Events and Classes

We are honored and thrilled to offer our community a growing variety of opportunities for sprouting a regenerative human culture. Thanks so much for your interest and support.

2017

April 21-22: Forest agriculture hands-on intensive, Marshall, NC

https://www.facebook.com/events/1485882064786988/

April 23: Forest garden intensive at UNCA Forest Garden

https://www.facebook.com/Castanea-Edible-Forest-Garden-at-UNCA-983745485009526/?fref=ts

April 26: “Homegrown tortilla feast from the ground up”, Villagers in west Asheville

04.26.17 // Tortilla Feast from the Ground Up with Zev Friedman // 5:30-8:30pm

June 12- June 30: Permaculture Design Certification, Earthaven Ecovillage

http://www.schoolofintegratedliving.org/programs/permaculture-design-course/

June 10-August 10: Permaculture and Ecovillage Immersion

http://www.schoolofintegratedliving.org/programs/permaculture-and-ecovillage-immersion/


PAST EVENTS


March 16-19, 2017: Kudzu Camp, Sylva, NC

https://www.facebook.com/events/1862294723989916/?active_tab=discussion

Urban Permaculture in Action: A Week of Mini-Workshops In An 8-Year Old Permaculture System

November 11-18, 2016, West Asheville
Contact info@livingsystemsdesign.net for more information and to register

This fun and informal experiential workshop series will take place at my mother’s property on Waynesville Avenue in west Asheville, where we’ve been working at a steady pace to develop a diverse, integrated permaculture landscape and home system since she purchased the property 9 years ago. During the 8-day span of the class, I’ll be offering 2 in-depth tours, and there will be a series of topic-oriented work-classes, each one beginning and completing a given project.

You can sign up for the entire series and move between projects, or for individual projects. Join us to warm up with fun work projects in the brisk mid-November air, as well as meet like-minded people, examine and discuss the nuances of a permaculture planned urban property with all of its successes and failures, and pick up specific skills from the work projects for you to use in your own endeavors.

Workshop Schedule and Cost (Detailed descriptions below):

Tour 1 (2 hours): Friday, Nov.11, 11-1:00, $15-25
Tour 2 (3 hours): Wednesday, Nov. 16, 10-1:00, $20-30

1) Micro terra-forming and sheet mulching
Nov. 11, 12, 16 . Cost: $75-115 sliding scale
2) Multi-purpose shed construction
Nov. 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18. Cost: $180-250 sliding scale
3) Water and Pond System Phase 3 Improvement
Nov. 11, 12, 16, 18. Cost: $90-140 sliding scale
4) Woodstove and stovepipe installation
Nov. 11, 12, 14. Cost: $75-115 sliding scale
5) Forest garden, edible plantings, and living architecture management and enhancement
Nov. 11, 12, 14, 18. Cost: $90-140 sliding scale

Join for the entire series: $220-300 sliding scale

Detailed descriptions of projects:

1) Micro terra-forming and sheet mulching – In this project we’ll be observing and working with the very subtle water dynamics of an almost-flat backyard to direct water where it is useful and away from problem areas, via path design, bed layout, and plantings. We’ll discuss how an understanding of hard-scaping, soil types, rainwater catchment systems and biological strategies can be used to find opportunities inside urban water challenges. Then we’ll use the technique of sheet mulching to smother grass and establish paths and planting areas around an existing living grape and hardy kiwi arbor.

2) Multi-purpose shed construction – Permaculture concepts help us to design any element in a system so it can perform multiple functions, including an element such as a shed which is commonly designed for only one use, missing lots of opportunities for additional functions. We’ll be constructing a shed of unusual dimensions which will act to mitigate stormwater issues, create high quality rainwater catchment for the cascading cistern and pond system, create a privacy barrier on the property line, store firewood, tools and cooking fuel wood, and create a seasonally rotating counter space for plant propagation and outdoor kitchen. You’ll get experience with creating cement footers and using basic carpentry tools and we’ll discuss different simple framing designs so you can feel confident designing and building your own shed later.

3) Pond system phase 3 – In this project, we’ll be continuing to implement the water system design, which includes 2 small existing ponds, a future 1,200 gallon rainwater cistern, and a duck bathtub, with a constructed stone creek bed overflow connecting the ponds and a re-circulating pump keeping the water fresh and flowing via photovoltaics when the sun is shining. The system is designed for water storage, aquatic habitat for birds, frogs, fish and useful plants, irrigation, duck habitat, micro-climate creation, and beauty. We’ll be refining the stone creek bed, building an “urbanite” waterfall and pond-viewing bench, installing overflow and drainage plumbing on the lower pond, and discussing the future pump re-circulation system. You’ll get an immersion in building techniques for small ponds and will leave with enough knowledge to design and construct your own small pond/rainwater system.

