Tired of feeling powerless about the world’s problems?

Looking for real solutions to address the issues we face today?

Ready for an inspiring, life-changing experience?

Join our Intro to Permaculture for the inspiration and practical tools you’ve been looking for!

August 11 – 14th, 2022 

Permaculture shows us how to bring our human habitats into greater harmony with the natural world. What better place to learn this than in an ecovillage?

Using Dancing Rabbit as your living laboratory, you’ll benefit from the wisdom and knowledge of the permaculture movement and the hard-won experiences of a 25-year-old ecovillage.

Join us for presentations, hands-on activities, cooperative projects, and creative exercises that help you connect with the material, with each other, and with the land. Prepare to be surprised and inspired!


Our Intro to Permaculture features…

    • Climate change solutions that you can actually do, wherever you are right now
    • Tours of homes and gardens featuring permaculture in action
    • Workshops with community members experienced in gardening, farming, natural building, and renewable energy
    • Ideas for how to practice the three permaculture ethics: care for the planet, care for people, and sharing the surplus.

Our goal is for you to be able to put into action what you learn the moment you get home. You’ll find valuable, useful answers to your burning questions about how to design a bountiful life in partnership with nature and with other humans.

What is an Intro to Permaculture Course?

This course is an opportunity to spend a weekend seeing for yourself what a balanced life can look like, and come out with a little (or a lot) more hope for our planet’s future and your role in it.

You’ll learn…

    • What permaculture is
    • Why we need permaculture’s practical, common-sense guidance
    • How to get started
    • How to observe and interact with the natural world in a regenerative way
    • How to conserve precious water and build beautiful soil
    • How to bring damaged land back to life
    • How permaculture is working around the world

You’ll see…

    • Renewable energy systems
    • Strawbale buildings and other earth-friendly homes
    • Livestock raised in harmony with their natural inclinations
    • Rainwater catchment systems and constructed wetlands
    • Our extensive library of permaculture books and other resources
    • Gardens designed on permaculture principles

You’ll get to…

    • Explore our beautiful prairies and woodlands
    • Work together on a hands-on permaculture project
    • Meet ecovillagers “in the wild”
    • Visit with your workshop leaders over delicious meals prepared just for you

Be ready for very full days, as we have a lot to share with you. We’ll also give you regular breaks for exploring the ecovillage and pursuing your personal interests.

If you’re anxious or despondent over the relentless news of our growing global climate crisis, you’re not alone. And it’s not too late.

There IS a solution, and it’s called permaculture. Help us spread permaculture’s ethics, principles, and practices throughout the world. The only limits are in our imagination.

As Bill Mollison said, “Permaculture is a dance with nature, in which nature leads.”

Come dance with us!

Sign up today to join our Intro to Permaculture Course!

Your Intro to Permaculture Course Instructors

Alyson with Kohlrabi atop her head

Alyson Ewald

Alyson Ewald has spent over twenty-five years leading environmental and educational programs both within the US and abroad. Alyson currently serves as facilitator of the social dimension of Gaia Education’s online course in sustainable design and as a consultant and trainer for communities working to strengthen their decision-making and conflict engagement systems. Alyson has received training and experience in English teaching, Permaculture, Alternatives to Violence, Nonviolent Communication, and Restorative Circles. She has also served as a Board member for Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Scotland County Farmers’ Market, and the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC). She is a certified Permaculture Designer and an avid student of governance, conflict, and justice.

After receiving her BA in English from Bates College in 1990, Alyson lived and worked overseas in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, and Croatia for nine years. During that time she taught English, coordinated cross-cultural exchange programs for students and environmental professionals, led workshops on consensus, nonviolence, and facilitation, and founded and taught a leadership and skill-building program for antinuclear activists. In 2005 she co-founded Red Earth Farms, a homesteading community in northeast Missouri, U.S., where she lives and practices Permaculture on seven beautiful acres.

Claire ‘Squirrel’ Brandau

Raised in East Tennessee, Squirrel spent her summers in the last inhabited community inside the wilds of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Her days were spent like a feral child running around with a pack of other feral kids rock hoppin’ to the swimmin’ hole, tubin’ and playing “Kick the Can” in the night. When alone, she spent hours following whitetail deer as they meandered through the forest until they accepted her presence. This childhood experience led her to a lifelong love of the natural world, and the desire to learn as much as possible about all things wild.
She earned her BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Management (commonly called Wildlife Biology) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. But she found the concept of natural resource conservation cynical and defeatist. With permaculture, she found her calling along with a much needed infusion of optimism. It inspired Squirrel to receive her Permaculture Design Certification and Permaculture Teacher Training from Midwest Permaculture. She is excited to share her knowledge with you!
When not teaching permaculture, you’re most likely to see her walking around the village with her most beloved companion, her retired service dog Zoinks.