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.
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 core teachers include Starhawk, Charles Williams, Pandora Thomas, and Jay Rosenberg who works with our urban programs. Erik Ohlsen is a regular guest teacher at our Cazadero courses.
Maraiah presents to class
Who Is This Course For?
Anyone interested in permaculture—ecological design—at almost any age and level of experience. We've had students as young as 15 and as old as…don't ask!
Young people looking for a path in life that can let you follow your passion and still provide for your needs.
Older people, retirees, and those of any age seeking a new direction.
Environmentalists, activists and organizers who want to understand the full spectrum of what is possible for regenerating the environment.
Farmers, ranchers, market gardeners, homesteaders and food growers who want to go beyond organics to regenerative practices.
Home gardeners, urban and suburban dweller who want to make their personal lives more sustainable.
Community gardeners, urban planners and cityfolks interested in greening the urban environment.
Teachers, educators and youth workers.
Activists in environmental issues, climate change, food justice and social justice.
Policy makers at every level who want a deep understanding of how all the arenas of sustainability can fit together.
Lovers of the earth—all those who feel a deep, spiritual connection to nature, whose hearts break at her destruction and who want to learn the practical and spiritual tools for earth healing.
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.