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Permaculture Action Course in Tennessee at Seven Springs Holistic Retreat Center

June 2 @ 3:00 pm - June 8 @ 2:30 pm


Permaculture Action Course
June 2nd – 8th, 2017

Join us as we imagine ways to build resilient communities where our grandchildren will thrive. Ryan Rising of the Permaculture Action Network, together with Cliff Davis and Jennifer Albanese of Spiral Ridge Permaculture, will lead a hands-on practical exploration of how to support our selves, our communities, and our ecosystems. Topics will include: natural building, earthworks design and installation, food forestry, community organizing, creative visioning, strategic planning, conflict resolution, and social permaculture. This event will unite and strengthen the Southern Appalachian BioRegional network in particular, though all are welcome to attend and bring these experiences home with you – wherever that may be.

Register for the Course here!   See the course page on Seven Springs’ website here!

The workshop curriculum will include the following:

  • Reading the Landscape Site Walk
  • Water in the Landscape
  • Soils
  • Placemaking
  • Natural Building
  • Social Permaculture
  • Community Organizing/Action Planning
  • Alternative Economies
  • Permaculture Garden
  • ​Strategy Design. Forming Groups and Projects
  • Alternative Energy/Appropriate Tech
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution
  • Traditional Cherokee Sweat Lodge with Yona FrenchHawk

The primary goal of this course is to develop inter-sectoral relationships that will lead to a more coherent regional strategy for integrating permaculture principles into our communities. By sharing skills and experiences across our network we’ll grow both individually and as a group. We highly recommend that you combine this practical course with Cliff and Jen’s Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) from May 18-31 and get $250 off.


Ryan Rising is a community organizer and permaculture educator based out of the San Francisco Bay Area who most recently organized the Permaculture Action Tour for music producer The Polish Ambassador in the fall of 2014. The tour visited 32 cities across the country, holding an Action Day in each one and bringing together up to 400 people at a time to implement projects including public food forests, edible gardens, natural buildings, and greenhouses.  Ryan focuses on creating community access to land for local food growing and regenerative living – connecting people to take direct action and transition to a resilient way of life; and social permaculture – the ways we make decisions, build resilience, resolve conflicts, and organize in community.  Ryan has taught numerous courses and workshops, including the Elemental Alchemy Permaculture Intensive before Symbiosis Gathering in 2013 and 2015, three Permaculture Action Courses, and a month-long Gaia Education certified Eco-Village Design training in Nicaragua. A certified permaculture designer with a degree in Peace and Social Justice Studies, he also co-founded a regenerative, productive urban farm in the East Bay and now organizes with the Omni Commons – a community space and education center in Oakland, CA.  For more information on Ryan’s work see the Permaculture Action Network website.


Cliff Davis has vast experience in the fields of permaculture, food forestry, organics, appropriate technology, natural building, deep nature connection and regenerative agriculture, that allow him to offer an integrative approach to land and culture repair. He empowers others to take a hands-on approach to design in his regular and advanced course offerings. His humor, straight-forward style and determination to make positive change, make him an engaging instructor, consultant and designer.   He has taught over 40 courses, and has taken over 20 professional development courses. As a professional designer, he has worked for farms, intentional communities, school campuses and homesteaders.  Cliff is the main instructor and curriculum developer for most of Spiral Ridge’s courses. He received his permaculture certificate in 2004 from the International Institute of Ecological Agriculture and his teacher training certificate from Dave Jacke. He later went on to co-teach the teacher training course, with Jacke.  Cliff has been featured twice on The Permaculture Voices Podcast, The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann, Agricultural Insights podcast, Agro-Innovations podcast, and the C-Realm podcast and has been a speaker at many sustainability/farming events and conferences.  Experience matters.  For a detailed look at his experience, training & mentors as well as a list of courses that he has taught, check out his full resume.

Jennifer Albanese has been an organic gardening student and practitioner for over 14 years.  She has a special interest in soil regeneration and re-mineralization to create ecosystem health and nutrient dense food.  She runs a small nursery and market garden on an off-grid homestead in Tennessee with Cliff and her family.  She has a passion for local in-season, nose-to-tail cooking, ferments and traditional foods.  Jennifer worked as a midwife’s apprentice, birth mentor/doula and course organizer, for The Farm Midwifery Center, for many years before running Spiral Ridge full-time.  She home schools three children, and mentors others in nature connection, permaculture and gardening at The Farm School.  She has written articles for Permaculture News, B-Real magazine, Hand Picked Nation and as a guest blogger for other websites.  Jennifer received her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2007 from the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology and Ecovillage Training Center.

Yona FrenchHawk – one of only 200 full-blooded Cherokee remaining who read and write in their mother tongue. Yona has dedicated his life to sharing the traditions, stories and songs he learned from his elders. He will be leading a traditional sweat lodge as he’s done for almost 50 years, sharing around the fire and doing what he does best: show up.



“This [2016 PDC] course was incredible, very informative and well-taught. Content and facilitation was above expectations… Seven Springs is incredible a blessing and a gift! I love the sweet welcoming atmosphere that is here – also tranquility and beauty.”
– Lisa, 2016 PDC Participant

“The facilitators met us where we were and did a great job gauging temperatures and responding accordingly. Great organization and flexibility. we covered a lot of content and had a ton of FUN! The facilitators really created a welcoming space that allowed our group to share and learn together. I’m delighted, inspired and humbled by facilitator knowledge, generosity and commitment to land, people and self-growth. I’m honored to be a part of this experience, humbled by the generosity of the Longs, and the absolute beauty of this land. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!”
– Tigran, 2016 PDC Participant

“I feel that this experience has opened me, enriched me and taught me more than I ever could have asked for. I feel a new light in me and a fire for this sort of work that was ever so strong before. I feel grateful. I feel as though I have been transformed in ways more abundant than I know, just by being here. I feel loved by this land/people. I LOVE IT BACK!”
– Lindsey, 2016 PDC Participant

“Beautiful people, beautiful land. Felt familiar, felt home. Fresh food, locally sourced and a nice selection of teas all day long… a girl can’t complain! Always accommodating for guests and thinking of thoughtful fun extras. They were more than just instructors. They were inspirations, and most of all: FRIENDS!”
– Kelly, 2016 PDC Participant

Permaculture Action Course Details: 

Arrival: 3:00 PM Fri, June 2, 2017
Departure: 2:30 PM Thu, June 8, 2017

Seven Springs Holistic Retreats
Near Maryville, Tennesee
Just across Smoky Mountains from Asheville, NC

Nearest international airport is in Knoxville, Tennessee
​(about 30 minutes from Seven Springs).
There’s a Megabus station in Knoxville also. Transfers are available.

Tuition + Room & Board:

$750 BYO camping
$875 for shared yurt

All options include hearty and nutritious meals.
Vegetarian options are available.
Just let us know your dietary needs and we’ll make sure you’re well nourished!

Please book and pay for tuition and accommodations here.
*Listed prices include all fees.


Permaculture Action Network


Seven Springs Retreat Center
Sweet Hollow , TN United States + Google Map