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In Association With


Breitenbush Hot Springs


Lead Facilitators

Jenny Pell

A. Keala Young

Guest Instructors

Mark Lakeman

Michael Becker

Andrew Millson

Marisha Auerbach

Jay Ma

Leonard Barrett

Jeff Clearwater

Marc Tobin

And More!

Course Inspiration

We are excited to be teaming up with Gaiacraft to offer this year-long Permaculture & Ecovillage Design Course through 4 intensive modules over the 4 Seasons at the beautiful healing and nature oasis of Breitenbush Hot Springs! Complete your Permaculture Design Certification over four short-term intensive study residencies throughout the four season. This year-long training will have an in-depth focus on Ecovillage design, with mentored research, independent design work, and collaboration with other students between inspiring and empowering retreats. 

Permaculture is a design methodology that guides us in the creation of thriving, resilient communities. Gain the skills to build a new world.  Join us for the whole program or start with the Intro Module to feel it out.

Course Description

In this leading-edge 120 hour Permaculture Design Course we will cover the standard international 72 hour curriculum and in addition we will explore the context for creating and designing ecovillages and intentional communities.

Our host site is the majestic and deeply rooted Breitenbush Hot Springs, a thriving and beloved educational and healing retreat center. This will be the first course of its kind in the region and a special opportunity to combine the benefits of an immersion program with the opportunity for protracted observation and design over 4 seasons throughout an entire year.

The focus in this region will be for temperate climates, though all bioregion and climatic zones will be covered in the curriculum.  Design groups will stay connected in between sessions with self-directed, team-work, research, and implementation projects.  along with. We invite you to seek mentorship guidance from an approved Permaculture mentor and we are happy to help support you in that process finding a resonant mentor.

Areas of Focus

Areas of focus include cottage industry and eco-entrepreneuring, permaculture design and consultation, dynamic governance and collaborative design process, how to implement permaculture at home and at work, thinking big and starting small, with a deep exploration of how we can model our permaculture practices for our families and communities.

This program is designed for both experienced professionals and beginners as well as active communitarians and newcomers to ecovillage vision.  We can help you tailor the program to meet your needs.  Please contact us to explore how we can work together toward your goals.

If you are looking for a fresh perspective on a career path, have an interest and intention for deepening knowledge of self and world, are ready to integrate practical permaculture into your life, and want to have a great reason to visit the healing waters of Breitenbush, this is the course for you!

We encourage you to explore the YES! within yourself to further this study and exploration toward unique career paths that regenerate our selves, our communities and our World.

The Learning Journey

A reading and video list will be provided and posted early for students who would like to begin their study of the reading materials ahead of time.  A learning journal will be one of the assignments for practicing documentation of observations.  With a minimum of weekly entries, your personal journal may include sketches, drawings, dream journaling, photos - anything that is deepening your presence and integration of observations.  Opportunities for sharing both at a personal, project, and professional levels will be integrated into the program each class day, and during set office hours weekly during the interim self-study periods.  Online sharing and collaboration will be facilitated and supported by a social network platform through the Gaiacraft website and expanding network.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a holistic design philosophy described as the art and science of creating community ecosystems in which plants, animals, human beings, and all forms of ecological diversity interact to produce a prolific, ecologically-sound, and regenerative system that can support itself and life indefinitely. The focus of permaculture is to design and establish societal systems that provide for humanity’s material and non-material needs including food, water, shelter, energy, and health in a way that is symbiotic and synergistic with the Earth’s natural ecosystems. More recently permaculture is incorporating an ever-growing landscape of diverse fields and skill sets and is being applied towards areas such as business, government, economics, group process, social systems, and inner work.

Certification Applicability

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a 120 hour International Permaculture Design Certificate. 


For more information email keala(at)

Or Call: (970) 765-8371

We hope you take the leap and join us for this incredible year long learning journey through the four seasons!

To Register Click Here.


