EAT's Mission Statement:
To bring the knowledge and resources of regenerative
ecological design to communities with the greatest needs
and fewest resources.
To teach visionary and practical solutions and personal
sustainability to social change activists, and to teach
practical skills, organizing, and activism to visionaries.
To cross-pollinate the political, environmental, and spiritual
movements that seek peace, justice, and resilience.
Start with permaculture as the foundation. "Permaculture"
is regenerative design: a set of ethics, principles, and
practices that create beneficial relationships and whole
systems. Permacuture meets human needs sustainably and heals
damaged natural systems. Permaculture works with nature,
or rather, teaches us to "work as nature working."
Extend the principles and insights of permaculture into progressive
political organizing, and explore strategies for change.
Weave in threads
of Earth-based spirituality, inclusive and non-dogmatic, to connect
heart and soul to the work. Add nature awareness as the touchstone.
This is Earth Activist Training, a rich array of solutions,
strategies to redesign our world.
Immerse yourself in this richness through classroom
practice, inner experience, and community. Don't forget
that it's damn
fun, too. Many find it life changing.
The 2-week, residential EAT First courses include a rigorous 72-hour permaculture design course—participants
receive a certificate on completion.
Amber makes new friends: earthworms
- Permaculture principles and ethics
- Making a spiritual connection with the elements: real air, fire,
water, and earth—the equivalent of a "Magic
- Nature awareness techniques (such as owl-vision,
allies, & the language of birds)
- Humans' role as Nature-in-Action.
- Pattern thinking in design, strategy, and movement-building
- Diversity in ecosystems and in political movements
- Planning for big changes: global warming and peak oil
- Indefinitely renewable agriculture, urban food growing, garden
design, planting for wildlife, and food forests
- Urban permaculture and strategies for cities
- How to think like a watershed: collect, conserve,
clean, and reuse
- Bioremediation: healing soil and water with beneficial bacteria,
compost teas, fungi, and plants
- Soil and forest ecology; ecology as economics,
economics as ecology
- Erosion control and soil conservation
- "Impermaculture": temporary systems for
and emergency response
- Renewable energy and efficient design
- Media strategies
- Natural building introduction and cob practice
- Creative access to land and financing
- Consensus process, facilitation, and conflict resolution
- Movement building: basics of political organizing, strategy, and
- Weaving magic and ritual into action
- How to stay grounded and centered in tough situations
- Breaking the spell of fear, rage, grief, and frustration
- How to renew personal energy, avoid burnout, and find
hope for our
The curriculum is not only immediately useful for
students' own lives,
but holds real hope for our collective future.
EAT course graduates have gone on to start intentional communities,
carry out bioremediation in flood damaged New Orleans,
start urban community
gardens, set up permaculture encampments for major
watersheds and habitats, organize campaigns against forest
and GMOs, set up teaching programs and community centers,
and many other
important projects. EAT grads are at work in Brazil,
Israel, Mexico, Jamaica, India, Thailand, Spain, France,
and all over the U.S. and Canada.
Several regularly enrolled college students have
their schools for independent study units for the EAT course. A few
graduate students have had the EAT course accepted as part of their
requirements. If you're a college student, it's worth checking with
your degree advisor.
Begin with observation
EAT began in late 2000 when author and activist Starhawk
and permaculture designer and master teacher Penny Livingston-Stark
asked some new questions: "What can permaculturalists
and activists learn from each other that would make each
more effective? What skills do people need to know in order
to really 'save the planet'? How can we teach these skills
in ways that ripple out to others?" Penny and Starhawk
combined their many years of knowledge and created the first
Earth Activist Training, held the following spring in 2001.
EAT took root and flourished.
EAT is a creation of its teachers. Currently our core teachers
are Starhawk, Erik Ohlsen, and Charles Williams. Penny,
always our inspiration, is now occasionally a full co-teacher,
but more often a guest teacher at the northern California
EATs. Andy Goldring is a core teacher at EAT UK.
Maraiah presents to class
a single permaculture design certification course, EAT has grown over
the years to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Today, EAT
courses are offered in locations throughout the world in the following
2-week intensive residential, Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
This two-week residential intensive offers a broad-brush overview of
the regenerative design principles of permaculture. From inoculating
mushrooms and digging swales to building with natural materials and
sheet mulching the land, students have ample opportunity to experience
these principles firsthand. Throughout the course, students work in
small groups to incorporate what they are learning into real-world
permaculture design projects. The course culminates in the presentation
of each group’s design project — which earns each student a
Permaculture Design Certificate (required for any advanced course of
EAT Family-Friendly Residential Intensive: 2-week course
Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
If you’ve ever wanted to practice sustainability with your family, this
course is for you! Similar to the original EAT, this two-week
residential intensive offers an overview of permaculture’s regenerative
design principles. But the curriculum is designed with families in
mind, so three parallel tracks are offered: for children 5-12, teens,
and adults. NOTE* This course is not for families only. Please feel
free to come solo, or with your friends.
EAT Advanced Intensive:
8-day, residential, advanced (prerequisites or instructor permission required)
For EAT alumni, graduates of other permaculture courses, or those with
permission from the instructors, this residential, 8-day intensive
is designed to help you take the next step along your personal permie
path. This is a chance for you to deepen your Earth-healing skills and
explore ways to help your community organize around solutions rooted in
permaculture ethics and principles. Whether it's using mycoremediation
to clean up a nasty toxic waste dump or building a shelter using
on-site resources, this hands-on, hearts-on, residential intensive will
give you a chance to apply and expand your accumulated knowledge.
Urban EAT Weekend Modules Series:
Take all modules for a Permaculture Design Certificate
(PDC), or take any modules that you are interested in without
receiving a PDC.
If you’re a city dweller who wants to
integrate balance, natural beauty, and relocalized sustainability
into your urban lifestyle, this series of classes will show
you how. A shift from the typical 2-week residential program,
this modular permie design course takes place over a series
of weekends in the heart of San Francisco. Activities and
topics that may be covered during these classes: planning
and installing graywater systems; creating rooftop, courtyard,
or community gardens; preparing worm bins; and setting up
stink-free compost systems. To receive your Permaculture Design
Certificate, you must complete every module in the series
and you must complete a team-based permaculture design project.
If you are not interested in earning a certificate, you may
sign up for single modules of interest.
This two-week, residential intensive was inspired by the amazing youth
in our world who have the boundless energy and intense intelligence to
build a more balanced and sustainable world. Quite similar to the EAT
First curriculum, the Youth EAT course revolves around a
team-based permaculture design project and culminates in a
Permaculture Design Certificate. Designed for students aged 13-18, the
Youth EAT is taught by a team of experienced instructors of teens.
EAT Teacher Training:
Because so many of our EAT alumni have gone on to be student- or core
teachers, we’ve added a two-week, residential intensive focused on
“training the trainers.” If you’d like to help spread the knowledge of
permaculture practices and principles — and you’re an EAT alumni,
graduate of another permaculture design course, or you have the
instructors’ permission — take this course.