Northeastern Permaculture Network
Regional Events Calendar
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Permaculture Renewal Retreats | July 27-30 & August 3-6, 2018

These are two 4-day permaculture mini festivals in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, on 340 acres of beautiful land that's just 80 min outside of D.C. and Baltimore!

The first one, from July 27-30, is focused on the theme of "the future of responsible land stewardship," and the second one, from August 3-6, is focused on the theme of "exploring the future of community."

Both weekends will feature a leading permaculture teacher: Andrew Faust will be teaching 3 lectures the first weekend on an introduction to permaculture, its design applications and ethics, and how you can take it home with you. Lisa DePiano will be teaching 3 lectures the second weekend on an introduction to social permaculture, which has more of a social/relational focus for how to apply permaculture. Both Andrew and Lisa are senior permaculture teachers and are both featured in the permaculture documentary Inhabit, for those who have seen it.

Both weekends will also include:

+ 4 day, 3 night retreat staying on a property that was once owned by George Washington and was the site of a civil war battle
+ All beds, blankets, pillows, meals, and showers!
+ A choice of outdoor land-based projects on soil restoration and medicinal harvesting
+ An interactive panel of thinkers/activists/experts who will bring a myriad of different perspectives to each weekend's theme organized through the British think tank the RSA
+ A large-scale classical music concert, called a Massivemuse, featuring world-class musicians from the Groupmuse network
+ Retreat offerings such as meditation, qigong, nature walks, sauna, etc.
+ There will also of course be campfires and more of a chance to get to know everyone who comes, and depending on how it goes to potentially join the emerging Claymont permaculture work as more of a community member

After these 3 nights and 4 days, you’ll leave charged with the feeling and knowledge that humans in general and you in particular can be a source of profound regeneration for our hurting planet. We have designed this weekend to be a space for participants to take a break from the everyday and tune into what makes them most excited to be alive right now, while equipping them with frameworks and takeaways to bring into their lives back home.

For more information and to buy tickets, use the links to each weekend here:

There's also the opportunity for a small number of people to stay for both weekends and the couple of days in between, if there's interest. Especially if they're coming from out of town!


Date(s) - May 27, 2018 - June 10, 2018

This two-week Earth Activist Training (EAT) program can set your life on a new path, help you transform your neighborhood, and show you how to save the planet.

Earth Activist Training teaches permaculture-based, practical Earth-healing with just a touch of magic. Through ritual and nature awareness, lots of hands-on practice, and plenty of time to laugh, your two weeks at EAT will also teach you to integrate mind and heart. All permaculture seeks to meet human needs as it regenerates the land. The additional EAT goals are simple, profound, and eminently achievable: Bring on the vegetables! Bring sustainable ecological design to communities where the need is greatest and resources are few. Involve social change activists and visionaries, and especially neighborhood residents. Through cross-pollination of political, environmental, and spiritual movements, double the resources for all seekers of peace, justice, and social resilience. Given the means to care for themselves, communities flower like gardens. Join Starhawk and Charles for two weeks that will change your life and transform the lives of those around you. This program includes the basic, internationally recognized, 72-hour curriculum required for a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), with additional focus on social permaculture, organizing tools, and spirit.

Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference
August 11-13, 2017 ~ Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

Gardeners, farmers, growers and food-lovers from across the Northeast gather for 130+ workshops on organic food, farming, health, activism, and beyond.

The conference features annual favorites like the Children’s Conference, contra dance, film screenings, local dinner celebration, farm tours, exhibitors tent, and live music and drumming. This year will also feature a “Country Fair”, showcasing farm and garden innovations as well NOFA-VT’s wood-fired mobile pizza oven.

Summer Permaculture Design Course with Sowing Solutions: A Total of 3 Weekends in 2017 ~ May 20-23, July 15-17, Aug 18-21
Early Birds Save $200 if Registered by February 1st

This course is held at the Snow Farm, New England Craft Program as well as at Nine Mountain Retreat Center
in Western MA, where we practice ecological design for actual clients who steward this land and historic farm.

• Students of this PDC will learn first-hand about working with design clients, conducting an ecological design, and applying permaculture techniques and strategies for creating abundance, resilience, and wellbeing across the land and in our communities.
• A study of permaculture with Sowing Solutions offers an opportunity to evaluate and learn from permaculture designs that have been generated during our courses and implemented onsite over the last 12+ years.
• Gaining your internationally recognized certification with Sowing Solutions is an experience of empowerment, support, inspiration and skill building.
• All that you learn in this course can be applied at your home and in your communities.
• Skill shares, discussions, design activities, experience in the gardens, orchards and forest gardens, natural building demonstrations, tours of local permaculture sites, immersion in community life, stories and presentations, food preservation and medicine making, mapping, observing patterns in nature, networking, await your arrival.

Optional: 3 college credits are offered through UMASS and the Five Colleges.
Early bird registration and work trade applications are available.

Visit our website for course details and to watch our 2-minute informational video, and join us for a fun and informative 2-week intensive this summer!

Weekend Permaculture Design Course (PDC): Feb 11 to April 23 at Hundred Fruit Farm in Buckingham, PA

When: February 11-12, Feb 25-26, March 11-12, March 25-26, April 8-9, and April 22-23

Time: 9 am - 3 pm

Cost: $575 (-$75 Discount for Early Bird Registration before Jan 15)

Instructor: Adam Dusen

Recommended Ages: 18+

More info at:

The permaculture design course, or PDC, is an intensive 72-hour internationally recognized permaculture certification. It's designed to give participants the inspiration and knowledge they need to make a positive change in the world, needed now more than ever. It will give you the skills necessary to design your home/yard/landscape into an ecologically-resilient edible system, and for some, it could be the first stepping stone to a permaculture career in design, education, consulting, or regenerative farming.
This course will be offered as a weekend course designed for local residents who don't have time to take an intensive (and expensive) two-week PDC. This course will be mostly classroom-based but will also include hands-on components. It will go through the basics of permaculture design relating to different climates, energy, natural building, the global climate, social systems, and more. The course curriculum includes:


  • how permaculture started and what it means
  • philosophies and ethics of permaculture
  • permaculture design principles and how to apply them
  • methods of design and how to apply design strategies
  • how to mimic natural systems to create better design
  • climatic factors and strategies, covering all major climates
  • trees, forests, and forest gardening
  • water: conserving, collecting, reusing in your design
  • soil: learn the basics of soil chemistry and biology and how to work with the soil food web to build new soils and repair degraded land
  • earthworks: shaping the land to maximize the benefits of your natural resources
  • ecological sanitation systems: turing waste into a valuable resource
  • aquaculture and aquaponics
  • animal systems: the importance of animals in food systems and the symbiotic relationship between plants and animals
  • natural building: how to build beautiful, inexpensive, resilient structures using available natural resources
  • appriopriate technology: home-scale biogas, solar cookers, rocket stoves, etc.
  • alternative systems: alternative economic systems, food sovereignty, community living
  • permaculture as a tool for sustainable development: using permaculture where it's needed most in underveloped countries lacking basic sanitation and infrastructure
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The final part of the course will focus on co-creating a viable real-world design for a site that could include gardens, fruit trees, greywater systems, rainwater catchment, food forests, natural building projects, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to design their own site or a site affiliated with a project they are involved in as part of this final design project.
Course Format
Classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday on alternating weekends from 9 am - 5 pm over an 11 week period at Hundred Fruit Farm in Buckingham, PA. Weekends with classes will include Feb 11-12, Feb 25-26, March 11-12, March 25-26, April 8-9, and April 22-23. Students are expected to eat breakfast and dinner before and after class. Lunches will be potluck style with each student bringing a dish and sharing with the group. Hundred Fruit Farm will also make a salad every lunch and provide tea, coffee, and snacks for breaks.


