Friday, May 8, 2015

Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting System Installation Workshop

Part of our Fair Share is our volunteer time organizing the Chico Permaculture Guild. We facilitate monthly gatherings and seasonal workshops as well as participate in local events and other outreach efforts to help our community learn more about permaculture.

A timely workshop that Brian and I are teaching is coming up this month and it's focus is all about rooftop rainwater harvesting. We'll be teaching this workshop at our own property as part of our forest garden development. This workshop is FREE for the community to attend.

All the details are here:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

5th Annual Spring Seed Swap


Sunday, March 16th from 2-6pm

Chico Grange Hall, 2775 Nord Ave, Chico, CA

  • Over 8 tables of seed to exchange ‘Potluck’ Style
  • Speaker Presentations
  • Seed Saving Education
  • Seeds & Plants for Sale
  • Community Non-Profits
  • Food & Drinks for sale by Chico Natural Foods
  • Activities for all ages
Seed Saving 101: a focus on drought tolerant crops -with Kalan Redwood of Redwood Seeds:
Water Panel: rainwater harvesting earthworks, rain barrels and greywater systems -with Stephanie & Brian Ladwig-Cooper, Nani Teves and Stephanie & Tim Elliott
Seed Stories: open forum on the beauty and importance of seed -lead by Joan Bosque

WHAT TO BRING ~ you do not need seeds to attend, please label your seed and plants ~

  • Seeds, bulbs, plants, cuttings and more to exchange
  • Used envelopes/containers and pens/pencils


  • Sherri Scott (GRUB Education Program) 342-3376
  • Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper (Chico Permaculture Guild) 828-6390
More information can be found on the Chico Permaculture Guild website here. You can also join the Facebook event here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Practical Tips for Conserving Water in the Landscape

Reducing outdoor water use on a residential scale is absolutely necessary during times of drought but is really something that we need to do consistently in the Mediterranean climate we live in here in California. Here are a few more tips to add to the article 'Save our water! Tips for conserving water outdoors' in the Chico News and Review January 30, 2014 issue:

  1. Reduce/remove your lawn by sheet mulching
  2. Plant perennials instead of annuals
  3. Boost the soil food web living in your soil
  4. Install a clothes washer greywater system
  5. Harvest rainwater

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Urban Permaculture Property Tour

In celebration of International Permaculture Day, May 5th, 2013 the Chico Permaculture Guild is sponsoring 2 FREE tours of our urban permaculture project.

About the Tour:
Brian and I (Stephanie) are helping our local permaculture guild celebrate International Permaculture Day by providing a public tour of our local permaculture project; an urban 2/3 acre residential property that has been in development and succession since 2009.  (You can view photos of the Project here.)

3.5 years underway this property has been designed, implemented and managed utilizing the ethics and principles of permaculture. We'll be providing tour participants a first glimpse of this property which has not been open to public until now. We plan to provide and overview of the designs, permaculture techniques and strategies they used for creating an evolving oasis on this urban piece of land.

Map of Fruit Trees 2011 (canopy and subcanopy of forest gardens)
 Site Elements and Systems Tour Attendees will Observe:
    From Swimming Pool To Aquaculture Pond
    Rainwater Harvesting
    Edible Forest Gardens
    Perennial Polycultures
    Coppice Tree System
    Chicken Integrations
and more...


Tour #1: 10am - 12pm
Tour #2: 2pm - 4pm

Registration is required; please indicate which tour you wish to attend when registering. Please register here:

Space is limited to 20 people per tour so register today to ensure your spot!
This event is free but donations are accepted to support the Chico Permaculture Guild and more events such as this one! No dogs or other animals, please.

Please join us for a day of learning and fun in solidarity with other permaculture activities around the world as we celebrate International Permaculture Day 2013!!

For more information please contact Stephanie at 530-828-6390 or

Friday, August 3, 2012

Due Diligence: Four O’clock Plants

Four O'clock flowers
Our family lives in a historic neighborhood of Chico, California called the Barber Neighborhood. Our neighborhood was named after O. C. Barber, the founder of the Diamond Match Company, who had a factory built nearby to process lumber for matches at the turn of the twentieth century. Our home was built in approximately 1909. Because of the age of this neighborhood we have found in around our property an abundance of old trees and shrubs of what many this day would consider cottage garden or great-grandma plants. One of which is the Four O’clock growing prolifically near our garage and Mandarin tree. Not many people go out of their way to buy and grow this plant in their gardens anymore. Why? I couldn’t say as I’ve found it is a really interesting and beautiful plant with a long history of cultivation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Berries, Trellising and Harvest

Marionberries on trellis
Eating berries is one of my favorite summer activities. Saving them for later use is also a favorite past time. There are many ways of preserving berries -making jams and jellies, canning or freezing them whole or even dehydrating them for a hiking snack with nuts and seeds. Anyway you do it berries are an awesome treat.

Quotes that feel good...

"Personal independence depends on co-operative human society...only what we share gives us access to all necessary possessions." (Bill Mollison)

"Work is the health of love. To last, love must enflesh itself in the materiality of the world - produce food, shelter, warmth or shade, surround itself with careful acts, well made things. " (Berry 1991: 58)

"The more connections we make between the elements of the landscape on which we depend to meet our primary needs, the more sustainable that landscape becomes. " (Hamilton, 1993: 38)

"For waste is not found in nature — it’s strictly a human concept, a result of our own ignorance." (Joseph Jenkins Humanure Handbook rev.edition1999)

Permaculture (and related) Books

  • 'A Pattern Language' Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein
  • 'All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!' Mel Bartholomew
  • 'Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature' Janine M. Benyus
  • 'Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil' Andy Lee, Pat Foreman
  • 'Ecological Design' Sim Van der Ryn
  • 'Edible Forest Gardens' David Jacke and Eric Toensmeier
  • 'Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods' Thomas Elias
  • 'Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood into a Community' Heather Coburn Flores
  • 'Forest Gardening: Cultivating an Edible Landscape' Robert A. de J. Hart
  • 'Gaia's Garden' Toby Hemenway
  • 'Gardening for the Future of the Earth' Howard-Yana Shapiro
  • 'Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making' Allan Savory and Jody Butterfield
  • 'How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine' John Jeavons
  • 'Introduction to Permaculture' Bill Mollison
  • 'One-straw Revolution: Introduction to Natural Farming' Masanobu Fukoka
  • 'Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles' Eric Toensmeier
  • 'Permaculture A Designer's Manual' Bill Mollison
  • 'Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition' Bill Mollison
  • 'Permaculture One: A Perennial Agricultural System for Human Settlements' B. C. Mollison
  • 'Permaculture Two' B. Mollison
  • 'Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability' David Holmgren
  • 'Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands (& Beyond) volumes 1, 2 & 3' Brad Lancaster
  • 'Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables' Mike Bubel
  • 'Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners' Ernest Ashworth
  • 'Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide for Farmers, Smallholders and Gardeners' Sepp Holzer
  • 'The Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden' Kim Flottum
  • 'The Beekeeper's Handbook, Third Edition' Diana Sammataro
  • 'The Encyclopedia of Country Living: An Old Fashioned Recipe Book' Carla Emery
  • 'The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants' Samuel Thayer
  • 'The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual' James Green
  • 'The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition' Joseph Jenkins
  • 'The New Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems - Includes Branched Drains' Art Ludwig
  • 'Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture' John Smith
  • 'Water For Every Farm: Yeomans Keyline Plan' P. A. Yeomans
  • 'Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use--Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks' Art Ludwig