Category Archives: Old Class Postings

Write ups about previously taught Classes

Summer Update

Well its been a hot one, which we all know if you reside here in the Ohio Valley. Definitely one for the record books. Here at OM Valley, we’ve been working on continuing the development of the site, primarily focusing on finishing out our natural building demonstration building. So far the roof is on, we are starting to enclose it with scrap plywood and insulate with miscellaneous insulation materials, some salvaged, some new and some repurposed, like old styrofoam. We are beginning to put on the siding as well, which is salvaged cedar fencing, which will be used for clapboard siding. It has been moving along at a snails pace when the weather abides.

Other than that we are working on finishing out’s non-Profit status, which will hopefully come through here shortly, writing articles for Edible Ohio Valley, keeping the nursery watered and harvesting the bounty of the third and fourth years at my two experimental sites. This years bounty includes table grapes (which have done great with the drought), Peaches, Blackberries (although the drought hit them really hard), raspberries, a few Blueberries, lots of eggs, plums, mulberries, greens, pears which will be ripe shortly, and plenty of mint tea to keep us cool.

Image Its interesting experimenting with what mitigates the drought. So far letting the yard grow out has proven to be a very big success with mitigating the drought but also encouraging wildlife to return. the birds that come through here on a daily basis are spectacular, as I suspect this offers a refuge, for the birds that prefer prairie, in the middle of the city. I’ve also loved witnessing the the enormous myriad of pollenator’s that flock to the spearmint, mountain mint and other wildflowers returning. It truly is a journey back into balance, while reaping abundance with minimal work. If it wasn’t for applying these Permaculture techniques, I suspect I would find little time to manage a garden throughout this drought with the many other projects on the plate. It is quite a joy reaping the harvest after several years of implementation. I will say that there are many other experimental Edibles I will be endeavoring into with here shortly that will expand this harvest in the coming years.


Come Join in the Fun!

There is so much goin on with This-Land and OM Valley that its a bit tough to keep up with it all. So I’m just goin to do a quick run down here. If you want to take a class please contact Wade at by phone at 513-675-0468 or Contact Doug Crouch at We have solidified the details of our next 3 upcoming courses and we hope you can join us for 1, 2, 3 or more of our rockin events to create a Truly Sustainable future. So here we go:Image

The Nursery: It is up runnin for 2012. We are vending every wednesday at Northside Farmers Market through early June. We have added 10 more varieties of Edible Perennials to our line up this year

Sat. April 21st: Cincinnati Earthday Celebration 12-5pm Sawyer Point Park, Downtown Cincy. will be hosting a booth selling our selection of 70 Edible Perennial plants and teaching about Permaculture.

May 4th: Ted Elsasser Speaking about his 17 years of Building Natural and Recycled Off Grid Passive Solar Homes (AKA Earthships) at SHP Leading Design Architects (4805 Montgomery Rd., Norwood, Oh. 45212) Refreshments and snacks provided. Suggested donation: 15$

May 4th-13th Sustainable Design Build with Ted Elsasser: Building a Passive Solar off Grid Green House out of Earthbag and Rammed Earth Construction.

May 19th & June 2nd: Cobb Oven Building with Suellyn Shupe & Braden Trauth at Permaganics Urban Permaculture Gardens

July 16th -July 29th: Our 7th Permaculture Design Certification. Hosted with, TreeYo Permauclture, Grailville Retreat Center and OM Valley Permaculture. This will be a 2 week Urban and Rural Residential PDC Intensive with Doug Crouch, Braden Trauth and the rest of our rockin Crew

Intern Opportunity: OM Valley’s site is rockin so much so that we could use a hand around here. We are currently experimenting with approximately 80-90 Perennial Edibles  on site, Maintaining the nursery, Building the Earthbag Green house with Ted, and our 2nd Flock of Chickens just started layin, which we are hoping to put out to pasture here shortly. And to think we’re doin all this in the City! Please contact us at if you would like to apply.

