What is a Permaculture Convergence?

A permaculture convergence is an opportunity to connect with other permaculture designers, folks living the permaculture lifestyle and people new to permaculture.

It’s a platform to have those burning questions answered in a safe supportive environment. A convergence creates an opportunity for the whole family to spend the weekend being inspired and gearing down from our crazy hectic everyday lives. If you have made a beneficial discovery yourself, a convergence allows you to bring it to the group for support and feedback. Mostly, a convergence is an opportunity to step back and take a look at your own life and choices you would like to bring to fruition.

I attended my first permaculture convergence before I had taken my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course. I was so pumped by the idea of like minded folks converging and sharing ideas, skills and creating community that I couldn’t pass the opportunity up.

This year I am planning the Western Canadian Permaculture Convergence with the same passion and excitement, remembering the power of the group collectively sharing skills, knowledge, dialogue and support.

In Alberta we have a new community-building vision for the convergence. We will select a site and invite the permaculture designers in the area to create a space for the event to showcase permaculture elements.

When the convergence is over the infrastructure will be left behind for the community to use. This also creates a low impact event on the land being used for the site. It will also serve as an example for the community of a large event with a very small footprint.

Next year, the convergence will move to a new community and repeat the process.

Features at this years’ convergence include: composting toilets, rocket mass heater showers, cob oven, permaculture garden to feed the attendees, and a roundwood timber frame structure with a reciprocating roof. The Saturday night meal will be created with harvest contributed by attendees and local small producers.

A convergence is a fine example of a community coming together to connect and leaving behind a permaculture legacy.

When it’s over, what’s next?

After three inspiring days of sharing, learning, facilitating and discussing new ideas, everyone moves out into their own communities and shares the knowledge gained.

Next year, a new group of engaged folks will gather and repeat the life affirming cycles of permaculture.

For more information on the 2012 Western Canada Permaculture Convergence, please go here.

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Evonne Smulders is a mistress of many trades, living the rule of life that “you can never have enough skills”. Artist, potter, writer, midwife, gourmet cook, gardener, permaculture designer, builder of things and grandmother, Evonne is now devoting the second part of her life to creating a more balanced and gentle existence by sharing her skills and passion with those around her. Evonne, along with Robert her husband of 34 years, create inside the framework of Sage Permaculture in Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada.

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