4 Seasons Ecovillage & Permaculture Design Course

Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon

July 15-19, Oct 6-10 2013

Jan 20-24, Apr 13-17 2014

Tuition & Registration

Standard Course Tuition is $900, or $275 for individual modules. Food & Lodging at Breitenbush Hot Springs is  an additional cost estimated to be around $280 per module or $1200 for the entire year long course.

Scholarships and Worktade

A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Discounts will also be considered for students that already have a Permaculture Design Certificate or who are working on their diploma. For more information email keala(at)

4 Seasons Modules

This 120 hour year long training will be divided into 4 separate modules described in more detail below. These are broad descriptions, and subject to change and/or include additional content not described below. Each retreat will begin with dinner of the first day followed by an opening session, and end with lunch on the last day after an am closing session.

Module I: July 15-19, 2013

Ecovillage Theme : Worldview

Holistic Worldview, Reconnecting with Nature, Transformation of Consciousness, Personal Health and Planetary Health, Socially Engaged Spirituality

Permaculture Modules:

Core Concepts

Design Methods - zones, sectors, reading the landscape


Mapping, sketching

Soil and Earthworks

Module II: October 6-10, 2013

Ecovillage Theme: Ecology

Green Building & Retrofitting, Local Food; Nutrient Cycles , Water, Energy and Infrastructure, Restoring Nature, Urban Regeneration and Rebuilding after Disasters, Whole Systems Approach to Design

Permaculture Modules:


Food Forestry / edible forest gardens

Restoration Agriculture

Coppice Agroforestry

Complex social systems in concert with complex forest Ecosystems

Climate and Microclimate



Module III: January 20-24, 2014

Ecovillage Theme: Economy

Shifting the Global Economy to Sustainability, Right Livelihood, Local Economies , Community Banks and Currencies, Legal and Financial Issues

Permaculture Modules:

Urban Permaculture

Permaculture Economics



Module IV : April 13-17 2014

Ecovillage Theme : Social

Building Community & Embracing Diversity, Communication Skills: Conflict, Facilitation, and Decision making, Leadership and Empowerment, Art, Ritual and Social Transformation, Education, Personal Networks & Activism 

Permaculture Modules:

Social Permaculture

Invisible structures

Design for cool climates,Tropics, Drylands

Design Presentations

Wilderness and traditional plant medicine

Site Details - Breitenbush Hot Springs

Breitenbush is a remote forest retreat of timeless natural beauty, blessed with abundant hot springs, a glacier-fed river and surrounding mountains, where you will discover a vast and personal connection with the natural world in any season. Breitenbush Retreat and Conference Center is a worker-owned cooperative and intentional community on 154 acres of wildlife sanctuary in the Willamette National Forest of the Oregon Cascades. Soak in The Meadow Pools lined in smooth river rocks or move slowly between the four Spiral Hot Tubs of varying temperature, or enjoy the Steam Sauna, a cedar cabin perched above steaming waters.  A spirit of respect and sanctuary pervades the clothing-optional soaking pools.


FFood & Lodging at Breitenbush Hot Springs includes several options and is  an additional cost estimated to be around $300 per module or $1200 for the entire year long course. More details are available on the registration page.

Refund Policy

Cancellations up to 2 weeks before the course begins on July 1 will be refunded, excluding a $125 processing fee. No refunds are given after July 1. Cancelations before any given module have the same no refund two week cancelation policy with a $25 processing fee. In the unlikely event the course is cancelled, participants will be given a 100% refund.

Ecovillages & Intentional Communities

Over thee last 50 years, the international Ecovillage and Intentional Communities movement has birthed communities all over the world and connected together communities that already exist or have existed for thousands of years. Some of these communities include eco-towns like Auroville in South India, the Federation of Damanhur in Italy, Nimbin in Australia, and Tamera in Portugal; small rural ecovillages like Gaia Asociación in Argentina and Huehuecoyotl in Mexico; urban rejuvenation projects like Los Angeles EcoVillage and Christiania in Copenhagen; permaculture design sites such as Crystal Waters, Australia, Cochabamba, Bolivia and Barus, Brazil; and educational centres such as Findhorn in Scotland, Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, Earthlands in Massachusetts, large networks like Sarvodaya (11,000 sustainable villages in Sri Lanka); EcoYoff and Colufifa (350 villages in Senegal); the Ladakh Project on the Tibetian plateau;  and many more.

internationally, we are on the brink of a back to the land and back to community movement, the likes of which are just beginning in Russia today. Where is your water source, food source, and community?


