Miami students continue to expand

Roots in the City Overtown project is now offering a Farmer’s Market from 1-4 every Wednesday.  Overtown is the Harlem of Miami, with a rich history of culture, that has been economically devastated by a freeway running through the middle of it and a number of other factors.  PDC student Maggy Pons is working on six gardens in Overtown which will provide fresh, organic food and economic stimulus to the neighborhood. Food stamp purchases are doubled at the market, encouraging consumption of healthy, organic food and the support of locally grown food.

Marcus Thomson will be holding an Intro to Permaculture lecture Tuesday, April 27, from 7-9 PM.

You will learn common sense easy application techniques on sustainability along with the joy and wonder of a vibrant future you can create for yourself and others! Contact Marcus (Deva) for early registration. Love, peace and light…
Location: The Sacred Space
Address: 100 NE 25th Street in Wynwood
Contact: 954-856-3775
Cost: $60 at door, $30 in Advance! (that’s 50% off!)

More info at:

Permaculture as a career


From Florida Earthship PDC grad Diann Dirks:  It was so sweet to be reminded of our Permaculture course in Fla. last March. Since then I have been using so much of what I learned and integrated there.

Right after completing the course I taught 3 series of classes in organic gardening – 13 classes all told at the local libraries and at a local forming sustainable farm. I became a the paid consultant on the creation of a community garden for a Jewish Temple, consulted at a CSA to increase yield, as well as a multitude of private gardens. And one of my students formed a CSA after taking my classes. I created my own school, Mother’s School of Self-Reliance, which has taken off, and I have been giving classes between one and three course days a week since January. Classes have included hand sewing, sprout bag making, sprout bag growing, sprout bread making, and seed propagation classes.

I have also incorporated so much of what I learned in putting in 1800 sq. feet more garden space. And I have been growing some food all winter, even in sub-freezing weather.

Soon after the course I set up a community garden in our own area and am the director. Since then we have acquired a 22’x60′ professional steel green house which is being built this spring on site of the garden for propagation and year-round growing of food.

I also founded a local farmers market that enjoyed a successful season last year, and participated and help found another one beginning this fall into winter, and participated in one all last summer selling instant raised bed gardens which helped over 100 new garden beds be set up in people’s yards where they had never gardened before or extended already growing gardens.

I have been interviewed twice on the radio, and have been writing articles for the local newspaper on sustainable issues all year and have my own column now called “Surviving the Times”.

I’m going to be on the panel of the film “Fresh” tomorrow after the film is shown, and have a booth where I will be promoting my school, community garden, and selling seeds.

I founded last year’s first City of Auburn Garden Expo and did a seminar on Permaculture Princliples to about 25 people.

Our teacher Wayne (Weisman) told me I should teach so I have been.

And I have grown enough food and herbs over the last year to provide a vast amount of food for myself and my husband, as well as sell at the farmers market. I have a .7 acre steep hillside yard which is 1/3 zone 5 (wild), with a house and large lawn which gradually I have been converting into garden by raised beds and terracing.

Anyone visiting the Atlanta area need only call for a tour. 678 261 8141


Diann Dirks, Certified Permaculture Designer

Taste of Freedom Farm

CIMG0046Andrew Wolfe wasted no time using the techniques he learned about in the permaculture course held at the Florida Earthship in March of 2009.  His goal is to get completely off the grid and make a living from what he produces in his yard. He named his urban Pinellas County homestead “Taste of Freedom Farm”, and in a few months has created a fish farming pond, planted citrus trees, grape vines, blueberries and a raised bed garden with rainwater catchment, composting bins, greenhouse, roof-top beehives, chicken coop and brooder box, duck house, a well, and wood source for his Franklin stove.

Here’s a note from Andrew about his project:

Thanks for the interest in my progress. I have not yet found it necessary to hire a board of directors to help manage my vast enterprise. But I have since the start of my little endeavor, seen almost nothing but advances and very few set-backs to acheive success.

