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!
The opportunity—Half the farmland in North America is due to change hands in the next two decades as farmers age out. It’s vital that we get that land into the hands of those who know how manage it in ways that contribute to global healing. We need trained people—and you need to be able to make a thriving living for yourselves and your families.
RLM is an advanced course in Permaculture Design which specifically requires that you have completed a ‘Permaculture Design Certificate’ (PDC) – if you have not done this yet you will be potentially given exception if you are taking your PDC fairly soon after your RLM Intensive. For 2020 you are able to obtain permission for this Intensive and take the PDC/Earth Activist Training right here at OUR ECOVILLAGE 4 days following the Intensive. Please see OUR website for specific registration or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUR Ecovillage RLM Intensive: We are offering a ten-day intensive at OUR Ecovillage June 15-24. It’s a deep dive into the core tools of regenerative farming and ranching: water systems, soil building, no-till, sustainable forestry, fire risk reduction and resilience, forestry, agro-forestry, food forests and silvopasture, holistic management planned grazing, and more.
Sign up for the intensive as a stand-alone course, or for the whole program:
We’ve designed the program to be as accessible and affordable as possible, but it is a time commitment that will take approximately two years. If you already have extensive experience, you can document it and the program can be done more quickly.
How it works:
- PDC Prerequisite: The pre-requisite is a Permaculture Design Certificate. This is a 72 hour course offered by groups world-wide that introduces students to the full range of sustainability systems, and is the entry to the permaculture world. Earth Activist Training offers regular PDC courses, and we will also recognize certificates from other reputable teachers. (Note—if you take the RLM intensive at OUR Ecovillage and don’t have a pdc, you can take our pdc course June 26-July 12).
- A comprehensive curriculum: Earth Activist Training has prepared a curriculum designed to introduce you to the broad range of tools and techniques available for regenerating land an help you gain the experience that will help you realize your goals. See the full curriculum here.
- Ten-day Intensives: You’ll do at least two 10-day intensives, one to deepen your understanding of regenerative systems for food production, forestry, grazing, soil improvement and urban farming, and one hands-on Restoration Intensive, working with a local community on a hands-on project to restore damaged land.
- Additional short courses and online courses: You’ll be encouraged to gain additional skills and knowledge through courses offered by Earth Activist Training in person or online, OUR Ecovillage, and our many other partners.
- A Personal Mentor: You’ll have a personal mentor who will meet with you in person or by phone or online. They’ll help you keep moving through the curriculum, set goals for yourself, plan your internships and document your learning.
- A rotation of internships: Like medical school, where you rotate through the specialties, you’ll do at least three short internships in a variety of situations to gain a wild field of experience and sharpen your hands-on skills.
- A longer-term apprenticeship: You’ll be encouraged to do a longer apprenticeship in an area that fits with your long-term goals.
- At least a one-month internship: In a different country, language, or culture, ideally somewhere in the developing world, to help broaden your perspective, learn from the inspiring work being done all over the world, and build ongoing networks of friendship and collaboration. (Not required but strongly suggested!)
- Documenting your previous learning: Do you already know many of the skills in the curriculum? Do you already have experience farming, gardening, seed-saving, teaching—any or all of it? Your mentor will help you document what you have already done, and you can move through the program more quickly!
- A Permaculture Diploma from the Permaculture Institute of North America: Students have the option of enrolling in our Diploma Program.
A network of placements: We are collecting a network of potential placements on land for our graduates to help you get out there and doing it!
Want to register? Send us an email to email@example.com with RLM Registration in the subject line and we will send you a registration link based on your tuition proposal. We look forward to hearing from you!
Who is this for?
This program is for you if:
- You have a great desire to live a meaningful life regenerating land and community.
- You want to gain the skills and experience to make a success of a farm, ranch, urban farm or retreat space.
- You like working outdoors, you like to ground ideas and philosophies in action, and you are a doer.
- You are a young person starting out and want a fulfilling life path.
- You are retiring or changing careers in mid-life and want a new direction.
- You are shifting careers and long for more immersion in nature.
- You want to work in urban communities providing good-quality food, nature connection and revitalization.
- You have land and want to manage it regeneratively.
- You want to extend and deepen your knowledge and skills at carbon farming.
- You want to make a positive impact on climate change.
The Cost: Earth Activist Training is committed to making our programs accessible and affordable. We fundraise extensively to provide scholarships and work trade, and we can help you with ideas for crowd-funding and earning-as-you-go.
Intensives: The cost for each intensive varies according to our costs and venues, but generally is sliding scale $2200-$2400 Canadian ($1600-$1800 USD).
Mentoring: The cost for mentoring is $150 (USD) a month, payable monthly.
Additional Costs: Additional costs to plan for include travel and potential fees for other online and shorter courses.
PINA Diploma – Additional costs for the PINA Diploma option are:
- $60 PINA membership per year.
- $100 application fee.
- $150 Action Learning Plan application
- $350 Portfolio Review fee for graduation
Being a TA: Fulfill your course requirement of a Permaculture Design Certificate and Earth Activist Training for being a teaching assistant at OUR Ecovillage from June 26 to July 13, 2020. More information >>.
The Two Year Curriculum
Here’s the list of subjects you will learn or document over the two-year course, through intensives, courses, readings, internships, apprenticeships, and documenting prior learning:
Basic Ecoliteracy and Systems Thinking
Theory: Understanding basic ecology, principles and concepts.
Practice: Introduction to research techniques and protocols, measuring carbon, setting up trials and documentation.
Soil and Carbon
Theory: Soil structure, chemistry, and soil biology, basic microbiology and mycology as they relate to soil.
