Permaculture Certification Courses Spring 2024
Permaculture in a successful farming community
As a permaculture graduate of PDCs by Geoff Lawton and Andrew Faust, I’m always looking for examples of permaculture practices in real life. I’m also a big fan of Nicaragua after visiting Michael Judd’s permaculture Project Bona Fide there in 2007. By chance, while looking for a mountain lodge to escape the heat of the coastal plain in 2016, I stumbled by accident upon Selva Negra. While being touted as an ecolodge, I discovered it to be much much more.
Based on about 1,000 acres of mountainside, Selva Negra (which means Black Forest in German) was founded by Bavarian immigrants in the 1890s. It has “legs”, that is, it has withstood the test of time in a large part I believe due to its practice of permaculture principles. In fact permaculture is what makes the community possible, given its isolated location. Were it not almost completely self contained, it would never have lasted over the 130 years since its founding.
Permaculture without being Permaculture
What is Selva Negra? First and foremost it is a community of over 300 Nicaraguans living in a village on the farm, with its own school, store and medical clinic. They grow all of their own organic food in 20,000 square feet of greenhouse space. They also raise cattle, pigs, goats and a variety of fowl. To generate income, residents manage 300 acres of organic coffee bushes. They also have a large eco-resort with its own wedding chapel Mo and community gathering space. The top 300 acres of the mountainside is a nationally recognized bio-preserve with howler monkeys, giant sloths and many exotic birds and plants. What is permaculture about Selva Negra. Everything! If there were a list of permaculture projects, Selva Negra would have a check in virtually every box. Water capture? Check! The cloud forest on the mountainside is honeycombed with ditches to run the almost continuous rain during the rainy season down into holding ponds. These three large ponds provide water for the gardens and the livestock during the dry season. Solar hot water? Check! As far as I know, all of the hot water for the village and the eco-lodge are generated by flat plate solar collectors. Local food? Check! The 20,000 square foot greenhouse can grow a wide range of crops given their high altitude including most brassicas that need the cool nights of the mountainside.
What is permaculture about Selva Negra. Everything! If there were a list of permaculture projects, Selva Negra would have a check in virtually every box. Water capture? Check! The cloud forest on the mountainside is honeycombed with ditches to run the almost continuous rain during the rainy season down into holding ponds. These three large ponds provide water for the gardens and the livestock during the dry season. Solar hot water? Check! As far as I know, all of the hot water for the village and the eco-lodge are generated by flat plate solar collectors. Local food? Check! The 20,000 square foot greenhouse can grow a wide range of crops given their high altitude including most brassicas that need the cool nights of the
Jobs for the community? Check!
Virtually all of the workers on the farm, the coffee plantation, the eco-lodge and the coffee mill live on the farm.
Community connections? Check!
I had the pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve in the large community hall. It was the place to be for the entire nearby Matagalpan community. Hundreds of locals partying until the break of day. SN even has a hydro power generator and a settling pond that turns the “honey water” from the coffee mill into biogas to feed the workers! What a great place to have a permaculture design course! During the morning we talk theory and in the afternoon we see it in practice! All in a self-sustaining and long-lived community of Nicaraguans. Want to make this dream come true?
Set aside the weeks of February 3rd to February 18th. That’s when that magic happens, all under the tutelage of premier permaculture instructors Andrew Faust and Adriana Magana. After two weeks of instruction, all class graduates will be offered the chance to work on a 2 day project at SN supervised by members of the community. Don’t wait!l
Let us know if you’re interested. The all inclusive cost (except airfare) is just $1,700 including lodging at SN, three organic meals a day (other options available) and complete access to the entire 1,000 acre farm. Interested? To reserve your slot, complete this form at your earliest convenience. The first five signers will be given a 5% early signing discount. Questions?
Call or text me at 718-496-5139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s some biographical information about our teachers at the PDC.
Andrew Faust - Founder | Director
One of the premier Permaculture teachers and designers in North America with over two decades of experience in the field. His passionate and mind expanding talks and curriculum have motivated teachers, students since his decade long career as a H.S. teacher at Upattina's, a open community free school in Glenmoore, PA.
View Faust's TED X lecture
Andrew created his own Permaculture Ph'd project, in 1999, a fully off grid, Straw Bale educational center in Pocahontas County W.V. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape.Faust has been inspiring film makers with the message of Permaculture culminating in the film: Inhabit, and a life changing Permaculture Design Certification course, with thousands of graduates. Faust received a dual diploma in Design and Education from Permaculture Institute of North America in 2016. Andrew and Adriana Magaña with their daughter Juniper run the Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY., a hands-on educational campus for students and clients.
Andrew Faust, a visionary permaculture and bioregional educator taps into the rich synergy between permaculture and biodynamic agriculture which he has been studying with a focus on orchards since he completed his permaculture design training in 1996. Some of our design clients include: Click to View
Andrew is a certified Alternative School Teacher, focusing on Bioregional Education; he instructed at Upattina's Open Community High School from 1992-2001. Faust holds a B.A. in comparative religions from Guilford College.
Adriana Magaña - Co Founder | Instructor
Adriana is an interdisciplinary artist and designer living with her family in Ellenville, NY. Adriana is inspired by her commitment to co-create a sustainable world with integrity and ethical values; a world based in nature and justice. Adriana grew up in San Diego, CA exploring the ocean and vast outdoors in the relatively unsupervised 70’s and 80’s. This wild and exploratory childhood planted the seeds of her artistic vision which have grown into more than three decades of self-taught expression through a variety of mediums, spaces, and places.