The cost of the course is $575 per person, or $500 for early bird registrations before Jan 15. Most PDCs cost anywhere from $1000 to $2500. Why is ours cheaper? By keeping this as a course for commuters and local residents, we don't need to factor in the cost of housing and meals into the course, which keeps costs down significantly. Even with the relatively lower cost of the course, if you are still struggling to afford the tuition, you can try fundraising your tuition on WeTheTrees, a permaculture crowdsourcing website designed specifically for this purpose.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at anyone who wants to live a more sustainable lifestyle, bring more meaning into their lives, build a stronger community, and/or work towards an ecologically responsible future. This course is also ideal for backyard gardeners, homeowners, landscapers and landscape designers, teachers/educators, farmers, community organizers, nonprofit workers, orchardists, horticulturalists, students, etc.

Course Instructors

The course will be facilitated and taught by Adam Dusen, permaculture designer, farmer, and founder of Hundred Fruit Farm. Adam previously helped teach many permaculture courses at the Panya Project in Thailand and served as a Permaculture Farm Manager and Educator at The Island School in The Bahamas. Check out Adam's full bio here. We also plan on featuring other qualified permaculturists in the region as guest teachers for some classes.

Do I have to commute?

This course is designed for people who live close enough that they can travel to and from class each day. Some people who live a little further may find that it makes more sense for them to stay somewhere locally Saturday nights to cut down on travel time. We are happy to suggest nearby accommodation for students who wish to do this, but we do not yet have the facilities to host students ourselves on the farm.

How far is the farm from Philadelphia?

Depending on where you're coming from in Philly, our farm is about 45 minutes to 1 hour away.

How do I register?

To register and secure your place in the course, or if you have any questions about the course, please email More information about the course can also be found on our website at All registrations must include a 10% deposit, and any registrations made before January 15, 2017 qualify for a $75 Early Bird discount. Deposits are non-refundable unless the course is cancelled due to low enrollment, in which case you will be fully refunded for any desposits made.

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Cooperative Design Lab 2016 - in Maine - April to January

This nine month process will result in a draft Co-op Plan. Participants will engage in 3 weekend meetings and 9+ webinars. This course has a strong social permaculture influence. Participants will focus on organizational design, membership and member skills, leadership and culture. There will be Zone 00 work around conflict and leading from strengths. There will be a lot of participatory practices to take into the workplace. Niche analysis will be conducted. Enterprise ecology will be assessed, input/output analyzed, assets and challenges accounted for. Policies, bylaws, budgets will be drafted before the end of the program. The vision and mission, the roles and the goals will a get clarity and your ideas will find grounding in practical work. Connect with others. Design for your community's real needs. Apply today. Space is limited. Sliding scale. Scholarships available through New England Grassroots Environmental Fund for low-income applicants.

Massachusetts Network Landscape Association (MNLA)
Green Industry Career Fair

Ever consider turning your passion for permaculture into a career? Help design responsible environments and sharing your knowledge with others? Meet with landscape, nursery, and greenhouse companies at the MNLA Green Industry Career Fair to apply for jobs or find out about this growing profession. Whether you’re fresh out of school, desire a career change, or are a skilled professional, the Green Industry has career opportunities for you.

Wednesday, February 10, 20169:00 AM -- 12:00 PMHoliday Inn Boxborough242 Adams Pl Boxborough, Massachusetts 01719
Contact with any questions

This event is FREE, but Registration by January 30 is encouraged. Sign up now to save time in line.

Opportunities for:
  • Laborers
  • Salespeople
  • Supervisors
  • Project managers
  • Horticulturalists
  • Landscape designers
  • Mechanics
  • Irrigations technicians
  • Professionals with CAD experience
  • Support staff
  • and more

Bring your resume and come prepared for a brief interview.

BACKYARD HOMESTEADING: Feeding Yourself, Your Family and Your Community online course offered through UMASS AMHERST.

Overview: This course explores home-scale food production systems with a focus on permaculture, intensive mini-farming and urban homesteading. The course integrates both research and practical applications to create home-scale food systems that have the resiliency of natural ecosystems. The essential components of diverse garden systems will be discussed in detail, including edible ecosystem gardens, soil fertility, mini orchards, water management, tools and techniques and planting strategies.

Offered Winter Session and Summer Session, please see below for dates and details

For more information please visit:

Ecologies of Enterprise: 8 Forms of Capital for a New Food Economy
April 23, 2015 at The Resilience Hub, 224 Anderson Street, Portland Maine
6 pm – 9pm

An evening social permaculture workshop focusing on a multitude of diverse capital flows, and the interconnections we can weave for designing our local economy. Based on the work of Ethan Roland and Gregory Laduna, this workshop will explore the 8 forms of capital framework as explained in their book Regenerative Enterprise: Optimization for Multi-capital Abundance. Participants will use the framework as a lens through which to view the food system.
This interactive session will be good for anyone who is interested in:
examining the food system with a financial permaculture eye
the intersection of social systems and land systems
the business of producing, distributing, procuring, preparing or serving food
multistakeholder design process for networks

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In this three hour workshop, participants will engage in a variety of topics in, and around, the topic of optimizing the capital flows between various entities to move away from extractive economics to regenerative economics. We will consider farms, food hubs, urban agriculture, agroforestry, and various services in between.
Some activities that participants will engage in will include:
developing an understanding of the 8 forms of capital
recognizing the flows of these forms of capital in the community
input/output analysis for distinct elements of the food system
mapping the food system
talking about the role of local food in the local economy
designing enterprise ecologies together to grow and restore
Proceeds from this Meetup event will benefit the Cooperative Design Lab participants. Cooperative Design Lab is a project of the Resilience Hub and Cooperative Fermentation. The funds will support cooperative start up and conversion projects that were part of the 2015 Cooperative Design Lab.
The Ecologies of Enterprise workshop has evolved from the the facilitator's social permaculture class, taught as part of the Resilience Hub's PDC with Lisa Fernandes. It was recently reinvented as part of an applied design process in Cooperative Design Lab.

About the Facilitator
external image 600_434661670.jpegThis workshops is designed by Rachel Lyn Rumson, the co-facilitator of Cooperative Design Lab. Rachel Lyn believes that building networks and social ecologies that work together, and learn together, is the most worthwhile thing to do on the planet. In her work to build community resilience and learning networks, she uses systems thinking, organizational development and draws on lessons of permaculture design.
She is an educator and a facilitator with The Resilience Hub, in Portland, where she teaches permaculture courses, ecology classes for teens, designs landscapes with permaculture, and creates learning events for large scale systems change for clients. She especially interested in where work at the heart of where ecosystems and the social systems intersect.

Rachel Lyn has more than fifteen years experience practicing facilitation and process consulting and seven years experience as an educator before joining the Resilience Hub in 2012. She earned her masters degree in 2009 in Applied Behavioral Science with The Leadership Institute of Seattle. All here live she has been a serial entrepreneur, having had a hand in array of start-ups including a ecological cleaning company; a woman-owned construction LLC, a systems engineering company, and a successful locally-owned fitness studio that she coached through planning and launch.

