Learn about Permaculture and Homesteading in a family-friendly environment
Grow, Connect, and Delight Together
A Family Camping Experience Like Nothing Else
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Unfortunately, our summer 2020 camp was cancelled.
Check back soon for info on 2021!
Permaculture Camp is an all-ages summer camp with programming for adults and children.
A long weekend of learning and connection with like-minded folks who are into permaculture, homesteading, and holistic parenting.
During adult sessions, kids get their hands dirty, the forest school way, with specialists in nature education.
Delicious local and organic meals are provided.
We’ll do some cooking together over the fire for dinners.
Full menu to be posted soon.
Willow Creek Farm is located southwest of London, Ontario, about two hours from Toronto, and just under two hours from Windsor/Detroit.
Our farm is super quiet (at first we couldn’t believe how quiet), and the stars you can see on clear nights will amaze you.
We’ll be having loads of campfires, complete with games, songs, and comradery.
Adult sessions are optional. If you’re not interested in a topic, there are trails through our creek valley and past our ponds, back to the forest,
and no shortage of little nooks
where you could escape and read a book in peace.
Keep reading and learn all about what makes Permaculture Camp
such an awesome idea for this year’s summer vacation.
So, What is Permaculture?
Originally permaculture was about farming in nature’s image (and still is). Since it got going in Australia in the 1970s, permaculture has grown into a global movement to design all human systems to behave more like natural systems. This applies to our food and health, buildings and infrastructure, and ways of living more in sync with nature’s rhythms.
Living abundantly with less of a carbon footprint.
At Permaculture Camp you experience how to apply the beautiful principles
of permaculture and systems thinking to modern-day homesteading, parenting, and life in general.
Is Permaculture Camp Right For You?
Adults who want to:
Kids who want to:
Need more info to help you decide?
The chart below has a lot of detail about what goes on at camp.
And every category could easily have “AND MORE!” added to the end!
Our Learning Approach
For the adults, we believe in balancing lecture-style sessions with experiential sessions and practical sessions. This means sometimes we’ll be talking with you, other times you’ll be involved with group activities, other times you’ll be on site tours, other times you’ll be building or making something. Information heavy sessions will tend to be in the morning, with more active and experiential sessions after lunch. The learning will not be like reading a book, it will be like living the lifestyle you desire, and learning how you could integrate aspects of that into your day-to-day life when you go home.
For the kids, we are influenced by forest school and outdoor school models. Our wonderful leaders have over two decades combined experience working with kids in a variety of settings, with their favourite form being outdoor nature-based learning for all ages! Sessions will be active and interesting and be punctuated by exciting learning moments.
We have purposefully kept the active learning sessions to just four hours per day, so there is plenty of time for just living together in community, and sharing what everyone brings to the table.
What's Our Perspective?
Modern Homesteading and Holistic Parenting could mean a lot of things. Here’s what they mean to us.
Our approach to homesteading at Willow Creek Farm is based on applying permaculture design to our entire 50-acre farm, but this type of design is completely scalable to any size of land. The farm we are working towards will produce a great deal of the food for our family, with a surplus of resources for sale. Our diet is based on plants we can grow, and animals we raise ourselves. Our farm also hosts many areas set-aside for wild nature. We have strong interest in appropriate technology, DIY and fix-it-yourself solutions, and finding ways to solve problems that use the least embodied energy, without giving up on basic human comforts. We have our intentions set on obtaining our livelihoods through enterprises based on our land by producing and making use of the abundance our land can provide, while also leaving the land better for the future. Our influences include the nameless multitude of traditional ancestors of all cultures, who developed many of the techniques adapted into permaculture. Besides our local mentors, such as Shantree Kacera and Lorenna Bousquet-Kacera of the Living Centre, we are influenced by many contemporary writers and online teachers such as: Bill Mollison, David Holmgren (the originators of the term permaculture), Mark Shepard (author of Restoration Agriculture), Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier (authors of Edible Forest Gardens), Allan Savory (originator of Holistic Management), Ben Law (author of The Woodland Way), Geoff Lawton (excellent teacher and video host), Sepp Holzer (an independent originator of permaculture), Paul Wheaton (popularizer of permaculture, host of online Permies forum, podcast host and video-maker).
Holistic Parenting and Family Life
A growing branch of permaculture includes social and cultural applications of the principles. When considering our home systems, we feel that they provide the best arena to make meaningful and lasting change in the world. When we start with small changes in our own lives, they can take hold and influence further emergence of the family life and world we desire. We wish family life to reflect the sustainable values of permaculture. Our approach to parenting is to use systems thinking to inform parenting decisions from the system level down to the details of daily living. There are too many 'experts' in the world, especially within parenting. The best experts on your family are those that belong to it. Using holistic systems thinking and by applying the principles of permaculture we can create a framework which is individuated to your vision for your family. The fundamentals of this approach include mindfulness, deep listening, objective observation and radical trust in how nature manifests itself through our family. Some key influencers in our parenting model include Looby Macnamara (social permaculture writer), Starhawk (social justice activist and permaculturist), Brene Brown (authenticity, shame and vulnerability researcher), Kim Jon Payne (Simplicity Parenting), Dan Siegel (No-Drama Discipline), Gordon Neufeld (Hold on to you Kids) and Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids).