4) Woodstove installation – In this short class, you’ll learn one way to retrofit a modern A-frame house with a stovepipe so that is fire safe and waterproof, and install a woodstove that is fire-safe, low-emission (essential in the city), and performs multiple functions in the home.

5) Forest garden and living architecture planting and late autumn management – This work class focuses on multiple planting areas on the site which together include about 30 species of edible trees and shrubs. We’ll be going through each species in depth to discuss and in some cases (where seasonally appropriate) implement management and troubleshooting steps, including pruning, soil amendment, cover-cropping and successional planting of additional species in polyculture with the existing plantings. This workshop includes living fence and living arbor elements. Some limited propagation material will be offered for no additional cost as part of this class.

Friday, November 11- Friday, November 18

Urban Permaculture – In-Depth Work Class at Jody Friedman’s property in west Asheville. In this week-long Permaculture in Action work-class series at my mother’s 8-year old permaculture site in west Asheville, we’ll be learning about her integrated 1/6 acre permaculture site in depth, and implementing staggered work projects that include improving the pond systems, building a multi-functional shed, installing an urban wood stove, pruning and managing established living architecture plantings, and planting new edible trees and shrubs to fill in existing plantings. Participants can sign up for sections around skills you are particularly interested in, or for the entire week. Sliding scale $50-80/day. Contact zevkudzu@gmail.com for a detailed schedule and to register.

Milpa Farming Series:
Growing Staple Foods On A Village Scale In A Forest Ecosystem

with Zev Friedman, April-October, 2016

Seven Sessions over Seven Months ~ 11 days total

Cost:
$1000-1200 (adults)
($800-1000 early bird rate before February 15)
$330-495 (teens/kids who fully participate)

Location: Most of the sessions will be at Earthaven Ecovillage in the Hut Hamlet neighborhood, 45 minutes southwest of Asheville, NC.

For more information contact zevkudzu@gmail.com, or go to www.schoolofintegratedliving.org/milpa-farming-series/

”Milpa” is the Nahuatl word for a sophisticated and ancient form of food, medicine and fiber production still practiced in various forms by indigenous people throughout the Americas, and providing one of the best examples of truly sustainable agriculture that permaculture seeks to learn from.

Some people have heard of the mutually beneficial plantings of the Three Sisters of corn, beans and squash- this trio is actually a simplified form of milpa, which can include not just 3 but 12-20 annual plants, all grown symbiotically together. Traditionally these crops are grown in clearings rotated through a forest ecosystem over decades and with each clearing transforming into forest agriculture after 7-15 years of annual production. This cycle enables maximum ecological diversity, sequesters carbon dioxide, creates topsoil and provides resilient and autonomous food systems. The people who grow milpa eat an ecstatic cuisine of annual crops, forest and perennial crops and animal foods that provide high quality and diverse nutrition.

In this low-tech class, you’ll get your hands and mind into each major stage of milpa food production. Although it might take several years of practice for you to get really good at growing food this way, you’ll come to see how this kind of farming offers a unique path to life-giving culture. These seven months will immerse you in the deeply gratifying subtleties of tribal-style milpa farming- learning how to read the milpa and having the confidence to respond with appropriate physical action, hoping to receive the gift of food.

permaculture-school-logo-e1415726443115-300x125Permaculture School:
Design Ecology and Living Skills

June 8-September 2, 2016 at Earthaven Ecovillage near Asheville, NC

Early Bird Discounts Available Now

For more information, go to www.schoolofintegratedliving.org/permaculture-school-2/

 

Wednesday, September 21

Urban Permaculture Case Study and work class at Jody Friedman’s property in west Asheville – in this tour and open discussion we’ll take a leisurely 2-hour walk through Jody’s 8-year old urban permaculture system, talking about useful plants, integrated systems, urban problem solving, successes and failures that we’ve experienced at her property, and other topics that participants wish to address. After the initial walk through, we’ll do a couple small work projects as next steps in her system, and discuss details around the longer work-class to be held at her property in November. Suggested donation $15-25, no one turned away for lack of funds. Contact zevkudzu@gmail.com with any questions and to get location.