She has served on the board of the Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network, as Program Director; participated in the Community Consulting Partnership; and co-founded Community Conversation Project. She currently serves on the Education Committee with MOFGA. Before earning her Permaculture Design Certificate from the Resilience Hub, she spent four years teaching sociology, psychology, leadership skills and computer systems, in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. Rachel Lyn also grows much of her own food with her family and helps with local food initiatives by designing and implementing garden projects, food forests, and agroforestry systems.
About the Book
In a world of damaged ecological and social systems, with a fragile global economy and a rapidly changing climate, business as we know it must evolve or perish. Welcome to 8 Forms of Capital and Regenerative Enterprise. Regenerative Enterprise defines the difference between degenerative, sustainable, and regenerative systems. It articulates the four factors of a regenerative enterprise, and the principles for designing regenerative enterprise ecologies. The material from this book is used with permission from the authors for this workshop. Books are available through Resilience Hub at a discount.
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Oxen Logging Demonstration in Worthington and Chesterfield
Adults: Saturday March 7th 10AM-12PM

Kids: Saturday march 7th, 12:30PM-2:30PM

Foul Weather Date of Sunday, March 8th

Join Hilltown Land Trust in a session about low-impact sustainable forestry with forester Tom Jenkins. Meet his oxen team and watch them in action on Hilltown Land Trust’s Jackson Swamp property. This interactive workshop is in two parts—a morning section for landowners and those interested in learning more about sustainable forestry, and an afternoon session for kids and families.

Each session will begin with a trek through a hardwood upland forest to watch an oxen team and logger perform a sustainable harvest. We will then gather around a small campfire for a Q & A with the forester and enjoy snacks provided by Hilltown Land Trust.

Please dress in weather-appropriate layers, wear sturdy boots, and bring a water bottle. Children under the age of 12 need to be accompanied by a parent/chaperone. Please note, dogs are prohibited to avoid distracting the working animals and there are no bathrooms at the site.

Parking is limited, PLEASE RSVP with Nicole at: or (413) 628-4485 ext. 4


HLT Members & Children under 18: Free
Nonmembers: $10.

Directions From Williamsburg/ Points North
Take Route 9 to MA-143 in Williamsburg and head west for 8.2 miles (stay left at the junction with Partridge Road ). Turn left onto Ireland Street, after 2.2 miles turn right onto Ring Road. Follow Ring Road for about 300 feet and park along the shoulder.

Directions From Huntington/ Points South
Take MA-112 North for 9 miles to South Worthington. Turn right onto Ireland Street and drive 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Ring Road. Follow Ring Road for about 300 feet and park along the shoulder.



Cooperative Design Lab a development course for worker, producer and hybrid cooperatives

Use this link to apply online.

Cooperatives build local economic resilience by meeting community needs for goods, services and jobs through shared democratic business ownership. Cooperative Fermentation, a project of the Resilience Hub, is offering this course to strengthen the network of cooperatives in the region and to support the formation of co-ops in local farming and food production.
Come to Cooperative Design Lab if you want to:

  • start a cooperative
  • expand your group's capacity and skills
  • convert your business to a cooperative
  • help develop cooperatives in your community

Course Overview

Participants will gain the knowledge, skills and capacity to start a cooperative business.
Through the course, participants will:
  • go through a step-by-step process to create a co-op
  • plan their business
  • prepare and share meals together
  • engage in personal development
  • discern appropriate organizational structures
  • learn tools for cooperative leadership and management
  • connect to mentors, coaching and technical assistance
  • explore the role of cooperatives in building a resilient economy

Check out our Draft Agenda here

Cooperative Design Lab will meet three weekends from January to March in 2015 and online for webinars. There will be homework including readings, films, group projects, and journal work. In celebration of course completion, participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of community members, mentors, funders, and policy makers.

Cooperative Design Lab Course Details

Course Outcomes:
Course curriculum will be tailored to participant’s needs and the following outcomes are expected:
  • Articulation of vision and goals for each stage of cooperative development and for various roles in the cooperative organization
  • Needs assessment for business, people and market planning
  • Analysis of resources including multiple forms of capital, market conditions, technical assistance and mentors to leverage in cooperative development
  • Detailed action plans and measures to evaluate success
  • Readiness for each stage of development from launch or conversion, to growth and management
  • Understanding of appropriate leadership for cooperative structures
Many topics covered in this course are listed below, following the course details. You can view our draft agenda here.
Who can participate:
The Design Lab is open to both teams and leaders. New co-ops are encouraged to send teams of 2-4 members/organizers to the Design Lab so people can learn together. Individual leaders are also encouraged to attend. People signing up are one of the following:
  • Startups - folks planning to start a cooperative venture
  • Expanders - people from existing cooperatives that are seeking to grow
  • Converters - existing businesses looking to transition to a cooperative
  • Developers - organizations that want to be a resource for economic development in their community
This course will take place in New Gloucester, Maine in a large community house at Wayfinder School. There is plenty of onsite parking and optional overnight accommodations. It is 30 minutes north of Portland, 20 minutes south of Lewiston, 1.75 hours south of Bangor, 2.5 hours north of Boston.
This three month course will gather in person three weekends in 2015: January 31 & February 1, February 28 & March 1, and March 21 & 22, and online several times between course meetings. Class generally runs from 9am to 7pm on Saturdays and 9am to 5pm on Sundays of each weekend. There are overnight accommodations available for those who want to stay onsite.
Participants are invited to return in late April or May for a celebration event where they can share their cooperative designs with funders, community members, policy makers and course mates.
The course is offered for a sliding scale of $400-700 per person, or $1200 for a 3 person co-op. After December 15, it increases to $500-800 per person, or $1300 for 3 person co-op, so early registration is encouraged. Our sliding scale is based on what you can afford, you can choose the amount that you can pay.
Course fee includes all course materials, coffee, tea and refreshments, breakfast each day and one hearty organic evening meal per weekend. Lunches will be potluck/BYO in order to keep the course fee down. A 20% deposit is requested to hold your spot in this course.
There are creative payment options available including the following:
  • Register and pay in full by Dec 15 ($100 off)
  • Apply for a scholarship with the Ralph K. Morris Foundation by 1/1/15. They provide small grants for people to pursue cooperative education and development programs.
  • For every full course participant who says that you referred them, receive $50 off.
  • Consider fundraising a portion of our course fee. Crowdfunding is another way to raise funds.
  • We also have limited scholarships that will significantly reduce the cost of the course.
  • Members of Hour Exchange Portland can pay for up to 10% of the course fee in time dollars.
  • Pay for the course in monthly installments if that makes more sense for you.
  • There is one work study position available for this course that provides a 20% discount.
We encourage you to contact us to discuss which payment option will work best for you and how we can help this program to be accessible to your needs.
Class size is limited.
This workshop consists of 74 hours of program (includes 58 hours of in-person time and 16 hours of webinars), connection to additional technical assistance & mentoring and homework. You will participate in this course through a combination of lecture, participatory projects, group work, hands-on activities, guest speakers, webinars, video, discussion and a design project. There will be approximately 5- 6 hours of "homework" between course weekends. Students must attend all sessions and complete their group project in order to receive their certificates of completion.
How to apply:
Use this link to apply online. After you submit your application, the organizers will contact you to assist you with the registration process. Please submit before January 15th. Remember, if you register by December 15, you receive $100 off tuition!
Course Topics:
Topics included (but not limited to) the following:
  • Business planning
  • Cooperative skills for founders and members
  • Shared Ownership Culture
  • Cooperative Values, Principles and History
  • Regenerative enterprise ecology
  • Legal and financial structures for cooperatives
  • Eight forms of Capital
  • Tools for transparency
  • Conflict resolution, Communication & Group dynamics
  • Governance, Management & Participatory Leadership
  • Strengths-bases leadership tools
  • Membership and hiring techniques
  • Training protocals
  • Niche Analysis and Marketing plans
  • Accountability and Evaluation systems
Facilitation team:
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Rachel Lyn Rumson
Rachel Lyn wears many hats in her work to build community resilience and learning networks. She is a freelance organizer and facilitator with The Resilience Hub, where she teaches permaculture courses, organizes, and provides technical assistance to organizations.

