Permaculture design course

Milna, island of Brac


12.07. — 24.07.2017.

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Permaculture design course

This special social and food growing Permaculture design course at Gea Viva, Island Brač, Croatia, combines a holiday by the sea with inspirational learning.

Delving deeply into how we can use Permaculture to create rich beneficial relationships between people, communities and their surroundings, including how to grow food, build houses and create economies, while also enriching and taking care of nature, this course is internationally accredited.

Special emphasis will be put on creating a temporary community for the duration of the course, where we use social Permaculture tools to make sure everyone’s needs are met, so we can all enjoy living together in a joyful, supportive learning environment.

This 90 hour experiential workshop starts on Wednesday, 12th July at 18.00 hrs, and ends on Monday, 24th July with an evening of celebration, with one day off in-between. Tuesday, 25th July s the leaving day.


Gea Viva is an eco base and retreat camp in a tranquil olive grove, 15 minutes’ walk from the sea and the harbour village Milna on the beautiful Croatian island Brač. Giving people the opportunity to experience living in harmony with nature, it offers retreats, events and seminars around the themes of ecological construction, permaculture, geomancy, healthy living, arts and crafts. Being completely off-grid, Its design is based on permaculture principles featuring a stone circle, a beautiful pavilion which serves as a teaching space, a permaculture garden, compost toilets, solar showers, a geodesic dome, a straw bale eco cabin, a giant mosaic dragon and a cosy Summer kitchen. There is also a dog and a donkey.


The course will from day one put into practice social permaculture. We will create a community and practically explore how we ensure that everyone’s needs are met, and how everyone can safely express themselves, without conflict.  For more details on syllabus, click here.

The syllabus will cover the following areas

– Principles of Natural Systems – Sustainable Design Methodologies

– Patterns in Nature, Culture and Society

– Reading the Land & Understanding Natural Processes

– Large Scale Land Restoration Techniques

– Water Harvesting Technique

– Design Principles of Sustainable Human Settlements

– Grey Water Recycling

– Natural Building Strategies

– Cultivated & Productive Ecologies

– Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Gardens for Self-Sufficiency

– Energy Conservation Technologies

– Appropriate Technologies and Renewable Energies

– Urban Environment Permaculture

– Wildlife Management and Biological Pest Control

– Community Activism

– Invisible Structures: People, Community, Economics, EcoVillages

– Sociocracy; Dragon dreaming; Six thinking hats

– Community Supported Agriculture

At the end of the class, students engage in a group design project.


There is a choice of accommodation:

1.) Camping on site for thirteen nights is 30 Euros. Please bring your own camping gear.

2.) For those who do not want to travel with tents, mats and blankets, we will also set up camping dormitories, which are 45 Euros for thirteen nights. This covers the cost of water and tourist tax.

Staying on site, gives you a deeper experience of the permaculture vibe, however, if you would like more comfort, we can book a shared room for you in the village for 195 Euros for thirteen nights (subject to us finding a same sex roommate for you), a single room for 325 Euros or an apartment for two for 455 Euros.


The cost for the training is based on gift economy, where participants are invited to contribute what they can afford and are willing to pay. The cost of putting on the course means we need to raise on average €500 per person.  For more info about the true cost of the course, click here.


To create a deeper sense of community, throughout the course we will create teams who will take turns to cook every day. We will create a system which allows us to express what our dietary needs are, so that we ensure every meal is ideal for everyone. For more info about food, click here


Bank transfer to a Croatian bank account | Bank transfer to a Euro bank account | Bank transfer to a UK bank account | Paypal | Cash by arrangement


To register for this course, please fill in the following form. If you have any difficulty or have any questions please feel free to contact Rakesh or Sabine.


This course is in English, however, if there is anything you do not understand, we will help you. In case there are a number of people who need a translator, please let us know and we will work to accommodate this. If this comes up, we could offer free course attendance to an experienced translator in exchange.


This course adheres to the Permaculture Association Britain’s accreditation criteria for Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s). You have the choice to receive the Permaculture association Britain Certificate (€20 for the certificate and additional administration) or the one by the Roots in Permaculture Collective School (free). Both certificates afford you the same privilege, meaning you can teach intro courses (after at least 1 year or putting permaculture into action) and can also apply to do your diploma (with any association anywhere in the world). The only difference between the two is that the PAB certificate helps to pay the learning coordinator of PAB to develop and maintain their high standard curriculum.


Lead Instructor

Rakesh Rootsman Rak – An experienced Permaculture designer teacher, forest garden specialist, yoga teacher, homeopath and reggae DJ. Rakesh has been designing and teaching permaculture to individuals and communities since 2009, and has taught over 170 permaculture, forest gardening, eco village design and related courses. His design portfolio ranges from a forest garden on part of a 30-hectare eco village in Croatia that he co-owned through to many urban community food growing gardens, private farms and back gardens as well as designing collaborative businesses, urban water retention systems and even computer software and documentation systems. Rakesh is also passionate about sharing his journey of self empowerment (learning how to make all the things you need for yourself rather than relying on the system to provide for you), this includes eco architecture (low impact housing); capturing and storing energy (electricity, heat, lighting, etc); fuel efficient heating systems (rocket heaters and stoves); water capture, purification and recycling systems, natural bee keeping and so on. Being vegan for health as well as environmental reasons, Rakesh does not do any animal husbandry and hence does not teach animal husbandry. Instead he believes in creating an environment where animals are free to come and go as they please. He is one of the founders of the Children in Permaculture project, as well as the youth in permaculture project, which are looking at how to engage children and youth in permaculture through schools, parents as well as through youth groups. So be prepared to go off on inspirational tangents occasionally.


Sabine Engelhardt – a founding member of Gea Viva, where she frequently hosts and facilitates events around the themes of permaculture, eco building and  geomancy. An eco architect, joiner, geomancer and facilitator, Sabine has developed the site design for Gea Viva, and worked with many groups and individuals on practical projects, such as building a strawbale cabin, dry-stone walling, gardening and the construction of the Summer kitchen as well as on spiritual themes. She initiated various creative collaborative processes, two of which for stone circles. Recently, she hosted the Fifth International Lifenet gathering, ‚Celebrating our co-creation with Gaia‘, which brought together fellow earth energy workers from all over Europe. Sabine is passionate about supporting individuals in communicating with the wisdom of nature, getting in touch with their inner guidance and finding their unique expression. Known as Sacred Permaculture, she has been cultivating the connection with the unseen layers of the Earth over many years, and will offer optional morning meditations during the course to connect with one’s inner wisdom as well as nature.

CP: Sabine Engelhardt

00 385 (0) 99 749 37 11

Prodolina 864


Frequently asked questions


Das Beste von Brač an einer Stelle!