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Sepp Holzer | 5 Day Intensive | Whitehall, Montana  RSS feed

 
Zach Weiss
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I'm very happy to say that sepp holzer will be returning to North America for a final trip this May. The workshop in Montana will be May 10th-15th at Sage Mountain Center outside of Whitehall, Montana. This will be the workshop for those interested to get hands on experience with earthworks. This year we have all of the permits, there will be no limitations for the earthworks in this workshop. We will be building the first retention pond to regenerate the valley, and will be covering the most important techniques for water retention landscapes.

Full Details Here



We may also get to some terracing and hugelkultur, but as always with Sepp the water will serve as top priority.
Sage Mountain Center is a wonderful sustainability center highlighted by beautiful natural construction techniques, and 25 years of off-grid living on the continental divide.


Sepp elaborating on his connection with nature, how to read nature, learn from her lessons, and release all of your negative energy in this sacred connection.

Here is an image from my 3D model of the project, showing the valley where the first retention landscape will be created.


I welcome any and all questions about the workshop on this forum.
 
Julia Winter
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Wow, that will be amazing. I would love to attend this, but I think I've used my "permaculture budget" on the Permaculture Voices conference in less than a month.

But hey, if I won a free ticket I'd figure out some way to come, I'm sure!
 
D. Young
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Here in N Florida we get 66" of rain a year and have soil as flat and drainable as a kid's sandbox; so swales are low priority; but I'd still love to attend. Especially if we get 5 min driving the big machinery! "I crush your car!" Plus, I could use a little Montana time.
 
Zach Weiss
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The machinery is certainly a blast to operate, it's like being a little kid in the sandbox again
 
Jen Shrock
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Oooohhhhh. Would they really let us have a chance at the healm of a machine?
 
A.J. Gentry
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I think the opportunity to drive a machine like that alone is worth the price of the show!

What a beast!!!
 
A.J. Gentry
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Zach,

In the course of this workshop is there a small amount of time spent on how I might communicate Sepp's earthworks style to my local machine operator? I don't have a solid enough understanding of the mechanics I would struggle to explain what should happen. Or would any operator "get it" because their language is the same.

A.J.
 
Zach Weiss
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Jen Shrock wrote:Would they really let us have a chance at the healm of a machine?


I will be renting the machines through my contracting business, so it will be my insurance and neck on the line. As such I am not going to make any guarantees for participants operating the machines. That said if the person is respectful and trustworthy, and is interested to get a couple of minutes experience with the equipment, I see no problem making this opportunity available outside of class time.

A.J. Gentry wrote:In the course of this workshop is there a small amount of time spent on how I might communicate Sepp's earthworks style to my local machine operator? ... Or would any operator "get it" because their language is the same.


We will be spending a good deal of time in class going over how to communicate Sepp's earthworks to operators. It is certainly not something that any old operator "gets." Sepp has been quite adamant in the past that if an equipment operator is not taking direction, and if you are not happy with their work, send them home IMMEDIATELY. When this is the case the operator can cause a great deal of damage to the landscape, it is best to be cautious with such large steps.

I ran into this problem on one of my own projects this past year. The operator was very nice, but thought he knew better than me and tried to tell me what we were going to do, rather than the other way around. Because of all the cost to get the machinery up there, and the road had already been opened up, fencing removed etc, I tried my best to work through it. While we were still able to make progress on the project, what we did cost much more than it should have. If I could do it over I would have sent the operator home the first day, and started the project another time with my operator and different equipment. Even factoring in the couple thousand dollars for delivery and pickup I still think this would have reduced the budget for the project as a whole.
 
Julia Winter
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Operating an excavator is AWESOME! I got to do some grab, lift, rotate and dump of tree stumps at wheaton laboratories this late summer, and they said I did rather well. The machine was in a fixed location, removing one whole set of variables from the possible movements. I had previous experience with a little Kubota which had a front loader, but the excavator is many times more complicated. The bucket has a thumb! It's pretty amazing what you can do.

If you have a powerful desire to operate an excavator, free up a couple of weeks this summer and see if you can help out at Wheaton Laboratories. Paul has purchased an excavator and it is there full time. There is no way that you will be placed at the controls in the first few days, but if you are deemed worthy then I'm sure you will get a chance. The wofati workshop would be an excellent opportunity. . .
 
Kevin Searcy
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Sounds like just what I need, at an elevation close to the same as my little kingdom in Canada. Thats what got me interested in Sepps work. He's creating all that beauty and natural balance at 1000 - 1500m in Austria. Really looking forward to it. Lets hope the weather co-operates 1900m in May. It'll be fun
 
Emily Aaston
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Hi Zach! Thank you for all of your work in getting these workshops set up. I am trying to decide whether to go or not and was wondering what the structure is like. Is there opportunity for students to say, get a map of the site and do some design, or is it mostly observation and hands-on?
 