Rachel Lyn has more than fifteen years experience has a facilitation and process consultant and seven years experience as a professional trainer and educator working with organizations just has Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Sustainable Seattle, Belfast Cohousing and EcoVillage, 350 Maine, Winter Cache Project, Portland Tool Library, Parent Resource Center, The Organizational Development Network, New England Transition, Natural Fitness, Educare, Seeds of Compassion, the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast, and Cooperative Fermentation. Rachel Lyn excels at building networks and healthy social ecologies that work together and learn together.

Before achieving her masters degree in 2009, she was a serial entrepreneur, having had a hand in array of startups including: Attention to Detail, where she was Managing Partner of a residential, commercial and marine cleaning company; Useful Hands, a woman-owned construction LLC where she was Managing Partner; iCore Systems, a systems engineering company that she consulted to launch then served as Managing Director; and Natural Fitness, a locally owned fitness studio she coached the owner to plan and launch. Rachel Lyn received her masters in Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University in Washington State. While there, she served as the Program Director of the Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network and co-founded Community Conversation Project. Returning to her home-state of Maine she taught Sociology, Psychology and Leadership courses at Kaplan University before earning her Permaculture Design Certificate from Lisa Fernandes in 2012, and eventually joining The Resilience Hub.

Rachel Lyn also grows much of her own food and helps with local food initiatives by designing and implementing school garden projects. She has worked with R.W. Traip Academy and Wayfinder Schools to establish thriving garden programs that can teach teens how to grow food.

Jonah Fertig

Jonah is the Founder & Coordinator of Cooperative Fermentation. He also works as a cooperator with the Cooperative Development Institute, consulting with worker and producer cooperatives in the food system. He is a cooperator, organizer, consultant, chef, teacher, designer, facilitator, farmer, artist, musician and father. In 2007, he co-founded Local Sprouts Cooperative in Portland, Maine and helped to develop it from an idea into a successful worker-owned cafe, catering business and learning programs. He also started the People’s Free Space, a community space in Portland, and the Burdock Gathering, a community-learning gathering on a farm in Central Maine. He most recently co-founded the Machigonne Community Land Trust in Portland and the Portland Urban Agriculture Sub-Committee that is part of the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System. He is currently a Board Member for Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative, on the Board of the Eat Local Foods Coalition and is a facilitator for the Sustainable Food System Leadership Institute, a project of the Maine Association of Non-Profits. He teaches a food business class at the New School, a democratic high school in Kennebunk.
Jonah is a peer advisor apprentice with the Democracy at Work Network and is a graduate of the Maine Food Leadership Forum. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Cultural Studies from New York University. He lives in a strawbale cabin at Neverdun Farm, a cooperative organic farm in Arundel, Maine.

And many others...
Additionally, we will have many other guest experts in business and cooperative development from the Northeast and beyond that will come to some weekends and appear via webinar.

About Cooperative Fermentation
Cooperative Fermentation helps inspire people to create cooperatives in the food system and supports them through education and food production. Our mission is to transform the food system through creating cooperatives. We are a project of the Resilience Hub and collaborate with the Cooperative Development Institute, Democracy at Work Network and others to grow cooperatives. We focus on growing cooperatives in Maine with a particular focus on supporting worker, producer and hybrid cooperatives.

About The Resilience Hub
The Resilience Hub is a collaborative non-profit organization based in Portland Maine.Their mission is to build resilience at the personal, household and community levels while creating thriving examples of abundance based on ecological wisdom. They do this by offering a range of events, education and training as well as resilience-building services and projects. They operate at local, statewide and regional scales and their work touches on all the realms traditionally encompassed by Permaculture (land use, energy, water, buildings, etc.) but with special focus on food and creating new economic models.
About the Cooperative Development Institute
Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the source for cooperative business development in the Northeast. CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and New York.
Cooperative Development Institute staff specialize in helping people work together to plan and launch a cooperatively owned business. We help existing privately held businesses convert to ones owned by their employees or the consumers of their products and services, we help start-up cooperatives, and we support existing cooperative businesses.
Additional Support is provided by:
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Funding for the Cooperative Design Lab is coming from these organizations and co-ops, participants, the Broad Reach Fund and RSF Social Finance.



Update- May 12- Last Call for Bare Root. Pick up in Jeffersonville, VT

Vermont’s oldest Permaculture Research and Education Institute is pleased to announce the details for our annual Nursery Plant Sale!
We’re excited to share some of our favorite Vermont-Proven Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Vines, and Medicinal Herbs, and the results of almost 15 years of breeding, selection and tree crops research here in Northern Vermont.
We'll have cherries, pears, apples, currants, grapes, many species of nuts, kiwis, sea berries, goji, gooseberries, hops, strawberries, asparagus, artichokes, and much more than can be listed here!
Our trees are specifically selected to be valuable additions to your yard, garden, or landscape, and intended to be components of Edible Forest Gardens, Edible Landscaping, Specimen Trees, Windrows/ Hedgerows, Wildlife Corridors, Deer Yards, Riparian Buffers, Vineyards, and Productive Orchards.
We also offer some of our favorite Medicinal Herbs as Companion Plants and Understory Plantings, and a variety of Nitrogen Fixing, Nutrient Accumulating, and Pollinator Feeding support plants.
100% of the Proceeds from this sale further Permaculture Research, Education, and Productive Reforestation for Vermont’s Fields, Farms, and Floodplains- supporting more diverse, resilient, and nourishing tree crop propagation for cold climates คาสิโน.
Willow Crossing Farm is working to demonstrate and spread Climate Resilient, Multi-Generational, Ecologically Regenerative, Carbon-Negative, Income Producing, Nutrient Dense, Valuable Sugar and Lumber Producing, Pollinator Supporting, Soil Building, Flood Tolerant Tree Crops for Vermont’s Farms, Yards, Gardens, and Cities.
Plants will be available for pickup Friday May 2, Saturday May 3, Friday May 9, and Saturday May 10, or by appointment. Delivery into Burlington is possible for larger pre-orders.
Please Pre-Order plants and contact us to ensure we haven’t sold out and will be down at the nursery.
Full descriptions and prices at

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With Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design & Education, near Amherst MA

Summer Permaculture Course at Sirius EcoVillage! (Early Bird Reg. May 1st)
The Summer Permaculture Design Course with Sowing Solutions at Sirius EcoVillage in Western MA is happening JULY 19th -30th this year! (the EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DATE IS MAY 1ST , for early bird savings!!) All course info and the registration form is found at

There are also partial discounts available for students who apply in time for work study roles.
This is a one-of-a-kind Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC) offering a unique opportunity to gain hands-on ecological design experience, while studying with leading permaculture designers from the northeast, and immersing in life at the world-renowned Sirius EcoVillage (a leading demonstration site for sustainable living).

Studying permaculture at this eco-village offers you a chance to witness permaculture strategies and techniques in action, and learn from them. You'll learn first hand about four season greenhouses, naturally built homes, edible forest gardens, raised bed vegetable CSA, community process and decision making, conflict resolution practices, food storage, renewable energy systems, soil improvement strategies, waste recycling, compost, ecological design process, and many skill shares! Skills gathered in this course can be directly applied to your home landscape.

This course is offered as a two-week intensive during the summer (OR in a weekend series format during the spring, one weekend a month). This course is eligible for 3 optional college credits with UMASS Amherst.

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June 13 - July 13, 2014, Permaculture, Ecovillage & Arts Community Education (PEACE) Program in Maryland

This summer Heathcote Community is offering a special Permaculture, Ecovillage, and Arts Community Education (PEACE) program. This features internships in farming and carpentry plus a variety of educational workshops! Below is a flyer with a brief summary of the program.

This program is designed for those who are interested in a focused month of work experience and learning about permaculture, ecovillages, community living and personal growth. Workshops with experts are offered in the following subjects: Ecovillage Education, Permaculture Design, Community Skills, Wilderness Awareness and Survival Skills, Consensus and Facilitation, Empathy in Action, Social Justice, Breathwork, Conflict as a Doorway to Intimacy, Interplay, Enneagram, Meditation, Yoga, and more.

Note: People can take the workshops without doing an internship. They can also do an internship without taking the workshops. Internships are available year-round.

Individuals with further questions can find more details at our web page - PEACE Program at, connect with us through the Heathcote Community Facebook page, or email us at


Permaculture Teacher Training:
Building Resilience through Building Educators

Monday, August 18 - Sunday, August 24, 2014 at D’Acres, Dorchester, NH

With Lauren Chase-Rowell, Josh Trought, and Steve Whitman

Features and Highlights:
  • Seven-day, indoor/outdoor, experiential practice for teacher trainees
  • Healthy living accommodations on site to meet individual needs from free camping/floor space to private room rentals at additional cost
  • Workspaces and resource library available while you learn and practice
  • Three nourishing, organic meals per day and snacks provided by D’Acres
  • Free admittance and teaching practice at the 2014 Permaculture Gathering
  • Bring new teachers into our communities for added resiliency
  • A certificate and resume building event for the completion of the course

Program Cost:

More information:

Please contact Steve Whitman at (603) 381-1798external image call_skype_logo.png(603) 381-1798,

or email at

5th Annual Permaculture Design Course in Mastatal, Costa RicaJune 1-15th, Summer 2014at Rancho Mastatal Sustainable Education Center
This course will explore whole-systems design solutions for both the temperate and tropical climates.Participants will develop the tools to re-imagine, design, and implement functioning systems in their surroundings:from gardens, farms and homes, to livelihoods, relationships, and communities.
For more information please see



Visit some of the leading demonstration sites for permaculture in the Pioneer Valley! The first tour starts at 9:00; we wrap up by 5:00. ~This will be a stellar day!!!

Site #1: Edible Forest Garden in Holyoke MA, featured garden from the book Edible Forest Gardens, as well as the new book ‘Paradise Lot, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City’ home of Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates Site #2: Wildside Gardens, Permaculture Homestead Design Project of Regenerative Design Group, Forest gardens, energy efficient house design, root cellar, and more in Conway, MA Site #4: Franklin Garden of UMass Permaculture, Amherst MA, this is the garden site that won national recognition last year by the White House, growing produce for the dining hall and mentoring college students in permaculture design & gardening Site #5: Sirius EcoVillage, near Amherst MA, this is an intentional community that has been established for well over 3 decades, a leading demonstration of permaculture gardens, forest gardens, perennial beds CSA, strawbale, cob, timber frame construction, community organization and ethical, intentional community living. This event is hosted by Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design & Education. Register for the day and secure your space by emailing, $30-45 sliding scale fee for the day. Bring a picnic lunch. Once you register for the day, we can send you the detailed schedule for the day, and potentially set up a carpool options from points in Amherst or Northampton.

2013 Prospect Rock Permaculture and Burlington Permaculture Design Certification Course
July 21- August 2
Willow Crossing Farm
Johnson, VT

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Burlington Permaculture and Prospect Rock Permaculture are pleased to offer our Fifth-Annual summer Permaculture Design Certification course. This year our course will be even further immersed in ecology and practice: held at Willow Crossing Farm- a regenerative organic family farm and now decade-old permaculture project on the beautiful Lamoille River and Vermont’s Long Trail.

This two week residential intensive course goes above and beyond the internationally recognized standard curriculum with focus on Community Resilience, Social Justice, Food Security, Farm Design, Transition, Environmental and Outdoor Education, Natural Building, Horticultural Therapy, Community/ Commercial Scale Production and Propagation, Appropriate Farm Machinery and Tools, and visits to the vibrant farms, homesteads, nurseries, and ethical businesses that contribute to the re-surging agricultural economy of this most Fertile Valley of Northern Vermont.
Almost 100% of the food served during the course will come from our farm and immediately local farms visited during the course. With abundant opportunities to see, practice, and implement permaculture solutions at varying scales, thorough grounding in the process of design and first-hand study of ecology, and led by some of the most experienced designers, farmers, and educators in Vermont and the nation- this course affords opportunities for development and engagement in personal and community abundance and security like no other.
Hands-on Design and Co-Creation of Vibrant, Wholly Nourishing Human Landscapes:
Together, we’ll engage in whole-systems ecological design and implementation of permaculture solutions for a multi-use community garden specifically focused on the needs of food-insecure Vermonters. Learn alongside students, architects, activists, community planners, homesteaders, farmers, business owners, and others while engaging in real world design problems, and being immersed the wild and cultivated beauty of a permaculture site. Each student will also be guided in generating and presenting a design for a site of their own choosing.
Our approach explores the way human beings- as individuals and communities- can participate in the creation of ethical, socially just, and ecologically regenerative perennial support systems. We apply the sciences of Ecology, Anthropology, Ethnobiology, and Evolution to agriculture, the built environment, and social and economic organization (‘invisible structures’) by integrating plants, animals, buildings, people, communities, economies, and the landscapes that surround us through careful analysis and thoughtful design. We also practice permaculture ethics, principles, techniques, and skills by collaborating on real-world projects with an eye towards repairing, restoring, and regenerating human ecosystems.
We welcome graduates of other permaculture design courses to refresh their certification, gain new perspective and experience, build their networks, and advance their practice with the Advanced Permaculture Design and Teacher/ Facilitator Training opportunities available at this site and through this course.
Permaculture is a design science focused on the intersection of social and ecological health. We explore the relationships between the built environment, food security, energy, water, and natural communities, in order to retrofit this infrastructure to respond to the confluent crises of the 21st century with localized resilience, abundance, and ecological regeneration. Build your skills and capacity by taking part!
Our dynamic natural site in the midst of an agriculturally vibrant area affords ample opportunities to study and observe wild ecology, fruit, nut, vegetable, and medicinal herb production, natural/ alternative beekeeping poultry care, natural building, alternative energy, community-scale resilience, etc. In addition to all farm sourced food, immersion in wild ecology, radical sustainability- the site offers us the opportunity to swim, hike, paddle, and camp in the beauty and inspiration of Vermont summer.
All farm sourced, local organic meals, travel to field trips, canoe and kayak use, and camping accommodation is included in the course cost of $1600. There are other lodging options available at additional cost. There are limited opportunities for professional development grants, work trade, scholarships, and other financial aid. Discounted registration for groups, couples, referrals, and travel to the course by boat, bike, foot, or other non motorized means, is available. This course has historically filled quickly, please contact us to reserve your space as soon as possible.

