WANTED: Permaculturists + Natural Builders (Certified Instructors + Passionate Trainees For Both Disciplines)

in #permaculture3 years ago (edited)

Cal-Earth, Hesperia, California. October 2014. Plans, compassed + chalked.

Three and a half years ago, when I was in the Mojave Desert getting trained in permaculture and SuperAdobe building, I had no idea I would end up sitting on those skills all this time! More than once, I have wondered how far off my path I swerved. Or if I was ever even on it?!

And then one day in November last year, I had a Zoom call that -- in hindsight, I now see -- would change everything. The purpose of the call was to learn about a hemp-centered project.

Gus shared his ideas with uncommon passion. So, his energy grabbed my immediate attention. But it is what he said that FLOORED ME.

It was the same dream that had been planted in my heart, but fully grown!

The simple, sovereign, earth-honoring life that I desired enough to skill-chase in a desert, to learn how to do it... that was (part of) the vision Gus described to me!

Have you ever had someone TELL YOU YOUR OWN DREAM?

It is trippy! To spend years thinking no one understands your preoccupation with a singular plant... and then hear someone describe to you building a purposeful, beautiful life that is entirely rooted in the fabulous bounty of that very same plant! On that first call, I knew that Belize would be my next home.


And this is where the call for you comes in!

  1. Please know that a very clear, solid, and inspiring Whitepaper is being finalized as I write this. I don't know what the release date will be, but I just want you to know that any questions this post stirs in you, will soon find their answer in the Whitepaper :-)

  2. EarthAngels is a lot of things, with many fruitful functions. One of those functions is our learning model. Each built eco-home will ALSO be a mini-school of permaculture and natural building. Each home will need certified instructors, and hard-working apprentices. That is why we are putting out this call to you.

A R E . . . Y O U . . .

  • a certified permaculturist or natural builder, looking for a change... in the tropics!
  • an activist who wants to sweat, and build, and learn life-affirming systems and methods?
  • an adventurous -- or frustrated! -- soul open to explore a new, earth-friendly career?

...then I encourage you to JOIN OUR MAILING LIST + identify yourself as a potential instructor or apprentice + we will follow-up with you!


A few pics from a very special time of learning and growing...

(With a loving shout-out to my instructors, Bill + Becky of Midwest Permaculture and Ian of Cal-Earth!)

My adorable hobbit-home for two weeks.

Captives. Of fire and stories.

Piled up on a tiny practice-dome we built.

Connected by land-love.


Now, it is very possible that you have never heard of permaculture, or don't understand it. But you've come all this way, so you must be hungry to know! Well, eat up! 🍴

Permaculture is an ethical, regenerative design science that makes systems flourish. It fosters optimal states of air, water, land, plants, animals, insects, buildings, people, and communities. It enhances all of life, because it acknowledges and leverages the connections between all of life.

Permaculture combines three key aspects:

(1) An ethical framework;
(2) An understanding of how nature works; and
(3) A design approach.

The 12 Key Design Principles of Permaculture

Permaculture's 12 key design principles were conceived by David Holmgren:

(1) Observe and interact.

(2) Catch and store energy.

(3) Obtain a yield.

(4) Apply self-regulation and accept feedback.

(5) Use and value renewable resources and services.

(6) Produce no waste.

(7) Design from patterns to details.

(8) Integrate rather than segregate.

(9) Use small and slow solutions.

(10) Use and value diversity.

(11) Use edges and value the marginal.

(12) Creatively use and respond to change.

Life is not to be saved. It is to be spent. Well.

Like many sensitive, empathic people, I walk around with a strong felt sense of the many needs and pains in the world. And with that awareness also came a desire to respond... to use my life in a helpful, improving, relieving way.

All the approaches I have previously tried -- (such as environmental activism, spiritual caregiving, grant-writing for nonprofits and other attempts to "do good" in the world) -- these were one-dimensional solutions, for multi-dimensional problems.

Knowing better, leads to doing better.

To quote Geoff Lawton (in video below), permaculture "provides all the needs of humanity in a way that benefits the environment."

Design arranges physical form. Regenerative design does that in a way that leaves the earth better than we found it. I simply do not know of a worthier pursuit.

Permaculture gives evidence that flourishing life is possible for ALL. It is doable. Achievable. A desert has been turned into a garden oasis, for goodness sake! See the 2-minute video below for proof. This is not placebo. Or delusion. This is real, solution-rich science that we have had an embarrassingly underwhelming response to!

It is easy to implement better, smarter designs. Just decide it so. As long as we need shelter and true food for our survival, these wise ways should influence us more.


The trainings provided me hands-on skills I had been aching for. I learned things like:

  • How to install a linear food forest.

