Permaculture School 2016 is now in session. Permaculture School 2017 will start in May 2017. Sign up below to receive information about Permaculture School 2017 and we will contact you directly.

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A yearlong learning journey with a 12-week residency near Asheville, NC at Earthaven Ecovillage. Dive deep into gaining skills and knowledge in Design Systems & Projects + Organic Gardening + Generative Foodsheds + Food As Medicine + Herbal Medicine & Botany + Ecological & Natural Building + Renewable Energy + Wise Water Practices + Personal Growth & Communication + Vision & Leadership. Registration is now open – sign up below to receive all details.

Sign up above to get details for 2017.
Take a look below for Permaculture School 2016.

Dates & Location

Permaculture School is a yearlong program that includes:
• 3-month residency, June 8 to September 2, 2016 — near Asheville, NC at Earthaven Ecovillage
• 100-hour certified Permaculture Design Course included in the residency — at Earthaven Ecovillage
• 10 learning tracks (21 hours each) included in the 3-month residency — at Earthaven Ecovillage
• 2 monthly mentorship calls for 9 months, Sept 2016 – May 2017 — from any location
• 12 month assignments to accomplish your project & career goals — from any location
• [BONUS] 9-month online botany course — from any location
• 3 college credits may be available for the Permaculture Design Course. Details TBA.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 4.15.36 PM“One of the most important things about permaculture is that it is founded on a series of principles that can be applied to any circumstance—agriculture, urban design, or the art of living. The core of the principles is the working relationships and connections between all things.” ― Juliana Birnbaum Fox, ‘Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms & Communities Worldwide’


Permaculture School: Design Ecology & Living Skills is a year-long ecological learning journey designed for people who want to build skills, knowledge, and experience to successfully manifest Permaculture projects, pathways, and careers. You are especially encouraged to apply if you are on a path toward being a permaculture leader, professional, practitioner, educator, activist, or advocate. Dive in deep & live it!

In 2016 the Permaculture School will begin with a 3-month residency based at Earthaven Ecovillage, a 21-year-old intentional community near Asheville, NC whose foundation and development has been built on permaculture principles and design. As a place-based learning journey, you will be immersed into the village, homes, lives, businesses, and farms of the community for a hands-on, skill-building, life-changing experience. This village and farming community is the ideal living laboratory for you to experience and directly engage with regenerative systems in practice, food production in action, and community living in an up-close and personal way.

What you will gain:
• Permaculture Design Certification & practice thinking on a systems level
• Embodied knowledge & living skills that are integrated into your daily experiences
• A deeper sense of who you are, what your gifts are, and how to share them with the world
• Ongoing support & mentorship for creating and fulfilling your one-year personal project goal
• Connections and networking opportunities to support and grow your vision
• A regenerative investment in yourself and, therefore, the world

The core curriculum includes:
See more details below.
• Organic Gardening • Food As Medicine • Wise Water Stewardship • Ecological & Natural Building • Village & Human Settlements • Renewable & Appropriate Technology • Personal Leadership & Vision Development • Generative Food Forests & Ecosystems Management • Non-Violent Communication & Individual & Group Living Skills • Permaculture Certification: Ecological awareness, ethics, principles

fractal“Empowering people to solve problems in a practical and creative way, regenerate their environments, build resilient communities and create abundance while caring for the earth. Based on the earthcare ethics and ecological principles permaculture can be readily applied and adapted to specific cultures and climates. ― Robyn Francis, Djanbung Gardens

Learning Tracks

Below are all components for your 3-month residency curriculum. You will be updated of any curriculum changes that may happen through the season. The 3-month residency includes your initial 2-week [certified] Permaculture Design Course, followed by weekly 21-hour tracks. During your 3-month residency, your schedule will run Monday thru Thursday, 9am – 5pm + Friday morning + Sunday evening (with a few exceptions). There will be approximately two hours of homework per week. You will have two weeks off within your 3-month residency–one right after your PDC + another four weeks later. Following is an overview of the curriculum:

18-DAY INTRO: [Certified] Permaculture Design Course
[100 hours] Gain experience in systems-thinking and ethics-based approaches to observing, integrating, and creating thriving, bio-diverse environments for people, place and planet. You will learn about ethics, principles, observation, patterns, zones, sectors, micro-climates, site assessment and analysis, mapping and presenting — all as strategies for creating landscape and habitat design that enhances the long-term resilience, beauty, and quality of ecosystems. Upon completion of this two week intensive you will gain your Permaculture Design Certificate.

