OUR Upcoming Courses

Courses and Events

2-Day Natural Cheesemaking Workshop
February 22nd and 23rd, 2020

Want to learn how to make delicious cheeses in your own kitchen? It’s easier than you think. OUR is pleased to host radical natural cheesemaker David Asher at OUR ECOVILLAGE to teach a 2 day Natural Cheesemaking Workshop!

The classes will focus on techniques that can easily be reproduced at home or at small scale dairies. Participants will learn how to take the steps to make their cheeses more naturally, without packaged starters, additives and chemicals, and how to source the best possible milk for their cheesemaking. Workshops are demonstration style -we all make cheese together round the table.

FoodSafe Level 1 with Lee Reidl
March 6, 2020 from 9am to 5pm

FoodSafe is a provincial certification course that covers safe food handling practices. It can be required for anyone in the food service industry (kitchen, serving, and volunteering at events) and contains information that is beneficial to all. The completion of this course comes with a 5-year certification valid in the province of British Columbia.

Lee Reidl has worked in many different areas of the food industry for over 25 years. Her diverse experience includes kitchens, farms, sailboats, touring with music bands, organizing festivals, remote location camps, private homes, ashrams, soup kitchens, school lunch programs, working with children and volunteers. Her presentation of this course comes with the intention of having participants feel more empowered in their own food practice – no matter what the context.

Permaculture Teacher Training
March 14-21, 2020

Empower yourself to advocate for change through whole systems teaching and design. In this dynamic and interactive course, you will learn significant teaching techniques to communicate and apply Permaculture (Pc) principles and strategies to a wide variety of audiences and educational settings

This is an incredible opportunity to study with a master teacher, on how to teach permaculture. To be eligible to register for the course you will have taken the Permaculture Design Certificate Course, or have the instructor’s approval.

Design Your Natural Home
March 27th- March 29th, 2020 plus optional Design Lab Monday, March 30th, 2020
October 23rd - October 25th plus optional Design Lab Monday, October 26th, 2020

Ready to start your natural home design?

This weekend intensive is for those who are interested in actively being part of the process of designing their natural home. Learn about choosing the best site for passive solar performance and energy savings. In two days and an evening you’ll be introduced to a variety of building technologies- in theory and by taking an extensive tour through the buildings at OUR Ecovillage.

There are exercises to work on with your peers around the table. There’s time for your questions to be addressed. You will learn about how to approach laying out a floor plan and how to move through a permit process. And if you have your project ready to work on you may introduce it to the group.

2020 Natural Building & Ecological Design Colloquium
June 5th to 7th, 2020

The Natural Building Colloquium is a gathering for natural building enthusiasts: builders, teachers, professionals, and those who are passionate about natural building. It is a place to exchange the latest developments in practical applications and technology and share ideas with other people in the field. We will look at where the natural building movement stands in regards to professional support, permits, and finding qualified builders.

OUR “Lawful Permaculture” Demonstration Site & Education Centre is an immersion of a wide range of natural buildings that are cob, straw bale, rammed earth, earthship/tire, living roofs, or rubble trench foundations and are all permitted and engineered. Whether you are a green builder, regulatory official, designer, or home owner/builder, this (un)conference will open the doors for whole new ways of understanding ecological design and building.

Regenerative Land Management
June 15th to 24th, 2020


With Starhawk, Charles Williams and Guest Teachers

Create a meaningful livelihood restoring land and revitalizing community!

Our new long-term program is designed to give you the skills, experience and confidence to run a farm, ranch, retreat center or urban farm in ways that heal damaged ecosystems and sequester carbon.

Why? We are beyond the tipping point for climate change, and to prevent global catastrophe we need to both stop emitting carbon and pull it out of the atmosphere. The best way to do that is by regenerating living systems, using trees and plants to change that carbon into wood and food and humus—soil organic carbon. Farmers are the new earth healers!

2020 Permaculture Design Certification & Earth Activist Training with Starhawk
June 26 to July 13, 2020

The Permaculture Design Course is an information packed 72-hour intensive course combining class theory with practical hands-on learning. Completion of the course earns participants a Permaculture Design Certificate – the foundation for further permaculture work and study and a prerequisite for the Diploma in Permaculture Design, offered through The Permaculture Institute in Australia. Participants will learn Permaculture design principles & techniques. The course includes lectures, discussions, hands-on, slideshows, field trips and design projects. We will examine the underlying assumptions of the current culture of consumerism and economic globalization and encourage exploration of ways to contribute to the emergence of a culture of sustainability, compassion and equity. The Permaculture Design Certificate course covers a broad range of subjects to provide a holistic overview of Permaculture systems and sustainable living.

2020 Little Permie Kids Camp
June 26 to July 13, 2020

OUR Little Permie Kids Camp – A Permaculture Camp for Kids! This camp is an educational immersion program for kids that runs alongside our Permaculture Design Certificate and Earth Activist Training. Jump in with our world renown permaculture teachers including Starhawk and Charles Williams, UBC teacher candidates on their practicum and a range of guest teachers through this program crossover catered especially for kids who want to learn permaculture amongst some of the best in the field.

This permaculture camp is an opportunity for even the youngest permaculturalists to join in on OUR famous adult courses.

Kids, join their adults and stay overnight at OUR village and discover the possibilities of what living and learning in the community can offer children, and how they can use these principles to live in harmony with the world they will inherit.

Ecovillage Design Education Program
July 17 to August 2, 2020

Learn permaculture from the experts by beginning with our Permaculture Design Certificate and how you can actually live and work in an ecovillage by being given leadership projects in our village after your course, applying your skills in a real life permaculture educational demonstration site.

OUR ECOVILLAGE’s Ecovillage and Ecological Design” (EDE) joins with the Global Ecovillage Network to also teach the “Training of Trainers” and “Sustainable Development Goals” as part of the United Nations priorities for sustainability. Join us to deepen our community frameworks to create healthier systems which foster models of resilience and regeneration for processes/people/places for living into a shared collective future!

Cowichan Forest Scouts Youth Forest Scouts
Fridays, February through June 2020

Forest Scouts Cowichan is a weekly program based at OUR ECOVILLAGE in Shawnigan Lake. It provides youth ages 7-13 with an exciting, safe and meaningful way to explore and engage in the natural world.

Each week will be a new adventure on the land: playing games, hearing nature-based stories, building fire, carving primitive tools, weaving baskets, foraging for food and medicine, journaling nature mysteries, learning bird language, expanding our senses, exploring the pond, tracking wild animals and more!

Coyote Mentoring Weekend
Fri Apr 3 – Sun Apr 5, 2020

Thriving Roots' annual 3 day Coyote Mentoring Training for Adults is our only part-time adult program. Get out your play clothes and come join us for some serious outdoor fun! We’re taking the learning far outside the classroom and diving into the wild with our bodies, hearts and minds. Prepare to rediscover first hand what inspires deep learning and growth, experiencing traditions and skills that have inspired human development for thousands of years. Find your place in nature through these mentoring methods and glimpse into the way these natural cycles can inform our lives.

Before you go any further..

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