Hope you can join us and learn how you can start or continue to build you’re self sustaining Shangri-La

This-Land’s First Natural Building Workshop with Ted Elsasser

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting Ted Elsasser, former Earthship Builder, for a 10 day intensive starting May 4th through May 13th. Ted will be teaching how to build a small Passive Solar Earthbag & Rammed Earth Tire Greenhouse out of reused materials at OM Valley Permaculture’s site in Northside, Cincinnati Ohio. The reused building materials will be donated by Building Value. These are low-tech construction methods that accessible to most people. The workshop will consist of hands on training

One of Ted’s more recent off grid creations

complimented by evening lecture to understand this type of Construction. The evening lectures will be hosted on Friday and Saturday evenings. There are 2 attendance options: – 499$ The Full course will include hands on 10 day intensive plus evening lecture on Fri & Sat.

– 299$ The Weekend option will include 4 days of intensive hands (Sat & Sun) on complimented by 4 evening lectures (Fri & Sat).Financial assistance is available.

To Register please contact Wade at or by phone at 513-675-0468

“I had a dream… Then I took the sketch to Ted and…. We talked about how to do it and then Ted made it happen”                                                                                                      – Mike Reynolds: Earthship Creator, from the Documentary: Garbage Warrior

A quick thumbnail concept sketch of the building

Here’s a link to a bathroom and Bathtub that Ted built for the Earthships:

Ted Elsasser former Earthship expert, is a licensed residential and commercial contractor in New Mexico and an architectural intern focused on sustainable design and practices. He draws on 17 years of experience working in the planning, design and construction of off the grid buildings called Earthships in NM, across the USA and in multiple countries. Through the years he has been a construction supervisor managing a crew, interns and countless volunteers for Earthship Biotecture.  For the past several years he has owned and operated a small design/build company, Southwest Sustainable Builders that specializes in off grid technologies such as passive solar heating and cooling, water harvesting, photovoltaic and wind power systems and the utilization of natural and recycled materials. Recently Ted has completed a state funded Sustainable Educational Facility Visitor Center for Northern New Mexico as the qualifying contractor.

A 1994 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Ted has a Bachelor of Architecture professional degree. He is in the process of architectural registration in the state of NM and has been a licensed contractor in NM since 2002 operating a business named Taos Off Grid. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the Greater World Land Users Association where he lives off grid with his family.

One Month to go before the launch of our 6th PDC

With our website up and running again (after some technical difficulties) and a month to go before the start of our 6th Cincinnati PDC I am polishing up on my education at the Carbon Farming Course with likes of Wes Jackson, Joel Salatin, Dr. Elaine Ingham and Dave Jacke just to name a few.

Darren Doherty, one of the top Keyline Designers/Permaculture Designers in the world reviewing a students farm and offering potential designs

We are learning many tools to assist in the later creation, be it Keyline Farm planning, Holistic Management, the role of Animals in healing the land, or working with Perennial agriculture. These are the practices, combined with many other insights from our crew of teachers and their experience of applying these principles to their varied professions.

I’m sure that these evolutionary discussions will carry into this 6thPDC to help train the most cutting edge Regenerative designers in whatever field or interest you may have in applying this knowledge. Be it Farming, Urban Planning,

Dr. Wes Jackson teaching about how we got ourselves into the agrarian mess and more importantly this energy mess

Architecture, Landscape architecture, Rural and Urban Homesteading, you name it, the sky is the limit in applying this knowledge in the creation of a regenerative culture. We will show you how to design net yield buildings, yards, farms and communities with the tools you will learn in this course. Some of these tools and methodologies have re-greened deserts, recharged hydrological cycles and created low work agriculture systems modeled after the Garden of Eden.

If you have any questions or would like to register please contact Wade Johnston at or by phone at 513-675-0468

2012 Winter PDC…. our 4th annual winter PDC

Well, we are pleased to announce our 6th PDC and our 4th Annual Winter PDC… we are looking to add to those 70 graduates who will be creating a regenerative future here in the Ohio/Miami Valley. This Course will kick off Friday, February 24th and continue for the next 4 weekends, concluding on Sunday, March 18th. This is our new compact course model to make it more accessible to folks living and working around the area. We will have class on friday from 6-9pm and on Saturday & Sunday from 9am to 7pm. The weekend of March 10th we will only have class on Saturday.

