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. Our usual array of courses has been reduced again in the 2013 season, because of major reconstruction, but, in cooperation with Spiral Ridge Permaculture, we join in these offerings:
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 farm.org.
Dates of the Permablitz are updated on our Calendar
Natural Building with Albert Bates and friends
Introduction to the science of building elegant, artful, mortgage-free housing from cob, strawbale, slip-form clay, alis, natural plasters, living roofs, clay floors, round pole, cord-cob, adobe, thatch and more. Hands-on Practicum with Slip-Form Clay Walls.
April 26-28, 2013
NEW! Learn how to make biochar-clay plasters for sick building syndrome remediation!
Increasing Fertility & Drought Proofing the Landscape
includes Introduction to Soil Food Web workshop
Says Joel Salatin: "I wish--oh how I wish--I could snap my fingers and things would be different. Farms would grow soil instead of depleting it. Food would be nutrient dense instead of deficient. People would fall in love again with domestic culinary arts. Domestic larders would supplant the entertainment center as focal points for domestic tranquility and security. But it doesn't happen when I snap my fingers. It happens when you, you, you, and you--and I--begin making different decisions. That is what I can do, and ultimately, that is all that really matters. Now let's go change the world."
Fermaculture with Sandor Katz and Albert Bates
July 27, 2013
Learn the basics of fermentation: make bread, pickles, cheeses, kim chi, miso, saurkraut, tempeh and more. Learn how to home-brew beer or make your own biofuels.
and at the same time ...
Learn the 12 Principles of Permaculture and how preserving your garden produce can give you, health, happiness, and 12 month food security
Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revolutionary.
His interest in fermentation grew out of overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition and gardening. It started with sauerkraut. He found an old crock buried in a barn, harvested cabbage from his garden, chopped it up, salted it, and waited. That first kraut tasted so alive and powerfully nutritious! Its sharp flavor sent his salivary glands into a frenzy and got him hooked on fermentation. Sandor has made sauerkraut ever since, earning the nickname Sandorkraut, even as his repertoire has expanded. He has explored and experimented widely in the realm of fermentation, and wants to propel more live-culture foods out into our culture.
Since 2003 when his book Wild Fermentation was published, he has taught hundreds of workshops demystifying fermentation and empowering people to reclaim this important transformational process in their kitchens, presenting workshops in more than half of the states of the U.S., as well as Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, and Italy. Venues have included universities, farms, farmers’ markets, conferences, bookstores, and community spaces.
Albert Bates has been teaching permaculture for 18 years.
He is author of The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change, The Post Petroleum Survival Guideand Cookbook and numerous books, films and new media on energy, environment and history. A former environmental rights lawyer, paramedic, brick mason, flour miller, and horse trainer, he received the Right Livelihood Award in 1980 as part of the steering committee of Plenty, working to preserve the cultures of indigenous peoples, and board of directors of The Farm, a pioneering intentional community in Tennessee for the past 35 years. A co-founder and past president of the Global Ecovillage Network, he is presently GEN’s representative to the UN climate talks. When not tinkering with fuel wringers for algae or pyrolizing cookstoves, he teaches permaculture, ecovillage design and natural building and is a frequent guest on the ETC Podcast. He tweets at @peaksurfer and blogs at peaksurfer.blogspot.com.
The Farm's Prancing Poet EcoHostel is offering private and family rooms, dormitory bunks, and camping for some weekends of this event. Contact our Innkeeper at ecovillage at the farm.org.
Introduction to Climate Farming
with Albert Bates
June 21-22, 2013
Ecovillage Training Center
Incorporating Regenerative Earthworks for Increasing Fertility & Drought- Proofing the Landscape
includes Introduction to Soil Food Web workshop
Mob Grazing and Holistic Management
Biochar and Compost Teas
Swales and Earthworks
$200 includes food and lodging
Program begins Friday night and ends Saturday
ecovillage at thefarm dot org
or come to Norway:
Introduction to Climate Farming
with Albert Bates
July 5 - 7, 2013
Jaerveien 65 - 1450 Nesoddtangen
Program begins Friday night and ends Saturday
frederica at gaiaarkitekter.no
Biochar Stove Camp Labor Day Weekend August 30 - September 3, 2013
with Dr. Paul Anderson, Eng. Bob Fairchild, Albert Bates, Eng. Frank Michael and others
The Biomass Energy Foundation (BEF) announces a BEF Stove & CHAB (Combined Heat And Biochar) Camp at The Farm.
