Four Elements Farm
Update 9/13/2010 We're pleased to confirm that Scott Pittman will be guest teaching at the course this year- and yes, space is still available for you to join us- but please register asap to secure a spot now.
Two Weeks of Hands-On Permaculture
and Organic Farm Life...
We return for our third year to Four Elements Farm to live the rhythm of farm life and experience hands-on permaculture.
October 17-30, 2010
Hands-on opportunities on the organic farm and garden abound throughout the course: chickens, beekeeping, composting, fruit tree management, harvesting, planting and more.
Then, through lecture, storytelling and group discussion, you'll learn permaculture's principles- the indicators of sustainability- and how their application can be used towards solving the needs of any situation- urban, rural, individual, community or business...
Experience what past participants have called "life-changing" and "a source of inspiration".
Register before September 16 and save $100!
The site for our course is Four Elements Farm, a Natural Building Learning Center and organic farm nestled in the steep chaparral hills of California's central coast.
The farm is also home to 4 Elements Foods and Elemental Herbs.
Berry Patch on Contour: Photo Four Elements
When owners Caroline and Ryan bought the land, however, it was a junkyard, strewn with the wrecks of 35 cars plus countless pieces of old appliances, barbed wire and construction debris. Their 6 years of hard work has now returned life to the soil and to the surrounding landscape- and the Mediterranean microclimate allows a wide selection of fruits and vegetables to grow on its 47 acres.
Hawk and owl, fox and toad keep company with farm visitors, who come to Four Elements for workshops on rammed earth and straw bale construction, natural clay plastering, biodiesel brewing and organic farming.
As both backdrop and center stage for the design course, the farm provides us with the opportunity to experience the revitalization process associated with the use of permaculture principles. Three homes, two barns, a greenhouse, citrus orchard, greywater system, composting toilets and outdoor showers are all elements of the farm's growing ecosystem, cycling nutrients throughout.
Strawbale Greenhouse: Photo Four Elements
A Certificate Course for Design Professionals, Homeowners & Land Managers
This course has something for everyone...
This training includes the most inspiring examples of sustainable land use and human ingenuity from around the world.
- Principles of Natural Systems Design
- Sacred Geometry of Fire, Water, Earth and Air
- Simple Steps Toward a Sustainable Lifestyle
- Natural Building & Property Development
- Adding Beauty & Value to Your Home
- Organizing Eco Neighborhoods
- Strategies for Energy Descent & Peak Oil
- Localizing Food Production & Eco-Agriculture
- Green Business Strategies
- Finding your Right-Livelihood Career
Final course work includes student design presentations and (the infamous!) Talent Show.
Who Should Take This Course
The Permaculture Design Course has truly transformed the lives and enhanced the careers of thousands of people around the world, including architects, landscapers, community developers, social workers, city planners, teachers, students, farmers, gardeners, homeowners, business owners and others. For anyone serious about creating a sustainable society!
The A to Z of Sustainability! A more fun or informative course would be hard to find. Our text book, Permaculture: A Designer's Manual, by Bill Mollison, was once reviewed by Whole Earth saying "If information had density... this book would be a black hole!.."
In addition to the farm experience, the "hands-on learning" focus of the course will be the Design Team Exercises. As we arrive at the different parts of the curriculum, we'll learn how, when and where to apply those principles and techniques and, become able to include those recommendations in the final design project presentations.
As one of our recent design course graduates said about her course experience,
" It's the relationship that we build with each other and with nature that will get us through anything. "
For those looking to get more experience in Observation Skills, Natural Building, Sustainable Landscape Construction, Art in the Garden & more, additional hands-on workparties will be scheduled outside of the course.
Days 1-4 (Oct 17-20)
Fire, Water, Earth & Air...
Introduction to Permaculture
and Natural Pattern Understanding.
Days 4-8 (Oct. 22-25)
Food, Water, Shelter & Energy...
Designing & Building
the Complete Home Ecosystem.
Days 9-12 (Oct 27-30)
Community & Green Business...
EcoVillage Design and Community Celebration.
L. Santoyo, Director, EarthFlow Design Works is among the most experienced Permaculture Instructors in the world, and leads a team of Internationally Acclaimed Designers and Educators in the Worldwide Sustainability Movement.
Local experts to be announced.
- Permaculture: a Designers Manual
by Bill Mollison
- Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture
by Toby Hemenway
- See our Books page on how to order
Halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo is America's coastal heartland, where agriculture and ranching are still important parts of life. The Farm is minutes away from world-class wine country and unspoiled beaches...
- Optional field trips, beaches, farmers markets and Big Sur Excursion.
- Hands-On opportunities will also be available (bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, hat)
- Musical instruments and reading material may be helpful for relaxing and lounging.
- Lap Top Computer, Drafting, Drawing and other Presentation Material may be helpful for final team presentations
See dates above... Daily 9:30am to 5:30pm -with every 5th day off (for research and relaxation)
- Full Attendance
- Design Team Exercises & Final Presentation
- Participation in the Talent Show
- All Payment Agreements met in full...
- $1450: Early Registration Discount
if paid in full one month beforehand
- $1550.00 Paid in Full by one week beforehand
- Includes tuition, most meals, campsite and certification
- Contact us about attending partial course- $140 single day rates (includes 3 meals and camping) may be arranged in advance.
- Some additional material fees may apply (i.e. drawing supplies for final presentation)
Note: $250 non-refundable deposit required to guarantee your space.
Campsites included; bring your own camping equipment.
Teachers may apply for scholarship discounts.
Cash, Check or Credit Cards accepted
Become a sponsor and help create the conditions for sustainability to happen! Email us for details