In this course you will learn the foundations of Permaculture Design Methods, Pattern awareness, How Ecosystems work, Food Forest design, Organic Gardening and how it fits in with a homestead, Green & Natural Building, Holistic Energy Theory (which is why Permaculture is so Important), Sustainable Energy, Regenerative Community Design, how to design regenerative homesteads, farms and communities and much much more.

The price is 675$ with a sliding scale for those who need it. If you would like to learn more or to register please contact Wade at: or by phone at 513-675-0468

Looking to go deeper into Permaculture? Check out the Carbon Farming Course 1/17/12 – 2/5/12

Well I just registered for the 2012 Carbon Farming course at the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY, the place where Biodynamic Agriculture was first brought to  the US some 80 or 90 years ago. It is quite the perfect home for this course as agriculture seeks its next evolution in learning how to feed the world but now with the combined challenges of dwindling natural resources, growing populations, which has been enabled by fossil fuel, which has added the layer of   Global Climate change challenges into the mix, thus raising the bar that much higher… What challenging trinity! But I believe we can do it if we each step up to the challenge, similar to what our grandparents generation did during the Great Depression and the subsequent World War 2. Humanity has faced many complex challenges as it has grown exponentially on the Global petri dish, but this is the greatest one yet. Fortunately we have many resources that have simultaneously arisen in conjunction with these challenges, that if used properly, can help us overcome them. Things like the internet and the double edged sword of travel that can help us exchange ideas that help us implement evolutionary change that much quicker…. This Course is one of those events that will help us advance our understanding of the solutions as experimented by this wonderful line up of teachers that, combined, makes up well over a centuries worth of trial and tribulations on the forefront of Sustainable ag. Some of these challenges have followed us for millenia, like that of annual grain production which most often results in soil erosion and thus desertification. Fortunately through the work of many, if not all of these presenters, we are learning how to address this fundamental failure. Each one is such a heavy hitter in their field that it would require a much longer article to do each on justice… the easiest is to provide a link to their bios…

Anyways, if you are thinking about kickin up your ability to give back more than you’ve taken out then join this course and learn about how a stable, regenerative future is going to play out, beginning in our own back yards or farms… Its time to evolve

Permaculture Comes to the University of Cincinnati

We are proud to announce that we will be offering a 3 Credit Hour Introduction to Permaculture through the Horticulture Program at the College of DAAP at UC. We will teach you how to understand the shifts that Society is currently going through and how to address them to create a resilient future. We will explore the simple foundations of Energy Theory, learn how this affects every aspect of our lives and understand how we can start to design our Yards, Homes, Farms, Communities and Bioregions for Resilience and Regeneration in the face of Current Energy & Climate Change realities.

 This Course will be February 10-12 (23HORT498 Special Topics in Horticulture), Friday 6-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm.  Some course work will be required prior to the first course meeting, and a final assignment will be required after course meeting.

Build upon this Introduction and become a Certified Permaculture Designer:

If you intend to become a Certified Permaculture Designer, taking this Introductory Course will count for a portion, and thus a discount for the 6th Permaculture Design Certification Course Hosted by Please visit for more information about the certification course.

To Learn more please contact Braden:

For Questions or to Register please Contact Virginia Russel:

Introducing after a long Summer of silence

Well after a long summer of study, travel, work and growing, and now that the weather is starting to get a nip to it and the evenings are growing  longer I’m back at it on the Futurebox. To start, I’m excited to share with you, Cincinnati’s (and I think Ohio’s) First Permaculture Educational Non-Profit.

It is headed up by me, Braden Trauth, and my Mentor from College and now my Mentee in Permaculture, Dale Murray. Dale is the former Dean of the Design School at University of Cincinnati’s College of DAAP. He is a Professor of Industrial Design, which was very influential in Bill Mollison’s development of the Design Processes of Permaculture, as acknowledged in Permaculture Two (in his reference of the well known Industrial Designer, Victor Papinek). As for OM Valley, this will remain as my personal Permaculture website for blogging, educational articles from my experiences and the home of my Design & Consultancy services. Anyways, back to This-Land, we are very happy to share that we will very shortly be announcing our 2012 Class line up, starting with a Winter PDC that will consolidate the 72 hours into 3 weekends, to make it more accessible for folks, and will take place around the end of February and early March. After that we will be hosting some Natural/Green Building workshops with one of the best Natural Builders I know in the world, Ted Elsasser. We will host a summer intensive PDC followed by a Food Forest workshop and Earthworks workshop. We will also sprinkle in other courses throughout the year like a Cob Oven building workshop and a Passive Solar Dehydrator workshop just to name a few. Anyways stay tuned for more developments as we really start to sink our Tap Roots here in the Ohio and Miami Valley region.

