Urban Permaculture Design Certification Course in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Date: June 17 through 29

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This Summer! June 17 to 29, 2019

Registration Cost: $1200.00 includes some meals
Registration with lodging and meals: $1650.00
Registration opens December 15, 2018 when we will accept $200 deposits.

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Please use the links below to secure your space in the program. At this time, you can register by paying a $200 deposit, or paying in full for the full registration with lodging or the commuter options. We will collect remaining fees before the program begins. Thanks and looking forward to meeting with you at the course!!

Register Now with Deposit

Register Now – Full Registration with Food and Lodging (paid in full)

Register Now – Commuter Registration (paid in full)

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Prepare Yourself to Change the World with Permaculture!
Earn your permaculture design certification in this two week intensive hands-on course at Garfield Community Farm, Pittsburgh’s largest urban permaculture farm. Study with the author of Bioshelter Market Garden and the Food Forest HandbookDarrell Frey, farm director John Creasy and other regional experts.  Course certified through the Permaculture Institute of North America. See more about our teachers below.

Garfield Community Farm History
Garfield Farm is a three acre urban farm existing on three city blocks where around twenty five homes once existed.  This land and soil of the farm were highly degraded after the homes were torn down and topsoil eroded away. Today, on this large tract of abandoned urban land, is a landscape of biodiversity, producing thousands of pounds of food every year and attracting native birds and wildlife. Through grassroots community activism the farm has been shaped into a hub of permaculture education for children and adults, a place where neighbors can get seasonal organic produce and people can come together.

The farm is a ministry of The Open Door Church in partnership with other local congregations and community groups.

Some Logistics of the Urban Farm Experience
Participants will live in the homes of local families who participate in the life of Garfield Farm. Each family will provide a room, bathroom use, and breakfast each morning before class begins. Each day the PDC instructors will use Garfield Community Farm as the hands-on “class room” and actual classroom space at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation from homes to the farm and to the indoor classroom space, but most locations are biking and/or walking distance. The two week immersion into Pittsburgh’s East End will not only give participants an in depth farm experience, but also a valuable experience in the community.

Each day meals will be provided and food costs are built into the registration costs. Special food requirements should be communicated to the leaders of the course including GF, vegan and vegetarian. Not all dietary restrictions can be accommodated, but we’ll do our best.

Participation in Daily Farm Rhythms
Participants in the 2019 Permaculture Design Class will have the opportunity to work on the farm and assist with the daily and weekly chores of running a working urban farm. In addition to working on new projects at the farm students will have the opportunity to assist with the farm’s weekly farmer’s market and our CSA program. We feel the activity of Garfield Community Farm may be one of the most valuable aspects of the PDC, as participants experience a real farm serving it’s community and bringing restoration agriculture to its land.

Local Field Trips
In addition to learning at Garfield Community Farm we will visit several local permaculture spots that all offer their own unique experiences of ecological farming and biodiversity. A trip to Columbianna Ohio during the second week will be a highlight for those interested in broad-scale permaculture design through an experience of Lamppost Farm.

Missional Permaculture and Eco-Spirituality

Some spaces at Garfield Farm are designed for urban dwellers to find quite, peace and a space for contemplation. Since our start, Garfield Farm has been a ministry of The Open Door Church. Social permaculture requires that people are taken care of beyond the physical needs, but also including emotional and spiritual. This PDC will consider the social implications of urban permaculture. We will also provide space for participants to fulfill some of their own spiritual and philological needs by provide time for meditation and contemplation and time with a local spiritual director, if desired. For people interested in leading urban permaculture projects with faith communities an optional “missional permaculture” track will be available during some evenings of the PDC. In this track we will understand the potential behind equipping communities of faith with permaculture. We will also go deeply into the “how” and “why” of making the ethics of permaculture central to the practice of modern communal spiritual practice.

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Please use the links below to secure your space in the program. At this time, you can register by paying a $200 deposit, or paying in full for the full registration with lodging or the commuter options. We will collect remaining fees before the program begins. Thanks and looking forward to meeting with you at the course!!

Register Now with Deposit

Register Now – Full Registration with Food and Lodging (paid in full)

Register Now – Commuter Registration (paid in full)

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Educator Bios:

Darrell Frey is a Permaculture Design Consultant and Educator based in Western Pennsylvania. Darrell is among the first wave of permaculture practioners, having begun studying permaculture design in 1980.  After completing a PDC with Dan Hemenway in 1986, Darrell began to develop Three Sisters Farm and Nursery and was instrumental in developing the permaculture plan for The Robert A. Macoskey Center at Slippery Rock University. Both of the projects are among the oldest continuous permaculture projects in North America. Darrell is the author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm, New Society Publishing 2011 which serves as both a case study of permaculture applied to a five acre market garden, and as a guide for designing, building and managing bioshelters and market garden farms. He is co-author of The Food Forest Handbook, New Society Publishing 2017. Darrell currently offers permaculture education and consultation through Three Sisters Permaculture.

Rev. John Creasy is the Associate Pastor at The Open Door Church, a missional church community that worships at the Bloomfield Garfield Activity Center in Garfield. John is the founder of Garfield Farm and the Farm Director. John has loved the steep learning curve of becoming an urban farmer, using permaculture design, and learning to engage the community. John lives with his family a mile from the farm in Stanton Heights where they practice permaculture in their 90 year old home with rainwater collection, solar power, off grid heating and a large backyard garden. In addition to farming John

and his wife Alyssa create music together as This Side of Eve.