Trade: We offer a limited number of work trade positions
per course. If accepted, students are required to pay half
of the sliding scale price, part of that as a deposit,
and be willing to come early and stay late to the course
(depending upon the work trade job description). Additionally,
work traders are required to submit a work trade application
and a personal letter letting us know what your specific
skills are. The deposit is due with your registration form,
and without all of the above we cannot consider you
registered. The remaining amount is due no later than 30
days prior to the course starting date, unless otherwise stated.
If you have trouble coming up with your share, consider
tuition loans from Permaculture
Credit Union, and the "Create Your Own Scholarship"
personal fundraising ideas (next column).
Scholarship: A full EAT scholarship award (100% tuition
without exchanging work hours) is very rare. In the past,
we've offered a few to specific people whom we've especially
wanted in the training, such as agricultural teachers from
third world countries, indigenous elders, and physically-disabled
activists. If you request a full scholarship without work-trade,
please submit a personal letter, and tell us why. Otherwise
we'll assume you're applying for normal work-trade.
Earth Activist Training is committed to increasing the diversity of the global permaculture movement. We can offer a limited number of scholarships for people of color working in environmental and food justice areas. To apply, email earthactivisttraining[at]gmail.com
While EAT cannot offer refunds, deposits and course fees
may be applied to a future course in the case of a cancellation
up to 30 days before the course start date.
We need three items to consider your application.
- First, fill out the
registration form for the course
you desire to attend.
- Second is your personal
letter (see below). Please keep your letter to two pages,
- Third, get us your
deposit. We need to cover our expenses (including food,
lodging, and materials) for each student. EAT requires work
traders to pay a minimum of one half of the lowest sliding
scale pricing. Your work trade deposit needs to be one half
of that amount (one-quarter of the usual total). The remainder of the course tuition is
required prior to the course starting.
Here's what to put in your letter:
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, age, and your experience
in any areas related to this training: activism, permaculture,
gardening, magic and spiritual training, house-building, group
process and facilitation, teaching, organizing, community
work, etc. We hope our EAT community will reflect a diversity
of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and life experience,
so let us know anything about you that might be relevant.
Please answer these questions, as applicable:
- Why do you want to take this training?
- What community projects or activist work are you doing
- What specific use will you make of the EAT training?
Will you be able to share the skills with your community?
- What are your financial needs? Can you afford to pay
half, or more, of the base tuition? Will you be fundraising
- Do you have work-trade skills that we need? Are you
physically able to do this work? Do you have a reliable
car or pickup that you're willing to use during the training?
Can you come early and/or stay late, and work on-site?
- Do you have a well-developed work ethic and sense of
personal responsibility? Will you do the work you agree
Helpful hint: Vague applications are usually not
successful. We seek to give our tuition aid to dynamic folks
and activists from non-privileged backgrounds, who will apply
their new knowledge to specific projects and share it with
others. We want to support a positive "ripple effect."
The following job descriptions are typical, but may change,
depending on various locations and EAT's actual needs at
the time. There may be overlap, where a work-trader is asked
to do a bit of several jobs. And, depending on the job,
one or several people may be assigned to that position.
EAT Courses are intentionally intense and the hours are
very long, every day of the course. There isn't much time
to put in work trade hours during the actual course. Therefore
many of our work trade positions will be outside of
the actual course time. We need work traders who are able
to show up days early and stay days after the course to
do set up and cleanup, materials gathering and organizing
— as well as work traders who have professional skills
in the areas of promotion, marketing communications, fundraising,
computer graphics or public speaking.
Set-up/clean-up — Needs workers with
good sense of what "clean" is. Arrives day or
two early. Before course, preps classrooms and library.
Helps teachers with books, class supplies, materials, and
copying. During course, responsible for keeping classrooms,
dining hall, and bathrooms clean, emptying recycling bins,
and so on. On last day, helps organize cleanup crews. Stays
late to make sure all books and supplies are packed up,
all areas are clean, supplies taken back to storage, and
so on. Car and ability to drive helpful, possibly mandatory,
depending on each course needs.
Transportation coordinator — For several
weeks before course, contacts every participant and keeps
track of their travel plans. Helps students connect into
carpools. Answers transportation questions. Coordinates
the EAT shuttle on first and last day of course. May include
being a shuttle driver personally. Coordinates other shuttle
drivers, ensuring all participants get picked up. This position
needs person good with details and communication, committed
to answering all phone calls & emails on time. It's
a job that can be done mostly at home, before the course,
but will also involve coordination onsite for changes to
travel plans for departure.
Shuttle Drivers — If you own or can borrow a large
car or van, have car insurance, and are a safe & careful
driver, we need you for this one. Shuttle drivers work on
the first and last days of the course. They make several
runs into town, driving students and their gear to the EAT
site. Depending on how many hours owed, you may be asked
to do other chores as well, during or before the course.
Materials coordinator — Arrives two or
three days early. Works with teachers to support the hands-on
segments of course. Runs errands, shops, and gathers tools
& materials (straw, seeds, plants, manure, rocks, sand,
clay...) from stores, gardens, storage sites, stables, etc.
