Permaculture Design Course @ Rancho Mastatal
Join our diverse team of permaculture instructors Scott Gallant, Chris Shanks, Rachel Jackson, Laura Killingbeck and others for this annual life-changing 2-week experience. The course covers the core Permaculture Design curriculum and emphasizes creating diverse multi-functional human landscapes based on ecological patterns. Utilizing Rancho Mastatal as a living classroom, the class will mix lectures and hands-on work, exploring design solutions for both temperate and tropical regions. Putting Permaculture into practice, the course concludes with students working in teams to create their own permaculture site design. This course is applicable to anyone with an interest in designing resilient and regenerative futures as well as professionals in the fields of architecture, planning, ecology, education, farming and community development. The whole-systems design thinking outlined in the course will give participants the tools to re-design and improve their surroundings; from gardens, farms and homes, to livelihoods, relationships and communities.
Chris has been practicing Permaculture design for over 16 years. His ‘journeyman’ years were spent apprenticing and working on farms from Spain to Central America to the west coast of the United States. Chris designed, built and planted his primary project over 13 years ago, Project Bona Fide located on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua. Chris has worked and consulted in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the USA, Thailand, the Bahamas, Hawai’i and the USVI. Chris has taught nearly 30 full Permaculture Design Courses, runs his own consulting firm called Living Systems Solutions is a businessman and strong proponent of interweaving Permaculture design into development and entrepreneurship. His work in horticulture, seed saving, ‘living seed banks’ and education have brought awareness as well as concrete solutions to thousands.
Rachel holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design from the Conway School in Conway, Massachusetts. She has been practicing permaculture in the tropics since 2009, working in both the rainforests of Costa Rica and the dry forests of Nicaragua. She is passionate about creating harmonious, healthy relationships between humans and the landscape. From urban renewal projects in New England to food forests in Latin America, Rachel has used her skills to create integrated, whole-system designs in difficult locations. She has also worked as a garden-based youth educator, art handler, photographer and carpenter and harbors a life-goal of trying as many varieties of tropical fruits as possible.
Laura Killingbeck has been working with the Ranch since 2009. She has bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Rhode Island, and has taken extensive continuing education courses on sustainable development and agriculture. In 2014 she also completed a Fermentation Residency with renowned fermentation author Sandor Katz. Laura is the Ranch’s Director of Food Systems and Fermentation, and has a hand in the production of thousands of gallons of fermented vegetables, soda, herbal beer, yogurt, and vinegar each year. She oversees the development and management of food education programs at the Ranch, and works to create replicable systems for utilizing whole foods from local foodsheds on both a community and home scale. When she’s not at the Ranch, Laura works as a Food Systems Consultant for Round the Bend Farm Center for Restorative Community in Massachusetts. Laura has traveled widely in Latin America, often accompanied by her partner Scott and her live microbial cultures. She is a current Wilderness First Responder, an avid jungle bug watcher, a closet fiction writer, and a pretty scrappy Frisbee player.
Sleeping accommodations included
All meals provided (Vegan,Vegetarian,Meat options)
Cost for Program:
Central Americans, US$850 Residents and Ex-Pats, US$1350 Foreigners (non-Central American) US$1,500
English / Español / Bilingual