Permaculture Design Certification Course

permaculture-school-logo-e1415726443115-300x125

June 10 – 26, 2016 at Earthaven Ecovillage near Asheville, NC

Early Bird Registration Available Now

Instructors: Zev Friedman and Patricia Allison

[100 hours] Gain experience in systems-thinking and ethics-based approaches to observing, integrating, and creating thriving, bio-diverse environments for people, place and planet. You will learn about ethics, principles, observation, patterns, zones, sectors, micro-climates, site assessment and analysis, mapping and presenting – all as strategies for creating landscape and habitat design that enhances the long-term resilience, beauty, and quality of eco-systems. Upon completion of this two-week intensive you will gain your Permaculture Design Certificate.

For more information, go to www.schoolofintegratedliving.org/permaculture-design-course/

Mulberry Propagation and Integration in Permaculture Systems

On Monday April 11th from 2-6:30 at Earthaven Ecovillage, Justin Holt and Zev Friedman will be teaching a half day, hands-on class focused on one of the most important useful trees in temperate climates: the mulberries.

During the day we’ll:

* graft mulberry varieties to wild native trees and other rootstock

* enact multiple pruning strategies for fruit production and multiple functions of mulberry trees in the permaculture system

* tour different mulberry production strategies around Earthaven.

* participants have the option to leave with mulberry cultivar cuttings.

Cost: $35-45 sliding scale, contact zevkudzu at gmail dot com

Tacos for Climate Resilience:
Appalachian Milpa Farming and Ecstatic Cuisine

Tuesday March 15, Villagers Store, west Asheville

“Milpa” describes an ancient and elegant community-scale indigenous farming way that integrates annual crops (corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and others), tree crops, fungi and animals through the long-term management of forest succession and soil amendment with biochar, creating an ecstatic cuisine as well as fiber, medicine, firewood for cooking, building materials and cultural continuity. In this hands-on evening, we’ll griddle fresh tortillas from homegrown masa (heritage corn cooked with hardwood ashes) and make a roasted and stoneground salsa; please bring delicious taco ingredients and we’ll have a late evening taco potluck dinner. While we cook, we’ll discuss milpa food nutrition, the agro-ecological farming approach and what it has to offer for climate resilience and ecological restoration.

$25-35 sliding scale, per person. Workshop includes a free comprehensive article.

For more information and to register, go to http://forvillagers.com/collections/classes/products/03-15-16-milpa-farming-6-30-9-30pm

Village Permaculture Apprenticeship
Late March through early November 2015, Earthaven Ecovillage

4 Apprentice positions, application process now through January 20
I am honored to announce that in 2015 I’ll be leading the Village Permaculture Apprenticeship in the heart of Earthaven Ecovillage, where I’ve now lived for two years. I am the main instructor for the program, which is a collaborative project that we’ve designed as a seed form for a multi-generational school to train leaders in hands-on climate adaptation and cultural revival through village making. This will be the fourth year I’ve led an apprenticeship program, and I’m continuously humbled by how much I learn each time and how it changes the lives of participants. Follow this link to read some fun and informative blog posts written by Permaculture in Action apprentices in 2012/2013.
Most of the program time will be spent implementing and managing physical permaculture systems on a neighborhood and village scale, with some emphasis on formal permaculture design and lots of emotional, group dynamics, cultural and “invisible structures” learning delivered organically through a collaborative permaculture lifestyle at Earthaven.

A big change from my previous apprenticeship programs is that this year I will be charging a substantial tuition ($5,500 including camping accommodations and instructional materials) for the apprenticeship, whereas in the past it’s been a simple work-trade.  Receiving income from the apprenticeship program and doing less design/consulting work is going to allow me to focus even more deeply on my passions of mentorship and innovative forest agriculture projects, training apprentices as leaders and setting the stage for a Village Permaculture School that is currently in the visioning stage at Earthaven. I’ve deliberated long and hard on this question of charging tuition, and I’m painfully aware that it will exclude some participants, but I anticipate that it will allow us to invest energy in growing systems here which will be more powerfully inclusive in the mid and long-term. If you are very interested but there’s no way you can think of to gather the money, let us know in the application form and we might have some creative fundraising ideas to help out.