Zach Weiss
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Hi Emily! The way that Sepp teaches, the students direct to a large extent the nature of the intensive. This year will be unique in that we'll have an orientation at the beginning of each workshop. This will give us time to bring everyone up to speed before Sepp arrives, and hear from the students what they would like to get out of the intensive. I expect these workshops to be the most content rich that Sepp has given in North America. Together as a group during the orientation we will do our best to put together everyone's desires and will do our very best to achieve these. There will be plenty of time for questions, as well as rich lectures on topics that will be identified during the orientation and through the course of the intensive.

There will be hands on time in the field, large scale earthworks happening as we build an earthen pond, and time in the classroom. This year is unique in that we have an experienced operator and installation crew so Sepp shouldn't have to constantly check the earth works. This intensive is student focused, meaning this will not be a labor camp. We only have 5 days with Sepp, lets make the best of every minute of it. I expect great questions to be developed during the orientation, and Sepp is sure to share his 50 years of experience on a wide variety of topics. He has a special skill of reading the classroom and letting the students be his guide. There will most certainly be time for design review for this site and other projects. Due to the limited time frame and the required course numbers this will most likely be presented in small groups.

I want to show Sepp the best of North America so that he knows we will confidently carry forward his vision. This workshop is also capped at 30 students, making for a more intimate experience. Sage Mountain Center is a beautiful facility that has much to teach in itself. This year I go into this workshop with full confidence that it will be everything and more that I've hoped for. I will be the first to admit that last year's workshops were not the experience that I worked my butt off trying to create (legal restrictions derailed the earthworks plans). For this project there are no restrictions, Sepp will be able to create to his heart's content. When he can do that, leave behind a model that will last for generations, what he shares with the participants is truly remarkable.
 
Monte Cook
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If one were contemplating signing up for this intensive, what is the minimum knowledge set that one should have under their belt in order to partipate? If there is no specific prerequisite requirement; at a minimum, what do you suggest participants read, listen to or view so as to be best prepared for sepp holzer's visit.
 
Zach Weiss
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There is no pre-requisites or minimum skill set required for this course, the most important piece is a willingness to learn. I have actually had an easier time learning from Sepp than some other people do because I have yet to take a PDC; I was able to learn Sepp's approach right from the get go.

We will have a reading list and preparation strategy included as part of the pre-course packet. I highly recommend that people have read "sepp holzer's Permaculture" before the workshop so that they can get the most out of it. "Desert or Paradise?" is another great read and will enable participants to gain even more understanding during the workshop if they have read this before. Watching the 3 DVD set and the Agro-Rebel are also highly recommended, most of these videos are available on Youtube.
 
Chance Lunceford
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So exciting to see a master coming to town. I live in Utah, and there is a growing movement to bring permaculture to the masses here. I love to share little tips with my neighbors about how to improve their land and lifestyle. I have blown their minds with my hugelkultur mounds, and my water harvesting strategies. i love to see the look on someone's face when that "AHA" moment occurs, and they realize how much time and money they have been wasting with traditional gardening and land management practices. Long live the soil!
 
Mitch McGinnis
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From what you have written here about how this intensive will be run it seems you took to heart some of Paul's "observations" from his podcast about Sepp's last visit as well as your own thoughts about last years visit. Besides what you have already stated here, do you have any other goals or concerns for how this workshop will be different than others?
 
jeremiah briggs
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I would love to be able to learn from Sepp and see huglkulture on a large scale.
 
Jen Shrock
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Zach - If you ever were to take a PDC, I would think that taking one from geoff lawton would be the most comfortable and familiar fit with Sepp's style of managing the landscape. When I took mine online from him, I could make parallel connections between them.
 
Zach Weiss
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Mitch, very astute observation. I have certainly taken Paul's "observations" to heart, and I had many of the same thoughts and feelings about the workshop long before his podcast review. The reality is that you need to experience and make mistakes in order to grow and improve. Last year was my first time ever putting on an event, let alone a workshop with sepp holzer. I learned a TREMENDOUS amount from the experience. We made all of the preparations for earthworks, even had the excavator on site, but following the advice of a lawyer (who had nothing to gain and everything to loose by saying "yea go for it") the entire plan was derailed.

This year we have prioritized the heart of the land owner and freedom to work. Hosting an event like this takes tremendous courage and is not for the faint of heart. This workshop will be a very unique experience as I have partnered with a tremendous couple who have 25 years of experience living off-grid in natural housing as stewards of this landscape. They have run countless seminars, workshops, and retreats that have been life changing experiences for others. I am very thankful for their skill, enthusiasm, energy, and willingness to help put this all together.