A Chance to Leave it All Behind
Smoking, alcoholic drinks, and (non-prescription) drugs are not allowed at Permaculture Camp. If these are things you normally do, why not make camp a fun detox? Alternately, leaving the property to smoke is fine, but intoxication on property will not be allowed.
Cell phones are discouraged at camp, other than for emergency use. We understand you may need to use your phone or other device, but we encourage you to make a pledge to either go cold turkey, or reduce your usage of your device during camp, to get more from the experience. If you can’t, that’s okay – but please keep your use of your device discrete.
Unfortunately, because we have gardens and vulnerable animals, we can’t allow any pet visitors.
A Welcoming and Inclusive Environment
Everyone is welcome at Permaculture Family Camp – we are an inclusive environment based on mutual respect and deep listening. We are open to people of any race, belief-system, gender identity or sexual orientation. Our core value is to treat others as you would like to be treated.
Rob is a home-schooling dad, writer, and permaculturalist. For over a decade, he has been researching and trying various homesteading techniques. From growing vegetables and fruit trees to raising poultry, to inventing and making time-honoured fermented foods, a great deal of Rob’s time goes into both improving the design of Willow Creek Farm, and finding efficient ways to manage it. Rob is the owner, with Shantree Kacera, of Artemisia’s Forest Garden Nursery, which specializes in rare and unusual edible and medicinal plants, shrubs, trees and vines, and bulk hazelnut and chestnut trees. He is a co-founder of the Carolinian Canada Forest Garden Guild (currently inactive), and as part of that, co-organized two very successful Forest Garden Convergences in 2015 and 2016. Rob has published numerous small-press publications, as well as O Spam, Poams (2005), a book of poetry based on spam emails. He is currently at work on a young adult science fiction novel called Sacred Cows, which imagines a future world where it is illegal for people to grow their own food.
Julie Walter is an educator, artist, blogger and social thinker. She is particularly interested in bringing the elements of Permaculture together with social systems, particularly within the realms of parenting and education. She writes a blog entitled Family Yields where she explores what personal growth looks like through the lens of our family systems. Her passion is in identifying patterns within systems and finding ways to push the edges of their limits to create incrementally small but lasting changes. She currently works part-time teaching Gifted students for the local school board. Last year she taught a pilot Forest School program within the school board. Her strength as an educator is in bringing big concepts to life through hands-on and practical application of learning. She also enjoys creating a variety of art, allowing her to apply her degree in Visual Arts. Julie particularly enjoys natural building; working in cob and cordwood. Julie loves people, nature and making connections.
Julie Read is an outdoor educator and a certified elementary school teacher with a background in social justice and community-building. Julie was the Community Programs Coordinator and Naturalist Teacher at the High Park Nature Centre in Toronto for four years. Julie has led nature programs, guided hikes and forest therapy walks for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. She is a member of the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO) and has facilitated workshops on environmental education for colleagues, teachers and caregivers. Julie is also a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and is currently teaching with the Thames Valley District School Board. She is passionate about helping children foster a deep connection with nature, improving their health and well-being, along with hopefully inspiring them to become lifelong environmental stewards.
Claire is a certified Ontario teacher with over 10 years experience in early years and Primary education in Montessori schools, daycares and public schools. Claire led environmental programming for children as a Nature Interpreter at High Park Nature Centre in Toronto. Claire has also facilitated workshops on connecting young children to nature for Early Years Educators and caregivers. Claire coordinated outdoor education programming at a Montessori School in Toronto and supported weekly excursions for Elementary children to the p.i.n.e. Project. In her home country of Scotland, Claire volunteered as the Community Outreach Coordinator with South Seeds, an organization that helps local residents build community gardens in a low income neighbourhood in Glasgow. She is a member of The Ontario College of Teachers and The Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario. Claire loves spending time outdoors and helping children connect to the natural world.
What's included in your fee?
Limited spaces available!
Family registration saves you at least 25% (more if some of your family are young adults).
EARLY BIRD OFFER!
Until May 15th,
all registrations are 20% off!
If you have more than four people in your family, add extra adult, young adult, and children to the cart until you have the correct number of registrations.
Registration forms will be sent to you by email after registration, and will have to be submitted before camp begins.
Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Prefer to register offline? Have any questions before you register?
Give Rob and Julie a call at 519-762-3398, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.