Advanced Permaculture Course: Regenerative Earthworks: Treasure Lake, KY, June 2018

June 22nd-24th: Weekend Course at Treasure Lake, Petersburg, Kentucky: Cincinnati Tri-state Area. Helping to build the base of the Permaculture Project. Friday evening through Sunday night.


Advance your food growing capabilities and ecosystem resilience through water harvesting

Drone Image of Treasure Lake and Dark Wood Farm, Photo Lucas Thompson


Dates: June 22nd-24th, 2018, starts at 6:00 pm Friday night, ends 6:00 pm Sunday

Location: Treasure Lake and Dark Wood Farm: Petersburg, Kentucky 

Facilitators: Doug Crouch and Brent Adam

Course Fee: $200 early bird until May 6th

$225 early bird until June 1st

$250 course price


****includes camping, catered organic meals; delicious, and homemade, see more details below****

For more information about the course itself and registration:

Permaculture Earthworks landscape, by Bonita Edwards
Permaculture Earthworks landscape, by Bonita Edwards, Elven Food Forests, South Africa

THE COURSE: Format and Content

Here is a drone video of the site to give you some context, filmed by Lucas Thompson


In this weekend course, we will be sculpting the earth for water harvesting and access all the while bringing a greater level of biodiversity to the property grounds. The course aims to give you tools for managing landscapes holistically and speeding along the regeneration work that stems from this holistic approach. The course will be a unique blend of observing existing systems, implementing new ones, and designing for those in the future.  The course will constantly weave through the TreeYo Holistic Model of Development thus intertwining many factors of development.  From soils to budgets, from nursery operations to machinery types, this course will be a kicksatarter for moving your own projects or consulting forward. The course will flow from theory, to the planning and design both inside and in the field, and move into concentrated times of implementation.


We will be examining and working with many of the following earthworks:

  • Swales
  • Keyline
  • Check dams
  • Silt traps
  • Terraces, hand and machine made
  • rain gardens/ pit gardens/ banana circles
  • diversion drains
  • sunken and raised beds

We will be looking in-depth towards when to use these particular earthworks and how to execute them with care, precision, and the post work to make them function optimally.  By using a diversity of earthworks in different zones to match particular needs of the land through contextual and climatic review, you will walk away with a greater confidence on which to choose for accelerating succession and evolution at different sites.  We aim to improve the hydrological cycle at Treasure Lake and within the greater watershed of the area and invite you to be apart of that.  This is the next step for the site, to lay the mainframe and from there start to work with others in the watershed to maintain higher water quality within Treasure Lake.


Beyond and in combination with the earthworks, we will examine and practice soil food web measures to also speed along succession and evolution.  We will be planting in several spaces which will require us to re-evaluate existing systems and alter the spaces beneficially.  The earthworks will be either planted immediately or we will use tools to repair soils first before fall plantings. We will develop themed areas that are appropriate to sites relationship with intensity of management (zones), wild energies passing through (sectors), and how it influences sounding spaces (relative location). Read more on the topic of food forests at my article by clicking here.



Hands-on will include the following:

  • surveying and earthworks layout preparation
  • small-scale earthworks done by hand
  • learning to work with earthworks drivers to execute the layout implementation
  • hand alterations to finish earthworks
  • soil microbe seeding after earthworks
  • cover cropping to heal disturbed soils


this page will tell you more about the TreeYo Approach to our Educational Programs.


Doug CrouchWith extensive educational programming and project implementation over an extended period and all over the world, TreeYo Permaculture facilitator Doug Crouch will be leading this dynamic course. His formal background is in ecology and has been practicing and teaching Permaculture for thirteen years in different parts of the world covering all climatic zones. He holds a Diploma in Permaculture Education which demonstrates his commitment to crafting his creative facilitation style. His years of experience with earthworks across the

Doug teaching at the Winter weekend PDC, Cincinnati, OH, USA

globe will be leveraged to instruct you on how to successfully implement. Additionally, he brings with him the unique TreeYo facilitation style and process.

Official Bio:Trained as both a Permaculture Designer and Fish and Wildlife Manager, Doug has extensive knowledge surrounding landscape planning and food production systems. This regenerative design and implementation work spans the globe ranging in contexts and climates including tropical agro-forestry, Mediterranean organic gardening, and temperate suburban edible landscaping. To facilitate this work he founded TreeYo Permaculture thus building off his other formal training in small business management. Incorporating this knowledge and experience into sustainability educational programming has now become Doug’s main focus as he continues his ecological design and holistic development in various ecosystems.

