reading and best of luck!

Permaculture Renewal Retreats -- Permaculture & Social Permaculture, Expert Panel, Classical Music!

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 14:54
Hi all! I'm helping to organize two 4-day permaculture mini festivals in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, on 340 acres of beautiful land that's just 80 min outside of D.C. and Baltimore. Please check them out and help spread the word if you're so called!!


I think they're going to be awesome 4-day long weekends -- the first one, from July 27-30, is focused on the theme of "the future of responsible land stewardship," and the second one, from August 3-6, is focused on the theme of "exploring the future of community."

Both weekends will feature a leading permaculture teacher: Andrew Faust will be teaching 3 lectures the first weekend on an introduction to permaculture, its design applications and ethics, and how you can take it home with you. Lisa DePiano will be teaching 3 lectures the second weekend on an introduction to social permaculture, which has more of a social/relational focus for how to apply permaculture. Both Andrew and Lisa are senior permaculture teachers and are both featured in the permaculture documentary Inhabit, for those who have seen it.

Both weekends will also include:

+ A choice of outdoor land-based projects on soil restoration and medicinal harvesting

+ An interactive panel of thinkers/activists/experts who will bring a myriad of different perspectives to each weekend's theme organized through the British think tank the RSA

+ A large-scale classical music concert, called a Massivemuse, featuring world-class musicians from the Groupmuse network

+ Retreat offerings such as meditation, qigong, nature walks, sauna, etc.

+ There will also of course be campfires and more of a chance to get to know everyone who comes, and depending on how it goes to potentially join the emerging Claymont permaculture work as more of a community member

After these 3 nights and 4 days, you’ll leave charged with the feeling and knowledge that humans in general and you in particular can be a source of profound regeneration for our hurting planet. We have designed this weekend to be a space for participants to take a break from the everyday and tune into what makes them most excited to be alive right now, while equipping them with frameworks and takeaways to bring into their lives back home.

For more information and to buy tickets, use the links to each weekend here:

> July 27-30 | Living in a world that can sustain us: Event page here

> Aug 3-6 | Exploring the future of community: Event page here

There's also the opportunity for a small number of people to stay for both weekends and the couple of days in between, if there's interest. Especially if they're coming from out of town!

Permaculture Master Design Practicum with Wayne Weiseman (June 6-10, 2018; Shenandoah Valley, VA)

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 21:22
Already have your Permaculture Design Certificate and looking to take it to the next level? Wayne Weiseman will be offering a Master Design class at the Schuler Homestead in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, June 6-10, 2018. This is a very intensive five-day training. It is the next step to develop proficiency in the permaculture design process.

This is an intensive course; we work for ten to twelve hours per day. The student will go home with a finished design for their property. Students must be committed to actualizing their work.

This master permaculture design practicum is for anyone looking to study permaculture design at a deeper level. Enhance your understanding of the permaculture ethics and principles and practice applying them to property designs with input and guidance from the instructor.

It is required that the prospective student gather any and all information about their particular site, or a client’s site and bring it to the practicum.

Your landscape is filled with possibilities. Locked in your property may be the means to sustain an abundant lifestyle for growing your food, collecting fresh rainwater for drinking and reducing your dependence on purchased resources. This design course will unlock the ecological capital that abounds within your yard, fields, or the neighborhood that surrounds you. It will give you the skills and foresight needed to assess, conceive and design your property into a perpetual harvest garden. Pre-requisite: PDC Certificate.

Some of topics that will be covered in the practicum:

Review of the permaculture concept
Design methodologies
Whole systems thinking
Ecological design
Scale of Permanence and how to utilize it for assessment and design
Base plans, plat maps, satellite maps, scaling and map measurements
Observation exercises
Site assessment and site assessment tool kits
The scale of permanence, sector analysis, the zone system, needs, products and behaviors as templates for design
Recognizing and following natural patterns
Drawing practice and landscape symbols
Drafting and drawing tools
Design drivers, goal setting, envisioning the needs and wants of the client
Bubble diagrams
Draft design (hand-drawing)
Concept evaluation
Plant databases, building databases, and internet resources
Polyculture design

Please get in touch with Wayne Weiseman directly to make a payment, for any questions and for exact course location.