Facilitators & Instructors

Jenny Pell

Former tree planter, helicopter pilot, carpenter, and yurt builder, Jenny stays busy managing her growing full-service design/build company Permaculture Now! . Based out of Seattle, WA, Jenny divides her time between the Pacific NW and Maui, with larger ventures overseas.  Projects include everything from urban permaculture homesteads to farms transitioning from annuals to diversified perennial agriculture, with an increasing focus on policy work related to urban food security.  Every project is designed with “social permaculture”, community, and resilient interdependent local economy at its heart.

Her slideshows and engaging presentations inform, inspire, and empower people to learn the skills they need to make changes that help move us towards a resilient and thrive-able future. Jenny’s skill sets and experience are rich - she willingly shares her knowledge with equal measures of bold reality, humor and humbleness. She will infect you with her tireless optimism and inspire you to jump in with both feet to heal yourself, your community, and your planet at the same time.

Lead Instructor / Facilitator

A. Keala Young

Keala is a permaculture teacher, mentor, consultant and whole systems designer with a foundation in yoga and the healing arts. Keala’s rich study of Permaculture and Ecovillage Design includes certificate programs from Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, Lost Valley Educational Center, and a Permaculture Teacher’s Training at Esalen Institute. He is a Regenerative Practitioner with a background as a certified massage therapist, certified yoga instructor, Kundalini Dance Facilitator, and Heart Circle Facilitator. His work as an evolutionary guide is an emerging synthesis of healing sessions, embodiment classes, and workshops Integrating Living Systems coherence for individuals and communities. Keala’s teaching style is rooted in learner-centered facilitation and mentoring embodying the principles of Self Design methodology.

Since 2004 he has brought workshops, playshops, facilitation and instruction integrating eco-social regeneration at conferences, trainings and events, including being a lead facilitator at the Aloha ‘Aina Holistic Permaculture Design Course in 2008, and the Big Bend Ecovillage Permaculture Design Course in 2010.

Keala is a full time co-creator and cofounder of Atlan Ecovillage- a Living & Learning Center near the Columbia River Gorge in Central Cascadia.

Lead Instructor / Facilitator

Mark Lakeman

Mark is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed or facilitated designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and it’s 501©3 affiliate The City Repair Project, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory design projects and organizations across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

Mark Lakeman is the co-founder of the non-profit placemaking organization The City Repair Project, and principal of the community design firm Communitecture. Mr. Lakeman has taken on the role of creative urban place-maker and community design facilitator in his commitment to the emergence of a sustainable cultural landscape.  He seeks to make every design project one which will further the development of a community vision, whether it involves urban design and placemaking, ecological building, encourages community interaction, or assists those who typically do not have access to design services. His leadership in the City Repair Project has benefited communities across the North American continent including cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Ottawa where City Repair Projects are underway.

Stories of Mr. Lakeman’s projects have been told widely, including in such publications as Dwell, Architecture Magazine, New Village Journal, Yes magazine, and The Utne Reader. With City Repair, in 2003 Mark was awarded the National Lewis Mumford Award by the international organization Architects & Planners for Social Responsibility for his work with Dignity Village, one of the United States’ first self-developed, permanent communities by  and for previously homeless people.

Guest Instructor

Michael Becker

Michael teaches sixth grade in Hood River, Oregon. He directs the Permaculture Classroom Project, a hands-on approach to teaching math and science using Permaculture and sustainability science concepts. With his students, they have developed extensive habitat gardens and food systems on the schoolyard. Partnered with the Gorge Grown Food Network, a local organization seeking independent local food systems in the Columbia River Gorge, a farmers market has been developed at the school further involving students into the economics of food production. Having worked in construction, been a mountaineering guide, taught outdoor school, and traveled the world, Michael uses all his past experiences to blend into a well rounded "Permaculturist".