Brent Adam: Given a lifelong connection with water sports and the recreation lake culture in Kentucky, Brent’s first venture was to attend a Florida professional institute to become a successful marine mechanic.  After excelling in that for years Brent encountered a shift in personal values. One associated with growing up in a family which served as stewards of both community and forests.  For example, after establishing a walnut forest over multiple decades, his Grandfather contributed the forest to a University for its use as an education center and preservation.  Following in those footsteps, and  given his Family’s legacy, Brent was drawn to Permaculture. With the science, he leverages his passions to distinguish patterns in nature, then promote environmental resilience and eco literacy.  After studying Permaculture for an extended period on the West Coast under the tutelage of Masters in the field, he has returned to Kentucky to serve both the community of nature and people from all walks of life to build resilience.  All these adventures have delivered a sense of peace and liberation.  To further facilitate this position, Brent founded The Evocative Homestead, a holistic design and install company which creates sound connections while offering he and others the opportunity to experience lifelong learning – best taught by Nature.

Also check out our Online Educational Platform for further reading in the Permaculture Design Course Handbook

 TreeYo EDU

THE HOST SITE: Treasure Lake

Treasure lake is local small business focused on recreation in nature, from hiking to birding, boating to fishing that has been in the Crouch family since 1984.  It’s a wonderfully scenic place hidden in the hills of the Northwestern Corner of Northern Kentucky and Boone County only 22 miles from downtown Cincinnati.  We have been hard at work developing the broad acre forest for bio-diversity and wild food abundance.  With our thickets of spicebush and paw paw in the understory and towering hickories and oaks in the overstory, the wildlife love it here and we are sure you will too.  Camping is on one of our flat ridges that perch above the 12 acre pay fishing lake.  Furthermore, it is a community center of sorts as well with entertainment and nature immersion uniquely blending together! The following Permaculture elements and functions that can be experienced are:

  • Non Timber forest product development including a focus on wildlife management
  • Extensive Native Food Forest and specific management techniques to enhance this
  • Hot & Cold Composting (Vermiculture) systems for boosting soil life, picking up on waste streams, and cycling nutrients
  • Market Garden (Dark Wood Farm) that feeds into local foods and creates employment
  • Natural Building with a focus on social space creation and our stage
  • Event and Festival hosting to create a cultural gathering point for many points of culture



Cincinnati and the tri-state region provides a wonderful backdrop for Permaculture in this unique Midwest context. Its uniqueness is defined by its topography, hilliest city in the Midwest, and the subsequent challenges with landslides because of our high rainfall totals on clay soils. We also are in a fairly conservative market, this isn’t Portland or Burlington where sustainability took off many years ago. Rather we have been pushing the envelope here to increase people’s consciousness around food security, social justice, and rebuilding a skill base that will take us into an abundant city scape. The city is dominated by many Fortune 500 companies but our grassroot organizations within the Cincinnati Permaculture Guild have allowed us to work with these giants and the local councils, not just against them.

swale at urban greens, a Permablitz that we organized with the Cincinnati Permaculture guild
swale at urban greens, a Permablitz that we organized with the Cincinnati Permaculture guild

It’s a diverse crowd that we engage and are composed of as well as the scopes and scales of projects we work on. Some have production farms, like Andy and Lauren out in Indiana or Gretchen in Kentucky. Some live in eco-villages, Suellen in the urban one and Mary Lu in the rural one. Some of us live in the burbs or the hip parts of town like Northside or OTR. But we are all striving to be producers, and this is what it is about for me now, collaborating with people who resonate with the following Bill Mollison quote:

“…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

Bill Mollison

 Many Reasons to Come Join Us!

TreeYo Permaculture and Treasure Lake host site offers a great location and context for learning food forests and the design process and ecology behind it!

Lakeside contemplation from a 2013 intern and good friend, Anna Zisa
Lakeside contemplation from a 2013 intern and good friend, Anna Zisa
  • The site is extremely accessible to the city as well as the tristate and beyond in general- off the 275 loop.
  • The forest at the lake, a managed ecosystem pushing its goals towards old growth forests
  • The camping above the water that is peaceful and serene
  • The social atmosphere to share food, laughs, and story
  • The Confidence to be a Permaculture system regenerator and the inherent ecosystem resilience that comes with that!!!!!!!
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