My background has been in construction. I was a sheet-metal worker for 6 years and before that a renovater. My choice to change direction was fueled directly by my reading. I’m an avid reader of the classics and early American literature. I was reading some founder comments when I ran across one quote that struck a chord with me. It read “A person who wants to be ignorant and free, wants what never was and never will be”-Thomas Jefferson. It was at that point I reflected on whether my intrinsic right to be free made me free in actuality or just in theory. I rationalized it in this way; I may in fact be free to take a stroll down my street, but am I actually taking the stroll, or just sitting on my rear thinking about it. I was done wearing the vestiges of freedom without being so. All of it was hinged on me providing for myself. And all though it’s a very respectable thing to go to work and make a living wage, and as a result of your labors bring home bread for the table, you can never be certain that your job will be there forever. The stability of my lifestyle was rooted in the stability of my job, the stability of my job in the stability of the economy. There were far too many things in control of my destiny! So I set out to find what I could do to start to provide for myself and my family in a way the was tangible and concrete. The answer???—Overwhelmingly AGRICULTURE!!!! The wellspring of  functional freedom in society in my humble opinion is Agriculture. So I set about learning the “trade” so-to-speak. I have learned a basic working knowledge of: gardening, fish farming, beekeeping, and the raising and keeping of chickens and ducks. My hope is to try and be as self reliant as possible. The attainment of that final goal is yet to be had but the pursuit is a pleasure, and that is success.


To answer the specific questions you had

1-I have been tending bees for about 8 months now.

2-I decided to sell the honey when I found out it had value:)

3-My plans for the future are to expand my honey production by finding more suitable bee yards within the county, increase the number of stores it’s available at, and lastly, which happens to be the most ambitious, try to show people the value of providing for themselves.

4- People can find my “Taste of Freedom Farm Honey” at Rollin’ Oats on 9th St, Natures Food Patch on Cleveland in Clearwater, and many of their local fresh fruit and vegetable stands. If your local stand doesnt carry it, that of course is a problem I would love to remedy!–Andrew Wolfe 727-439-4885.

Sustainable solutions for Haiti


Currently, our team of permaculture experts in Haiti have expanded to implement sustainable solutions to food and water supply, sanitation, and shelter. The focus is on using locally available, inexpensive, low-tech resources to create water catchment and filtration, earthquake and hurricane resistant shelter from renewable materials, sustainable sanitation, particularly for human waste, and food forests and other high production/low maintanence food techniques.

The team is connected up with the Ministers of Environment and Agriculture in the Haitian government and have coordinated on what is most badly needed in the areas they are working. They are “teaching the teachers” at a number of local NGOs in Port Au Prince and other areas how to implement these techniques.  These organizations have been chosen because they focus on teaching, so will be able to continue to spread this knowledge. This has been determined the fastest way of implementing real, doable, and sustainable solutions to some of the major problems that existed prior to the earthquake and have deteriorated, as well as addressing the immediate emergency situation. They are seeking funding for instructors, materials and lodging for students.

There will be15-50 students per class. Each group being taught is selected because they are either already sharing or plan to be distributing knowledge in the form of classes, workdays, or workshops.

Budget which includes transport, food, lodging for students and wages for instructors and others is $5000

Ideal outcomes would include a strong base of interested groups that future projects could follow up with. Also the development of a permaculture basics in Creole.

To donate, go to

This is our partner non-profit organization that is accepting funds for our projects exclusively, via their Haiti fund.

AND/OR Purchase Books and Products. Portions of the proceeds allows us to reach out to communities such as these.
For more information about this program, please contact Cory Brennan at


Miami permaculture students in action

IMGP3356Graduates of the recent Urban Permaculture Design Course in Miami have not wasted any time applying what they learned.

Marcus Thomson, who organized the course, got his first permaculture design job before the course ended – installing a food forest in a suburban yard.  He has offered to employ other course graduates for this project and is in the process of looking for more design work. He has planned a series of seminars on permaculture as well, and has offered to bring other graduates in on a community garden project in Little Haiti.  He is already applying permaculture techniques to gardens and planting areas of Earth N Us farms, collecting and planting seeds, seedlings, sheet mulching with terra preta and using plant guilds.

