Permaculture FEAST – For Ecological and Social Transformation (Oct – Dec 2014, Holyoke, MA, USA)

What: A course in permaculture design with Lisa DePiano, Jonathan Bates, Javiera Benavente, and friends
When: On weekends, staggered across September – December 2014
Where: Holyoke, MA, USA

Note: Early Bird Rate ends August 1st, save $250!

Be a part of a global movement to regenerate our communities and create the world we want to live in.

Permaculture is a vision, design system, and global movement that draws on patterns and principles found in nature to meet human needs, while regenerating the natural world and creating abundance we can share.

This permaculture design course (staggered across 12 weekend day sessions) moves from principles and patterns to details in a supportive, respectful and collaborative atmosphere to promote rapid learning of whole systems design. The course is centered on experiential learning and hands-on skill building, including local field trips and reskilling where we will put theory into action. It goes above and beyond the standard 72-hour design course offering attendees over 80 hours of content with an additional focus on social permaculture and urban techniques. The course concludes with a design practicum, where participants will work in small groups to develop a design for a real life design project.

This course is structured in twelve weekend day sessions, allowing full-time workers, students and people with families more flexibility to participate. Successful completion of this course will earn participants a Permaculture Design Certificate.

Our graduates leave ready to apply what they’ve learned in their lives, backyards, businesses and communities!

Topics include:

  • Permaculture principles & ethics
  • Reading the Landscape & Understanding Natural Cycles
  • Urban Homesteading
  • Forest Gardening and Uncommon fruit and nut tasting
  • Water Harvesting
  • Creative Waste Cycling
  • Micro-livestock
  • Energy & Building Systems
  • Social Permaculture
  • Cooperative Economics
  • Design for Climate Change
  • Community Building & Organizing
  • Aquaculture and Bioshelters
  • Soil Regeneration & Land Restoration
  • Design Process, Methods, & Tools


Our course takes place at Simple Diaper & Linen, located in one of the former mill buildings in the heart of the Arts & Innovation District in Holyoke, MA. Right on the Connecticut River, Holyoke was the first planned industrial city in the U.S. and harnesses much of its energy from a natural 57 foot drop in the river, utilizing a granite dam and multi-level canal system constructed in the mid 1800s. Like other post-industrial cities across the country, Holyoke is experimenting with innovative ways to meet the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the city in order to create a sustainable future for all of its residents.

Simple Diapers & Linen was founded in 2009 with a vision for a truly eco-conscious diaper service that connects families and helps foster responsibility for the planet. In 2011, they shifted from a sole-proprietorship into a worker-owned cooperative, making their business model fair and democratic where workers share responsibility and ownership. They are proud members of the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives (VAWC).

Permaculture FEAST is thrilled to be offering the course at the Simple Diapers & Linens space in Holyoke, MA!

Dates for the Course:

  • September 6, 7
  • September 20, 21
  • October 10 (evening), 11, 12
  • October 25, 26
  • November 8, 9
  • November 22, 23
  • December 6 (snow dates)

Course Fee:

  • $998 early bird price
  • $1250 after August 1st

Register with a friend and save $50. Scholarships & work trades available.

Alumni Testimonial:

“Permaculture FEAST was an incredible experience. We see with new eyes now that we have ‘permaculture goggles’ on. After the course, we were able to immediately apply the skills and knowledge we learned to our lives. At our home, we designed and planted a backyard garden, experimenting with polycultures and guild techniques with over 30 different perennial and annual varieties, built an indoor aquaponics system, and started a website to capture and share our experiences with others. The class also inspired us to think about applying permaculture to our personal relationships and our community. We now work on permaculture designs for friends and family and have connected to various permaculture practitioners and projects in our area. We would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning about permaculture and finding the tools and inspiration to apply it.” — Jessica Muise and Michael Brown, Waltham, MA

“This course, that I thought was going to be a gardening class with a bunch of hippies turned out to be a class that spun my head around 437 times and left me not speechless but wanting to speak out and take action!” —

Check out Permaculture Goes Public, an article featuring Permaculture FEAST!

Register for the course here!

Jonathan Bates

As an ecological designer Jonathan’s been co-creating farms and gardens for two decades. He’s a contributing author of the award winning book "Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City”, and owns and operates Food Forest Farm a source for regenerative education and useful and edible plants. A passionate advocate for good farming practices, he’s currently on the board of several organizations including: Groundswell Center for Food and Farming; Apios Institute; and the Perennial Agriculture Institute. He lives and works at Shelterbelt Farm with his family in Brooktondale, NY.

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