Earth Activist Training with Starhawk and Alfred Decker
Earth Activist Training with Starhawk and Alfred Decker
In our two-week Permaculture Design Course, we gather together to explore an internationally-recognized permaculture design certificate (PDC) curriculum with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism.
Learn how it is possible to design human systems that mimic natural systems, using a minimum of energy and resources and creating real abundance and social justice. We will cover principles and practices for how to read the landscape, how to heal soil and cleanse water, design integrated systems, harvest water, drought-proof land, build soil, sequester carbon, make compost, compost tea, and biochar, and how to bioremediate toxins.
Explore the solutions to climate change, and the strategies and organizing tools that can put them in place.
Earth Activist Training is unique in weaving social permaculture aspects throughout our course: learn how to organize our human communities and groups, how to resolve conflicts, make decisions,
work together effectively, and sustain our spirits. Together we create a community contained by daily ceremony and interactive ritual throughout the course.
We teach interactively, not just through classroom presentation, lecture and discussion, but through games, songs, ceremony, guided visualizations, design practice, field trips, and a variety of practical, hands-on, outdoor projects.
Who is this training for?
We firmly believe that everyone can benefit from learning the tools and insights of permaculture to apply toward the broad goal of earth regeneration. Permaculture has solutions not just for landscapes and agricultural systems, but also for social design, public policy and survival strategies for these challenging times.
Our students include:
- Young people looking for a career oriented around sustainability
- People in mid-life looking for a new direction for existing or new work
- Retirees wanting new fields to explore
- Established professionals wanting to broaden and deepen their knowledge of sustainable alternatives
- People involved with intentional communities, cohousing and eco-villages, or those who want to start or join one
- Gardeners, farmers, ranchers, and land stewards of all kinds
- Green business entrepreneurs who want to have a broader understanding of the possibilities
- Teachers, environmental educators, and youth workers
- Anyone involved in gardening, especially school gardens and community gardens
- Architects and landscape designers
- Artists, musicians, poets, writers and dancers, and anyone who collaborates creatively
- Community organizers and activists from many movements, including environmental justice, food justice, global justice, anti-oppression, human rights workers, and others
- Dreamers, visionaries, and more…
We welcome and enjoy participants of any age (though please email us to discuss attendance by those under age 16). There is no need to have previous experience with permaculture or horticulture, and we can accommodate a broad range of physical abilities or limitations. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific needs you’d like to discuss.
Topic and Projects Covered:
Hands-on projects vary with weather and needs, but may include mapping, water harvesting structures, graywater or roof catchment, compost, compost teas, sheet mulch, plant propagation, planting trees and shrubs, seed-starting, introductions to natural building concepts and a collaborative design project. Our projects can be tailored to students of varied levels of physical ability and
diverse ages and previous experience.
We touch on all the topics below, some in more depth than others, given the limitations of a two-week course. The overarching theme we teach in the course is not any specific subject, but rather how they all fit together into systems that can meet our human needs while regenerating the environment around us. At the end of the course, we will spend time providing resources and direction for taking your permaculture studies further and deeper.
Permaculture ethics, history and principles
Design, e.g. observation, reading the landscape, site analysis, zones and Sectors, mapping, design tools and processes, collaborative design projects, broadacre permaculture, urban permaculture, permaculture for gatherings, mobilizations and disaster situations
Water, e.g. creating healthy water cycles in living systems, water harvesting, swales, ponds and earthworks, keyline systems, erosion control, rain catchment for roofs, greywater
and blackwater systems
Earth, e.g. soil structure, soil biology, soil building, compost, sheet mulch, compost teas and ferments, mushrooms, bioremediation and mycoremediation, biochar
Plants, e.g. plant needs, plant guilds and polycultures, cover crops, agroforestry, food forests, plant propagation, tree care: pruning and planting, choosing varieties, sustainable forestry
Animals, e.g. animals in our systems, raising and feeding “microherds”—healthy soil microbial communities, beneficial insects, bees, worms, humane treatment of animals, poultry, livestock
for the homestead, holistic management grazing systems, the role of predators, wildlife habitat, alternatives for vegans
Climate, e.g. climate change and strategies for adaption and mitigation, microclimates, windbreaks, drylands, tropics, wetlands, cold climates
Energy, e.g. alternative and renewable energy: evaluating and designing systems, active and passive solar, wind, microhydro, alternative fuels and biogas
Natural Building, e.g. insulation and thermal mass, sustainable forest products, cob, straw-bale, light-straw-clay, plasters
Social permaculture, e.g. personal regeneration and self-care, site design to support social aims, urban redesign, group dynamics, communication tools, governance structures for collaborative groups, ecovillages and community design, meeting processes, meeting facilitation, alternative economics
Organizing and activism, e.g. strategic organizing, pro-active and prefigurative movements, campaign planning and organizing, power mapping, organizing in diverse communities
Spirit, e.g. connecting to the spirit in nature, creating ritual and ceremony, grounding and centering, sensing and shifting energy, drumming, dancing, singing and meditation, daily rituals
A note from the organizers on travelling to this event:
We are quite sure that you, as people interested in Permaculture and future-oriented living, are well aware of the negative effects of flying on the climate on this planet. Sitting in the burning
summer sun in August 2018, one of the driest years in our region so far, we had an intense conversation about the impact of this course on the climate: „Do we really want to ‚import‘ two teachers
from that far away? Teachers who will teach in english and thus might attract more people that will board planes to participate?“
We decided that yes, we do want to host a full Earth Activist Training in Germany (the first we know of), because we believe in the strength of bringing together activism, positive change and spiritual connection.
But we also want to let you know the following: if you absolutely have to fly, we expect you to calculate what you should pay to offset your carbon emissions with this calculator: https://www.atmosfair.de/en/offset/flight/ and that you then donate the respective amount to e.g. a) atmosfair directly, b) Sieben Linden Ecovillage for its freshly starting agroforestry project (https://siebenlinden.org/en/support-us/) or c) the Agroforst-Kampagne (http://www.agroforstkampagne.net/kontakt). Of course you can decide to donate to any other Permaculture project in your area, too! But: please show the receipt of this donation to us once you’ve received a confirmation for your participation in the EAT. Thank you for taking care of the home of so many species (including us)!