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Upcoming Events


Edible Ecosystems Emerging:
A 9-Day Forest Garden Design Intensive
with Dave Jacke, Juliette Olshock, Seth Nyer, and Jon Darby
October 13-22, 2017; Heritage Creek Farm Camp, Mount Joy, PA

Sponsored by:
Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education
For more information and to register:


Forest ecosystems exhibit many beneficial properties we humans could stand to emulate in our culture, agriculture, and horticulture:
  • They maintain, renew, fertilize, and propagate themselves without human inputs;
  • They build, store, and conserve clean air, clean water, nutrients, soil quality, and biodiversity;
  • They exhibit stability, resilience, and adaptability.
These qualities emerge from the dynamics of the forest as a whole system, not from any one or more of the elements that comprise the forest alone. To design productive edible ecosystems that express these same qualities, we must understand forest structures, functions, patterns, and processes, and use this knowledge wisely.

In this nine-day intensive course, you will dive deeply into the vision, theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient edible ecosystems using temperate deciduous forests as models. Dave Jacke and his teaching team will offer lectures, site walks, and experiential classes to help you understand how the architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional processes of natural forests apply to the design of edible ecosystems of all kinds. You'll learn a variety of ecological design processes while designing a range of food-producing ecosystems at the Heritage Creek Farm Camp. Design projects could include designing forest gardens for: urban or suburban homesteads, an educational summer camp, farm-scale (up to 20 acres), or an edible stream corridor. We'll also engage with issues of garden management, economics, and the deep paradigmatic shifts required to succeed at co-creating 'humanatural' landscapes and cultures. You will leave inspired and empowered to design food forests at home for yourself, and your friends, neighbors, and clients.

A 9-Day
Educator Training

POSTPONED to a time TBA, 2018
Somewhere in the Northeastern US
Contact Dave Jacke for more info.

Humans and nature intertwine irrevocably. Consequently, ecological principles operate within all aspects of human culture and our own lives—and permaculture's regenerative design framework applies to all aspects of culture, including the classroom. We must therefore design learning events as whole, healthy educational ecosystems for whole people.

The ability to design and the ability to learn both live inherent in all human beings.  These two natural human functions relate strongly to each other—they integrate us within ourselves, and us with our surroundings.  Yet "teaching" from a place of power over, control, or idolatry creates a false separation between "teacher" and "student" akin to the false separation between humans and nature that our culture propagates.  On the other hand, "education" literally means 'to draw out,' not to stuff in, fill up, inhale, or engorge.  Design AS education and education AS design lies at the core of the synthesis our culture needs here and now.

This intensive permaculture educator training embodies and explores this educational approach. Learn how to design and run permaculture workshops, courses, and other educational experiences as ecosystems—by designing and running them!  Seasoned educator Dave Jacke and his team guide you to: assess and design for students’ learning niches; create effective learning environments; plan for, budget, and market an event; and devise multifunctional, functionally interconnected courses where the whole experience is greater than the sum of the sessions.

Together, we face fears, transform inhibiting narratives, share constructively, and grow deeply in a healthy, safe, supportive, and fun learning environment.  We also engage with the business of teaching, among other practical aspects.  This rigorous course culminates with you designing and coteaching a daylong public permaculture workshop series along with your peers.  You will leave with new skills and experiences under your belt, and feel empowered to propagate permaculture and embody the change you want to see in the world.  In fact, we support you before, during, and after the training to design and run a permaculture workshop on your own post-training!

By shifting the culture of education, we shift the culture of those with whom we engage as educators—and culture shift is what its all about!  Join us if you dare!

Dave Jacke,
Chris Jackson, and Kim Almeida.

For More Info & to Apply:
Attendance requires prior completion of a PDC and an application and acceptance process.  There is homework and a webinar pre-course, also.  Scholarships available.  Contact Dave jacke for more information: