• The Three Sisters - A Learning & Hands-On Opportunity

    Sunset Hill Farm County Park

    The Three Sisters - corn, beans, and squash - provided long-term soil fertility and the foundation of a healthy diet for many Native American tribes. And it's a fun, easy way that you can grow nutritious food sustainably in your own backyard garden!

    Come learn how these three inseparable sisters work symbiotically to grow food for us, enrich the soil, and provide shade, water retention, and weed reduction. We will be planting the beans, digging in compost, laying carboard, and spreading hay at this fun Meetup event. The corn, which needs a head start, was planted two weeks ago, and the squash, which is fast growing, will be planted in the near future.

    NWI Permaculture has partnered with Porter County Parks and the Northern Indiana Historical Power Association to regenerate a section of the former agricultural fields at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, and to educate visitors about permaculture, organic gardening, and practicing the Three Ethics of Permaculture - earth care, people care, and future care. The area we are working in is also part of a larger educational program to offer hands-on field trips to children in the autumn, as well as the annual Harvest Fest.

    Please dress appropriately for outdoor work and the weather. We will work drizzle or shine; if there are heavy rains or thunderstorms, we will meet and work on Sunday, May 30.

    You are welcome to stay for as little or as long as you'd like. For everyone's continued safety, masking and practicing social distancing are recommended.

    Bring your favorite gardening gloves, a shovel or pitchfork if you have one, your reusable water bottle, a sack lunch, and lots of energy. Make sure all your belongings are labeled.

    Wear sturdy shoes or boots, protection from the sun (hat, long sleeves, sunscreen), and clothes you don't mind getting dirty. We look forward to meeting you and working together on this incredibly cool project!

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  • Sorghum Harvest & Boil - A Hands-On Learning & Participation Opportunity

    Sunset Hill Farm County Park

    Sorghum syrup is a natural, vegan, and locally grown sweetener. Its rich molasses-y flavor is a multi-purpose ingredient in the kitchen - from pancakes and cookies to BBQ sauce and vinaigrette. Come join us to help harvest and press sorghum stalks into juice and boil it into syrup.

    Our NWI Permaculture group has partnered with Northern Indiana Historical Power Association (NIHPA) to grow sorghum at Sunset Hill County Park in Valparaiso, IN and to teach people permaculture-based farm-to-fork techniques.

    We need extra hands to help cut, de-leaf, haul, press, and boil the stalks into sticky, sweet goodness. We will be working outside on uneven terrain, rain or shine, and recommend long sleeves, pants, and hat, as well as sturdy shoes. While we'll be working outside in Nature, masks are encouraged when you're working in close quarters (less than 6 feet away from others), especially around the sorghum shack.

    While you're here, we encourage you to see and learn about our Three Sisters plot of corn, squash, and beans!

    Whether you can stay the whole day or only have a few hours to spare, you are welcome to stay as little or long as you like - the more hands the merrier. Bring a sack lunch or snack, refillable water bottle, sunscreen, etc. There is a spigot by the sorghum shack with drinkable well water, and water fountains and restrooms in the newly built activity center (the building that looks like a silo).

    We need:
    1) clean pint mason jars and lids for bottling the syrup, and would appreciate your donations, and...
    2) to borrow extra tools for removing the sorghum leaves (i.e. hand snippers, knives or machetes).

    Please RSVP asap so we have a head-count. We welcome people of all ages and abilities, but children will need 1-to-1 attention of their accompanying guardian for safety. Please feel free to ask questions!

  • Garlic Scapes: A Pop-Up Harvest Opportunity & Discussion

    (This is a limited participation event. While I wish I could share the abundance of nature with everyone, due to the current health situation and the limited supply of scapes, this meetup is limited to 5 people.)

    Garlic scapes are a delicious spring veggie. Come learn how to identify, harvest, and prepare them with me, Christine Maloney, Advanced Permaculture Designer & Educator. Sample roasted and fermented garlic scapes, AND take home as much as you can pick!

    Please bring a harvest bag (paper bag or reusable cloth bag), your own water bottle, and mask (if desired).

    We will be outside the entire time and practice social distancing. For the safety of my kids and mom, entrance into my home will be prohibited (this means empty your bladder before you arrive or be willing to use the bushes, lol).

    You will receive a confirmation message from me that your spot has been secured for this last-minute harvest opportunity. If you do not receive a message from me, please do not attend. I appreciate your understanding.

