Inspiration Farm


Here are a few of the videos that have been filmed here over the years. Still working on compiling these Videos and some articles and podcasts.

This webinar features Water Stories Core Course graduate and water cycle restoration professional Brian Kerkvliet and the development of Inspiration Farm from a denuded pasture and water troubled landscape to a restored lush ecosystem and abundant food producing system. This is the journey of a family homestead, to a number of business spin offs that came from learning to work with whole landscape design. Today, Inspiration Farm is a demonstration site success story that has influenced the wider community – showing pathways towards a better relationship with water, wildlife and the ecosystem at large. Inspiration Farm has become a leading education and demonstration center in the Pacific Northwest hosting classes from grade school on up to university level and beyond. Offering a variety of services from weekend workshops and tours, to locally adapted seeds and nursery plants grown on site – providing locally adapted and resilient options to the region. Brian also provides design and implementation services to the area. At Inspiration Farm Brian demonstrates practical models that have been proven overtime to respond positively to our changing climate including drought in summers flood in winter and extreme temperature swings. Join us as Brian shares his journey, successes, and challenges in developing a demonstration project and becoming a water cycle restoration professional for his region!

What an adventure! Laura Sweany, horticulture expert at Raintree Nursery, joins Brian Kerkvliet for a tour of his awesome Permaculture project in Bellingham, WA.
Promo for the Water Resilient Landscape workshops I teach.
Water Resilient landscape talk For Farm Expo. Over the last several years we have witnesseed increasing occurences of droughts, floods, and threats of fires. Although we get over 3 feet of rain in a year, it is not consistent throughout the seasons. Learn an overview of strategies for working with water that can be implemented on your land to maximize benefits and minimize problems. Learn to read the land and install natural systems to create a resilient and abundant regenerative system.
Here is a brief documentation of how a Permaculture designed system at Inspiration Farm responded to a major flood event in Whatcom County. We got 10″ of rain in 48 hours starting on November 13.

Working with the landscape and water

Scythes and Best Tool for the Job with Brian Kerkvliet at Inspiration Farm. We will explore what the best tool for the job is no matter what you are doing. Looking at all scales and projects, from cutting grass to working up beds and managing woodlots. There is the best tool and approach to getting the job done with the least energy and expense. We will talk about; how to find the right tool, how to know if the tool isn’t doing what you want, how to make or modify it so it works better for you. This will be part live stream presentation with a lengthy time for discussion and recommendations

Presentation I gave at the Global Earth Repair Conference

A Peak Moment presentation. Watch Brian Kerkvliet cut thick grasses easily and quickly with his hand-built scythe — a far cry from a noisy weed whacker! He demonstrates three tools whose design he has honed over the years: the scythe, grass rake and U- bar or broadfork. “It took a few years to get the right methodology, the right blades, the right sharpening technique, and the ergonomic setup so it’s effortless,” he says of the scythe. The U-bar gently aerates soil and doesn’t compress it like a rototiller. “I used to rototill, run my tractor. The beauty of this is you don’t have to do the whole area. You just do the beds you need to do. It might take me 15-20 minutes to do these beds, and I’m good for three years.”
A Peak Moment presentation
“If you grow good soil, everything else falls into place. You grow good plants, you grow good animals, you grow good people.” Permaculturist Brian Kerkvliet shows how he gently shapes soil to form ponds which overflow into connected swales (ditches on contour). They slow and retain water while distributing nutrients through the whole landscape. On the mound of soft earth dug out from one swale, he planted mostly edible cover crops, berry bushes and 25 fruit tree species in only three days.
A Peak Moment presentation

Changing times calls for changing lifestyles.” says Brian Kerkvliet. “So we’ve put more energy into the land? The more you get your fingers in the soil, the more endorphins rush through your head. You get excited by all of that.” Using permaculture and biodynamic practices, Brian’s family is endlessly experimenting and innovating to find what works. Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farm in Bellingham, Washington shows off his scythe with a homemade snath. His side job is not really being the grim reaper. He sharpens the scythe with a whetstone every ten minutes or so. And every few days he peens the blade. Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farm in Bellingham, Washington gives a quick demo of sharpening with whetstone, and then talks about two different ways of peening a scythe. First comes removing the scythe blade from the snath. The blade has a tang that fits in a hole in the snath (complete with a “snath saver”). Brian shows two types of peening anvils and his peening hammer.​ A solar food dehydrator / dryer made from a dead freezer. Brian Kerkvliet from Inspiration Farm in Bellingham, Washington gives us a tour of his contraption. This solar food dehydrator comes with a blackened air intake and a blackened air pull.​ Alexandra King of Inspiration Farm in Bellinghmam, Washington talks a little about how black locust is great fodder, although sheep might like it so much it can make them sick. The sheep thought the black locust was the best tasting things in a brand new paddock. Robinia pseudoacacia. Brian Kerkvliet, also of Inspiration Farm, talks about other valuable aspects of black locust: fiber, fence posts, tool handles, nitrogen fixer, coppicing, shoots, pole construction, skids for an animal shelter, bee fodder (some of the very best honey) – a long blooming period, leafs out late, allowing the soil to warm before the tree shade kicks in, chicken food …
U-bar really working it
This took about 5 minutes to cut and I did not break a sweat.