Wednesday, September 4, 2013

That Was Amazing!

The 2013 WestCan Permaculture Convergence at Rancho Relaxo was an overwhelming success, with over 90 people coming out for the weekend, and focusing on exchanging ideas, knowledge and networking in regards to organic food, renewable energy and all aspects of sustainability.  
We had delegates attend from Australia, Germany, South Africa, Mexico, Vancouver Island, Saskatchewan, and from places all over Alberta.  

We would like to thank:
Creative Cuisine Catering (led by Denia Baltzer) for providing three outstanding meals using local organic ingredients, including a grass-fed organic pig from Fisher Farms which we fire-roasted in a pit.  

Theresa Strawberry from the O'Cheise First Nations for delivering a blessing and positive thoughts in the Opening Ceremony.

Chris Guilbeault from Little Green Thumbs organized and led the children's activities for the weekend, allowing kids to get their hands dirty and be creative while learning some very useful skills.

Charlie MGee and Mal Webb from Australia put on an amazing musical show on our outdoor stage, leaving spectators in awe.  

Marie and Jacob Snyder led the drumming circle, complete with a didgeridoo, hand drums and bongos and trained the next generation of percussionists (and didgeridooers).

During the daytime on Saturday and Sunday, workshops and discussions covered a variety of topics such as solar air heating, solar electricity, organic food production, and compost toilet systems.  

Programming and discussions were greatly enhanced with the help of Javan Bernakevitch, a professional facilitator from Permaculture BC.  His influence helped bring out the best ideas from the group, promote connections between participants, and he ensured the whole weekend ran smoothly and without delay.

Hands-on activities allowed participants to build bat houses, solar door-screen heaters and a large garden bed specially designed for lowland food production.  

Many ideas and contacts were exchanged, and everyone took away at least a few ideas and some enthusiasm for becoming more self-sufficient in their own lives.  

The idea was presented that we should put together a proposal to host the International Permaculture Convergence here in November 2017, so further investigation of this possibility will be on-going.

For anyone that didn't catch a full tour of Rancho Relaxo: A Permaculture Demonstration Farm, you can watch a (2-part) YouTube video presentation that will give you a virtual tour of the farm at

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped out during the weekend, and we look forward to having you back again to Rancho Relaxo.

Jeff & Juli Gillies (J2)