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  • Seed Swap & Potluck Social

    18889 9th Rd

    PLEASE NOTE: The time posted is 1pm - 4pm EASTERN, which is 12pm - 3pm CENTRAL.

    Seeds represent life, possibility, growth, and rebellion. When we grow our own food and support local farmers who grow food for us, we are rebelling against the commercialized food system, enriching our bodies with nutrient dense foods, and regenerating the soil by removing monocropped lawns.

    If you have extra fruit, vegetable, or native wildflower seeds from the past several years (2016 and later), feel free to bring and share them. Commercially packaged and homegrown are both warmly welcomed. If your seeds are homegrown, please label them with your name, the variety, and the year harvested.

    If you don't have seeds, don't despair! Please join us anyway! You are welcome to share in nature's bounty. If you can, bring some empty envelopes (there will be some on hand, also) and a pen to write notes about your newly adopted seeds.

    When we're done with our swap, we'll share a potluck meal and enrich our community by sharing our hearts with kindred spirits. Bring an entree or side dish to share, plus a beverage (sparkling water, kombucha, wine, beer, or your favorite drink) to add to our potluck buffet. We welcome all dietary preferences (omnivore, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free, etc).

    Help us keep our Meetup community alive! Our workshop hosts give their time and heart to prepare and provide materials, and Meetup charges a fee to keep this platform open for our use. A suggested $10 donation at the door helps to cover these costs, but it is merely a suggestion. Please come regardless of your ability to pay. We are grateful for whatever gift you can offer.

    PLEASE NOTE: The time posted is 1pm - 4pm EASTERN, which is 12pm - 3pm CENTRAL.

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  • Fruit Tree Pruning & Maple Tree Tapping Workshop & Potluck

    Elise Duffy's House

    Trees offer many gifts - timber, shade, oxygen, fruit/nuts, sap, carbon sequestration, animal habitat, windbreak, living fence, ambience, furniture, soil creation, erosion control, water transpiration, firewood, and medicine. Come and learn how to prune a fruit tree for improved production and tap a maple or black walnut tree for syrup.

    Our activities will be outdoors so dress accordingly in layers with removable outer gear. We will be outside for approximately 1.5 hours. When we're done with our workshop, we'll share potluck refreshments and enrich our community by sharing our hearts with kindred spirits. Bring a snack or finger foods to share, plus a beverage (sparkling water, kombucha, wine, beer, or your favorite drink) to add to our potluck buffet. We welcome all dietary preferences (omnivore, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free, etc). You may want to bring an insulated mug so you can have a warm drink while outside.

    Help us keep our Meetup community alive! Our workshop hosts give their time and heart to prepare and provide materials, and Meetup charges a fee to keep this platform open for our use. A suggested donation of $5-20, as you see fit, helps to cover these costs, but it is merely a suggestion. Please come regardless of your ability to pay as we want to share this knowledge with everyone. We believe that it is a critical mission for the future.

    Unfortunately we are unable to offer March 1 as the makeup date as originally posted, as the arborist is not available.

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  • Permaculture + Timebanking + You = Community

    Meadowbrook Nature Preserve

    The Permaculture Flower (see photo above) shows us the seven different domains where we can apply the Permaculture Ethics and Principles to create a regenerative culture and future. Timebanking, as an alternate economic system (the dark blue petal), allows us to build community, help each other, and have our needs met by exchanging hours of service rather than money.

    Timebanking equalizes everyone's time so that Suzy's hour of time cleaning gutters is equivalent to Juan's hour of time doing graphic design for Austin who owns a landscaping business and enjoys gardening for his elderly neighbor. It levels the playing field by allowing everyone to earn timebank credit hour-for-hour.

    We'll discuss the basics of permaculture and how timebanking works, as well as illustrate the concepts with hands-on activities and show how to enter hours in the online timebank.

    When we're done with our workshop, we'll share potluck refreshments and enrich our community by sharing our hearts with kindred spirits. Bring a light snack to share, plus a beverage (sparkling water, kombucha, wine, beer, or your favorite drink) to add to our potluck buffet. We welcome all dietary preferences (omnivore, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free, etc).

    Help us keep our Meetup community alive! Our workshop hosts give their time and heart to prepare and provide materials, and Meetup charges a fee to keep this platform open for our use. A suggested $5 donation at the door helps to cover these costs, but it is merely a suggestion. Please come regardless of your ability to pay. We are grateful for whatever gift you can offer.

