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Mill Creek Farm
Mill Creek Farm
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585 Hood Rd, Saline, LA, US
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

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Mill Creek Farm

Mill Creek Farm

Saline, US

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2015 October Earthworks Design Intensive

Project: Mill Creek Farm

Posted by Nicholas Ferguson over 8 years ago

We are teaching a Mid-Scale Earthworks Intensive certified course at the Ferguson family homestead.

It is set to be held October 22-24, 2015, on the family land in Saline, Louisiana.

If you want a crash course in how to design and set up your homestead for function stacking success, you don't want to miss this event!

We will be installing swales, small ponds, hugel beds, and a market garden space. We will teach you Holistic Small Farm Design and Layout. You will learn where to place buildings and why, what to do with water, how to install earthworks to passively harvest water and use it to your advantage. How to use animals to improve and develop your property. You even get to see the screwups Nick has made through the years, and learn from his mistakes.

goofy earthworks pic

Instructors are:

  • Nick Ferguson (Permaculture Classroom)

  • Jack Spirko (The Survival Podcast)

  • Chris Prater (Beekeeper, Blacksmith)

What we will be doing:

  • Mainframe Earthworks install of the Ferguson Homestead in Saline, Louisiana

  • Holistic Design of a small farm

  • Plant Propagation (so you can afford to plant your swales)

  • Langstroth Bee Hive building with Chris Prater (a perfect winter project, get ready for bees in the spring!)

  • Q&A Sessions with Jack Spirko, Chris Prater, and Nick Ferguson

  • Great Food

  • Barter, Community Building and More

  • Join us for a fun learning experience!

During the Workshop you will learn about the following awesome topics:

--Integrating Animal Systems (By Jack Spirko)
-Surveying the Site
-Surveying Tools
-Soil Types
-Soil Conditioning
-Hard Surface Runoff
-Creating and Restoring Springlines
-Hugelkultur & Woody Beds
-Dam Installation
-Topsoil Removal
-Building a dam Wall
-The Spillway
-Returning the Topsoil
-Problem Dams and their Solutions

-Repairing Leaky Dams
-Contour Dams
-Ponds (without a dam)
-Connections Between Ponds
-Swales Basics
-Constructing the Swale
-Water Impoundments


The workshop will be held October 22-24, 2015, If you have decided you need to learn the fundamentals about shaping the earth to build a sustainable and beautifully abundant landscape, you need this hands on experience. Even if you know how to build a pond and you have the basics of swales and surveying, come and get the whole picture, taught in a holistic fashion, and experience what no other classroom session behind a desk can deliver. Nick Ferguson and Jack Spirko will be teaching whole farm water management and earthworks in an in-your-face, hands getting dirty kinda way.

Guys and gals, Jack Spirko and I were just discussing my earthworks workshop running from Oct. 22-24 and we realized what it really is comes down to a practical mid-scale design intensive. We also realized that the two of us hold multiple Permaculture Design certifications recognized by the PRI and that we should be offering our students as such a certification for this course.

Now, it is not a full 5 day Earthworks Course heavy on academic material like the primary Earthworks Course is. But it many ways it is far better for the average practitioner or consultant. The scope of the design is in what you would call mid-scale design. In other words about as large as you would want to go without bringing in some additional engineering knowledge.

Meaning of course the type of design you are likely to do on your own, either for yourself or as a consultant. And a design of the size that is most practical for many members of the TSP community. These are designs that fit beautifully into 1-10 acre properties. That folks is a real sweet spot for design. It is small enough that people can afford a property to develop and small enough that you can afford to develop and plant it. It is also small enough to maintain in good form and production.

On the other side it is big enough to feed a family and run a small business. As such we feel it warrants a certification for every student that successfully completes it. To make sure that we are doing this properly I am adding blocks of testing to the course. During the course Jack and I will be breaking students into small groups and giving an on the move oral examination of what you have learned up to specific points.

By the time work is finished, every student will be able to fully explain what was done, why it was done and most importantly the adjustments we had to make on the fly. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO DO THAT, ALWAYS. To be blunt anyone that tells you any design involving earthworks will just go “by the book” if full of bull. The adjustment thinking on the fly is the most valuable thing you learn in the field vs. in a classroom when it comes to earth works.

Upon successful completion each student will be able to claim a certification for “Mid-Scale Earthworks Intensive”. There will be an online verifiable certification at Permaculture Global and Nick Ferguson will be listed as your lead instructor and I as your co-instructor.

For those that just intend to use their knowledge for personal effort this is simply a nice thing to have. However, for those that intend at any point to work as a consultant it is much more. Coupled with a PDC this will be a great credential for those who are doing design work for others. Nick and I are both well known in the industry and our credentials are easy to verify.

Comments (2)

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Holistic Girl
Holistic Girl : How much is it? Is there on-site housing and meals? I would like to maybe go to this.
Posted almost 8 years ago

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Holistic Girl
Holistic Girl : oh sorry. Just noticed that says 2015, guess I am a whole year late!!!..lol
Posted almost 8 years ago

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