Austin Permaculture

An Austin area journey in developing an abundant and sustainable landscape.

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Earthworks Course

On October 24 to 27th, 2013 I attended Nick Ferguson’s Earthworks Course at his home in Louisiana.  Nick’s website is  The main instructor for the course was Nicholas Burtner with Jack Spirko and Nick Ferguson guest instructing.  Nicholas’ site is and Jack’s site is  As I stated in earlier posts, Jack was my inspiration for getting into permaculture.  This would be my second event taught by Nicholas Burtner.

It was a long drive to get from Austin to Louisiana.  It was 350 miles and took 6.5 hours.  We had two and a half days of instruction followed by a half day of design ending with receipt of a certification.  I had gone to the Urban Design workshop the previous week and it was good to see a couple of people from that workshop able to make it down to this one.

The instruction was top notch.  Even thought the town we were in was really small, it had a really nice library with a small conference room.  We split up our instruction time between the library and the garden at Nick’s place.  I got some additional review from my PDC as well as enjoying some new material and some of Nicholas’ experiences.  I really think the real life stories are the best part of the instruction.  You know you have a good teacher when they can tell stories that relate to the topic of discussion.

There were about 15 students from all walks of life.  Jack made it in on the second day of instruction.  The food was amazing and I really have to take my hat off to Nick’s wife and her sister for preparing the meals and putting up with all these people at their home.  We lit some paper lanterns Friday night and I ended up leaving Saturday night to try and take the edge off my work load for being gone for almost two weeks.  I did miss the additional time allotted in the garden for the digging of ponds and swales on Sunday.  I understood the principles enough to feel comfortable leaving early.  I was glad to be home with a day to spare.  I was also very happy to receive my Earthworks Course certificate.


A chicken got too close to Nicholas in the garden…


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Urban Permaculture Design Course

On October 15th to 20th, 2013 I attended an Urban Permacuture Design Course at Jack Spirko’s property.  Jack Spirko is my inspiration to get into permaculture.  Jack’s website is  The teacher for the course was Nicholas Burtner.  Nicholas’ website is  This was the second time I visited Jack’s homestead.  The first time was back in May of 2013 for a “woody bed” workshop.  The purpose of the urban workshop was to take a portion of Jack’s homestead and use it to simulate the limited spaces available to design in an urban or suburban landscape.  Placing confines or limitations on a design made this a challenging and enjoyable experience.

We spent two days of lecture followed by a day to design.  The lecture was a relaxed atmosphere with teaching that really engaged the audience.  I enjoyed material that reviewed what I learned in my PDC as well as new material and experiences unique to Nicholas.  At the end of the design day we presented our designs.  We learned how to present a design in a professional manner that required us to use our skills to communicate with Jack and Nicholas role-played as customers.

A true testament to Nicholas as a teacher was his ability to recognize that his students had to learn a lot of material in a short amount of time.  There were also about 8 of us that completed a PDC and the other students would have been overwhelmed individually.  Since there were over 30 people he had us break into groups of 5 to 6.  This allowed us to pool our creative resources and come up with some really unique designs.  The best part of the whole course was watching the amazing ideas produced by each group.  Every design had one or two elements that stood out from the rest.  A truly memorable experience with good food, good people and good fun.  I also got to meet Jack’s intern Josiah Wallingford.  It wouldn’t have been a successful event without Dorothy Spirko, Jack’s wife.

I was happy to have earned my certification.



An Introduction

Thank you for visiting my site.

My name is Kalon Kalman, but I go by KC.  I made this site to follow my permaculture journey.  I first learned about permaculture from Jack Spirko with  Jack has a solutions based podcast that teaches people to be self-reliant.  Jack partnered with Geoff Lawton to teach an online PDC (Permaculture Design Course).  I took the online PDC In May 2013 and completed it at the end of September 2013.  I was very excited to receive my certification mid-October 2013.


I live just north of Austin on a 5 acre homestead.  I first purchased the land in February 2012.  In September 2012 I started to build the house and it was completed in April 2013.  After I moved in I started to tame the land.  The landscape was very damaged from overgrazing and burn piles.  After receiving my certification I felt confident in applying this knowledge in designing and repairing my property.  This website will serve as a log to chronicle my experiences.

In gaining my certification as a Permaculture Design Consultant, I now have the knowledge to help other people.  I can now design properties into abundance.  Imagine the freedom enjoyed by people able to grow their own food.