  • How to assess the building + growing qualities of a site's sub-soil.

  • How to get maximum gain (heat + sunlight) from solar passive energy in home design.

  • How to use the geometric strength of the arch and the circle in home construction.

  • How to decrease the cost, and toxicity, of a constructed home by building it with earth architecture.

  • How to make natural paint from powdered milk, and use magnetite as a natural shimmery additive to earthen plaster

  • How to hold fresh rainwater on the land, and how to re-direct greywater (which is used sink, shower or laundry water) to needful places, like gardens.

  • How to lessen work, and increase yields in all endeavors.

  • And, valued above all, I learned how to think in whole systems.

I felt so empowered from what I had been shown, that shortly after I returned home, I made -- and meant -- this heart-commitment:

I commit my hands to create edible, habitable Paradises, as often as possible. I commit my communication skills to share the solutions, methods, and techniques that put our lives -- our shelter, our food and our work -- back into our own hands, and in the most pleasing, fruitful, and harmless way!

The heart remembers promises made to it... 💚


Do you know about the utterly corrosive, yet completely accepted strategy of hyperconsumption that is eroding health and happiness all over the world? Here's a 3-minute video that shows how that horrid strategy is playing out:

Permaculture and natural building is THE OPPOSITE of this lunacy! You in??


Hey, did this post remind you of anyone??

Please share it with them! Thank you. 🌻


Check out: Masks are to be played with. Not lived in.


Love your work and I am excited to help with EarthAngel in the way that I can. Love ya gurl! Call me!!! I know you got a lot of things to talk about!

@bryanj4, you beautiful human. Thank you.

I'm going to watch the video. My heart says go "all in". My head says, I wish I was younger. So I'll sleep on it and see what my first thought is in the morning. I'll be going to sleep with something real to dream about.


Thank you every single Earth Angel x

You're as young as you feel!

My mind is still young. My body, not.
A little fact Cambridge Analytica (bastards!) thought I was 34 and only 68% sure I was male.
My body is within 100% accuracy 50 years old and I haven't been kind to it.
Lovely reply, thank you :)
I've just applied on earth angels :)

I feel 30 ish in short :)

I peeped ya on Twitter, @d3p0... we're close in age. 😉

@erikaharris the best part of this post is that you are going in a direction that your Heart leads you. So Many people live their lives thinking that 9-5 Monday thru Friday is Life. Not so because there is so much more.............

@stokjockey: I remember being in various 9-to-5 jobs, and feeling trapped, like there was no way out. But, obviously, that is simply not true.

Ahhhhh...it’s so inspiring! I went on an educational tour of a permaculture Farm a few weeks ago and it was so inspiring! I plan to write a post about it.
I love what they are doing at Earth Angel! Maybe by the time hubby is ready to retire it will be thriving and we could move there. For now, I will soak up knowledge and skills and dream about it.

Thank you for sharing this! I'm totally interested in everything that you described. I used to run a traditional construction company and am looking to develop a more diverse set of skills.

Oh, that's great to hear, @metama! If you sign-up for our mailing list, we will keep you informed on how you can get those skills you seek.


Been so in love with permaculture and natural building for so many years now. Never took the courses, but I have taught myself some. Really excited to come play with y'all and learn so much more.

I'm truly excited for that too, @solarsupermama... to learn from and with each other. And yes, with lots of play! :-)

We're gonna have so much fun!

Wow! great vision. Great post. Motivating. I'm writing a series of posts on what I call Cooperative Abundance, a new Paradigm for Humanity. I think what you have and the little bit of vision I have fit well together. In the meantime I have a son (28 yrs. old) who I think will love what you are doing. I'm hoping he will see, and love your vision. Perhaps the timing will be right for him.

Hey, @mistermercury! Your series topic sounds amazing, and I look forward to checking it out. It'd be great if your son found/made a happy place for himself somewhere in this big, wonderful project. I appreciate you stopping by :-)

I share a similar vision with you, though I'm more focused on North Africa right now than Belize region. I am very slowly gathering information and connections for a project I want to do in building a main permaculture training/learning farm that supports smaller such farms on the workers' homesteads.

I have also built a land trust project of 26 homes and was frustrated by the prioritization of "cheap supplies" above natural, healthy choices by the funders. I have intended ever since to do a project where there isn't even AC current running in the buildings (since it interferes with the human energyfield's natural frequency).

I don't know how much I'm going to combine the ideas the same way you have, but we're definitely thinking along similar lines. I look forward to watching your project develop and will be taking notes for sure.

Thanks to @mistermercury for the resteem that helped me find you.

This is such an inspiring article @erikaharris ! 😀​ Love the sound of this eco-friendly project, wish you & all involved the best ! 💚​