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  • Permaculture + Timebanking + You = Community

    Valparaiso Public Library

    CANCELED AT LIBRARY
    JOIN US ON ZOOM (see instructions below)

    For eveyone's safety, we will NOT be meeting at the library. Please stay safe and warm, and join us either by phone or the Zoom app. You will need the meeting ID and password (below). If you have technical questions before the meeting starts, please feel free to contact Kathy Sipple at[masked] or Christine Maloney at[masked]. Once the meeting starts, their technical assistance will no longer be available.

    Topic: Permaculture & Timebanking & You = Community
    Time: Jan 18,[masked]:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

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    The Permaculture Flower (see photo above) shows us the seven different domains where we can apply the Permaculture Ethics and Principles to create a regenerative culture and future. Timebanking, as an alternate economic system (the dark blue petal), allows us to build community, help each other, and have our needs met by exchanging hours of service rather than money.

    Timebanking equalizes everyone's time so that Suzy's hour of time cleaning gutters is equivalent to Juan's hour of time doing graphic design for Austin who owns a landscaping business and enjoys gardening for his elderly neighbor. It levels the playing field by allowing everyone to earn timebank credit hour-for-hour.

    We'll discuss the basics of permaculture and how timebanking works, as well as illustrate the concepts with hands-on activities and show how to enter hours in the online timebank.

    Due to limited availability of the library's meeting room, when we're done with our workshop, we will reconvene at Roots Organic Juice Cafe at 108 E Lincolnway in Valparaiso to enjoy appetizers or a meal together, make connections, build community, and continue our conversations about timebanking.

    Help us keep our Meetup community alive! Our workshop hosts give their time and heart to prepare and provide materials, and Meetup charges a fee to keep this platform open for our use. A suggested $5 donation at the door helps to cover these costs, but it is merely a suggestion. Please come regardless of your ability to pay. We are grateful for whatever gift you can offer.

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  • Firewood Splitting & Stacking: A Reciprocity Opportunity

    901 Grand View Ave

    Pioneer and survival skills may not currently be a necessity in our culture, but if your eletricity has ever gone out in an ice storm or the water company has sent you a boil warning, you know that we are not immune to natural disasters or infrastructure system failures. Skills such a growing our own food, cooking, starting a fire, and splitting firewood are important for our culture to re-learn in order to provide resiliency and connection in times of economic, environmental or political upheaval. Resiliency, regeneration, and reciprocity are key elements of our permaculture communities.

    Dan and Chris Waters invite you to come and learn how to split and stack firewood from their recently felled oak trees. They will reciprocate by offering for you to take some firewood home, as well as by making the classic (and oh so delicious!) Spanish dish paella for lunch. If you have food allergies or preferences, please let us know so we can accomodate as paella typically has seafood in it but can be made vegetarian. If you are part of the CoThrive TimeBank, you can swap hours, too!

    Please dress appropriately for the weather, as we will be working rain or shine. If high winds or thunderstorms are predicted, please check back here or email for cancellation details. Work boots and gloves are strongly recommended, but all other tools and equipment will be provided.

    Please RSVP to [masked] so they know how many people to make lunch for.

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  • Story Swap & Firepit Social (Potluck Dinner, too!)

    901 Grand View Ave

    $5.00

    Storytelling is a universal feature of every culture, a central characteristic of being human. Science is discovering that storytelling can boost our levels of oxytocin in our brains, resulting in extending and building empathy for our fellow humans. Telling and listening to stories, whether simple or intricate, allows us to experience another person’s joy or pain, inspires and cautions us, and entertains and distracts us from the tough realities of life.

    Come and tell a story about something you learned this year related to permaculture, something you tried for the first time - maybe it worked out better than expected or was a surprising/interesting learning experience. Tell about a fresh observation or unexpected insight you gained. Mythical bonus points are awarded if it was something inspired by one of our Northwest Indiana Permaculture Meetups!

    Bring a warm jacket, something to cook over the fire (hot dogs, marshmallows, campfire pies, etc) or side dish (chips, salad, hummus, etc), and a beverage to share (sparkling water, kombucha, wine, craft beer, or homemade juice).

    Help us keep our Meetup community alive. We warmly welcome a $5 donation at the door to help cover the costs of the Meetup fees and gifting our hosts for opening their home, but it is merely a suggestion. Please come regardless of your ability to pay. We are grateful for whatever gift you can offer.