Course price: $775.00

About the Instructor:
Wayne Weiseman is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and author. He lives in Carbondale, Illinois with his wife, Frances and daughter, Halima. He was certified to teach permaculture by Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture, in 1999. Wayne has taught hundreds of Permaculture Design Courses around the world. He has served as a consultant and lecturer to educators, school administrators, business leaders, and others internationally. For 15 years Wayne managed a land-based, self-reliant community project combining organic crop/food production, ecologically-built shelter, renewable energy and appropriate technologies.

Interested in Forming a Community in New Hampshire, White Mountains National Forest Area

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 03:03
This is more just a question than a topic but (it could become a lot of topics I guess)...
Is there any interest in the permies world into collaborative development of land that is not being used but is owned by someone else ("squatting")?
potentially nomadic habitation

Sustainable community in West Virginia or western MD?

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 00:10
We are a family of 6 intending to move back to my native West Virginia in the next 6 months.  We would like, if possible, to move to an intentional community/permaculture community/sustainable living situation/creative land access situation.  We are also open to purchasing land.  Our interests include permaculture, sustainability, gardening, food forests, foraging, natural building, beekeeping, as well as social justice and nonviolence.  If you know of a collection of folks or homesteads or other living arrangement (rural or small town, no big cities) that seems to fit with these interests, located in West Virginia or western Maryland, please PM me.  Thanks!

Has Anyone in KY Been Able to Get Approved...

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 08:56
...for composting toilet, grey water recycling...prior to a build?
Here's our sitch. We lived off-grid over winter at a friend's home, successfully. Compost toilet, DIY grey water filtering with charcoal/sand/pea gravel to allow drainage to the land again, solar power, wood stove heat. We bought land in a rural mountainous county in KY that has no building inspector - all plans are approved by exec judge, but the plumbing inspector is with the health department. His primary concern is with the septic issue. The land has not been perc'd and according to local geologists, it probably won't perc. We are looking for other permies in our state that have had success in getting a grey water filtering and compost toilet system approved by codes officials. Our "trial run" of six months was amazing, and we want to make sure we do this right in a permanent homestead. Thanks in advance.

Transgender Woman in TN Seeks to Join Compatible Southern IC

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 21:21
My name is Krissy Ramsey. I am a 56 year-old single pagan transgender woman who lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I have been experiencing an ongoing life crisis since losing my career as a mental health counselor with the start of the recession in 2007.  Despite my best efforts since then, I have never been able to get back on my feet financially and have struggled just to keep a roof over my head working as a self-employed wedding officiant. Now I have reached a point where I am at risk of homelessness if cannot find an alternative living situation by the first week of this August, and so am appealing for help to anyone who leads an intentional community in my region (i.e. East/Middle Tennessee, North Georgia, North Alabama, Western North Carolina) who may be willing to consider allowing me to join you as a member.

I am a very easy-going person with no addictions or criminal history, and no attachments preventing me from making an immediate move. And although I have no farming experience, I am in excellent health, have a strong desire to learn, and have a fairly diverse skill-set that I feel could be of value to certain communities.  You can see my education/work history on my Facebook profile at the following link:

I would be happy to discuss the specifics of my situation with you in a phone and/or Skype interview (followed by an in-person visit if there seemed to be possibilities after that).  You may either reply to me here or call me directly at (423) 475-3382.

Thank you for considering my request!

Young couple looking for work trade opportunities Spring/Summer 2018

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:40
Hi. My partner and I are in the process of planning some travels in the Spring and Summer of next year. I (Sam) will be leaving behind a job as a carpenter and Hannah will have just ended a season on an organic vegetable farm. Neither of us are afraid of hard work and roughing it a bit. We're interested in working and learning as we travel South from Charlottesville, VA into North Carolina. Especially hoping to spend some time in the Triangle area and near Asheville.