This intensive will combine sepp holzer's brilliance with their strengths of cultivating a remarkable learning experience. American schools have the idea that there is no such thing as a stupid question, this is not the case in Austrian culture. During the orientation people can ask all of their "stupid" (lacking forethought) questions to clarify any misunderstandings. I will do my best to prepare the class for what is about to come, with the aim of bringing us together as a more or less cohesive unit.

My goal simply stated is to provide Sepp and the students with the richest workshop experience to date. When Sepp receives rich questions that have been thought about beforehand, the answers contain so much wisdom that it is hard to take in all at once.

I would love for the dialogue to be so rich, the energy and connection of the experience so strong, that Sepp leaves knowing that his vision for regeneration will be carried forward in the western hemisphere. An experience so full of vision and wisdom that each participant carries forward with civil courage to propagate this powerful vision of regeneration, that is my goal in putting all of this together. The success of this course will ultimately be judged by what the attendees manifest in their own lives after this experience.
 
Zach Weiss
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Only two days left to register with the early bird discount, the 10% ends this Friday March 7th. We have a great group of people signed up so far and I've already reserved the machines. This should be a tremendous experience for everyone with a chance to attend.
 
Lynn Washington
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My husband and I would really love to attend this conference together, as we own property in NE WA that is presently a blank slate waiting for something to happen to it! I have been reading permaculture books for the past couple of years, and watching permaculture videos like a sponge. I realize that the infrastructure--the earthmoving--should really be the first thing to happen to our "canvas" so that all the other permaculture practices instituted will flow... The location for this event is similar to our locale, so I know it will be packed with very useful information pertinent to our place. Please pick me for a free ticket to this event!! Zach, are you going to be staying in the Montana area?
 
Ryan Gwidt
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Hey Zach,

I have a random question, what program did you use to make your 3D model of the valley? I've been wondering if there is a permaculture esc program out there or if people just use regular 3d programs like 3ds max or maya. Anyway this workshop looks amazing, due to lack or funds I wont be able to attend it.
 
Anupo Lich
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If anyone would like to take my place at the Holzer intensive starting May10, 2014 in Whitehall Montana now's your chance for a big discount in the price. Please contact me at delicatebalance@juno.com
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Apparently Paul paid them a visit and got a present. I think it is signed by Sepp.

Thanks to Daniel for the pictures





 
Jonathan Frame
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You earned it Paul
 
Julia Winter
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Sweet.
 
Kim Hill
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Love the medallion. It would look perfect over the door of the Wofati.
 
Holly Turner
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Yay for Paul!
 
Monte Cook
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Zach - thanks for putting this together! It was an AMAZING experience and I was glad to be a part of it.

Linda and Chris - thanks for hosting this and putting with all of us traipsing all over your place!

Sepp, Judith and the rest of the folks at PermaVitae - VIELEN DANK for everything you do and for sharing it with us!!

Paul, thanks for infecting my brain with sepp holzer!

To my spectacular classmates - thanks for sharing this event and showing us your projects and ideas! Hope to see you all in Dream Land ("Traum Land") very soon - let's plan a reunion when it happens!

Emily, Tony, PD, Graham, Brenda, Uncle Warren and a whole bunch of other volunteers and operators - thanks for the heavy lifting - literally!!!



 
Kris Arbanas
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Sweet ass medal!!
 
Tom Trial
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Wow Congrats Paul! You have truly Earned it! To celebrate be sure to have some PIE !!!

After listening to the podcast where upi reviewed Sepp's book I have a new appreciation for Sepp & you, Paul, 2 brilliant minds!
 
Elissa Teal
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That is awesome and hilarious! Love it! Congrats!
 
Jesse Biggs
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In case someone ever asks if you're Holzer certified... you can pull that bad boy out from behind your front overall flap. GIANT WOOD HOLZERFICATION!!!
 
George Meljon
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Congrats Paul, you are really making a difference out here!
 
Cj Castonguay
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Congratulations to you "DUKE"... you deserve that medal ! every cm of it.
 
Jennifer Jennings
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Appropriately sized and correct materials, lol.
 
brandon gross
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Congrats for you woody award.
 
Bradley Wiesneth
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Super Cool, Paul.....Congrats!!!
 
Rebecca Holman
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Some rap stars wear HUGE medallions around their necks. So as the permaculture rock star that you are..I can see you sporting this around your neck..LOL Here is the Rapper Clock Medallion, easily as big as yours..

 
Jen Shrock
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What started at the workshop as a pond (but the soil ended up not allowing) turned into an ENORMOUS crater garden with a "small" pond in the bottom. Here is a picture to give some perspective. The 40 ton excavator is sitting in the pond and placing boulders into it.
1966945_648037838599516_6973415781398137218_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 1966945_648037838599516_6973415781398137218_n.jpg]
Crater Garden
 
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