Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Sustainability Conference in Athens

Sustainability: Bring It Home!
Friday evening – Sunday afternoon, November 12-14
members $175; non-members $200 (includes lunch on Saturday)

“Sustainability: Bring It Home!” is a weekend workshop for people who want to transform their home into a fun and practical part of a more ecological world. This comprehensive workshop is filled with interactive presentations and hands-on sessions that educate and inspire participants to create home systems to meet their needs for food, water, and energy as locally, sustainably, and economically as possible. Topics will include: Home Energy Alternatives; Home Orchards and Forest Gardens; Annual and Perennial Vegetable Gardens; Soil Health and Composting; Raising Animals at Home; Natural Building; Creative Erosion Control; Rainwater Catchment; and Creating an Ecological Neighborhood. Visit our website at for registration and the complete workshop schedule.

7:00 – 9:30 pm The Foundations of Sustainability
Challenges to Sustainability: Peak Resource Extraction, Climate Change, Economic Instability
Solutions: Permaculture, Transition Strategies, Transition Homes & Neighborhoods

9:00 am – 12:30 pm The Toolkit
Nine Permaculture Principles
Designing an Integrated Home System
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 – 3:45 pm The How To’s

Presentations and Hands-On Projects (Choose One)
Presentation: Annual and Perennial Vegetable Gardens-----Hands-On: Mulch Bed/ Herb Spiral
Presentation: HomeEnergy/Alternatives-----Hands-On: Building a Solar Water Heater
4:00 – 6:00 pm The How To’s
Presentations and Hands-On Projects (Choose One)
Presentation: Healthy Soils-----Hands-On: Compost Bins, Worm Composting, and Composting Toilets
Presentation: Natural Building-----Hands-On: Building with Cob

9:00 am – Check-in
9:30 – 11:45 am The How To’s
Presentations and Hands-On Projects (Choose One)
Presentation: Home Orchards and Forest Gardens-----Hands-On: Planting a Polyculture
Presentation: Water in Your System-----Hands-On: Erosion Control/ Rainwater Catchment

11:45 am – 12:45 pm The How To’s
Presentations (Choose One)
Creating an Ecological Neighborhood
Animals and Aquaculture in Your Home System
12:45 – 1:45 pm Potluck Lunch
2:00 – 5:00 pm Design Teams:
Students, in small teams, create sustainable home system designs on miniature landscapes; presentations to whole group
5:00 -5:30 pm Summing Up, Next Steps, Conclusion


Dennis Hoffarth is a civil engineer with extensive experience in home energy efficiency and passive solar designs, as well as home construction, sanitary systems, and home renovation. He has worked as a consultant in bicycle and pedestrian-based community design. He holds an advanced permaculture design certificate, and has taught many workshops and classes on passive solar design, community planning, and alternative transportation.

Sharon Bagatell is a teacher and farmer with an advanced permaculture design certificate. A former elementary school teacher, she is the author of several environmental education curricula, including a permaculture curriculum for children. She has worked extensively with urban and suburban communities on bicycle and pedestrian planning and education. Sharon is also co-owner of a small organic farm where she is developing a food forest.

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