Tim Barker - 2017 PDC Instructor
Tim has come a long way since his days as a diesel fitter mechanic, and now spends his time between Australia and New Zealand (and sometimes the US) as a
semi professional pyromaniac and mad scientist teaching people how to burn stuff and make really cool machines and devices for low carbon living. He
currently teaches Appropriate Technology for the Koanga Institute in New Zealand and Very Edible Gardens (VEG) in
Melbourne, to name a few.
He has previously been farm manager for the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, power station operator/mechanic, adventure guide and professional turtle wrestler. His rocket stove and char making powered hot water systems, ovens and cookers reflect his passion for elegant simple and durable combustion technologies. Other projects include gravity powered water pumps, solar thermal cookers and dryers, pedal powered washing machines, cargo bikes, hovercraft, wooden boats and aquaponics, to name a few. When he is not tinkering he can be found on Macleay Island off the coast of Queensland Australia, where he and his family live and are currently in the process of building a rammed earth house (with maybe a little sailing thrown in).
He is particularly well known for his safe and effective rocket hot water heating system.He brings practical, hands on experience with some truly fascinating projects to the table - this from the Koanga institute:
"He has the practical knowledge and skills to construct almost any project with limited resources."
We're thrilled to have him instructing at our facilities!
Paul Wheaton - 2017 PDC Instructor
Paul Wheaton, the bad boy of Permaculture, was proclaimed by Geoff Lawton in 2012 the Duke of Permaculture. He is the creator of two on-line communities. One is about Permaculture, permies.com, and one is about software engineering, CodeRanch.com.
He is a powerful advocate of Sepp Holzer’s techniques, which a recent study showed to have the ability to feed 21 billion people without the use of petroleum or irrigation. He also promotes the use of hugelkultur, which sequesters carbon and eliminates the need for irrigation, and polycultures, which reduces the need for pest control and improves the health of plants. He wrote several articles about lawn care, raising chickens, cast iron, and diatomaceous earth. Paul regularly uploads permaculture videos and permaculture podcasts.
Thomas J. Elpel - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Thomas J. Elpel is an author, natural builder, educator, and conservationist. He has authored multiple books: Foraging the Mountain West, Botany in a Day, Shanleya's Quest and numerous others about plant identification, wilderness survival, and sustainable living. He has multiple videos: Building a Slipform Stone House from the Bottom Up, How to Make a Grass Rope, Build Your own Masonry Fireplace - Masonry Heater - Masonry Stove, and many more. Thomas regularly teaches classes on plant identification, primitive skills and natural building. He is founder/director of Green University, LLC in Pony, Montana.
Helen Atthowe - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Helen has an MS in Horticulture and Agricultural Ecology from Rutgers University; worked at Rutgers in tree fruit IPM; studied natural farming with Masanobu Fukoka; interned at The Land Institute in Kansas; taught a Master Gardener course in Montana for 15 years while she was Missoula County extension agent; owned and operated Biodesign organic vegetable farm in Montana (1993-2010); consulted for a 2000 acre organic vegetable farm (2011); helped run her husband's Woodleaf Farm organic orchard in northern California 2012-2015; worked for Oregon State University Horticulture Department; and is now farming a 211 acre farm in eastern Oregon with her husband, where they have a mixed fruit and hazelnut orchard, small grain and dry bean production, vegetable gardens, high tunnels, and greenhouse.
Ernie Wisner - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Ernie is a botanist, educator, writer, researcher, rocket mass heater innovator, natural builder, and boat aficionado. He served in the merchant marine, Navy, and fisheries, and has tremendous experience with hydraulic and hot water systems. His family's sea time stretches back "since Noah was a babe," all over the 2/3 of our planet from which quitters can't walk home. Ernie is semi-retired due to a disabling injury, but still makes time for the occasional workshop or fascinating prototype project. He co-authored multiple books with his wife, Erica, and he is featured in many videos, documentaries and podcasts. Ernie is a wealth of knowledge; there are not many topics on which he does not have an opinion.
Erica Wisner - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Erica is a science and art educator, curriculum developer, writer, illustrator, researcher, and rocket mass heater innovator. She loves making things from scratch - anything from blueberry scones to the oven itself. Erica is a skilled educator and project coordinator, with over 20 years of experience building teamwork and leading hands-on learning. Her and Ernie have taught numerous workshops on natural building and rocket mass heaters. Erica has written multiple books on rocket mass heaters, fire making, and survival shelters. She is featured in many videos, documentaries, and podcasts on rocket mass heaters.
Jacqueline Freeman - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Jacqueline is a biodynamic farmer, author, and natural beekeeper. She is known for her gentle and understanding ways with bees. She appears in the honeybee documentary, Queen of the Sun and was hired by the USDA to work with rural farmers and beekeepers in the Dominican Republic, using historic methods of respectful beekeeping. She lives on a farm in Washington state with her husband, Joseph, where they have orchards, gardens, two big greenhouses, a small forest, rich pastures and plenty of flowering bee forage. Jacqueline also has lots of experience raising livestock: cows, goats, chickens for laying and broilers, turkeys, and horses. She has two websites: SpiritBee.com and friendlyhaven.com.
Zachary Weiss - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Protégé of legendary Austrian farmer, Sepp Holzer, Zach is the first person to earn Holzer Practitioner Certification outside of the Krameterhof training program. Blending a unique combination of systems thinking, empathy, and awareness, Zach uses an action-oriented process to improve human relationships with earth. Enhancing ecosystems and harvesting natural productivity over time is the ultimate goal - with high initial input, high yield systems that will last until the next ice age.
Zach currently has projects in 11 nations on 4 continents, spanning a wide range of climates, contexts, land-forms and ecosystems. Having experience with a wide range of techniques and systems (from natural building, to greenhouses, to carpentry, to watershed restoration), Zach also graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Ecology. He has two websites elementalecosystems.com and holzerpermaculture.us
Davin Hoyt - 2017 PDC Guest Instructor
Davin is an architect, artist, and entrepreneur. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture and has 16 years of drafting experience. Davin has established two community gardens in Georgetown, Texas and he is the first to map Wheaton Labs. Davin practices architecture as a one-man firm and will soon be a small restaurant chain partner. He is the future illustrator of Paul's book on "Wofatis".
Byron Joel is based in Margaret River, Western Australia, from where he runs Oak Tree Designs, providing environmentally aware Human Settlement Systems design and education. Discovering Permaculture in the early 2000s, Byron devoured all the information he could find and set to work connecting with like minds and putting ideas to practice, taking his first Permaculture Design Course in 2004 and second in 2009. After taking the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia's 10 week internship in 2010, Byron returned to the positions of both Nursery and WWOOFer Coordinator at Zaytuna Farm. After relocating to New Zealand, he held the position of Nursery Manager at Kotare Farm, home of the Koanga Institute and the Permaculture Research Institute of New Zealand. Armed with the invaluable tool of hands-on field time and a Diploma in Horticulture, Byron’s embryonic affinity with plants has developed and evolved into a broader, impassioned drive to the broad scale regeneration and restoration of not only the planet’s much degraded ecology, but also the human communities that inhabit her. Byron has studied and integrated design and implementation techniques from numerous related systems including Holistic Management, Natural Sequence Farming, Bio-dynamics, Natural Farming, the Regrarian Platform and more…
Byron has worked internationally as both educator and consultant.