28: Kelly Ware | Permaculture Global | Bigfork, MT

Kelly took her PDC, permaculture design course in 98 with CRMPI Central Rocky Mountain Perm. institute, and also with Michael Pilarski. Kelly has been a constant podcast listener for the last 2.5 years starting with Paul Wheaton of www.permies.com, Scott Mann of www.thepermaculturepodcast.com (Of which I have an interview with him Feb of 2014 on permaculture and the Kingdom,-Christianity) www.sustainableworldradio.com with Jill Cloutier. and Jack Spirko of  www.thesurvivalPodcast.com.

She taught 3 of the Inland Northwest permaculture conferences, and has studied with Sepp Holzer, Darren Doherty of Regrarians and Keyline design, Grant Schultz on Farmscale Permaculture, and many more great innovators, recently attending Permaculture Voices 2 conference this year, Seattle convergenes as well as Transition Towns conferences. Her new website Permaglobal.com will feature all the video of classes as well as translations of many podcasts into Spanish. She tends her home lot, and a church garden food forest in Bigfork, MT and intend to become a designer/planner.  She has set up several community gardens through sheet mulching, and share what I can in classes and on FB. She thinks this is her calling, and hopes to help people make the shift to healthy and abundant food and healthy, happy, productive lifestyles and community systems.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Influenced by mother who was and still is always adding garden beds. Started my first garden when my daughter was born in Moab, UT to help manage finances. Been to Bullock Brothers Farm in NW Washington which is the premier place for interns to learn about permaculture … Toby Hemenway who wrote Gaia’s Garden and teaches at the Permaculture Learning Center in Sebastapol CA


Lawyers Nursery.com in Plains has a big Memorial Day sale where they got trees, shrubs, etc.  including wonderful pears, elderberry, apples, apricot. Yard is about 100‘x140’.


Tell us about permaculture.

A way to look at your situation and address it. Ethics of reinvestment back into the system. Reinvesting clippings or mulch back into your system.

Principals – valuing the margins, producing no waste

Through permaculture studies there are strategies and techniques adopted to make place more ecologically friendly.

See to human needs by building ecology, focusing on bringing elements into system.


Jack Spirko – Survival Podcast

Using cover crops to build soil. Tip for growing kale is to cut it back in late July and have a new crop come up for fall will help reduce risk of aphids.

Stingy nettles and kale dehydrated and make into a powder to put in smoothies, purslane is a great green for smoothies.

Different varieties of kale – dinosaur kale or Lacinato kale, and sea kale which is a perennial type of kale. Have been trying to get more into perennial food systems.

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Love greens. Saved seeds from very first packet of Mesclun mix from Seeds of Change.

Chard, does amazing and puts out lots of seeds. Make up seed packets of early seed mixes to give out for Christmas or have at bazaars.

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

Getting more into berries. Aronia and sea buckthorn berries. Goose berries and josta berries, honey berries, Autumn olive berries from Grant Schultz of Versaland.

Would love to get into chestnuts, paw paws, American Persimmon.

Mark Shepard in Wisconsin also.

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

Too many cherry tomatoes.

Something that you find is easy to grow and is generally successful every-time.

Perennial herbs – comfrey is a deep nutrient accumulator that brings up magnesium, and other nutrients for fruit trees. Makes a great mulch or a compost tea. Great crop to sell online.

Place of gathering todd

Food forest for church. Just finished Sepp Holzer Place of Gathering

6’ tall hugel beds

Crossroads Permaculture Food Forest

Crossroads Permaculture Food Forest

Crossroads Permaculture Food Forest

Crossroads Permaculture Food Forest

Had sandy beds. Dug 3 giant hugel beds with Christmas trees, straw, sod upside down and then a foot and a half of soil. For 3 years doing seed mixes of kale, chard, radishes, planted fruit trees, kids made driftwood plaques.



Hugelkultur means the swales capture the big rain events. The large swales are filled with dead trees on the inside that will soak up rain to feed the perennials and trees on top.

Dave Jackie – Permaculture Podcast – need to build social structures behind garden.

Hugelbeet Facebook page.