Milpa Farming Series: Growing Staple Foods On A Village Scale In A Forest Ecosystem
April- November 2015

 “Milpa” is the Nahuatl word for a sophisticated and ancient form of food, medicine and fiber production still practiced in various forms by indigenous people throughout the Americas, and providing one of the best examples of truly sustainable agriculture that permaculture seeks to learn from.  Some people have heard of the mutually beneficial plantings of the Three Sisters of corn, beans and squash- this trio is actually a simplified form of milpa, which can include not just 3 but 12-20 annual plants, all grown symbiotically together. Traditionally these crops are grown in clearings rotated through a forest ecosystem over decades and with each clearing transforming into forest agriculture after 7-15 years of annual production. This cycle enables maximum ecological diversity, sequesters carbon dioxide, creates topsoil and provides resilient and autonomous food systems. The people who grow milpa eat an ecstatic cuisine of annual crops, forest and perennial crops and animal foods that provide high quality and diverse nutrition.In this low-tech class spanning March-November 2014, you’ll get your hands and mind into each major stage of milpa food production in one warm season, from making biochar and killing covercrops in March through shaping beds for irrigation and polyculture in May, planting seeds and starts in May and June, various nuances of managing successful polyculture balance through the summer, defending plants from predatory animals, harvesting and processing yields, saving seed and storing food, and finally preparing and enjoying a feast with traditional native cooking techniques. Milpa is the “fly-fishing” of farming. Although it might take several years of practice for you to get really good at growing food this way, I think you’ll come to see how this kind of farming offers a unique path to life-giving culture. These 9 months will immerse you in the deeply gratifying subtleties of tribal-style milpa farming- learning how to read the milpa and having the confidence to respond with appropriate physical action, hoping to receive the gift of food.

Session list:
Session 1: Soils- Making biochar, managing winter cover crops, setting up a a black soldier fly larvae system, starting tobacco, cotton, introduction to polyculture farming.
Session 2: Soil shaping, covercrop cutting, biochar application, first hoe-ing
Session 3: Planting corn and squash, creating animal Protection
Session 4: Hilling Corn, planting Beans, second hoe-ing, animal Protection, mulching, stropharia
Session 5: Tie corn, cut squash vines, animal protection, huitlacoche
Session 6: Harvest, covercrop
Session 7: Process yields, seed selection and saving, covercrop, feast!

Cost:
Teaching milpa farming in this way is a new experiment for me. I am currently assessing expenses of running the class and will be announcing the tuition within 2 weeks. It will be very affordable. In the meantime I wanted to get the word out so you can save the dates and so I can see who is interested.
Location:
Most of the sessions will be at Earthaven Ecovillage where I live. One or two sessions might be at a milpa I tend in Asheville.
For more information and to register, please go to: http://www.schoolofintegratedliving.org/milpa-farming-series/


Kudzu Camp 2014
February 22-23, Sylva, NC

Permaculture in Action and the Kudzu Cowboy are pleased to announce that we’re organizing a winter hands-on workshop Feb. 22-23 around the valuable uses of kudzu as well as permaculture-based reclamation of biodiversity in kudzu inhabited sites.

You might know kudzu as the vine that will follow you home and swallow your house. But for centuries it has been revered for its generous gifts of food, fiber, medicine, and more. Join us for a weekend workshop in Sylva, NC where we will explore how to harness the zeal of the ‘zu for both human and ecological gain! Students will learn:

  • how to find, harvest, and process superior roots for their valuable medicinal and culinary starch
  • how to harvest and process vines for their strong and beautiful fibers
  • how to use kudzu root starch in cooking and healing
  • the fascinating history of use of kudzu in Asia and in the US
  • techniques for managing kudzu patches to maximize useful yields
  • how to integrate the plant into a permaculture reforestation strategy

The workshop, to be held February 22 and 23, 2014 in the beautiful mountain town of Sylva, NC (about 1 hour west of Asheville), will include scratch-made, organic meals provided by local chef Marc Williams. $135-165 sliding scale, includes meals and optional basic accommodations for Saturday night. Some work trade opportunities available.

This workshop will be a hands-on learning endeavor, so come prepared to stay warm while digging and processing roots outdoors. Fear not – there is a wood stove and plenty of cozy indoor time planned as well.

Contact justinveazeyholt@gmail.com for more information and to register. 

Permaculture Design Certification
January-March 2014 @ Earthhaven Ecovillage

Patricia Allison, Dylan Ryals-Hamilton and I will be co-leading a Permaculture Design Certification class this winter. Many of you have inquired over the past 9 months since last winter’s PDC as to whether we are planning to teach another one this winter, so thank you for the encouragement, and we are responding with a “yes”!  Because we love this stuff so much and are always trying to make it better, we have created yet a new format which we hope will be accessible to most people within a 5 hour drive of Earthaven Ecovillage (near Asheville).

