Sustainable Living Workshops (SLW#1)

The Grey Bruce Sustainability Network presents a…

Sustainable Living Workshop #1

At EDALE, Big Bay, Ontario                                                                   Program Draft 2

Join us for a day long Sustainable Living Workshop (SLW)at Edale in Big Bay Ontario.  The purpose of the day is to expose interested people to the range of activities and skills required to build and maintain a “sustainable living” or “permaculture” property like Edale.  More specialized workshops are available at other locations in Grey Bruce…this will give you just a taste!!!

The workshops will focus on the following themes:

  1. Natural Building – Straw Bale/earth plaster Construction:  Patrick Dorfman;
  2. Solar Thermal (water) Panel: Theory and Construction. Leader: Gary Eden, ,
  3. Greenhouse to the Garden. Leader: Kristine Hammel,
  4. Cooking Creatively With What You Have On Hand:  Candice Newmaster. Coffee Roasting Demo with Harley Eden
  5. Optionals tbc– Eco Ponds, Rocket Stoves, Eco-Landscaping, Composting, Stone Building


Schedule of Activities

 8:00 AM – 8:30    Coffee, intros and session descriptions

8:30 – 9:00           Concurrent Tours – 2 groups – Passive Solar Home, Bakery, Outdoor Bread Oven, Coffee Roaster, Green Roof, Greenhouse, Garden, Composting, and more.

9 – 10:30               1st Concurrent 90 minute session (All 4 Themes begin!!!)

10:30 – Noon       2nd Concurrent 90 minute session

Noon – 1:30           LUNCH and downtime!!! or not!

1:30 – 3:00 PM    3rd Concurrent 90 minute session

3:00 – 4:30            4th Concurrent 90 minute sessions

4:30 – 5:00            Wrap up and social connections

Workshop Session Descriptions (draft) and Leaders

  1. Natural Building – Straw Bale/earth plaster construction
  • Why would anyone build with straw and earth plaster?
  • The steps in the building process
  • Mixing Mud – slip coat to final
  • Applying Mud – by hand and with trowels

Patrick Dorfman is a “Craftsman of Fine Living Spaces”.  Stained Birch and Bamboo Kitchens; recording studios; green bathrooms; house interiors and exteriors including strawbale house construction are amoung the specialities offer by Patrick’s company. Visit to see some of his work.

  1. Solar Thermal (water) Panel: Theory and Construction (Gary Eden, MSc.)
  • Basics of Water Management – Collection, Efficient Use
  • How a solar thermal panel works
  • Hands on construction

“Gary Eden is always building something and of late includes mostly buildings.  He has no fear to take on the full gamut of large projects and for the latest, Edale, He has been responsible for the architectural aspects, drafting, engineering, timber-framing, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, septic, roofing….you name it.” (

  1. Greenhouse and the Garden (Kristine Hammel, Persephone Market Garden tbc)

Making soil blocks for transplants

  • What are soil blocks and why use them?
  • The recipe
  • Making blocks
  • Materials: soil blocker, trays, compost, promix
  • What to start now for harvest until snow flies
  • Sowing seeds in soil blocks
  • Labelling
  • Materials: labels, marker
  • Seeds: bok choi, kale, lettuce
  • What can you sow now for fall harvest
  • What you can plant now for fall harvest
  • Garden layout
  • Seeding
  • Materials: labels, marker
  • Seeds: carrots, beets, spinach, peas, radish, turnips
    • Transplants: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radicchio, fennel, lettuce

Starting seeds for fall harvest

Sowing and planting in the garden for fall (and spring) harvest

Kristineis the primary farmer at Persephone Garden. She grew up on a dairy farm in Southwestern Ontario. After almost a decade away from farming, spent studying, working and traveling, she returned to Grey County in 2009 and started market gardening with her mom, Angelika. In 2010, she took on leadership of Persephone and has been steadily growing the garden ever since. Her degrees in Environmental Studies and Organic Food Chain Management are coming in handy, but her skills as a farmer are rooted in her parents. (

  1. The Kitchen; Bakery and Beans (Candice Newmaster/ Harley Eden)
  • What’s in the Garden in Grey Bruce?
  • Principles of Local Food and Clean Food Movement
  • Hands on Food Prep
  • Coffee Roasting Demo with Harley

Harley Eden has been working as a coffee roaster for 5 years, starting out his career at Planet Bean a worker-cooperative cafe/roastery based out of Guelph Ontario selling organic fair trade coffee products. He recently started Edale Coffee, a coffee roasting business featuring a wood-fired coffee roaster which he built together with his father Gary Eden.

 Candice Newmaster has worked for 5 years as a Kripalu trained yoga teacher and an avid researcher of alternative healing techniques and whole food nutrition. As well as helping administrate Edale Coffee she manages the kitchen at The Bleeding Carrot, in Owen Sound and is helping create a LETS (local exchange trading system) for the Georgian Bay area. During her time at Edale she worked with cooking and preservation techniques to optimize the bounty of the gardening season, as well as studying and working at the art of cheesemaking. In May she worked with a fellow nutrition enthusiast and yoga teacher Maxine Iharosy offering a 4 week series on cooking for optimal nutrition.

Harley and his partner Candice now live on a 50 acre farm outside of Annan, running Edale Coffee, farming dairy goats and helping manage a grass fed calf operation. 

TO REGISTER – Email Barry at is limited to 20 people for the day at a cost of $20 per person. Deadline for registration is Wednesday, July 16 at 4:30 PM 😉

_End of Program_______________________________________________________________________________

Project Wrap Up and Evaluation

The event at EDALE was a great success. A sold out audience, with a waiting list, took part in a variety of “hands on” and theory exercises that gave participants a taste of some of the activities related to maintaining a place link EDALE and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

earth plaster work

Applying local “earth plaster” to interior walls

Patrick works with clay, sand mix to the right consistency for application

Patrick works with clay, sand mix to the right consistency for application

Harley checks out the just roasted, now cooling coffee beans

Harley checks out the just roasted, now cooling coffee beans

Candice displays one of the local beverages created at the workshop

Candice displays one of the local beverages created at the workshop

Beautifully crafted arched doorways...still to be finished

Beautifully crafted arched doorways…still to be finished

Gary explains the theory behind "solar thermal (water) based panels

Gary explains the theory behind “solar thermal (water) based panels

Kristine demonstrates the basics of raised bed planting, with seed blocks

Kristine demonstrates the basics of raised bed planting, with seed blocks

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