Nancy Arraiz has also gotten her first job as a permaculture designer, installing rainbarrels for a household.  She has started designing her own yard and is burning terra preta to enrich and stabilize her sandy soils.

Linda McGlathery is planning the planting of native edibles in a public space to beautify a homeless housing project.  She is also in discussion with project management to create water catchment and a planting area for the homeless.

Ben Thacker has been planting fruit trees and veggie beds at a school for youth at risk for some time, and is now incorporating more permaculture techniques in his work.

Maggy Pons (only able to attend part of the course) was already managing six community gardens in historical Overtown, under the name of Roots in the City.  Because of what she learned in the course, she has now created the beginnings of a mandala garden and keyhole beds and is using sheet mulching techniques and rainbarrels – she is also contemplating planting a food forest.

Check back to read about more adventures from Miami PDC graduates!

Ecozoic in Mexico

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Alan and Ryan from our Pine Ridge PDC in Mexico

EcoZoic’s Shop Announcement

EcoZoic Era works with remote indigenous communities, marketing their traditional art to new audiences in an effort to raise global awareness, increase economic opportunity, and offer resources to address self-identified needs.

The Water for Huicholes! campaign is an effort in partnership with the community of La Laguna to assist with the issue of water access for Huichol villages throughout the Sierra Madre Occidental. Proceeds from the online auctioning of Huichol art and jewelry will support educational opportunities in sustainable design for the Huicholes, with an emphasis on hydrological systems.

Each piece was made freehand, in a ceremonial manner, by the family of Mara’kame, Jose Luiz Ramirez, who has requested that this art be sold for this purpose.


Word from one of our recent Miami PDC graduates, Rosalia Cannava:

Hello conscience co-creators!

We are joining together in energetic support of creating a community/ Ashram/ Food Forest at “Nectar of Devotion” Even if you are not in Miami or south Florida you can empower this project by joining if even just in thought! Open for all bringing good vibes, love and harmony.

This group is a call to unite and join together in promoting harmony and love within ourselves and with all life. Self sufficiency is the key to freedom. Lets end our reliance on corrupt systems and embrace the divine within us and all around us. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD! MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES! FREE YOURSELVES FROM ALL ATTACHMENT!

Much love and many blessings and as my Permaculture Design teacher Cory says “To the garden!”

We are creating an ashram/food forest. I think it would be beautiful to have a vegan potluck so to see/feel the place where this is happening. Just a few weeks ago I finished the Permaculture Design course being held at “Earth n’ Us” farm in Little Haiti. During the course I settled with Silvana and her 2 daughters in Liberty City (just south of Little Haiti). We both maintain a vastly similar vision of living a highly conscience lifestyle through devotion to reaching our fullest potential in mind, body and spirit. She invited me to come live in commune with her and create a highly balanced diversified system. In mind, body and spirit we are taking steps towards our devotion and invite you all to join. “Together we’ll move a mountain!” Yoga weekday mornings at 8am (donations appreciated) and gardening daily except Wednesday and Thursday afternoons I’m out of the area but you would still be warmly welcomed. We are working on a schedule to include more things like Tai Chi, clothes making workshops, skin/hair care product making workshops, green building workshops, ceremonies, potlucks, food demonstrations (many of which raw vegan) and last but most definitely not least various yoga worskshops. Anyone interested in AcroYoga we will hold an afternoon workshop probably on a Sunday in April with Arianne Oomm (her FB name). She is an amazing Yogi spreading the AcroYoga/Thai message vibes.

Friday was such an amazing day for us. Under Father Sun with our hands in Mother Earth we aligned ourselves further down that path! We prepared a garden space for planting right by the front door. We planted tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, green onion and marigold directly into the soil and Papaya, 3 varieties of tomatoes (LOVE them!), rosemary, oregano, celery and other various greens (can’t remember all) to transplant later. So many people all across S. Florida have been uniting realizing that this is really something we need to work towards a harmonious balance with all life. Permaculture is just that!

I thank Silvana, Adam and Ben. Thank you for the love you’ve all put into our forest!