Adriana finds purpose and pleasure in using her work as a vehicle to break down societal barriers and expectations. She enjoys collaborating with diverse communities across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Her artistic work encompasses the mediums of musical composition, performance, map making, social commentary and critique, painting, envisioning possible futures, and sculpture. Her social practice involves regional design and retrofit, permaculture design, creating temporary autonomous
zones, growing food, organizing community gardens, refrigerators, and mutual aid networks, and working to make her community more resilient and civically engaged. In the 1990’s,
Adriana toured extensively as a drummer throughout Europe and the United States with the band Crash Worship. She won a grant through the Jerome Foundation for experimental composition in 2001, and also won awards for her underground performance venue, Happy Birthday Hideout, in Brooklyn, NY, which she curated with roommates. In 1997 long-time collaborator Leslie Samuels (RIP) insisted she start a marching band to play in the Mermaid Day Parade and Hungry March Band was born. Named from inspiration found from her tours in Europe, Adriana led the band until 1999 winning awards and underground acclaim.
Following this period of dedication to musical expression, Adriana relocated to Ellenville, NY in 2008 from Brooklyn, NY to pursue permaculture design and raise her daughter in that lifestyle. Understanding the need to create a positive vision for the Earth, Adriana immersed herself in learning and practicing holistic solutions to address our present problems through the tools of permaculture design. She catches and stores rainwater, makes bio-gas from the waste that leaves her home, and knows how to read the landscape.
Along with life-partner Andrew Faust, Adriana co-directs the Center for Bioregional Living and has facilitated the permaculture education of thousands of participants in the U.S. and around the world. Committed to creating positive change, Adriana ran for Ulster County Legislature in 2019 and now volunteers her time working to expand civic engagement through voter outreach. She is a congregant of the Church of the Little Green Man where you will find her leading the church in various performance rituals and playing drums in the Band of All Faiths.
Adriana has never stopped creating and performing music, and is working on combining this lifelong passion with her social work. Through her talents, courage, and optimism, she persists in her efforts to move us closer to liberation and a healthy and just world.
OUR WORLD CLASS PERMACULTURE TEACHING TEAM
Co Founder | Instructor
Adriana Magaña is an interdisciplinary artist and designer living with her family in Ellenville, NY. Adriana is inspired by her commitment to co-create a sustainable world with integrity and ethical values; a world based in nature and justice.
Co Director of Permaculture Living Lands Trust has more than 30 years of work with conservation land trusts, community land trusts and local food and farming organizations, resulting in permanently preserving 8,000+ acres of farmland, natural areas, and cultural and historic sites in Pennsylvania.
Rhamis Kent is a consultant with permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design serving as a registered certified Permaculture Design instructor with PRI Australia. He is a former co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI)
Founder of the Permaculture Academy and lead instructor. He has been a teacher and practitioner of Permaculture Design for the 28+ years and spent over a decade studying and teaching with Bill Mollison.
Permaculture Center for BioRegional Living - Farm Tour
See a working Permaculture Educational Farm
Learn how to grow more of your own food
Learn how to set up big rain tanks for water security
See our straw bale cabin, outhouses and natural classroom
See how create ponds and to find and develop springs
Visit our Dwarf Nigerian Goats, heritage chickens, nut trees natural buildings Biodigestor and more.
Available by appointment only - $100.00
Please call - 917.584.4588
JOIN OUR ON LINE MONTHLY PERMACULTURE MEETUP
Introduction To Urban Permaculture with Andrew Faust
Applying Permaculture Design to retrofit NYC and the region to be a healthier and happier place for people to live in. Learn how to use the principles of permaculture in the urban landscape and ways to create deeply ecological businesses and enterprises
Permaculture Consultation Services
- Property Analysis -
"If it was not for Andrew I would have completely bought the wrong piece of Land and wasted tens of thousands of dollars. After sharing my goals, Andrew patiently took months of narrowing down properties I sent him from online listings. Then he went to visit the best and final online selections in person, selecting the best of the best within my budget. Hiring his services was well worth every dollar. I would highly recommend leveraging his experience to anyone serious about buying land. " - Property Analysis Client
Permaculture Gardens and Landscapes
Meadows and Landscape
- Design, build and maintain diversified, beautiful, edible and native landscapes for our clients using permaculture design principles. We fully utilize southern exposure for rare and delicate fruits and cooler areas for rare woodland medicinals and other appropriate plantings. We will disperse detrimental energies like wind and sun and increase privacy and the diversity of use by the strategic placement of the plantings we create on-site.
Permaculture Consultation - Natural Building Services
We combine our experience in natural building and landscape construction to create healthy homes for healthy people. We will site buildings to be well located in regards to water drainage around them and maximize the natural benefits of being oriented to the sun for winter homes and towards the north for passive cooling and root cellars.
Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet?
"INHABIT - IS QUITE SIMPLY THE BEST FILM EVER MADE ABOUT PERMACULTURE" - Permaculture Magazine
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WHAT WE DO:
Herbalism, Food & Healing
CLASSES & WORKSHOPS:
253 Briggs Hwy. Ellenville NY 12428