Our 2016 Offerings

The Farm Ecovillage Training Center (and its partner programs abroad) are restructuring to better serve the needs of The Farm community in navigating the climate and energy transition.

View all Farm workshops listed in chronological order.

Ecovillage Skills & Permaculture Apprenticeships

includes Permaculture Design Certificate

Natural Building, Plasters and Trim, Synergistic Gardening, Compost, Teas, Primitive Skills, Mushroom Production, Natural Beekeeping, Bamboo, Woodland Crafts, Biochar, Fermented Foods, Holistic Management, Keyline, Arborist Skills, Edible Forest Garden Design and Installation and more

Summertown, TN, The Farm community

Workshop Schedule

Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation April 15
Biochar Solutions April 29-May 1
Wholly Shit! Toilets, Compost & Worms May 13-15
Getting Off Grid with Solar Power June 1-3
Natural Building Sampler June 10-12

For more information about our Summer 2016 program, please inquire or

and visit the Ecovillage Training Center page on Facebook

For more see our apprenticeship FAQ and contact us for current prices and opportunities.

To apply, contact us at apprenticeship at thefarm dot org.

About Our Courses

To make the transition toward a sustainable society it is imperative that we take responsibility for our own lives and meet our basic needs for food, shelter, energy, gainful employment, and supportive community. The purpose of our courses is to offer you practical training in ecological design principles so that you can begin the application of these skills within your own home grounds, workplace, and local community. 

We also focus on building the support systems, networks, and alliances we all need in our work of remaking our culture. We strive to create a balance between classroom time, hands-on experiential learning, and personal empowerment work. Our courses will be useful for people with varying levels of experience, from backyard gardeners to design and educational professionals.

At the ETC we are creating a holistic, comprehensivist, "total immersion school," co-evolving creative designs that move us toward sustainability. All projects and buildings on site provides a walk-thru visit to the future. You can walk through our strawbale cabin, dome, organic gardens, and soon-to-be-completed cob Visitors Center (the largest cob structure in North America, the first east of the Mississippi) and wetlands filtration system. We have a large creek flowing through the Center and the headwaters of the Swan watershed are located on the property as well. Over 1000 acres of The Farm are designated as wilderness preserve.

The Eco-hostel is an old Farm house that has been renovated and expanded. The house was originally constructed by members of the Farm in the late 70's out of completely recycled materials. Our renovations have included three dormitories, four solar showers, rainwater collection, solar electricity, wastewater recycling, 2-story greenhouse and a third story observation deck. More extensive renovations are planned for 2015.

For our policies on discounts and cancellations, please visit our Discounts page.

The Farm's Prancing Poet EcoHostel is offering private and family rooms, dormitory bunks, and camping on the grounds of the Ecovillage Training Center.

Kindly contact our Innkeeper at ecovillage at the farm.org

and visit The Farm EcoHostel page on Facebook

Permaculture Design Certificate Course
February 22-March 7, 2016

with Albert Bates, Marisha Auerbach, Koreen Brennan and Christopher & Celini Nesbitt

"We should be the heart and mind of the Earth, not its malady. So let us be brave and cease thinking of human needs and rights alone, and see that we have harmed the living Earth and need to make our peace with Gaia. We must do it while we are still strong enough to negotiate, and not a broken rabble led by brutal war lords. Most of all, we should remember that we are a part of it, and it is indeed our home."

James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia

Belize, Central America

Hike in the rainforest, see an array of beautiful waterfalls, overnights in remote dinner Mayan villages, visit relief projects by Plenty International, explore permaculture at the Mayan Mountain Research Center.

Global production of petroleum per capita peaked in the 1970s. Contrary to popular fiction that natural gas will make the USA energy independent, the Ponzi bubble from fracked real estate plays is already imploding. From here on, we need to how to live with less, and yet our profligate lifestyles are still expanding, still straining the web of nature. At the same time, climate change is in a curve of acceleration that will pose unprecedented problems. Travel far south; to the back of beyond; to a remote valley accessible only by dugout canoe. Study permaculture surrounded by a lush, productive forest of edibles, medicinals and tropical hardwoods. Eat organic food, sleep in dorms powered by renewable energy, bathe in a sparkling pure river.... Field trips will include visits to a Mayan cacao farm, an underground river cavern and local permaculture projects. $1500 with meals & lodging.

The heaviest climate changes came in the Early Holocene, before the appearance of the Maya. The milpa system evolved in that era, as proof of concept for climate-resilient agriculture. The Maya system, past and present, adapts to extreme conditions by moderating the impacts of deluges and managing land cover against drought. The system was resilient under conditions of change, and the climatic stability of the Classic promoted the rise of the Maya civilization. Bates, The Gift of the Maya, Jul 26, 2015

Maya Mountain Research Farm, San Pedro Columbia, Belize
with Albert Bates, Marisha Auerbach, Koreen Brennan and Christopher & Celini Nesbitt

For bookings and further information contact Chris Nesbitt (info at mmrfbz dot org)

$1500 (B$3000) with discounts for Early Bird and hardship

 For further information or to register please contact:

Christopher Nesbitt



Class size limited so early registration is recommended.

Fee & Enrollment Prices include tuition, lodging, and vegetarian meals. Please send a (non-refundable) deposit to reserve your space. Substantial discounts may apply for advance registration. Balance is due at registration. Credit card users may register by phone. Shuttle service is available upon request from the Nashville Airport for $85 per trip or less, depending on the number of people sharing the shuttle van.

Bunk houses and tent sites are available for the entire course. There are showers and bathrooms nearby. Bedding is provided. A limited number of private rooms are available at typically $40 per night. Wheelchair access provided. Language translation services can be arranged. Bring rain gear, swim gear, comfortable walking shoes, flashlight and towels.

For more information, please write or call:

What some past participants say about the courses:

This is a life philosophy and community support structure, not just land design - more than I expected! Those expecting a seven-day classroom course of study were abruptly shocked into entirely new dimensions - and loved it! This course drew together a good community which took me beyond the analytical to experiencing something different. When we built the swale and pond I saw differently.

 It was a safe place to take risks. Whole living can't be taught, as it has to be experienced and absorbed, so this week at The Farm was an experience of osmosis for most.

We accupicturemulated knowledge and direction for our lives while absorbing some of the wisdom and spirit represented around us. I saw a catharsis in many of these individuals. An immediate sense of community and purpose. It was a seminal experience in my life and a reawakening to a journey ... 

Courses • • Eco-HostelToursEventsPresentations to your Group

mushroom inoculation

Cliff Davis

for 2016 schedule, see SRP website

Cob - A Natural Building Course
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

9 Day Natural Building Intensive
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

Permaculture Internships
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

Wood Fired Cob Oven Workshop
The Farm School, Summertown Tn

Permaculture Design Course - Fall 2015
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

4th Annual Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks Course
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

Agro-Ecosystems Series: Permaculture Farm & Homestead Resiliency
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

Fertility Farming Course: Strategies to Increase Soil Fertility
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

Agroforestry Course
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn

Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae: Cultivation, Gardening, Mycoremediation, Medicinal Use and Permaculture of Fungi with Tradd Cotter
Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead, Summertown Tn