This course is available for 5 credits through the University of Vermont, and is the only farm-based fully accredited permaculture design course in the northeast. Approximately 1/4 of the group will be credit earning students ~3/4 are community members taking a stand alone PDC.
This course qualifies for the Vermont Green professional development grants- Vermont residents may be eligible for aid from VSAC. Vermont Women Farmers are eligible for assistance from WAGN, The Women's' Agriculture Network.

Prospect Rock Permaculture Design Certificaiton

Only 3 spaces left in this summer's course!
...we'd love to fill them with folks who value the unique opportunities this course affords- so please SHARE this with friends, networks, activists, organizers, growers, builders, and designers.
Read on for details about joining us for free open lectures and guest presentations- all are welcome!
Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont's longest established permaculture research and education facility, and the only debt-free 'financial permaculture' working farm we're aware of. Its a family-run homestead; organic fruit, nut, and medicine nursery; wildlife refuge and pollinator sanctuary; natural building and regenerative infrastructure experimentation site; and venue for farm dining, education, and music.
We host one of the most diverse collections of tree crops and other multi-use plants anywhere- providing unique opportunities to practice permaculture directly hands-on, and to immerse yourself in wild ecology. Our location allows us close working relationships with (and to visit) some of the nation's leading herb farms, organic seed companies, winter vegetable production operations, farm restaurants, and other food-system revolutionaries- as well as immediate adjacency some of the best hiking, boating, biking, and rock-climbing around!
Graduates of all of Prospect Rock Permaculture's various programs comprise the nation's largest PDC alumni network! Our leading permaculture design certification courses attract an incredible diversity of students from all over the world: Architects, Landscape Architects, Farmers, Homesteaders, Activists, Town and City Planners, Food Systems Workers, Extension Agents, Children and Adult Educators, Community Activists, Social Entrepreneurs, Graduate and Undergraduate Students, Renewable Energy Specialists, Builders, complete 'Noobs', and folks traveling from all over the country typically comprise our groups.
The curriculum is specially designed to simultaneously external image arrow-10x10.png many students who seek us out for 'refesher' or second PDCs- seeking Advanced Permaculture Design Opportunities or looking to develop their skills as Permaculture Educators.
Prospect Rock and Burlington Permaculture comprise the most experienced team of educators, researchers, designers, builders and growers presently delivering courses in North America.
Lead instructor Keith Morris has created ecological design education programs for the University of Vermont, Sterling College, the Yestermorrow Design Build School, Paul Smiths College, and has worked with the State of Vermont in developing permaculture education for public schools. He's implemented permaculture projects throughout North and South America, in Europe, New Zealand, and West Africa- working with farms, towns, schools, indigenous peoples, squats, activists, and in solidarity with exploited populations.
Mark Krawczyk has studied and practiced permaculture all over the world, including working with Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty, Ben Law, Jerome Ostentowski, Peter Bane, Dan Hemenway, and more. He is presently writing a external image arrow-10x10.png on Coppice Agroforestry with Dave Jacke.
Lisa DePiano completed her Earth Activist Training (EAT), and brings her formidable experience in community scale permaculture design, social entrepreneurship, activism, and experiential education.
Alissa White is an accomplished nursery woman, artist, ethnobotanist, and community organizer. She completed her PDC with Penny Livingston Stark and helped co-create Permacorps International while working on the ground in Haiti.
Skotty Kellogg is the co-author of the external image arrow-10x10.png Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-it-Ourselves Guide (South End Press) and is the co-founder of the Radix Center, teaching ecological literacy and deomnstrating sustainable techniques for urban areas.
We'll also be joined by the region's leading growers, designers, food-systems workers, natural builders, herbalists and more in our annual community celebration of the proof and possibilities of permaculture design.
Feel free to join us for a meal, design presentations, or guest lectures free and open to the public- our tradition that we are proud is starting to catch on with other PDCs!
Head chef Emily Wheeler is a clinical herbalist, Permaculture Design Course graduate, and specialized in creating culinary works of art from seasonal local organic food to deeply nourish us all. As Emily is also a member of the teaching team- the meals, food sourcing, modern nutritional science, food preservation, wild-crafting, and localvore innovations are central to the course experience. We are happy and experienced in meeting the needs of gluten or dairy intolerant, vegetarians and vegans, food allergies, and other special diets.
Many people have expressed interest in the last few open spaces in the course- we will fill them based on first come, first served upon receipt of the deposit.
For details or to register, please visit, call (802) 734-1129external image call_skype_logo.png(802) 734-1129, or email
If you don't end up with a space in this course- we are happy to announce we will be hosting Starhawk, Charles Williams, and all the members of the teaching team above (yes- including the food!) for our first
EARTH ACTIVIST TRAINING! September 7-21, 2013.
An 'EAT' is a two-week permaculture design certificate course with a focus on organizing and activism, and a grounding in earth based spirituality. Explore the strategies and organizing tools we need to make our visions real, and the daily practice, magic and rituals that can sustain our spirits.
Most excitingly, this will be the first time we've had Starhawk in Vermont in a few years and she'll be joined by awardees of the recent Gender and Diversity Permaculture Educator scholarship. This course is filling quickly, please reserve your space soon if you are interested.
Please like us on facebook or subscribe to our newsletter to receive notifications of free guest lectures, farm tours, or to receive details about our workshop series- including the upcoming Artisan Stone Masonry and Permaculture Earthworks, and Natural Beekeeping, including hands-on work with Warre and Top Bar Hives.
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2 Week Residential Permaculture Design Course

with Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design & Education

at Sirius EcoVillage in Western MA This Summer!

There is still time to register for the Summer Permaculture Design Course at Sirius EcoVillage! This is a truly inspiring, informative, and nourishing course!


with Sowing Solutions at Sirius EcoVillage, near Amherst MA
This course has been hosted at Sirius for 13+years

Immerse in intentional community life and permaculture design practice for 2 weeks this summer. Conduct a design for your own client through a guided design process onsite. Gain college credits from UMass Amherst (optional) and a permaculture design certification. Enjoy the pond, sauna, gardens, natural buildings, and community at the Sirius retreat center! Register a.s.a.p. with Sowing Solutions ~

~ Study and practice permaculture design in the 13th annual Summer PDC at Sirius

~ Learn from some of the best permaculture designers, naturalists, and educators in the northeast

~ Immerse in community life and meet the residents and founders of this leading ecovillage in the northeastern US

~ Gain your permaculture design training and internationally recognized certificate

~ Gather new sustainable living skills

~ Optionally gather college credits through University of Massachusetts

~ Learn by experience in the veggie gardens, forest gardens

~ Witness and participate in construction of a straw bale and cob greenhouse

~ Visit local permaculture demonstration sites

~ Meet and work alongside leading permaculture designers;

~ Complete a permaculture design project from step one to deisgn presentation for real clients

~ Enjoy summertime with us!

