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Our 2015 Offerings

The Farm Ecovillage Training Center (and its partner programs abroad) are restructuring to better serve the needs of The Farm community in navigating the post-petroleum energy transition.

View all Farm workshops listed in chronological order.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course
February 21-March 6, 2015

with Albert Bates, Marisha Auerbach, Chris & Celini Nesbitt and Starhawk

"We should be the heart and mind of the Earth, not its malady. So let us be brave and cease thinking of human needs and rights alone, and see that we have harmed the living Earth and need to make our peace with Gaia. We must do it while we are still strong enough to negotiate, and not a broken rabble led by brutal war lords. Most of all, we should remember that we are a part of it, and it is indeed our home."

James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia

Belize, Central America

Hike in the rainforest, see an array of beautiful waterfalls, overnights in remote dinner Mayan villages, visit relief projects by Plenty International, explore permaculture at the Mayan Mountain Research Center.

Global production of petroleum per capita peaked in the 1970s. From here on, we need to how to live with less, and yet our profligate lifestyles are still expanding, still straining the web of nature. At the same time, climate change is in a curve of acceleration that will pose unprecedented problems. Travel far south; to the back of beyond; to a remote valley accessible only by dugout canoe. Study permaculture surrounded by a lush, productive forest of edibles, medicinals and tropical hardwoods. Eat organic food, sleep in dorms powered by renewable energy, bathe in a sparkling pure river.... Field trips will include visits to a Mayan cacao farm, an underground river cavern and local permaculture projects. $1500 with meals & lodging. Contact for information or to register for the Belize course.

Maya Mountain Research Farm, San Pedro Columbia, Belize
with Albert Bates, Marisha Auerbach, Chris & Celini Nesbitt and Starhawk

For bookings and further information contact Chris Nesbitt (info at mmrfbz dot org)

$1500 with discounts for Early Bird and hardship

 For further information or to register please contact:

Christopher Nesbitt

mushroom inoculation

2015 Workshops

Cliff Davis

dates T.B.A.

organized by

Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead & The Farm Solar School Campus

Ecovillage Skills & Permaculture Apprenticeships

includes Permaculture Design Certificate

Natural Building, Plasters and Trim, Synergistic Gardening, Compost, Teas, Primitive Skills, Mushroom Production, Natural Beekeeping, Bamboo, Woodland Crafts, Biochar, Keyline, Arborist Skills, Edible Forest Garden Design and Installation and more

Summertown, TN, The Farm community

We are asking apprentices for a one month commitment minimum at $200/week. We ask those who can commit as paying apprentices that they first come to The Farm for one of the orientation weeks:

Mar 30-April 4
May 4-9
June 1-6

July 6-11

Apprenticeships are on a month-to-month starting the first Monday of each month. Participants can extend to as long as two months. It is okay to skip a month and return again later.

Attendance during orientation is required for apprenticeships, however it is possible to come for a week and start early, before a monthly orientation, if scheduling is difficult.

The Full Immersion Residency Program

$200 per week provides for all your food and lodging. Food is typically home-grown, locally grown organic from our garden, our Amish neighbors, or our regional food cooperative.

The advanced permaculture immersion apprenticeship program has no pre-requisites although a permaculture design course or some familiarity with permaculture is recommended. This year we will also be offering a permaculture design certificate for students who attend for two consecutive months. We also provide mentoring in advanced techniques of permaculture, such as holistic management, aquaculture, natural building, keyline, and carbon farming, and will assist you towards a Permaculture Diploma or a self-directed B.S. or M.S degree from Gaia University

Our primary focus in 2015 will be natural building with a view towards completing several large building projects on site that have been underway for more than a year. The construction includes hands-on experience with natural buildings of all types as well as the fundamentals of permaculture design and ecovillage master planning. This year we will be completely remodeling our Ecohostel, using our best techniques and "designing for enchantment." These are some of the most exciting and artistic parts of the natural building experience, and include creating natural paints and dyes, clay plasters, alis and fresco, and fine detail carpentry.

For more see our apprenticeship FAQ and contact us for current prices and opportunities.

To apply, contact us at apprenticeship at thefarm dot org.

About Our Courses

To make the transition toward a sustainable society it is imperative that we take responsibility for our own lives and meet our basic needs for food, shelter, energy, gainful employment, and supportive community. The purpose of our courses is to offer you practical training in ecological design principles so that you can begin the application of these skills within your own home grounds, workplace, and local community. 

We also focus on building the support systems, networks, and alliances we all need in our work of remaking our culture. We strive to create a balance between classroom time, hands-on experiential learning, and personal empowerment work. Our courses will be useful for people with varying levels of experience, from backyard gardeners to design and educational professionals.

At the ETC we are creating a holistic, comprehensivist, "total immersion school," co-evolving creative designs that move us toward sustainability. All projects and buildings on site provides a walk-thru visit to the future. You can walk through our strawbale cabin, dome, organic gardens, and soon-to-be-completed cob Visitors Center (the largest cob structure in North America, the first east of the Mississippi) and wetlands filtration system. We have a large creek flowing through the Center and the headwaters of the Swan watershed are located on the property as well. Over 1000 acres of The Farm are designated as wilderness preserve.

The Eco-hostel is an old Farm house that has been renovated and expanded. The house was originally constructed by members of the Farm in the late 70's out of completely recycled materials. Our renovations have included three dormitories, four solar showers, rainwater collection, solar electricity, wastewater recycling, 2-story greenhouse and a third story observation deck. More extensive renovations are planned for 2015.

For our policies on discounts and cancellations, please visit our Discounts page.

The Farm's Prancing Poet EcoHostel is offering private and family rooms, dormitory bunks, and camping on the grounds of the Ecovillage Training Center.

Kindly contact our Innkeeper at ecovillage at the


Class size limited so early registration is recommended.

Fee & Enrollment Prices include tuition, lodging, and vegetarian meals. Please send a (non-refundable) deposit to reserve your space. Substantial discounts may apply for advance registration. Balance is due at registration. Credit card users may register by phone. Shuttle service is available upon request from the Nashville Airport for $85 per trip or less, depending on the number of people sharing the shuttle van.

Bunk houses and tent sites are available for the entire course. There are showers and bathrooms nearby. Bedding is provided. A limited number of private rooms are available at typically $30 per night. Wheelchair access provided. Language translation services can be arranged. Bring rain gear, swim gear, comfortable walking shoes, flashlight and towels.

For more information, please write or call:

What some past participants say about the courses:

This is a life philosophy and community support structure, not just land design - more than I expected! Those expecting a seven-day classroom course of study were abruptly shocked into entirely new dimensions - and loved it! This course drew together a good community which took me beyond the analytical to experiencing something different. When we built the swale and pond I saw differently.

 It was a safe place to take risks. Whole living can't be taught, as it has to be experienced and absorbed, so this week at The Farm was an experience of osmosis for most.

We accupicturemulated knowledge and direction for our lives while absorbing some of the wisdom and spirit represented around us. I saw a catharsis in many of these individuals. An immediate sense of community and purpose. It was a seminal experience in my life and a reawakening to a journey ... 

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