More than anything we're hoping to get some hands on experience with all things permaculture. Our main interests are:
- natural building/ecological design
- earthworks/hugelkulture/irrigation free farming
- ancestral/traditional skills
- intentional community

We'd also love to meet up with local Food Not Bombs or other food rescue chapters or other kinds of waste conscious service work.

Part of our plan is to document and share the stories of people living healthy, happy, and satisfied lives while integrating permacultre principles into their work and homes.

Please share any thoughts/suggestions about people and places to visit. Thanks!

Farm needs some help - Talbott, TN

Sun, 05/28/2017 - 16:59
Hi everybody,

We're looking for some help for the season and hopefully longer.  I work at Rushy Springs Farm in Talbott, TN, and we're way short on labor power to get this farm where it needs to be.  I'm working for Jim Smith, who has been farming for most of his 70 years on Earth.

You'll get to work with an expert in chiles and salt brine fermented hot sauces. There are over 30 varieties of chiles being grown.  There are also currently tomatoes, garlic, citrus, bamboo, and many other interesting things growing at the farm.  Even more would be possible with more help.  Jim has a compelling vision of what this farm could mean to the local community and larger society, and we really need more committed individuals to move forward.

There are potential options to live on the farm.  The living situation would depend on the duration of your intended stay, etc.  Jim is interested in WWOOF style arrangements, but he is also open to discussing long term employment opportunities.

Talbott, TN is about 40 minutes (approximately 35 miles) northeast of Knoxville and less than 10 miles from Morristown, TN ( a decent sized city in that it has 30,000 residents).  A nice opportunity to experience eastern TN and learn a lot in the process. 

Here's a link to the farm's website:

Send a message through Permies and tell us a little about yourself.  Let us know about your farming/gardening/homesteading experiences and what you're hoping to get out of working on the farm.  Thanks for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you.


We are three in KY with 62 acres, open for people to visit/join

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 12:59
Hey kinfolk (my new favorite Appalachian word).

We have a beautiful piece of land near Berea, Kentucky and are interested in travelers, permies and other people excited to join us in creating adventures this year, learning together. We are surrounded by a beautiful group of neighbors and extended community which makes rural life super enjoyable and full of social time and opportunities.

This year, our main focus will be building a log cabin that we will call home.

Secondary focuses will be making money (we have plans and are open to more ideas!) and community organizing (we are working with Permaculture Action Network to organize action days in the surrounding areas, as well as and will be soon launching our new project, Hands On Earth Permaculture).

We'd LOVE to do more but we are only three.

We're flexible as to how the arrangement could go. Don't be afraid to contact us at michaelbeck14903(at) !

Permie Plan for Asheville, NC Rosman, NC Brevard, NC

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 01:59
Hello there,

I just created a profile here at Permies.  This is the community that I've always been a part of, but never knew it existed.  My name is William Wallace, and I am planning a large relocation to the Asheville area.  I do have listed multiple locations in the title.  This is because my plans are currently flexible. 

My largest intention is to build a permie resident on a tract of land that I own in Rosman, NC.  This is over 15 acres, and has several streams on it.  There is nothing built on the land, and the back property line is National Forest. I have had a love for Earth-Sheltered houses since I was a young boy.  My father purchased this land with the hopes of putting building something earth-sheltered.  I want to revitalize this idea and have year-round earth sheltered greenhouses.

Unfortunately, I am not in a position where I can simply live off the land and build my house as I want.  I have a job where I must maintain internet connection throughout the night.  Because of this, I am looking to make connections in either Asheville, Rosman or Brevard areas.  I would be simply looking for a place to connect to the internet and catch a few Z's of sleep.  The rest of my time would be spent living on my land.  I would even be content living in a tent, as long as I can get an extension cord for power and the wifi password.  My work is my priority at this time,  It is a steady job, 6 nights a week.  This gives me zero flexibility for the primitive permie lifestyle. 

My area is close to this location.  If you look at the map, I'm closer to the lake on the same road.  We have access to the same lake.  It is a short walk.