Course Tuition $950, plus meals. Accommodations are available at Sirius Ecovillage. There are a few partial discounts/ work trades when needed.

Sowing Solutions provides permaculture design services for home owners and land stewards and offers educational events for non-profits and communities in the northeastern US, leading 13 permaculture design certificate courses to date. Sowing Solutions has run courses collaboratively with Living Routes Study Abroad in Intentional Communities, Green Phoenix Permaculature, UMASS Amherst, Sirius EcoVillage, Dynamics Ecological Design, Living Mandala, and Omega Institute.

Sirius EcoVillage is a long-standing intentional spiritual community and retreat center, offering a special opportunity to step into daily life for 2 weeks at this wonderful place. Explore the hiking trails, sauna, yoga classes, swimming pond, gardens, natural buildings, ecovillage social structure, and much more!

Course registration: ; Inquire at:

Teaching Team for the 2013 Summer PDC at Sirius:
~ Kay Cafasso, Kay is the founder and director of Sowing Solutions, permaculture designer, instructor of over 15 permaculture courses, earthen plasterer for natural buildings, and dancer.

~ Keith Zaltzberg, Keith is a core member of the ecological design firm Regenerative Design Group, guest instructor at the Conway School of Landscape Design and Smith College, and permaculture designer and educator.

~ Mark Krawczyk, Mark is author of the upcoming book Coppice Agroforestry- a Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century, permaculture designer and educator, green woodworker, agroforester, specialist in keyline planning and pond construction, and natural builder.

~ Walker Korby, Walker is a naturalist and tracker, permaculturist, primitive skills mentor, forester, firefighter, and storyteller.

~ Meg McAuliffe, Meg is a certified permaculture designer and yoga instructor whose focus is in contemplative education, whole systems thinking, herbal medicine, and yoga.

What students are doing since their graduation with Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design Courses~ becoming land caretakers, building straw bale homes, joining natural building teams, coordinating university campus-wide permaculture gardens, incorporating permaculture design into their existing labdscape business, turning their lawns into gardens, starting plant nurseries, designing their home landscape to produce abundance and ecological benefit, experiencing life at ecovillages and intentional communities, becoming educators and authors, weaving permaculture design and thinking into their healing arts practice, enjoying rare fruits and edible perennial foods outside their door, and……

What students are saying about Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design Courses~ “I am having the time of my life, and the best part is that I am receiving an excellent education!” (Brenda)
Registration: Please send an email to Sowing Solutions to request a full course information packet as well as the course schedule (scheduled days off, optional sessions, half days, optional evenings). Or by facebook, send a message to Kay Cafasso.
Course schedule: This is a 72 hour requirement for the permaculture design certification, this course offers over 85 hours of training. (Note that the course completes on Friday August 9th, in time for attendance at the NOFA Conference in Amherst on the evening of Aug 9-Sunday Aug 11).


Ecological Design & Gardening: Introduction to Permaculture Course
September 20 (evening); September 21 & 22 (full days)

Permaculture is an eco-logical approach to design based on observing nature. It can be applied to physical systems (eg. farms, gardens, cities) and to social systems (eg. organisations, businesses) anywhere.

Course Topics:
Permaculture ethics and design principles
Patterns in nature, zones and sectors
Design process overview, mini design exercise
Role of trees and forests
Basics of edible forest gardens, guilds, polycultures, sheet-mulch
Garden hands-on

Course Fee: $180 includes HST.
The 17 hours in class can be applied as credit towards the full Permaculture Design Course offered by the Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa in fall 2013.
Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario.

For more info:

Course location: Mulberry Waldorf School, 25 Markland Street, Kingston
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Advanced Permaculture Design Course in Wasteland Regeneration

~ Re-establishing Abundant and Resilient Ecosystems on Barren, Neglected, and Abused lands.
Location: Sadhana Forest - Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti

Dates: December 6-10, 2013
Course Content:

-Permaculture strategies and techniques for wasteland regeneration;

-Identification and use of local resources;

-Tools and techniques available for different geographic or cultural context;

-Scalable for rural and urban sites;

-Group work on participants’ projects.

Each day will include some time together in the classroom and time spent on hands on activities and site visits.

Course fee is : $600 USD by 9/1/13.

Includes three vegan meals a day, camping/basic accommodations, and instruction.

Please contact Ryan Ferdinand at // for more info and to register.

Steven Whitman is a professional planner and educator based in the United States, and his work is focused largely on community planning and ecological design issues. Steve is a certified Permaculture teacher and is an adjunct faculty member at Plymouth State University and Colby Sawyer College. Steve also teaches Permaculture courses in the United States outside of the University System, and has taught courses in Australia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Iceland, India, Scotland, Sweden, and Tanzania. Steve lives with his wife and two sons in Plymouth, NH, USA and participates in a wide range of grassroots efforts that promote greater resilience.

Aviram Rozin co-founded Sadhana Forest in Tamil Nadu with his wife Yorit in December 2003. Sadhana Forest is a volunteer based community doing wasteland reclamation and indigenous reforestation. Currently Sadhana Forest is the home to over 1,000 volunteers per year, from over 50 countries. In 2008, the Rozins co-founded Sadhana Forest Haiti, in April 2010, which is a 6,500 acre indigenous food forest project. In November 2010 Sadhana Forest won the Humanitarian Water and Food Award (3rd place) in Denmark, for its work in India and Haiti.


Hello there everyone,

My name is Thomas Heikes and I am writing to inform you all of few natural building workshops that we are hosting at our property, and one other workshop that is nearby. We live on a small farm outside of Berne, NY (just to the west of Albany) where we grow most of our own food and live a quite sustainable and organic life, but mostly we grow medicinal herbs for medicinal products. This summer we are expanding our operation and will be constructing an earth bag and straw bale building and finish it with plaster in the form of workshops for the public. The workshops are being carried out by a non-profit natural building organization though an educational training workshop, and we are still searching for our participants. And through this non profit, there is also another workshop being held in July, an Off-Grid House. You can also check out the workshops on the non-profit’s website: .

Working with natural building materials is a really liberating and invigorating experience. As it unveils we can grasp the practicality and intelligence of "scaling back", saving a ton of money, and living in much greater harmony with the earth and our particular environment. I really hope to see you at our workshop. Please let me know if you have any questions at all!

Be well and remember to stop and smell the [[#|flowers]] today.

Thomas Heikes

sustainable building and construction certification
This is a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of the design and construction of sustainable shelters. Colby-Sawyer College will build a new classroom on campus in the summer of 2013 illustrating our strategic theme of “Living Sustainably.” The building will use timber frame construction, natural building materials and renewable energy. This program will involve you in designing and creating a beautiful and unique sustainable building while teaching you the techniques, systems and materials you'll need to create your own.
Starting in September 2012, students will take three courses (3 credits in Fall of 2012, 4 credits in Spring 2013, and 2 credits in Summer 2013) leading up to the final completion of the building. In the process, you will learn about topics like building science and building performance, the design process, materials, construction planning, timber frame techniques and many more.

