Ecological Gardening
Practical Permaculture for Resilience and Regeneration
Taught by Spencer Nielsen

We are living in a time in which a collective realization is dawning: our future is uncertain. Now is the time to develop practical skills in creating intensely local food systems, resiliently resourced communities, and in becoming allies of the Earth.


This spring we are offering a new, intensely practical course in developing and applying the skills needed to grow food and plant medicine, this growing season! If you've been contemplating designing and installing a veggie garden but have been uncertain how and where to start--join us! Are you looking for community in sharing plant-growing knowledge? Interested in bringing an ecological awareness to your land stewardship and gardening practices to have an ever-more positive effect on the land? This course is for you.

The course will cover:

  • Ecological and Permacultural principles

  • Garden design:

    • "site analysis"

    • "reading the landscape"

  • Soil 

    • soil ecology, chemistry, biology

    • anaerobic ferments

    • cover crops

    • sheet mulching

    • carbon sequestration

    • compost, compost tea, worm bins

  • Water:

    • rainwater harvesting, swales

    • irrigation systems

    • earthworks

We will be exploring this in a hybrid model of on-line content and optional, in-person hands-on application of course material. Everything you need to know to get your garden planted will be covered on-line. And, as public health guidelines allow, we will have COVID-safe, socially distanced hands-on half-days in the outdoor classroom that is the beautiful Commonweal Garden. Being outdoors, engaging with the Garden surrounded by fresh clean air is one of the best places to be right now.


We've separated registration into two parts: our online content covered over the course of six Saturdays, three hours each day. (See dates below). The optional (but highly encouraged!) hands-on experiences will be held over four Sundays, in four hour sessions.

Natura holds the safety and wellbeing of our all of our community members of the utmost importance. Essential elements of our hands-on days include mask-wearing, hand hygiene, 6 foot distancing, and thoughtful coordination of all activities to ensure both optimal learning and safety. We've had delightful success at achieving safe educational fun here in the Garden even during this pandemic. Please read our COVID agreements before attending on-site coursework.

*Please note that this event takes place on wood-chipped paths, with port-o-potties that have a step.


Core Educational Content (On-line, via Zoom, with supportive video content)

Saturdays, 9am to noon with a 15 minute break

Dates: February 20, March 20, April 3, April 17, May 1, June 5

(Registration options below)

Hands-on Skill Building! (optional, in the Garden) 

Sundays, 10 am to 2 pm with one hour lunch break (please bring your own lunch)

Dates and Skills: 

March 21: Soil: compost making, compost tea, bed prep, seed-sowing, cover-cropping

April 18: Water and Plants: Agroforestry: pruning and grafting, propagation by cutting and division, layering. Tour of rainwater collection system, greywater, ponds.

May 2: Water and Plants:  setting up irrigation systems, transplanting seedlings

June 6: Ecology: habitat gardens for pollinators, integrated pest managment, bee keeping basics

(Registration options below)

  • Plants:

    • sowing seeds​: directly and in greenhouse

    • propagation by cutting, division and layering

    • transplantation

  • Agroforestry

    • planting trees

    • pruning and grafting​

  • Plant guilds, companion planting and ecological niches

  • Integrative Pest Management

  • Habitat Gardening

Core Educational Content Registration: 

We have three tiers of course fees in order to make this as accessible as possible while covering our costs. Please pay what you can afford, and consider supporting someone unable to pay if you are able. Thank you!


Ticket Tier 1- $180
Ticket Tier 2- $270
Ticket Tier 3 (full price): $360
Full Price & Supporting Another Registrant Ticket Tier: $540

**We have limited capacity to further discount pricing for those in need. Please reach out to; special priority given to BIPOC, elders, single mothers, students, and those working in the nonprofit realm. Please reach out before registering! 

Hands-on Skill Building Registration: 

Discounted Ticket Tier- $30/session
Full Price Ticket Tier- $45/session
Full Price & Supporting Another Registrant Ticket Tier- $80/session

March 21

April 18

May 2

June 6

Upcoming Events

Ecological Gardening

Starting in February 2021

Resilience Wayfinding

Starting in January 2021

Community Medicine Call

January 27, 6:30-7:30 pm:

COVID immunizations



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Contact Us​
c/o Natura
PO Box 316
Bolinas, CA