I am interested in making connections with like-minded folks in the area.  I'm a big backpacker and hiker.  I love to camp in my hammock.  I am an Eagle Scout and an Army Veteran.  I do have to contend with some Home Owner's restrictions, but they allow a single camper on site when building the residence.  This would be the quickest way to get started, although I have no access to a camper, and the access road to the property is very sketchy.  It seems to be part of an old logging path. 

I was born in the Brevard area, and moved away when I was just over 5 years old.  I still feel tied to the area, and want to move back as soon as possible.  We'll see what I can put together!


HINTON, WEST VIRGINIA--Treetop Creative Coop

Sat, 09/03/2016 - 15:58
Hi Folks,

I am posting on behalf of Dwight Emrich of Hinton, WV.

He is dreaming into being a great DIVERSE! permie Creative/Housing Coop.

AND is looking for willing participants and friends/supporters for a diversity friendly artisan
and artists community on the Amtrak Cardinal Line in the New River Gorge National
Recreation Area in Hinton, West Virginia, USA.

Dwight is a major repurposer and has a warehouse full of materials!

He owns numerous homes near together overlooking the town of Hinton and the river(s).

There are other properties available in the same area.

ANd he is reaching out to encourage folks to go to the Treetop Creative Coop website and facebook page.

CONTACT Dwight if you are interested.


Treetop Creative Co-op
Get in touch to get started on the journey of a lifetime
Physical Specs of Treetop
Physical Spaces Available
411 Sixth Ave , 40' X 25', 1/2 basement,  2 full floors  (includes loft apt undeveloped with full staircase up there) , 2500 Square Feet
412 Sixth Ave   20' X 40'  concrete area in basement  12 X 12,  rest crawlspace with beautiful 4.5 foot cut stone foundation, 1100 Square Feet
413 Sixth Ave  City Lot  (40X140 feet) with concrete foundation from former house, and small out building.  Some grading has been done  (possible work garage and tiny house??)
416 Sixth Ave, 25' X 40' , 2000 Square Feet, Glassed in Studio Apt. overlooking river, mountains and town
515 James Street, 23' X 38', 3 floors and front porch, 2806 Square Feet
517 James Street, 31 'X 40' 2 floors plus 2 story porch overlooking viewshed, 3120 Square feet
501 Commercial Street  National Historical District Warehouse (brick former feed store circa 1878), 16250 square feet, 3 story "tower" grainery

And from this above....
Ready with Six Months of Rehab  |  30 single living units
30 single living spaces with shared kitchen, common space, spacious porches, and great views of the New River could be ready  in six months with the right partners.

Next Six Months  |  10 more single living units
An additional ten single living units to rehab and refit could be ready for co-op agreement for a total of 40 single living units available among currently owned and clustered space.

Landscaping, Garden Terracing, Parking  |  3 months
Many older and gorgeous trees already dot the Treetop Housing Cluster.  Co-op agreements will include access to vegetable gardening spaces in raised beds, flower garden access, parking.
Treetop Creative Co-coop Creative Warehouse
Creative Warehouse  |  A 16250 sq. ft. space available for Intentional Community rehab
including the unique restful and creative feature of roof access to an active bat colony.

Additionally, each single space could come with, on a first come first serve basis, an artist's studio/creative space in the Creative Warehouse.

Additional Warehouse-based amenities could include:

    common meeting space
    business center for computer use and shipping
    online store and physical store participation (optional)

Google 'powerpoint' program with more details.

PDC, Mushroom Cultivation, and Mark Shepard in Eastern Kentucky

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 20:58
Hey All!
This October we are hosting a couple weeks of courses at our place in Irvine, KY which is about 1hr southeast out of Lexington. First a 13 day PDC, then a 2 day mushroom cultivation, and finally a 3 day Restoration Agriculture with Mark Shepard. Onsite camping and vegan meals included!

Let me know if I can help anyone with questions. All the information can be found at WildEarth.Farm under events.


what to plant on mountain property in North Carolina

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 18:59
Howdy folks! new to this site and love it. I have 2 1/2 acers in the mnts of NC and would like to now what type of fruit or nut trees I can grow on the property. elev I think is around 3000. have a streem that runs along the property. would love to turn it into a edible landscape. thks for any input.