Practical: Taking soil samples, reading and understanding soil test results, compost, compost teas, microscope practice, actively aerated compost tea, sheet mulch, mushroom cultivation, bioremediation and mycoremediation practice, cover crops, no-till, biochar.
Water Harvesting and Water Cycles
Theory: Water and climate change, water harvesting strategies, keyline systems, erosion control and waterway restoration.
Practice: Building water-harvesting structures on the landscape, by hand and with heavy equipment, use of the keyline plow, stream and landscape restoration, building roof catchment systems.
Plants and Food-Growing
No-till systems and regenerative production of annuals
Forest Conservation and Management
Theory: Basic forest ecology, theory of forest regeneration, best management practices, reading forest management plans, sustainable logging techniques, social forestry, measurement, forest extraction, roads, paths, etc. Working with public agencies. Community forests.
Practice: Forest assessment, sustainable harvesting, chain saw training, tree felling, limbing and pruning, path building, value-added forest products.
Range Management and Grazing
Theory: Grasslands management and holistic management grazing as climate change strategies, evolutionary biology of grasslands and grazers, animal care and management, planned grazing, animal health and well-being, pasture management.
Practice: Pasture planning, shepherding and herding practice, fence-building.
Agroforestry and Perennial Systems
Theory: Planning and designing food forests and perennial systems. Perennial plants and polycultures. Food forests and forest gardens—temperate and tropical. Herbs and medicinal plants, nursery methods.
Practice: Propagating, pruning, grafting, tree planting, horticulture practice.
Farm and Ranch-Scale Energy Systems: Solar, wind, micro-hydro, methane digesters, and other forms of off-grid power.
Planning and sequencing, tools, materials planning, managing workers and volunteers.
Financial and Business Planning.
Product planning, budgeting, bookkeeping, accounting, grants and subsidies, monetizing products, marketing, advertising, socially responsible business practices, savings and investment planning.
Self-care and personal sustainability.
Communication skills, conflict resolution skills and practice, structures and decision-making for healthy groups, facilitation skills and practice.
Oppression and Transformation: Understanding the systemic oppressions of racism, sexism, class, gender, age, disability, etc. and how to design systems and best practices
Trauma and Healing: Recognizing trauma and its affects and supporting the healing process.
How to adapt to diverse communities, how to spread skills and tools to the larger community.
Practical Homesteading Skills:
Basic carpentry, plumbing and mechanics, and other building and maintenance skills.
Fencing and use of electric fences.
Care and maintenance of tools and machinery.
OUR ECOVILLAGE Site
One of the central tenants of our philosophy as an educational facility is that we are all teachers and we are all learners.
Through their experiences in our immersive learning environment, we aim to allow students to become teachers themselves, solidifying newly-gained knowledge while simultaneously sharing skills with newer students. At the same time, all of the members of OUR teaching and ground team are cognizant of the wealth of experiences and opportunities presented to them by the students passing through OUR Community and welcome those contributions into OUR Ecovillage. This circular transfer of knowledge allows for more efficient uptake of new skills, increased retention, and healthier work done by community, through community, and for community.
As a 25 acre “Lawful Permaculture Demonstration Site” OUR team has worked since 1999 to enable local to global examples of regenerative design and the opportunity to have these examples become legal and fully approved through regulatory authorities. These demonstrations/examples have allowed for other projects in the bioregion to land use examples internationally. As the ‘pay it forward’ plan of learning unfolds we endeavour to support others to take on the regulatory processes and even policy work of having solutionary design become a mainstream opportunity.
To learn more about OUR educational philosophy, permaculture, and work we do at the Village, watch the short video here.
Accommodations: There are a variety of ways to book accommodations including private & semi-private rooms, dorms bunks, and yurt or outdoor camping. Nearby has motels and Air B&B available at additional cost. We will have outdoor and indoor classrooms on the land.
Food: The amazing ‘Zero Mile Eatery’ is home to a wide variety of foods which suite vegan/vegetarian/omnivore pallets as well as major food allergies/dietary requirements. The food is healthy, yummy farm based (as much as possible/seasonally) and is served in OUR hand-sculpted Eatery or outdoors at the picnic tables
Curriculum for Intensive 1
(This may change and develop further, but it’s our rough plan.)
Each day will begin with an opening ceremony and time for personal regeneration. Morning sessions often focus on information sharing, lectures and interactive learning.
Afternoons generally involve hands-on practice related to the morning’s learning.
Evenings are for practicing social permaculture skills, communication, conflict resolution or for slide-shows, conversation and fun!
Arrive, introduction to the group and the course.
Overview of Regenerative Land Management. Gathering data and documenting change.
Personal intention and goals. Individual program design.
Soil ecology—deeper into compost, compost teas, microscope practice. Hands-on soil building. Introduction to social permaculture.
Water and carbon cycles. Erosion control hands-on project. Communication skills practice.
Forest ecology. Taking inventory and analysis. Hands-on forest management, thinning, pruning, shaded fuel breaks, and creating resilience in the face of wildfire. Community disaster response.
Planning perennial systems—food forests and grazing systems.
Hands-on-propagating and grafting, seed starting. Processes for community dialogue.
Managing waste for carbon sequestration. Biochar, compost, worm bins, etc. Conflict resolution and mediation practice.
Mapping and GPS systems—theory and practice. Site analysis. Community rituals and celebrations.
Designing your personal curriculum and plan. Meet your mentor. Self-assessment and community assessment tools. Celebration and talent show!
Sharing goals, resources, networking, and closing ceremony.
Projected Curriculum for Intensive 2
- Financial planning
- Business practices and tools
- Review of internships and reports
- Land management plans
- Holistic management goal setting
- Grants and funding
- Integrative systems—silva-pasture, no-till, farming techniques
- Engaging annual systems and perennial systems
- Case studies