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Selva Negra Permaculture Design Course February 2025

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I’d like to invite you to a wonderful adventure.  Imagine a permaculture design course taught by two of the premier teachers in the US.  Move that course to one of the most outstanding examples of permaculture in the Western Hemisphere, which just happens to be a 1,000 acre farm in Nicaragua.  Its name is Selva Negra.  Teach it in February when it's cold and rainy in the US but warm and sunny in Nicaragua.

What's “permaculture” about Selva Negra?  It’s survived 130 years in the isolated mountainous north of Nicaragua.   To do that, the farmers have created a self-contained village which provides everything they need to thrive and generates virtually zero waste.  In short - permaculture!

7 Day Course at Selva Negra


Permaculture Tropical Agroforestry 

Creating Eco-Resorts & Training Centers


Day 1 

  • Orientation to the site and the course

  • Hike the Forest preserve


Day 2

  • Water Systems

  • Spring development

  • Gravity fed systems

  • Cisterns, Ponds and distribution


Day 3 

  • Biodigestors

  • How they work

  • Wastes Into resources

  • Cooking with Biogas

  • Feedstocks

  • Management

  • Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems


Day 4 

  • Organic Vegetables

  • Biodynamics

  • The CSA 

  • Growing for the Eco-resort

  • Compost 

  • Vermiculture


Day 5

  • Agroforestry

  • Coffee plantings and over story trees

  • Organic treatments for the coffee

  • Interplanting Coffee with Citrus, Avocado, Macadamia and Cacao

  • Field exercise

  • Laying out plantings on Contour


Day 6

  • Animals

  • Chickens, Pigs, Dairy and Beef cattle

  • Rotational Grazing

  • Heritage Breeds

  • Microhydro Systems


Day 7

  • Coffee, drying packaging, roasting

  • Cacao and chocolate making

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  • What’s in Selva Negra’s 1,000 acres?

  • 350 acre farm

  • 20,000 square feet of greenhouses

  • Pastures for cows, chickens, geese, ducks, goats, pigs, horses

  • Village with school and health clinic

  • Hydro powered generator

  • 300 feet of worm bins to process food scraps

  • 350 acre shade grown coffee operation

  • Coffee mill and settling ponds for “aqua de miele”

  • Coffee drying houses

  • 6 biodigesters to capture waste from coffee mill and animals

  • Field kitchen powered by biogas

  • 350 acre biopreserve

  • Ridge line to capture water during rainy season

  • Trenches to divert water to catchment ponds

  • Howler monkeys, giant sloths, many tropical birds and amphibians

  • Giant trees and ferns

  • Eco-resort with excellent dining with farm raised produce, pastries, coffee and meat

  • Solar hot water

  • Three ponds to store water for farm

  • Conference center and wedding chapel

And a beautiful classroom in the middle of the farm with its own dining and lodging areas. Come for the classroom instruction and the on-site demonstration of  permaculture.

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