Permaculture Design Course

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Permaculture Certification Courses Spring 2024 – Matagalpa, Nicaragua

VIEW REGISTRATION FORM

Permaculture in a successful farming community

Option One:

14 days hybrid course which includes 7 days of classes at Selva Negra and 5 days at the Island of Ometepe where permaculture is on display at El Zopilote and Project Bonafide.  You will receive your permaculture design certificate after completing the balance of your classwork at an online permaculture course. 

Option Two:

7 days hybrid course which includes 7 days of classes at Selva Negra.  You will receive your permaculture design certificate after completing the balance of your classwork at an online permaculture course.

The all inclusive cost for the 14 day course (except airfare) of just $1,700 plus tax including 7 nights of lodging at Selva Negra, three organic meals a day (other options available) and complete access to their entire 1,000 acre farm.  You will then stay for 5 nights on Ometepe at El Zopilote and visit nearby Project Bonafide and other sites on this beautiful twin-volcanic island. 

The all inclusive cost for the 7 day course (except airfare) of just $1,500 plus tax including 7 nights of lodging at Selva Negra, three organic meals a day (other options available) and complete access to their entire 1,000 acre farm. 

Interested?  To reserve your slot, complete this form at your earliest convenience.  Questions? 

Call or text Greg Todd at 718-496-5139 or email wastenotgreg@gmail.com

To pay for your course, send $1,759 for the 14 day or $1,552 for the 7 day course to my PayPal account at wastenotgreg@gmail.com.  

February 3-11 – Andrew will cover the foundations of Permaculture Design theory and students will solidify their understanding through the diverse systems at Selva Negra.

February 12-16 – Partner Greg Todd will lead a eco tour of Isla de Ometepe sites Project Bona Fide

(https://projectbonafide.com/) and Zopilote (https://ometepezopilote.net/) to see more permaculture design in action.

February 17 – Depart

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 mountainside. 

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?

Nicaragua Q&A

What airport do I fly to?

Managua Nicaragua

Which airlines serve Managua?

Aeromexico, American Airlines, AVIANCA, Conviasa, Copa Airlines, SANSA Regional, Skyway, Spirit and United.  In my personal experience taking Spirit out of either Fort Lauderdale or Miami is the least expensive from the Northeast but flights arrive very early in the morning.  Avianca is also popular but considerably more expensive.  Airfare from Newark to Managua currently is costing under $300 if you fly through Fort Lauderdale on Spirit Airlines and make your reservations 10 days in advance.

How will I get from Managua to Selva Negra?

That will depend.  If you are traveling solo or with one or two others, we can arrange for a taxi to pick you up.  Groups of between 4-8 might find the express bus service to Matagalpa most convenient.   If we have a group of 9 or more arriving at the same time, we can arrange for a private van. The trip from Managua to Selva Negra is about 3 hours.

What is the climate like in Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is a tropical country.  Temperatures on the coastal plain where Managua and Ometepe are located can get into the low 90s during the day and the mid-70s at night.  Expect also high humidity.  Selva Negra is located in the mountains near Matagalpa and is generally 10 degrees cooler than the coastal plain. 

What documents do I need to enter Nicaragua?

You will need an up-to-date passport and proof of a return ticket.

What shots are needed?

No shots are required.  Personally I would suggest that an up-to-date tetanus shot is a good idea.

What should I pack for the trip?

I would bring:

  • A pair of shorts

  • A pair of long pants

  • A short sleeve shirt that is easily washed

  • A long sleeve shirt that is easily washed

  • An extra pair of socks

  • Extra underwear

  • Toiletries (110 AC current is available)

  • A hoodie, light jacket or sweater

  • A broad brimmed hat or baseball cap

  • Tennis shoes, crocs, or close toes sandals

Generally avoid unnecessary items.  Travelling can be rigorous and might involve taking buses.  Space is at a premium.  Clothes and most everything else can be purchased in Nicaragua if needed.

The government does not allow tape recorders, microphones or drones into the country.  Smart phones and laptops are allowed.

What is Selva Negra?

Selva Negra is a 130 year old farm located on about 1,000 acres in the mountains north of Matagalpa.  It includes a vegetable and animal farm, an organic coffee farm, an eco-resort and a bio-preserve.  More can be found here.

Where will the class be taught at Selva Negra?

The classes will be taught in a conference center on the farm.  Four sleeping rooms with private baths and a large conference room are included in the conference center.

What sleeping arrangements are available?

There are four sleeping rooms at the conference center that accommodate a total 10 individuals.  Queen and twin sized beds are available.  Each room has a  full bathroom with a toilet and shower. 

What will the meals be like?  Are both vegetarian and meat dishes available?

Meals will be served in our conference center.  Most food served will have been grown at the farm and in general is organically grown.  The fare will be mostly vegetarian but vegan and meat dishes can be arranged.  Ask us if you have any special dietary needs.  In addition to the meals included in our package, you can purchase food at the restaurant at the eco-resort.  It has typical Latin and American fare along with excellent organic coffee, beer, cocktails and award-winning pastries.  More about the food at Selva Negra can be found here.

Andrew Faust - Permaculture Educator

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.

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OUR WORLD CLASS PERMACULTURE TEACHING TEAM

Adriana Magana Co Founder and Permaculture Instructor

Adriana Magaña 
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. 

David Harper Permaculture Instructor, Co Director of the Permaculture Lands Trust

David Harper 

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 Permaculture Consultant

Rhamis Kent

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) 

​Larry Santoyo Permaculture Instructor

Larry Santoyo

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.

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FREE ONLINE COURSES
INTRODUCTION TO PERMACULTURE – TBA

BOOK FREE CLASS HERE

What is Permaculture?


Permaculture is a design process and a worldwide movement that is helping to regenerate local ecologies and economies by addressing our social justice and environmental issues.

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

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JOIN OUR ON LINE MONTHLY PERMACULTURE MEETUP

TBA

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

  • Gardens
  • Agroforestry
  • Native Pollinator
  • Orchards
  • Biodynamic
  • 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.

Andrew Faust Permaculture Educator featured in INHABIT - Click to view trailer

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 

Date

Feb 03 - 17 2024
Expired!

Time

8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Speaker

Address

2091 Route 130
Harrison City, PA 15636

Phone Number

(412) 600-5783

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