The five-day Camp features hands-on experience plus theory & instruction on gasifiers of numerous types, but focusing on pyrolytic top-lit updraft (TLUD) technology for cookstoves (and larger devices for thermal energy and biochar CHAB). Each BEF Camp is a structured learning experience, where the technical foundation, practical skills and fabrication methods of constructing biomass-fueled devices are taught and put into practice with hands-on efforts by the participants.
The Farm's BEF Camp starts with a social gathering Friday evening, followed by three days of structured learning, building, and burning. Typical days are divided between discussing combustion concepts, learning fabrication techniques while building small prototype devices that demonstrate the concepts, and operating the devices on both supplied and locally available fuels. Evenings are either social gatherings (including one meal prepared on the stoves) or additional time to fabricate and operate biomass-burning devices, collaborating in small groups of 2 to 5, and learning from insights and experiences of fellow participants. The final two days feature focused applications of the acquired skills to individual circumstances dictated by personal interests, unique fuels or culturally specific opportunities (determined based on participant interests for each camp). The instructors work in conjunction with small groups of “makers and testers”, with supplies available to prototype concepts and verify designs.
Workshop topics include:
Theory and Practice of Biomass Gasification: TLUDs, Retorts and Gasifiers
TLUD Micro Gasification: Cooking with gas from biomass
Running a GEK: using gasification vapors and modifications for making biochar
Joy To The World 5-gal TLUDs to Jolly Rogers 55 gal TLUDs and retort combinations for biochar production
CHAB Devices: Heat, Heat Transfer, and Heat Exchangers; Capturing and using heat from batch and continuous TLUDs
Dealing with special fuels such a Jatropha seeds, rice husks, leaves and briquettes
In 2011 stove camps were located in Australia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Honduras and Uganda. In 2012 camps will be offered in Massachusetts, Tennessee, Honduras and Kenya. Each BEF Camp has sufficient differences and updates to merit repeat attendance. Camp sizes are limited to 15 to 30 participants (subject to change in special circumstances). Price for the 5 day tuition, including materials, is $625 ($700 for couples) or $125 per day with special discounts for students, low-income, NGOs and the elderly. Tuition does not include transportation, lodging, and most meals, but a lodging and meal plan will be provided by Youre Inn at The Farm. An airport shuttle may also be possible. Reservations and pre-payments of tuition are appreciated to assist efficient running of the Camp. For those who desire, tent & RV camping is available, without RV hook ups but both with showers and toilets.
Each participant will have ample time to pursue specific interests, including the making or use of stoves and CHAB devices for specific purposes, such as: residential cookstoves, including the combustion device and the stove structure; Institutional cookstoves, in 55-gallon drums or in alternative structures; the Chip Energy Biomass Furnace (200,000 Btu/hr plus biochar) and the Biomass Grill/Stove; we expect to have samples of fuels ranging from llama dung to briquettes, chips, pellets and Jatropha seeds. Well-dried fuel will be supplied at no charge.
For further information contact: ecovillage at TheFarm.org
Both Global Village Institute (GVI) at The Farm and the Biomass Energy Foundation (BEF) are 501(c)(3) organizations to which donations (such as sponsorships of BEF Camps) are tax deductible in the USA.
The author of the classic 2-volume set on agroforestry for the home and farm landscape provides an overview of how the future will be transformed by perennial agriculture that reverses the carbon build-up in the atmosphere and ocean and uses it to make a more secure food supply.
Forest ecosystems exhibit many beneficial properties we humans would be wise to emulate in our culture, agriculture and horticulture:
they maintain, renew, fertilize and propagate themselves without human inputs;
they build, store, and conserve clean air, clean water, nutrients, soil quality, and biodiversity; and they exhibit stability, resilience, and adaptability.
These qualities emerge from the dynamics of the forest as a whole system, not from any one or more of the elements that comprise the forest alone. To design productive edible ecosystems that express these same qualities, we must understand forest structures, functions, patterns, and processes and use this knowledge wisely.
"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. $1250 with meals & lodging. Contact www.mmrfbz.org firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to register for the Belize course.
Maya Mountain Research Farm, San Pedro Columbia, Belize with Albert Bates, Andrew Goodheart Brown, Christopher Nesbitt, and friends.
For bookings and further information contact Chris Nesbitt (info at mmrfbz dot org)
For further information or to register please contact:
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 2010-15.
For our policies on discounts and cancellations, please visit our Discountspage.
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.
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 accumulated 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 ...