Come Join us for an Intro to Permaculture Design Wed. 3/30

If you would like to learn how to design your yard to get more out of it then come join us for our Intro to Permaculture Design at the Civic Garden Center, Wednesday March 30th from 6-7:30 pm. It will lay out the fundamentals of designing with Nature so that you can get more out of your yard with less work. It will be taught by Braden Trauth, a teacher who has been bringing Permaculture to the Cincinnati Bioregion over the last several years and trained with the Permaculture originators in Australia.

To learn more please visit:

FEB/MAR 2011 Weekend Permaculture Design Certification

February 4th- March 27th (7 weekends/72 hours)


Cincinnati Area: OM Valley Permaculture Demonstration Site in Northside and also other tri-state Permaculture sites.

Permaculture Facilitator Amanda Nash leading Permaculture students at OM Valley Permaculture site in sheet mulch garden bed installation


  • 600$ (please Register by 1/25),
  • Individual Weekends – 100$
  • Individual days – 60$

Questions: please Contact Kat Grover:

For co-leader Doug Crouch’s take on the course visit the following page:


Schedule of Class Times:

  • Friday Introduction: 6:30 – 9pm (2/4 only)
  • Saturday times: 9:30am – 6pm
  • Sunday times: 10:00 – 4:30pm

Dates of the Weekends:

  • February 4/5/6, 12/13, (Sat & Sun the 19th and 20th off), 26/27
  • March 5/6, 12, (Sun the 13th is off), 19, (Sun the 20th is off), 26, 27
  • *Weekend make ups are available if you have a schedule conflict*

For a complete schedule of each individual day inquire with Kat from the above addresses

Local Permaculture site that has a swale, water harvesting ditch and mound on contour, as well as the beginnings of a food forest

What is the Permaculture Design Certification?

The Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) is a 72 hour certification that empowers the student to design sustainable systems and sites that fulfill human needs while working with the laws of nature. It has a strong focus in ecology, design (landscape, planning, Industrial, engineering, & architecture), food production, sustainable building, water management, politics, economics, & much more. The student learns these topics through classroom lecture, Q&A, site visits, videos, hands on, and a design practicum where the student will design an actual site plan with fellow students. It is a great way to learn and build community. Once the student completes the certification they can go on and become a teacher themselves or apply this knowledge in the real world to create a more sustainable, just, & holisitic world for all current and future generations of life!

A fun design exercise puts a smile on past course students faces all the while learning how to apply the Permaculture Principles

Teaching Crew:

Our Teachers include Mary Lu Lageman, Gretchen Vaughn, Suellyn Schupe, Sakina Grome, Kat Grover, Braden Trauth, Ande Schewe, Sam Dunlap, Doug Crouch, and many more. They have been locally & Globally trained practicing permaculture here at their homes, farms as well as around the globe. They have also studied under the preeminent teachers around the globe including the movements founders, Bill Mollison & David Holmgren as well as Geoff Lawton, Dave Jacke, Darren Doherty, and many others. The crew looks forward to sharing & spreading this knowledge here in Cincy and the surrounding Bioregion!

Sample Broad-Acre Permaculture Design


We ask that people Register by January 25th to take the full course.

To Register for the course please send a 50$ nonrefundable deposit to reserve your spot so we can start preparing course materials for you, which includes a 60 page handbook for the course.

If you wish to  Register please contact Kat via email  at: or 513-746-5149

This course is being run in conjunction with TreeYo Permaculture.  Please visit the following website to read more about what  components make up a Permaculture Design Course:

Look under the headings under the 72 Hour Course page with topics including Final Design and Hands-On.