This new format adds a full 2 days to our typical 14 day PDC’s (making it 16 days total); we’ll be using this extra time in the spirit of Permaculture in Action to complete some exciting permaculture work projects at Earthaven and to take tours of successful existing permaculture sites. As always in a PDC, as a student you’ll be joining a worldwide community of several million people who have gone through the same core curriculum around a diverse body of topics, from “forest agriculture” to “passive solar building” to “ponds and aquaculture” to “designing for economic yield”, “creating intentional communities” and “urban permaculture”. The immersion in this ocean of structured new ideas creates what is often a life-changing experience, leaving you with a newfound sense of possibility, a deeper “whole systems” way of thinking about sustainable land use and life in general, and a new group of committed, intelligent, fun-loving friends and collaborators. Add to this formula the fact that most of the class will be happening in the heart of Earthaven, there will be guest teachers to jazz things up, and that the tuition includes the cost of delicious organic meals the whole time, and we hope that you’ll see the potent value of this offering.

Class Dates
The format consists of three 4-day class sections (Thursday through Sunday), one 3-day class section (Friday through Sunday), and one 1-day site walk and design brainstorm which will be scheduled with each design group and an instructor once the class begins. The dates are:
Thursday, January 9 –> Sunday, January 12
Thursday, January 23–> Sunday, January 26
Thursday, February 13 –> Sunday, February 16
Friday, March 14 –>Sunday, March 16
Snow date weekend:  Feb. 27-March 2

Cost: Sliding scale, $900-1200 early registration (November 6-December 10). Tuition goes to $1,000-1,300 after December 10. This cost includes 38 meals (Thursday lunch through Sunday lunch, assuming you will eat breakfast before you come and eat dinner at home or on the way home after class on Sunday).

Please believe us, we always do our absolute best to make classes affordable. We are all doing this work because we believe in it and want to get you involved and make a life-giving difference in the world, not to get rich! So if you can possibly pay higher than the bottom on the sliding scale, we are so thankful! There is a “bring-a-friend” discount: if you are instrumental in getting a friend to attend the class along with you, we will give you a $75 discount off your tuition.

Work-trade and scholarships: We are accepting scholarship donations which we will track and offer to people who truly cannot afford to pay for the entire tuition. If you want to help someone without lots of money to get more involved in empowering themselves through permaculture, please contact us about contributing to the scholarship fund. Work-trades– We are offering a limited number of partial work-trade positions. Work-traders will need to have independent transportation and time available from November through December to put up fliers and do other class preparation work, as well as time in between class sessions to help on class prep work and physical site work. Please respond to our registrar, Michelle Smith at permacultureinaction@gmail.com to learn more about work-trade opportunities.

Registration: Registration is open immediately. Please sign up right away to reserve your spot (there are 30 total spots). We need 20 full-paying students to make the class run, so the sooner you sign up and get your friends in, the sooner we know the class is happening. Email Michelle Smith or go to  permacultureinaction.com for additional details and to register.

Permaculture in Action 2014 apprenticeship
begins January 2014.  Contact us here for more information

Check out our Past 2013 Classes and Events (list below)…Let us know if there is one that you would love to see repeated in 2014!

For life and in vision,

Zev Friedman and Dylan Ryals-Hamilton

2013 Events and Classes:

Zev at Furman University

“Permaculture at Furman: Re-people with Land for Cultural Healing.”  
April 6, 2013, Furman University, Greenville, SC
Contact Rachel McAlister at rachel.mcalister2@furman.edu

Permaculture in Action: Roots and Seeds 14-day Full Growing Season Course

Begins May 18 and runs through October, about one week-end per month
Visit permacultureinaction.com for information and calendar


Firefly Gathering

June 20 – 23, 2013, Barnardsville, NC

Crossing the Threshold: Boys’ Rites of Passage and Growing Goddess: Girls’ Rites of Passage

June 24 – 28, 2013 Contact us here for more information 


20th Annual Southeastern Permaculture Gathering

August 1 – 4, 2013 Celo, NC

Permaculture Forest Farming: An In-Depth Hands-On Class Focusing On Real Life Application and Business Models

September 29, 2013 From 9am-6pm,  Marshall, NC.
Cost:  $60 before September 6th and $75 after
Limited enrollment of 20 students
Contact Jen (Jenflynn72@gmail.com) for more information
 
International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba
November 29 – December 5, 2013

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