North Mountain Permaculture was created to provide space to share knowledge and skills essencial for living off the land. Our classroom consists of over 200 acres of forest, marshlands, lakes and waterways, as well as 80 acres of recovering forest lost to clearcutting. Our goal is to facilitate learning while restoring damaged habitats, protecting existing habitats, and strengthening community resilience in the face of our rapidly changing planet.
Using Permaculture design principles as our guide, our aim is to achieve these outcomes by connecting seemingly disparate problems to form one systemic solution. By conducting course activities on a recent clearcut, we can facilitate the teaching of essential skills while repairing the forest ecosystems we inhabit. By operating as a not-for-profit, we can ensure the protection of more forest every year through our forest fund. And making land accessible to new-comers and artists, we’re able to strengthen the community both locally and beyond.
We believe all living things have an inherent capacity to interact in ways that are integral to whole-system health. As humans, we have an opportunity to create ways of living that go beyond sustainable – to serve a beneficial role within our ecosystems and rediscover ways of life that are fulfilling, meaningful and encourage wellbeing.
We hope you will join us in answering this call to health. There is room for you at our table.
The COVID-19 pandemic is calling much needed attention to the inability of globalized industrial systems to adapt to change and deliver health. While observing mandatory health measures, we believe sharing skills that foster resilience are all the more important in light of our rapidly changing world.
We continue to adapt and remain available for design and consultation services during this time. We also continue to accept applications for our internship positions during the pandemic and have space available for quarantine on arrival. Wishing you health,
North Mountain Permaculture
Less than 5% of climax Acadian Forests remain untouched by unsustainable forestry practices. And much of Nova Scotia’s forest regions are privately owned and often sold to be logged. As a not-for-profit, any excess revenue generated by our workshops and courses go into our Forest Fund to secure vulnerable Nova Scotian forest lands, protecting them from clearcutting and other ecologically harmful development.
A Culture of Stewardship
Cradling the agriculturally-rich Annapolis Valley along it’s south-facing slope, rising from the rocky Nova Scotian shore of the bay of Fundy, The North Mountain has long (and quietly) been attracting ‘folks of a certain mindset’.
The many 60’s-era, draft-dodger cabins that still dot the mountain are some of the evidence of this area’s ideological history. Today, many new-comers are busy establishing new homesteads and breathing new life into abandon farmland.
Skilled craftspeople, artists, market-gardeners, builders and healers form a vibrant and tightly-knit community that continues to be woven here.
North Mountain Permaculture is created by many skillful hands. Built by hearty mountain folk representing over a century of homesteading experience, each bringing unique passions and skills to our farm table.
From natural building and timber framing to herbalism and wild crafting, we create engaging hands-on workshops and courses that deliver valuable skills and fortify the community of permaculturalists both locally and beyond.
A Clearcut Solution
The mountain has also been visited by those of a different stripe. The ravages of industrial forestry present both a problem and an opportunity. While the ecological toll of clearcut forestry is high, these landscapes provide an ideal laboratory to create and rediscover ways of life that heal our ecosystems.
Developing skills to work with and heal damaged ecosystems are increasingly invaluable for the trail ahead. We are located on 220 acres of recovering clearcut and forest on the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq nation.
North Mountain Permaculture aims to regenerate a thriving forest ecosystem – and a human habitat of an often forgotten kind – one that recognizes our beneficial role within a healthy ecosystem through behaviours that truly sustain us, while healing and enriching our environment in exchange.
We offer courses and workshops in wild food and medicine, natural building, regenerative forestry and permaculture design. These learning opportunities take place both on a recent clearcut, and at nearby Snow Lake Keep homesteading community, built in a 20-year-old recovering clearcut. Through these sister sites, students have the opportunity to learn in a unique environment that demonstrates the recovery process from year-zero, through to year 20.
Deryk studied architectural design at The International Academy of Design in Toronto and is a professional timber frame builder and market gardener. In 1990, he returned to his home-territory in Nova Scotia and began work building his first farm from the ground up. He has been active in natural building and permacultural farming ever since.
In 2004, Deryk established Eagles & Company, specializing in sustainably-sourced timber frame structures. Deryk is the founding member of Snow Lake Keep homesteading community where he currently lives and works teaching permacultural techniques for producing food, creating shelter, and living in healthy relationship to our forest ecosystem.
Adam has a background in design and brings his 20-years of experience with the design process to homesteading and natural building. He has designed and built several off-grid cabins, making use of salvaged materials and self-harvested timber. He is an experienced timber frame builder, self-taught draftsperson, homesteader, and visual artist. Adam lives and works at Snow Lake Keep homesteading community.