TRACK 1: Food As Medicine
[21 hours] You will learn how to preserve and enhance the harvest, add value to food, make delicious goodies, and skill up in hands-on whole food practices. Some projects include vegetable ferments, mead, wine, kombucha, wild greens pesto, mushroom and wild food walks. You will also learn the basics of wild plant identification and harvesting, local medicinal herbs in the landscape, harvesting and drying techniques, and making herbal medicinal teas.

TRACK 2: Organic Gardening
[21 hours] You will learn how to naturally cultivate food and generate living systems as a foundational part of sustaining health, well-being, and life on our planet. You will gain knowledge about gardening and food production strategies including crop planning and planting, soil ecology, fertility and nutrient flow, vegetable, worm and humanure compost systems, mulching and cover cropping, pest & disease management, mushroom cultivation, and the importance of pollinators.

TRACK 3: Wise Water Stewardship
[21 hours] You will gain a deeper understanding of this integral part of ecological design and land management. You will learn about how to design on contour with swales, berms, keyline, and terraces. You will gain insight into rainwater catchment and use, stormwater best management, and water conservation practices. You will understand how irrigation, greywater, blackwater, ponds and dams work in a landscape.

TRACK 4: Village & Human Settlements
[21 hours] Learn about different models of ecovillages and Transition Towns. Explore a variety of governance, communication, and facilitation systems. Understand more about how sustainable economics and currency systems work, and alternates to the dominant paradigm. Engage with emerging social and community networks as models for creating a resilient future.

TRACK 5: Renewable & Appropriate Technology
[21 hours] You will learn how to help address local and global climate issues by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating necessary transition steps toward a healthier future for life on this planet. You will receive an introduction to solar, hydro, bio-gas, wind, and passive solar design, and discover how these systems fit into integrated infrastructure design. Other topics that you will learn about include energy evaluation & efficiency, retrofits, greenhouse gas emissions measurement and mitigation.

TRACK 6: Ecological & Natural Building
[21 hours] You will gain insight in how to design efficient buildings using ecological materials, passive solar techniques, appropriate site selection, and basics of structural integrity. You will also engage in some hands-on natural building methodologies using clay, sand, straw, bamboo, and other affordable materials. Expect introductory-level instruction into natural wall systems and earthen finishes, which will leave you with the basic knowledge to continue learning how to create structures that are beautiful, functional, and place-based.

TRACK 7: Generative Food Forests & Ecosystems Management
[21 hours] You will learn about integrated ecological agricultural systems that focus on natural succession, carbon farming (Biochar), and climate resilience. These include holistic land and forest management, agroforestry, milpas, polycultures, plant guilds, perennial plants and propagation, pest and disease management, integrated animal systems for healthy soil, bio- and myco-remediation, and fruit and nut tree tending and grafting.

TRACK 8: Personal Leadership & Vision Development
[21 hours] Ground your vision into your life. You will be mentored on the creation of your personal vision and/or career path. Identifying and mapping your interests and goals, as well as participating in an accountability process will support your personal learning journey and accomplishments throughout the year. You will also gain insight and skills in budget planning.

TRACK 9: Non-Violent Communication (NVC)
[18 hours] Nonviolent communication engages how you communicate with yourself, and the people and environment around you. True resiliency includes knowing how to be true to your own body and mind while having the skills to heal your relationships, practice compassion, take care of your health, cherish the natural resources that nourish you, and contribute to the community in which you live. We believe that having the skills to create ‘intimacy through authenticity’, perceiving our innermost thoughts and anxieties, and achieving more peace in our inner landscapes are all vital parts of creating the change we wish to see in the outer world.

TRACK 10: Permaculture Design Projects, Part II
[40+ hours] You will engage in a second round of Permaculture Design Projects to advance your skills. With guidance and review by instructors and staff, you will work in teams to develop site designs with your deepened knowledge and skills. The goal is for you to gain more practice as you move toward your professional and personal projects and goals, as well as to demonstrate comprehension and practical application of the curriculum, mapping and professional presentation skills. This track includes ‘in class’ time, as well as independently scheduled time with your design team.

FREE BONUS OPTION: 9-Month Online Botany Everyday Course is included as a complimentary online ethnobotany course, based on the book: Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel. Take the course at your own pace with assignments every two to three weeks. You will gain a holistic conception and deepen your understanding of the plant-human connection. A corresponding Facebook group and resource list of books, websites, videos, and handouts will be shared for ongoing support. Our goal is for you, as a Permaculture Designer, to know the characteristics and classifications of plant families around the world and to build your confidence in the uses of the plants around you.

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Bekah Havrilla
Programs and Outreach Manager

sunflower3“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.” ― Bill Mollison, Introduction to Permaculture