Four Elements Farm
Two Weeks of Hands-On Permaculture
and Organic Farm Life...
We return for our fourth year to Four Elements Farm to live the rhythm of farm life and experience hands-on permaculture.
September 2-15, 2012
We begin the training with the ethics of earthcare and and in-depth look at the natural world. We move from natural patterns to learning innovative techniques to solve local and global issues of food, water, shelter, energy and more. Hands-on training will include many facets of sustainable farming & gardening and also construction of a cob oven. The course concludes with the patterns & principles applied to EcoVillage Design and Economic Development. Final Design work is presented before the Course culminates with a community celebration.
Experience what past participants have called "life-changing" and "a source of inspiration".
The site for our course is Four Elements Farm, a Natural Building Learning Center and organic farm nestled in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo County and surrounded by national fores.
The farm is also home to 4 Elements Foods and Elemental Herbs.
Berry Patch on Contour: Photo Four Elements
When the land was bought it was a junkyard, strewn with the wrecks of 35 cars plus countless pieces of old appliances and construction debris. 8 plus years of hard work has 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, including three orchards, a biointensive garden, rare herb garden, straw-bale greenhouse, composting toilets, bio-diesel production station and several types of habitations. Farm-fresh meals from here and other local farms will be included.
Strawbale Greenhouse: Photo Four Elements
A Certificate Course for Design Professionals, Homeowners, Land Managers and more
This course has something for everyone...
This training includes some of 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.
Days 1-4 (Sept 2-5)
Fire, Water, Earth & Air...
Introduction to Permaculture
and Natural Pattern Understanding.
Days 4-8 (Sept 6-9)
Food, Water, Shelter & Energy...
Designing & Building
the Complete Home Ecosystem.
Days 9-12 (Sept 10-15)
Community & Green Business...
EcoVillage Design and Community Celebration.
Larry 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.
- SCOTT PITTMAN, Director,
The Permaculture Institute
- TOBY HEMENWAY, Author, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
- JOHN VALENZUELA, Chairperson, California Rare Fruit Growers, Golden Gate Chapter
- BROCK DOLMAN, watershed ecology expert from Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
- PLUS other local experts and guest speakers will 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 and farmers markets.
- Hands-On opportunities will also be available (bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, hat)
- Bring musical instruments and reading material for relaxing and lounging.
- Laptop 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...
- $1600.00 Paid in Full by August 26, 2012
- Includes tuition, most meals (excludes the 2 days off), campsite and certification
- Contact us about attending partial course- single day rates 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.
Cash, Check or Credit Cards (through paypal) accepted
Become a sponsor and help create the conditions for sustainability to happen! Email us for details