Guest Instructor

Andrew Millison

Andrew Millison has been studying, designing, building, and teaching about Permaculture systems since 1996. He is an instructor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, teaching the Permaculture Design Certificate Course and the Advanced Permaculture Design Practicum. He has taught through other organizations including Prescott College, the Ecosa Institute, and the Cascadia Permaculture Institute. He instructs Advanced Permaculture Courses in Teaching, and has guest instructed for many Permaculture courses throughout the Western US. He worked for the State of Oregon creating a Permaculture conference and course for Oregon Housing and Community Services, the agency that builds low-income housing. He works with gardeners, developers, university students, and community organizers to promote Permaculture, which he believes is the medicine for Earth's ailments.  Documentation of his extensive portfolio of hands-on projects, design work, video production work and published articles can be viewed at

Guest Instructor

Marisha Aurbach

Marisha Auerbach has been actively practicing, studying, and teaching Permaculture in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade, specializing in food production, seed saving, ecology, and useful plants. Her practical experience has been gained while living in both rural and urban locations. Currently, Marisha works as a permaculture teacher for Bastyr University, Oregon State University, Pacific University, and The Evergreen State College. She also collaborates with a number of non-profits including The City Repair Project, Aprovecho Education Center, Lost Valley Education Center, and Fertile Ground Community Center. Marisha sits on the Board of Directors of Cascadia Permaculture Institute and the Northwest Permaculture Convergence.

Marisha is committed to sharing her passions for food security, seed saving, permaculture, ecology, cottage industry, and positive futures. She has developed several permaculture-based enterprises including edible flowers and other gourmet specialty food items for restaurants, plantable greeting cards, a plant nursery, and herbal medicines. Marisha has worked on permaculture projects in a wide variety of locations from the forests of Vietnam and post-earthquake Haiti to the Rocky Mountains. She holds advanced permaculture certificates in Permaculture Aid Work and Keyline Planning. Marisha holds a B.A. from the Evergreen State College where she focused on ethnobotany, ecological agriculture, and sustainability studies. She currently resides in Portland, OR. Marisha can be found online at

Guest Instructor

Jay Ma

Jay Ma is a holistic educator, regenerative design consultant, and social entrepreneur committed to creating ecological and cultural resiliency through living systems design principles. As the founder and director of programs at Living Mandala, Jay works with holistic educators, businesses, communities and institutions designing, organizing, and promoting educational trainings, events, and initiatives for personal, ecological and social transformation in the pacific northwest, nationally, and internationally. Jay is a community organizer and seasoned event producer who has produced educational programs, retreats, workshops, conferences and community development projects for 12 years now with organizations including the Regenerative Design Institute, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Gaia University, Omega Institute, Harmony Festival, and many others.

Jay is also co-founder of Shire Springs - a developing Ecovillage based on Permaculture Ethics & Peacemaking Principles offering affordable residential Ecovillage living and community co-stewardship opportunities on a beautiful oasis in the greater Mt. Shasta Bioregion. Jay is skilled community organizer as well as an engaging educator passionate about sustainability, nature connection, social entrepreneurship, team building, and creating a culture of human beings living harmoniously with each other and our environment. More information on Jay Ma can be found on his Linkedin Profile.

Guest Instructor

Leonard Barrett

Leonard Barrett is a permaculture designer, consultant, and teacher based in Portland, Oregon.  Leonard teaches at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR and at other Permaculture Design Courses in the Pacific Northwest; writes for the Permaculture for Renters blog, and runs his permaculture design and consulting firm - Barrett Ecological Services. Leanord’s designs are featured in the #1 best selling permaculture book: Gaia's Garden: A Homescale Guide to Permaculture by Toby Hemenway.

Guest Instructor

Bios of Additional Instructors Coming Soon!

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To Register for this Course Click Here.


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