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Earthworks for a Water Resilient Landscape 2023, Reformat

August 18, 2023 @ 10:00 am August 20, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Earthwork models

Join us for a unique permaculture design earthworks experience!

This workshop will give you firsthand insights into design considerations and principles based on clients objectives. We will explain stages of the design process, from observation, working with the client, through to the final design and real live implementation on the property over the weekend.

Call for details. 360-319-2029 

This workshop will cover reading the landscape for water retention and management. Diving into, Mapping, ponds, swales, reed-beds, terraces, key line design, implementation cover cropping and guild planting. This will be a hands-on workshop/installation, with earth moving equipment and lasers!


Course Goals:

This course will teach both principles and practical skills in shaping decentralized water retentive landscapes. Brian’s presentations will share his studies and extensive experience to deepen our understanding of the considerations that are integral to earthworks design. Projects and possibilities will be explored by touring the well- developed water system at Inspiration Farm and walking the land. Brian will be our guide as we look at the soil profile, soil tests and maps and make models to trial some designs in miniature. Participants will be able to gain experience with earthmoving equipment, shaping the soil, planting and mulching as we implement a design plan.

Instructor Bio:

Brian Kerkvliet is known as a master of working with earth and plants to hydrate properties and create wildly abundant edible landscapes. He generously shares his decades of experience by offering tours, workshops, Permaculture certification courses and much more at Inspiration Farm in Bellingham, WA. Brian has been living a Permaculture life for over 25 years. He has extensive permaculture experience and uses biodynamic and soil health building practices. In the past year Brian completed the Water Stories course offered by Zach Weiss, protégé of Sepp Holzer in Austria. Brian is also a co-founder of the Salish Seed Guild whose members seek to enhance the resiliency of our local food system by growing, selecting and storing seeds from plants that express unique local adaptations or heirloom qualities.

Earthworks Course Outline, Bellingham – August 18-20, 2023

Friday August 18th at 1pm: The course is at Inspiration Farm with Brian’s presentation on decentralized water retentive landscape design concepts and strategies. Followed by a tour of the established earthworks at his farm.

Saturday August 19th: 9am tour and site assessment, soil samples, maps, discussion of design considerations. Hands-on model making activity will be followed by lunch. Afternoon session includes using tools to determine layout of the site Training will be offered in operation of earth moving equipment. Dinner, and spend your evening socializing by the fire.

Sunday August 20th: Morning session of the course continues shaping the earth with machine and hand tools. Lunch. We begin the afternoon with a discussion of planting and cover crops. We will replant disturbed earth with plants, scatter seed and mulch. At the end of the day we will gather for a final Q & A session and sharing of resource materials to further learning.

Video from last years workshop

Hello, & thanks for your interest in the 2022 “Designing a Water Retention Landscape” event. 

“I had the privilege of attending last year’s earthworks course and it was fantastic.  Brian Kerkvliet most certainly knows how to teach this material and is, in my opinion, a master in the field.  This is a great opportunity to learn valuable land stewarding information as the environment around us gets increasingly challenging, and water management becomes more important.” Hunter’s thoughts

Pond building time laps

FAQ – Earthworks Course 2023, Bellingham, WA

  • Who is this course for? We welcome land and water stewards, permaculture and landscape designers and anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of how water can hydrate land to benefit the living ecosystem. Some hands-on activities require physical exertion. Participants are encouraged to take care of their well-being and step back and observe if needed.
  • What is included in the cost? For $450. you will spend two and a half days with instructor Brian Kerkvliet exploring details of water retentive landscape design including soil assessment, contours, swales, pocket ponds. We will begin by seeing examples at Inspiration Farm. Over the weekend at we will consider the goals of design, site opportunities, and limitations. Participants will use both hand tools and machinery to begin installation of a comprehensive system designed to infiltrate rainfall into the soil and plantings.
  • Price includes some meals, camping and the use of common areas, Kitchen, bathrooms and showers.
  • For more information on the site or food: Contact Brian (360)319-2029

Space is limited. Payment due upon registration.

When: mid August Friday through Sunday 8am-5pm

Where:  Facilitated at Inspiration Farm

Camping and Meals available

Cost: $450 | 

If you would rather pay by check This will save the processing fee. Make it out to Inspiration Farm. Mail to or drop it off at 617 E. Laurel Rd. Bellingham wa. 98226


For more information on the course contact Brian or call 360-319-2029

$450.00 Permaculture Earthworks Weekend Intensive

Brian Kerkvliet


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Inspiration farm

619 E laurel Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226 United States
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