The Permablitz Potential: Permanent Culture for Everyone

On Saturday November 10th from 10 am – 4 pm, the Chico Permaculture Guild will host a “permablitz” event – a hands on learning day in which you will learn how to design and install a rooftop rainwater harvesting system for your home, farm or any building with a roof. Photo: Chico Permaculture Guild’s Logo. Photo courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

“Learn how to passively and effectively store seasonal rainwater in the soil for surrounding plant use. Measure rooftop collection area and calculate the volume of water a roof sheds into the landscape each year. You will be amazed at just how much!!

The CPG group will be implementing a simple infiltration trench and corresponding mulch basin for this rooftop catchment design. Please bring gloves, a shovel and water bottle for a day of hands on learning outdoors! Photo: An example of a rainwater harvesting technique in the form of an in-ground rain-catchment and infiltration trench to better store rainwater run-off on site, allow it to slowly percolate into the soil thereby being better available to surround roots, being filtered by the soil, and eventually helping to recharge the associated groundwater source or aquifer. Photo Courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

This event is FREE and lunch is provided by the hosts! If you have food allergies or special dietary requirements you will want to bring your own food.

IMPORTANT: You must register for this event! We have capacity for 25 people to attend so register early! REGISTER HERE:

Registered participants will be carpooling out to Butte Valley for this event. Meet at the Hwy 32 Park and Ride at 9am on the 10th. If you can provide a vehicle for others to ride in please contact Stephanie at or call 530-828-6390.

Please note, excessive rainfall will cancel this event. You will be notified in advance should the event be canceled.

What is the Chico Permaculture Guild?

Chico Permaculture Guild:

Under the organizational leadership of Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper, owner with her husband Brian of Gaia Creations, Ecological Landscaping & Permaculture Solutions for People and Planet, the Chico Permaculture Guild is a group of people organizing in the Chico community in order to facilitate the outreach of permaculture education. The guild organizes workshops which assist homeowners, renters and property owners alike as well as collaborates with the local community on local sustainability efforts. Photo:Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper speaks to attendees of the Seed Swap in the fall of 2010. Photo courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

The CPG Mission and Functions:

Build personal relationships -foster a culturally rich community. Photo: CPG holds many events and gatherings throughout the year including work parties such as permablitz events at members gardens. Here they prepare materials for a sheetmulch project to eliminate a lawn and add an edible garden. Photo courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

Become more connected with fellow permaculturists -network both online and with each other

Host Permablitz (Garden Wheel) events – helping members and interested parties on projects at home, rotating from site to site to come together and put our energy into our own home zones, planting seeds, growing food and habitat as a collective.

Promote local permaculture-based projects and networking between local groups -network within already established groups that are carrying out projects of sustainability or good nature within the community.

Host Permaculture workshops and classes – as a guild we seek to entice the community to look out into our greater watershed and design and implement as many Permaculture projects as possible which restore, revitalize and regenerate natural systems that have been impacted by humans.

Our motivation for the future is to hold permaculture training courses and eventually PDC courses as demand for practical knowledge and hands on skills in permaculture is ever increasing.

What is Permaculture:

A concept first articulated in the mid-1970s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. They published the book “PermaCulture One” in 1978. Photo: CPG held seed swap earlier this fall to promote and provide access to locally saved and adapted seed sources. Photo courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

According to Holmgren’s website, Permaculture is:

“Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs. People, their buildings and the ways in which they organise themselves are central to permaculture. Thus the permaculture vision of permanent or sustainable agriculture has evolved to one of permanent or sustainable culture.”

“More precisely permaculture is a “design system based on ecological principles” which provides the organizing framework for implementing the above vision. In this more limited, but important sense it draws together the diverse skills and ways of living which need to be rediscovered and developed to empower us to move from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible producers.”

“In this sense, permaculture is not the landscape, or even the skills of organic gardening, sustainable farming, energy efficient building or eco-village development as such, but can be used to design, establish, manage and improve these and all other efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future.”

What is a Permablitz:

Previously known as Garden Wheel events, the CPG hosts these events on a regular “as requested” basis. “The best way of describing a Permablitz comes from Australia, the founding continent of the Permaculture movement: Photo: CPG members in progress on a mulch and lawn overhaul project. Photo courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

‘“Blitz”, from the german for lightening, means a focused application of energy. A permablitz is when that energy is focused on installing part of a permaculture system. “Perma” is short for permaculture, which is a design system for sustainable living and land use. As a comprehensive design system, permaculture includes much more than organic food gardening. Growing at least some of our food where we live, however, has always been a central emphasis within the broader picture of permaculture.”

As described by Stephanie, a permablizt is generally preceded by an initial consultation with the site owner – generally a member of the guild, but not always. Then, a pre-blitz working-design session takes place with one or more of the certified permcaulture designers from the guild leading the session and covering the relevant permaculture design elements. For instance, in the case of the upcoming permablitz, attendees were taught the various methods (above ground/barrels/in ground, etc.) for collecting water, for calculating water volume off a given roofline. They then used that information to determine which method served the goals of the site and the owners and created a design from there. Photo: Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper and friends. Photo courtesy of Chico Permaculture Guild.

Currently there are about 126 “members” of the CPG on the Facebook page, and there are five certified permaculture designers in the group. Several of these, including Stephanie and Brian, were certified by Cathé Fish of Practical Permaculture in the Nevada City area. Cathé hosts workshops and certification seminars all over Northern California.

Interested in getting involved? In requesting a permaculture consultation or a permablitz at your site?

Contact Stephanie at or call 530-828-6390, or visit their facebook page at:

Interested in permaculture and don’t live in the Chico/Butte County area? Look for resources in your area.

Redding’s Community Teaching Garden hosts many permaculture and sustainability-based educational work days in the garden; in Weaverville, Young’s Family Ranch host many similar events; to the south, in the Sacramento/Fair Oaks/Davis areas look for offerings from the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, the UC Davis Arboretum or the Center for Urban Horticulture.

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In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California. It is made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.

Jennifer Jewell

In a North State Garden is a bi-weekly North State Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California and made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum - Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell - all rights reserved In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday morning at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time, two times a month.