Permaculture

Get your hands in the soil and acquire the skills you need to enrich your landbase.

The Roots School Advanced PDC

A Four-Season Program in Regenerative Design & Applied Ecology.

Join us for this nine month weekend immersion in ecological design, agroecology, and permaculture skill development. This is a course for those looking to deepen their knowledge and competency in some of the most crucial disciplines within or related to permaculture design, from reading the landscape and building soil fertility to planned grazing, mushroom cultivation, and the development of efficient farm infrastructure.

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Homestead Planning & Permaculture Design: Cultivating the Human Habitat

This course will introduce the principles and practices of permaculture design by offering a focused exploration of how to design or retrofit a homestead-scale permaculture site.

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Garden Literacy: Planning & Growing a Vibrant Kitchen Garden

Over the course of a weekend we’ll introduce key skills and info that’ll help you successfully grow nutrient-dense vegetables, herbs, and small fruits.

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The Art and Science of Soil Fertility

This class will survey the information, techniques, and tools necessary for practicing a “beyond-organic” approach to gardening and farming—an approach that works with, rather than against, the wild organisms that constitute healthy soil.

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Intro To Forest Ecology

This introductory course explores the science and magic of the eastern woodlands. We’ll explore the fundamentals of forest ecology through a combination of classroom study and time in the woods. Participants will leave the program with a more complex and nuanced understanding of eastern forests, equipped to more fully and intimately inhabit and care for the wooded landscapes around them.

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Edible & Medicinal Forest Gardens

This class will introduce a different approach to food production that explores the possibility of growing food and medicine in accordance with the patterns of the wild landscape, rather than against them.

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The Farm as Ecosystem: Agroecology, Pattern Literacy, & Regenerative Design

Drawing on insights from a variety of disciplines, including permaculture design, agroecology, keyline design, and biodynamics, this course will introduce an ecologically integrated approach to farm and land management. Through a combination of classroom and outdoor activity, we will outline a practical, ecosystematic vision that can be tailored to a wide diversity of contexts, from rural to urban and from the homestead to the commercial scale. 

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Livestock Literacy 101

This course is for new or aspiring farmers interested in caring for animals in the working landscape. We’ll “break the ice” for those of you trying to figure out which animals are right for your land, as we offer an introductory look at what’s involved in obtaining and caring for these creatures, as well as what kinds of difficulties and challenges you can expect along the way.  We’ll look at the basics of animal nutrition, pasture ecology, shelter, fencing, and more.

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Fire as a Tool: From Friction Fire to Rocket Stoves

This four-day class is devoted to exploring fire as a tool for survival, human flourishing and cultural production. Looking at the use of fire for food, shelter, land management, and more, participants will venture into the practical intersection of applied primitive skills and permaculture design. We’ll begin by exploring ancient skills used to employ fire as a survival tool, and will progressively build on this knowledge by experimenting with a variety of skills used to enhance human thriving and ecosystem regeneration.

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Intro to Biochar

This is a two-day crash course exploring the theory and practice of biochar production. We’ll talk about the when, why, and how to make and apply biochar to soils, as well as the negative consequences of applying it in the wrong contexts. Participants will be exposed to multiple small-scale kiln designs, and will gain experience in everything from managing the burn and quenching to crushing and inoculating the char with biological organisms. 

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Regenerative Forestry for the Farm & Homestead

This 5-day Course is designed to introduce participants to regenerative forestry, with a focus on the skills and information most relevant to managing woodlands on farms and homesteads. We’ll explore a variety of techniques for interpreting forests and assessing them for tree-crop potential, fuelwood, medicinal understory, and mushroom cultivation. We’ll take a practical look at the theory and practice of managing for biodiversity and wildlife habitat, as well as wild-mimic systems that simultaneously address the interests of humans and wildlife.

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