Justin Tilson - digging swales at OUR EcovillageThere is plenty on the web about permaculture so I won”t endeavor to duplicate what is freely available. What I will share is a brief synopsis of my journey with and into permaculture living.

I stumbled into permaculture at the intro to my BGI MBA while at Channel Rock. All students had a couple hour intro by Oiver Kellhammer. I had already been moving in the direction of permaculture without actually knowing about it from several years of guerrilla gardening in Vancouver. Oliver likened permaculture to surfing nature and shared many examples of how to work with natural processes to get what humans need while building on nature’s regenerative capacity and ability to support life. The permaculture way stood in stark contrast to the increasingly distopian world that industrial man was creating. Oliver’s brief lecture and walk about struck a chord in my being that awakened a fire and passion for living with grace and cooperation with the natural systems of the planet.

Justin Tilson - guerilla gardening in VancouverDuring my first summer break from BGI, I pursued a Permaculture Design Certificate with O.U.R. Ecovillage and Jan Steinman. I followed up that mind and heart opening experience with a week of teacher training at the Bullock’s Homestead. These experiences transferred a huge, positive and abundant vision of what is possible for humanity when enough of us incorporate the ethics and principles that guide ecosystem evolution into our way of being.

Fast forward to today. There is lifetime’s work to really engage with and live permaculture and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. My next endeavors are to continue making my family’s homestead more food and energy self-reliant, continue building a permaculture school on the land and finally to use the permaculture ethics and principles as as guide to establish a variety of businesses on Manitoulin that enhance local economic, environmental and social resilience.

If you would like to join the fun, please get in touch


  1. Julio on Reply

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    Great Show Jack!My folks bought land when I was a kid and risead me on it. It had its own well and septic, etc. You couldn’t be more correct on making sure you’re far away from any incroaching cities. My folks made that mistake and spent years fighting the local city government who kept trying to tax them out of their little 900 square foot farmhouse because developers bought up and built $500,000 McMansions all around them. It literally got to the point where the city was threatening to declare the place condemned’ just so they could get their greedy mitts on the property. It was like something out of an old movie! Thanks for the incredibly detailed and well-thought-out show you sure gave us plenty to think about when purchasing that dream homestead!P.S. My folks story ended happily as they made a killing when they finally sold but it sure wasn’t an easy way to make a buck!Current score: 0

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