Stay tuned for future Orchard Polyculture Workshops
and other events as Aisling Keep Farm.


Why every two years?

This unique Permaculture workshop and seminar is usually offered biannually (every two years) in southern Ontario so that participants can gain an appreciation of how an orchard polyculture develops over time.

Different species grow at different rates and start producing in different years. Additional yearly plantings bring diversity and variety and hence ecosystem services that build resilience in the production matrix. Mortality, dieback and other stresses are observed and explained. New soil improvement and pest management strategies are introduced over time and assessed. Cultural forms with intangible values take on greater meaning over time.

It is important to gain an appreciation of both spatial and temporal development of man-aged edible ecosystems over time; they mature and improve! The Aisling Keep Workshop offers an opportunity to observe and experience this first hand.

2015 Workshop - April 18-19

Dave McPhail
Jeff Kitchen
Brad Peterson


2013 Workshop - April 20-21



2011 Workshop Program – May 7, 2011

Topics covered in 2011 Workshops and Seminars include:

Workshop 1 (in the field)

Seminar A (indoor powerpoint presentations)

Workshop 2 (in the field)

Seminar B (indoor presentations)

2011 Workshops and Seminars activities include:

2011 Workshop Instructors

Brad Peterson is an ecologist, permaculturist, and environmental landscape architect who specializes in sustainable design, site planning, Master Planning, client visioning, public facilitation, working drawings and specifications, contract documentation and contract administration. Brad has practiced permaculture in Ontario since 1987.

Ruth Knight is an agronomist who specializes in organic farm and orchard production. She provides advice on soil fertility, crop management, and transition and organic certification for field, horticultural and greenhouse crops. Ruth has been an independent consultant since 2005.

Jeff Kitchen has Permaculture Design Certification from Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. Jeff has completed the Transition Town Training in Guelph Ontario and helped to start Transition Town Kitchener-Waterloo. He holds a General B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently working for Fern Ridge Landscaping and Eco-consulting in Milton.

Aisling Keep Orchard Polyculture History and Workshop Topics

Brief history of the Aisling Keep Polyculture:

2006 – initial plantings.

2007 – additional plantings and management

2008 – additional plantings and management

2009 - first Workshop topics: site design, soil preparation techniques, best plant spacing, pollination and pest management practices. Hands-on planting instruction and practice. Discussion of permaculture and community sustainability.

2010 – additional plantings and management

2011 - second Workshop topics: review of 2009 topics, soil analysis and management, pest monitoring, direct seeding and micro nursery techniques, propagation techniques and design considerations. Seminar on permaculture and community sustainability. Hands-on planting instruction and practice.

2012 – ongoing plantings and management

2013 and every two years thereafter – subsequent workshops.

Car Pooling

For Car Pooling send blank e-mail to and follow link.

event map farm (pre-registration)