Not afraid to get hands dirty. Reasonable physical strength
needed. Throughout the two-week session, keeps tools and
materials organized and ready to roll, so the hands-on class
sessions have what's needed and start on time. Organizes
cleanup of area after class projects, makes sure tools are
put away every day. Stays late on last day for final cleanup
of tools and materials, returns tools to storage. Ability
to drive and own truck very helpful. This job needs workers
who anticipate what needs to be done and take responsibility,
not wait to be told.
— Liaison between the cooking team and students; helps
deal with any food issues that may arise. Arrives day or
two early to help organize kitchen, deal with food deliveries.
Sets up recycling and composting systems. Orients kitchen
teams in procedures for set up and clean up of meals. Makes
sure heath protocol is being followed during meal setup/cleanup
periods. Particular attention to detail with regards to
dishwashing and handwashing and overall health issues mandatory. On
last day, stays late to organize kitchen clean up.
Breakfast cooks and Breakfast Coordinator —
Requires waking up early (6:00 am) every day and preparing
simple breakfasts: setting out cereals, yogurt, and fruit,
making coffee and tea, and so on. Possibly some simple cooking
(eggs and toast). Works with the kitchen coordinator and
cooks to determine breakfast components. Learns and follows
health protocol. On last day, stays late to help with kitchen
We cannot exchange for things like music,
theater, artwork, tarot, bodywork, massage, Reiki, bellydancing,
priestessing, or extracurricular teaching. These are all
great things, but we can't trade you to do them. We need
our work-traders to do more prosaic things, like hauling
a truckload of manure.
Iris and ChezLani plant seedlings into keyhole beds
EAT is a program of both practical skills and consciousness change.
Permaculture, nonviolence, wilderness awareness, and
magic all teach
us to look at the world upside down and sideways, to see patterns
and relationships, not just things. When we do, we go through the
personal transformation we call "empowerment."
We want to not just teach about that transformation, but to embody
it in every aspect of what we do, beginning with how we
cost of this program.
We're asking you to take an active role in the fundraising work.
One of the principles of permaculture that you'll learn
about is "stacking
functions": one element of a project provides
In sharing the efforts of fundraising, we all gain.
- Asking for help can be hard. But changing the world is
a process of asking for help. No one can do it alone. So
process of transformation begins.
- Fundraising is a vital skill for organizers, permaculturalists,
and activists. Every project you want to do that extends
personal means will require fundraising of some sort. We will all
learn from the experience you gain in contributing to this program.
- If you invest your time and energy to make this happen, it will
belong to you, not us, and you'll get more out of it.
applicant to take an active role in generating your own scholarship
through creativity and personal effort. There may also be
ways to reduce
your costs. Here's some suggestions to get started:
- Are your friends and family out shopping for your
holiday or birthday
presents? Could you ask them to gift you with money towards this
- Would your community or organization support you to
come? In return,
you might offer to do a presentation when you return
and teach something
of what you learn. This really stacks functions and extends the
impact of the learning you receive.
- Would your community support a second person to come with you?
If two of you can co-train together, you'll have support and be
- Would your friends help you do a fundraising event: a
a raffle, a concert, a public ritual, a silent auction,
a formal tea party, a video screening, a bowling
tournament, a guided
herb walk, a poetry reading, a theater event, a ___?
- Do you make crafts or art items that you could sell?
or flowers? Have access to sage or juniper that could
dried, and sold as smudge sticks? Can you offer tarot readings,
foot massages, fresh cookies, live music? Get a booth
at your local
market or fair. Add a donation jar and attractive sign
to your booth,
telling why you're fundraising. EAT alumni have successfully
sold organic pancake mix at Quaker Meetings, and (extending into
the cyber-fair) sold dolls of political figures,
complete with pins,
- Online fundraising can be very effective if you have a large network of friends who might help you get to EAT. Not all such sites allow fundraising for individuals, but Give Foward does, at minimum fee. Remember, such a campaign takes time, so start early.
- Some people work in mainstream jobs where their
half the costs of "continuing education." Ask. Do you
have vacation coming? This might be the time.
- Your tuition may be tax deductible as an education expense (if
you itemize taxes and/or file taxes as a small business). If you
are someone's tax dependent and they pay for your tuition, it may
be a deduction for them.
- Some colleges have paid the fee for their students to
If you are currently enrolled in college, contact your financial
aid counselor to see if there are any funds for
needed for your degree. Ask your professors and/or
about school programs that might contribute. Talk to your student
- Some people may be able to sublet their normal living
away at the two-week EAT session. Can you offer someone
vacation in a desirable location?
- Remember that we will feed you for the two weeks you
are in EAT,
so your food budget is halved for the month.
" I know that some people probably are disappointed when they
read that you expect them to raise some of their scholarship. I was
a little apprehensive about asking friends. My friends
rushed to support
me. Even a man who was only an acquaintance came to me
and asked could
he help, because he felt that what I would bring back to
is what is needed. ... My faith has grown! In the future I will be
able to encourage others to raise money and keep their
hopes up along
the way.… It feels so good to know as I write my letter that
my money is making its way there. A peace and an accomplishment! I
look forward to meeting you! I am so grateful to have found EAT and
to know I will be a part of it!"
January 2006 EAT