Permaculture Action Course

April 1 - 7, 2019

Seven Springs

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee


The Permaculture Action Course facilitates an educational experience in ecological design science, community organizing, and the many facets of permaculture, teaching both hands-on techniques and social tools that participants can use to catalyze long-term transformative impact on the land and in their communities.

This course is being offered to everyone who wants to learn more about regenerative design, permaculture systems, and community organizing. Beginners are welcome and will be taken through an introduction to permaculture design science and its many facets. Folks already involved or skilled in permaculture will learn advanced techniques and a plethora of tools and skills in regard to social permaculture, alternative economies, community building, and action planning.

We make a special invitation to all those in the Mid-Appalachia BioRegion who want to up their organizing skills, get involved with Permaculture Action Network, and organize toward more Permaculture Action Days and regenerative community events in the region!


The Permaculture Action Course combines foundational theory with meaningful practical applications and hands-on experience, introducing participants to the permaculture movement. This course will thoroughly educate on the ethics and design principles. as well as present theories and strategies of effective and direct community organizing. We’ll dive into social permaculture, understanding the balance and function of ecological relationships as they apply to the collective energy of a group of people working towards a common goal.

This method is practiced by the Permaculture Action Network through Permaculture Action Days, catalyzing the energy at concerts and cultural events by mobilizing people to create real change with local grassroots projects that has directly affected over 11,000 people in 25 different states. 

With experienced practitioners in their respective fields teaching natural building, regenerative agriculture, social dynamics and more, this course will leave you with the practical tools to actually start building the world you want to live in. The Permaculture Action Course combines a social transformation and action-focused curriculum with hands-on skills building to truly equip you with a well-rounded tool set for engaging with the land and the communities around you.  

You will learn…

- Permaculture design processes and principles
- Rainwater harvesting and earthworks 
- Permaculture landscape design and food forestry 
- Natural building and appropriate technology
- Social transformation and community organizing methods
- Practical tools and techniques for regenerating ecology

What you'll get out of this course…

  1. A more holistic understanding of the important role humans play as a keystone species of Planet Earth, including how we as a species can manifest positive change.

  2. Both theory and hands-on skills in permaculture landscape design, natural building, organic food growing, ecological literacy, social permaculture, forestry management, self-resilience and much more

  3. Facilitation and community building skills that will empower you to create the world you want to see, whether you’re starting in your own backyard or working to transition your whole region.


Meet your Facilitators …

Joana Amorim, Leah Van Winkle, Michael Beck, and Ryan Rising are all organizers with the Permaculture Action Network, a collective that has mobilized over 11,000 people to days of action building permaculture sites, regenerative systems, and community spaces across the continent - PermacultureAction.Org. Joana, Leah, and Michael all organize with the Mid-Appalachian BioRegional Crew and are located around the Berea, Kentucky area. Ryan organizes with the California BioRegional Crew of Permaculture Action Network and founded the organization in 2014. 


Ryan Rising is a community organizer and permaculture educator based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and co-founder of the Permaculture Action Network. After a decade of local organizing around direct action, food justice, ecological design, and community living, Ryan organized the Permaculture Action Tour with music producer The Polish Ambassador in the fall of 2014. Ryan has since co-organized over 80 Permaculture Action Days throughout 25 US states, bringing hundreds of people at a time to build greenhouses, rainwater catchment, gardens, and regenerative systems at 80 different local community projects including public food forests, urban farms, and ecovillages. Ryan co-founded the Gill Tract Community Farm, which produces tons of organic food annually distributed for free all around the Bay Area, and the Omni Commons, an urban commons and community center. Ryan focuses on creating community access to land for local food growing and regenerative living, connecting people to take direct action; and social permaculture—the ways we make decisions, build resilience, resolve conflicts, and organize in community. 


Leah Van Winkle makes her home in the Appalachian foothills of central Kentucky, where she grows food, teaches yoga, offers Thai Bodywork, plays, and explores! Rooted in land-based permaculture design, her passion is to expand this holistic lens to facilitate nurturing social relationships in her community. Health is Leah’s main focus, stemming from a belief that human health is interdependent on health of the land and harmony within the ecosystem we occupy. An avid student, she is always seeking more opportunities to expand her knowledge, having already trained with Starhawk and Pandora Thomas in Social Permaculture, Doug Crouch of TreeYo Permaculture, Susana Lein of Salamander Springs and Cliff Davis of Spiral Ridge. Her favorite things to grow are blueberries, holy basil, and mustard greens.


Michael Beck joins Permaculture Action Network as a steward of land in Kentucky, natural builder, aspiring young farmer, and nature enthusiast. He is currently building an Appalachian-style log cabin with his partner and friend in Disputanta, Kentucky. Co-founder of international natural building network,, as well as the more recent Hands On Earth Permaculture, Michael has hosted and helped organize several Permaculture Action Days in Kentucky, Tennessee, California, and Illinois. Michael's current passion in the permaculture world is food forestry and edible landscaping design. He has been involved in many build projects and led several natural building workshops over the last six years. He took his Permaculture Design Course in Portugal with Doug Crouch of Treeyo Permaculture


Joana Amorim immigrated about three years ago from her home country, Portugal, to Kentucky where she is currently starting a farm and homestead and building a traditional log house. She is the co-founder of Hands On Earth Permaculture, focusing on natural building and food forestry. She is also a visual artist, natural builder, herbalist, gardener, chef, and acrobat. Joana took her Permaculture Design Course in Portugal with Doug Crouch of TreeYo Permaculture in 2012, a Social Permaculture Course in 2013, and a Permaculture Teachers Training with Robina Mccurdy in 2014. She has been involved in intentional communities and has led several hands-on classes during Permaculture Design Courses at Terra Alta Educational center in Portugal.



$850 Camping

$950 Shared Yurt

$1050 Private Glamping

*Early Bird Discount: $100 off any option before March 1st!

*$50 off bring a friend discount!

Three organic, local meals a day and camping at the beautiful Seven Springs Holistic Retreat Center are included in your registration fee. Yoga classes will be offered throughout the week. Upgraded accommodations are also available. 


Register now for more information!

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