Students taking all three courses (9 credits) will qualify for the Certificate in Sustainable Building and Construction. This is unique once-off opportunity for builders and designers to learn the principles, apply them, and construct a building on campus.

Registration & Tuition

The cost of the 9-credit certificate is $4,500. Participants may register for only one or two of the courses (but will not qualify for the certificate) at $500 per credit. Deadline for registration is August 24, 2012.
For details about [[#|registration]] call Tracey Perkins at (603) 526-3702external image call_skype_logo.png(603) 526-3702 or e-mail:

Fall Class Meeting Dates

Semester 1 of this Certificate Program, Shelter & Sustainability, will take place on Tuesday afternoons from 3:00-5:45pm in Room 102 of the Ivey Science Center at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH from September 4th through December 4th.

About the Instructors - Bryan Felice & Steve Whitman

Felice, founding owner of Undustrial Timber Frames, has been involved in the design and construction of sustainable buildings since 2000 and brings expertise and years of practical experience in building design. Whitman is a professional planner with Jeffery H. Taylor & Associates focused on community planning and sustainability issues through the lens of natural systems-thinking and ecology.

Biomeiler Compost Furnace Workshop
Dates: September 21 (10am - 6pm) & September 22 (9am - 5pm), 2013
Presenter: Heiner Cuhls (from Native Power in Germany: )Sponsors: Small & Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire (SBFNH)


Contact: Sherry Young

Cost: $75 for SBFNH members, $100 for non-members.
Location: The Farm Around the Corner (

395 VT Route 102
Maidstone VT 05905

Contact: Scott LeFoll
802-676-2684external image call_skype_logo.png802-676-2684

Free Camping Available. Coffee and Snacks provided. Lunch and breakfast can be purchased extra, with a potluck dinner on Saturday.
Biomeiler Compost Heating Workshop

Want to be independent from gas, oil & utility electricity? Are you looking for self sufficient heat & power for your greenhouse, seed starting house, packing shed, barn, residence or business?

Small and Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire ( and The Farm Around the Corner ( have invited Heiner Cuhls from Native Power in Germany ( ) to hold a two day hands on workshop on September 21 and 22, 2013 at The Farm Around the Corner in Maidstone, Vermont. Heiner is an expert in the design and construction of the Biomeiler Compost Furnace.

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A Biomeiler extracts heat from a special biomass compost heap and is therefore also known as a "Compost Furnace". Their function is based on the principal of composting. The original compost heating methods of Jean Pain from France have been further developed and engineered in Germany, and there are now over sixty facilities in Northern Europe using Biomeilers to provide all or most of their heating needs, including at a hotel in Northern Germany.

During the composting process aerobic bacteria convert organic matter (in this case wood chips) into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. This process occurs everywhere around us on the ground and in the soil. This heat can be recovered and used for space heating and heating your domestic hot water.

Compost can also be used to generate bio-gas through anaerobic digestion. A biomeiler is a very simple system using just pipes, water and the compost heat from shredded shrubs. The only moving part is a standard central heating circulation pump. This simple construction reduces maintenance cost and the risks of failure.

A biomeiler "runs" for a year to 18 months producing enough heat for a house and the water. In the warmer parts of the year there will be more heat than required and it could be stored for the winter or one might share it with neighbours to help them reduce their energy bill and CO2 footprint.

[For a more detailed article on Heiner Cuhls and the Biomeiler, see the article at the bottom of this page]

This workshop will teach you the theoretical background of compost heating and anaerobic digestion (generating bio-gas) in the first-day classroom session, and the practical building skills when we construct a working Biomeiler on the second day.

This two day workshop is scheduled for the weekend of September 21st and 22nd. Please come prepared to work on the 2nd day, as we will build a fully functioning Biomeiler.

The cost is $100 per participant ($75 for members of SBFNH), coffee and snacks included. Lunch and breakfast can be purchased extra. You can bring your tent or your camper and stay for the weekend on our farm. On Saturday evening we will have a potluck dinner.

Please make your reservation asap, because there is limited space !

If you wish to attend this workshop, please sign up using this link: Registration Link .

After you complete the sign up process, please mail your payment ( $75 for members of SBFNH, $100 for non-members) payable to Scott LeFoll, The Farm Around the Corner, 395 Route 102, Maidstone, Vermont 05905, and be sure to include your name and contact info, and how many people you are paying for, if more than one.

If you want to pay by credit card, please send an email to , and indicate how many persons you wish to pay for. (There will be a small additional fee to cover credit card processing)For any question or concerns you might have, don't hesitate to call or email us (Scott or Heather LeFoll, 802-676-2684external image call_skype_logo.png802-676-2684, ) and please feel free to circulate this email to anyone who might be interested.The Farm Around the Corner is located on the Connecticut River, at 395 Route 102 in Maidstone, just over the town line from Guildhall, Vermont. it is about 1/2 mile north of the large Guildhall Town Green, where the historic Essex County Courthouse is located, and is almost directly across the street from the little Maidstone Town Hall.

The white farmhouse is on the west side of Route 102, with the red barn across the street. Remember, when you pass the Guildhall green you are only about 1/2 mile from the farm - GPS systems and Mapquest incorrectly place the farm about 8 miles further north, so please be aware of that. Google Maps is correct. Look for posted signs for the Biomeiler Workshop.

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Article from the June issue of the Small & Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire Newsletter:

Harvesting Heat from Compost

Heiner Cuhls wants to teach you how to heat your greenhouse, high tunnel, seedling house or packing room using wood chip compost. While he’s at it, he’ll show you how to heat water for your washing station.

Cuhls promulgates the technology of biocomposting, which uses a large, carefully constructed, wood-based anaerobic compost heap to generate and capture heat via a system of internal piping.

First introduced in France in the 1970’s, the technology has been largely ignored because “energy was still too cheap,” says Cuhls. Recent price hikes make the concept of replacing dollars with sweat equity more appealing and there are now about 50 active installations in his native Germany. The time seems right for a benign, low maintenance system which produces quality compost after a year of heat generation.

Cuhls has supervised construction of 20 bio composts in the last two years. “A bio compost can be completed within two days, with preparation work not more than four days,” he says. Careful siting is essential; the unit must be placed as close as possible to where the heat will be used in order to mitigate heat loss in transit.

Size is scalable, with 13 cubic yards of organic matter generating one kilowatt of power using slow “biological burn.” Colder winters require a larger heap to ensure the compost maintains heat.

A unit in Germany, 8 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter, comprised over 100 cubic yards of prepared wood chips. It should heat a greenhouse with little or no maintenance for over a year (the first German biocomposter operated for 12 to 18 months), after which a new pile will be constructed with existing piping. The finished compost will be used on the farm.

Materials are relatively low cost and readily available: a pool liner, PE pipes, reinforcement steel mats, mesh potato bags and small parts such as cable ties and wires. NH’s abundant forest (83% of the state) means the vital high lignin substrate is easily obtainable. The chips, combined and compressed with 30% manure, generates heat up to 140° Fahrenheit via an anaerobic process.

Small and Beginner Farmers of NH will sponsor a hands-on workshop with Cuhls in Maidstone, VT (about 2.5 hours north of Concord, NH) the weekend of September 21-22.

Details have yet to be finalized, but the $100 price will include free camping, an evening or half day of theory followed by a day of hands-on construction in which everyone will have the opportunity to perform each task and ongoing informal networking and Q&A with Cuhls.

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