Something you would steer new gardeners away from that you find is typically challenging to grow in your climate

Corn and Blueberries. Corn requires a lot of nitrogen and our soil tends to be really alkaline. Did order a rainbow jewel corn from eastern Montana. Blueberries need a lot of water. Always looking for what works without a water system.

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.

Deal with Quack grass – freedom of a serrated sickle!   ($5.99 on Amazon Prime)

Taken out about 2 ½ acres of knapweed in about 8 hours over a few days by cutting them when flowering.

Bindweed (morning glory) which is a deep nutrient accumulator and has a  deep tap root which will bring minerals from down deep to the surface.

Guild system: Over-story system like a nut, understory  like a fruit tree, then a Dwarf fruit tree, then some berry bushes under that. You want to have nitrogen fixers, deep nutrient accumulators, mulch producers that you can cut and lay down that provide nutrients as they break down, and pollinator attractors including great flowers in system is important.

Maybe grow a vine or a grape at base of trees that will build support for fruit trees.

Lots of research from Australia who are innovators – the best solution is to steam thistle. Knapweed beetle – water, mulch, or shade are 3 basic ways to get rid of invasive species. Get spent hay or alfalfa. Now is a good time to put black plastic on weeds. Worms will eat and you can add worm castings by the time your ready to plant soil in May will be perfect.

Dr. Elaine Ingham from Permaculture Voices soil scientist – does a lot with compost teas. Weeds did not grow if you have a good beneficial soil bacteria.

Myscelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets

Beneficial Microrisl combinations of beneficial fungi to sprinkle around the garden.

Power company delivers wood-chips for free and mix with bags of leaves collected in fall and Horticultural molasses that comes from beets to soak up moisture when rains come.

Best place to store rainwater is in the mulch/soil and helps get away from well water or city water that plants don’t like so much.

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.

Sickle/harvest … where do we interact with the garden.

Like to make seed cookies and crackers and this is a great gluten free solution that lets you preserve everything that comes out of garden.

Soak flax and sunflower seeds for a couple of hours, grind up and mix with great big zucchini that noone wants, mix some herbs, grab anything thats growing – kale,  any edible greens etc. Mix in pears for sweetness. Put a little tuna or avacado with that, it’s just delicious.

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

Giant tree clippers. $24 from Walmart

A favorite internet resource?

Permaethos is an online permaculture design resource, that is very inexpensive. Also have a Plant Propagation course.

Jack Spirko – Survival Podcast over 1500 episodes including The Duck Chronicles – good for people who are allergic to chicken eggs.

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can 

Facebook –Regrarians Darren Doherty – keyline design – capturing water on larger landscapes.

Chelsea Green Publishing

Permaculture Magazine

Permaculture Voices and look at their podcast and shownotes that will help make money

Permaculture Montana in the Flathead…fungi which are missing in our ecosystem.

Zachary Weiss in Whitehall, MT Ecoliving Summit in June 14-20, 2015

Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the earth either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

Podcast – the Permaculture Podcast from Scott Mann. Would like to see mandatory recycling law and curbside recycling available in Montana. We need  m ore work passing laws or lobbying for ecological change. When you talk to legislatures they say I hear from these lobbyists where are your lobbyist? We need to communicate with legislatures.

Need a cease and desist on toxicity. Chemical companies wrote for an oversight to chemical laws – keeping pharmaceuticals out of the water systems. What are we doing with all these drugs going into the water systems?

We have to remember no legislator can make a law without public support.

“Only through greed will we save america because only when the consumer becomes more educated about what it wants will the market change.”

We have to start being a bigger voice.

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

Connect with Kelly – on Facebook at Kelly D. Ware or through Permaculture Montana and her new website Permaglobal.com

Joe Salatin on raising animals

Build up – look up sheet mulching. Don’t worry about killing grass or spraying. Think about adding and building.

“Making your backyard like Noah’s Ark” – diverse species amazing fruits and tolerant to area and can push zones and creaing different microclimates. Medicinal and edible options. Be a collector of species…

Raintree Nursery

Oikos Nursery and Bob Wells Nursery are good sources for permie plants

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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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