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Food Forest & Forest Ecology

Tools and Techniques

Designing, Growing and Managing Productive Forest Systems

Forest systems are critical for carbon sequestration, climate disaster mitigation, and diversity protection. They are also valuable elements in a design for food, fuel, building materials, and medicinal crop production. Join Starhawk and Charles Williams to learn about the ecology of forests and principles for designing and maintaining productive forest systems. You can take this class as a stand-alone class for personal growth or as the fourth module in a four-part Advanced Permaculture certificate program



  • Forest Ecology. Explore the intricacies of forest ecology, disturbance and succession, forest architecture, and fungal/bacterial relationship. Gain skills in reading and understanding your local forests.
  • Applied Forestry Learn forest measurement, analysis and best management practices (BMP). Apply what you learn in class to your context,  ranging from classic rural woodlands or complex urban forests.
  • Forest Management Plans. Write a forest management plan using the concepts from class.


  • Designing and Building Food Forests. Learn how to approach food forest design, ranging from how to select cultivars to how to arrange your plants for beneficial relationships
  • Management of Trees and Food Forests. Gain tools and techniques for food forest maintenance and care. Learn how to adapt food forest theory to a range of places and spaces.
  • Building a Design. Building from what was discussed in class, design a food forest for your region and write a plan for management and maintenance.


A core component of this course is our private digital classroom: Earth Activist Training Online network. This platform is where you will find all your course resources and recordings. Here you will also be able to connect with teachers, fellow students, and the large Earth Activist Training Community.

To learn more about the full Advanced Permaculture certificate course Click Here



  • Location: Virtual
  • Dates: September 12th – October 17th (6 weeks)
  • Timing: Thursday 6:00-8:00 pm PST
  • Helpful Tool: Time Zone Converter
  • Taught by Starhawk and Charles Williams,
  • Each week has 2 hours of live instruction with supporting resources and documentation.
  • All live sessions are recorded and closed captioned.
  • Access to resources, documentation and recorded class content in our virtual classroom.

Individual Modules

  • We are dedicated to making our courses as accessible as possible by offering:
  • Early Bird tuition: $320 
  • Sliding-scale tuition: $350-$450
  • Payment plans: $100 at registration with 3 monthly payments of $100
  • Alumni tuition: $100 to retake this course
  • Diversity scholarships available: See below
  • Group Discounts: See below
  • All amounts are in US dollars
  • See below for details


  • Group discounts and Diversity Scholarships available? Yes!
  • Keep reading below


We are here for you. Reach us at: support@earthactivisttraining.org


MEET Your Teachers

Starhawk (she/her) is the co-founder and executive director of Earth Activist Training. One of the foremost voices in Earth-based spirituality, Starhawk is an author, activist, and permaculture teacher and designer. Her 12 books include such beloved reads as The Spiral Dance, The Earth Path, and The Fifth Sacred Thing. Starhawk drew from 30 years of living collectively to write The Empowerment Manual, which is the basis for her social permaculture course, Empowering Collaborative Groups.

Starhawk has been recognized by the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) as a leading figure in permaculture and has been awarded dual diplomas for excellence in education and permaculture site design.

Best known as an articulate voice in the revival of Earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion, Starhawk is the co-founder of the Reclaiming movement, an activist branch of the modern Pagan religion. In partnership with Donna Read, Starhawk is the co-founder of Belili Productions film company, whose most well-known project was a trio of popular films on the Goddess religion.

Starhawk’s work in progressive activism has spanned generations and geographies. As a global justice and peace activist, Starhawk co-founded RANT: Root Activists’ Network of Trainers, and has taught non-violent direct action across North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. She has been on the front lines of anti-nuclear actions at Diablo Canyon, Livermore Weapons Lab, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the Nevada Test Site. She has been a witness for peace in conflict zones across the world, including Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Palestine and Israel.

As a teacher of magical activism and permaculture education, Starhawk’s life work takes her across the globe. She currently lives part-time in San Francisco in a collective house with her partner and friends, and part-time in a little hut in the woods in Cazadero, California, where she practices permaculture in her extensive gardens and writes. Her website is http://starhawk.org.

Charles Williams (he/him) is Earth Activist Training’s program director.  A long-time permaculture educator and certified permaculture designer, Charles comes to Earth Activist Training through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one’s hands is sacred work.

Over the past thirty years he has stewarded many pieces of land, including Diana’s Grove in Missouri, Farm & Wilderness summer camp in Vermont, and Starhawk’s Golden Rabbit Ranch in California. His approach simultaneously promotes both the preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic.

His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management. Charles also understands the need for healthy community and knows that skilled human implementation is an essential part of any design. In these challenging times, he finds hope for the future through the interlocking, symbiotic relationship of spirit, community, and action.

As an accomplished tinkerer Charles brings a wide range of practical and somewhat obscure hand skills. He has installed complex systems such as solar electric arrays, gray water filters, and veggie oil diesel conversions. He has implemented simple systems such as emergency water filtration, humanure composting toilets, and rotational grazing plans. He is talented in wilderness tracking, solo canoeing, gathering and tending wild edibles, starting fire by hand, and mapping. He loves to work with his hands, whether he is tanning hides or repairing a generator, and this love is reflected when he teaches EAT’s hands-on segments.

Charles believes that no problems are unsolvable as long as we work together to develop and implement our plan effectively and honor the holy in our work.


Payment options

  • Diversity scholarships. Available for indigenous people and people of color working in environmental or food justice

Payment Options

We are dedicated to making this course work for you and offer a range of payment options.

  • Early Bird tuition: $320 
  • Sliding Scale Tuition – $350-$450 for this singule module
    or $1250-1650 for full four module certificate course
  • Alumni. Those who want a refresher or complete certificate. You need to have take this course with us before.
  • Payment Plan for Certificate Students. Four part payment plans ($100 down with 3 monthly payments of $100)
  • Group Discounts. For those who are for coming as a group of 2 or more people.

Every Abundant Tuition helps support a Diversity Scholarship.
All prices are per session prices and in US dollars.


This includes weekly live sessions, access to online class materials, and access to google classroom.

  • Abundant Tuition: $450
  • Standard Tuition: $400
  • Resilient Tuition: $350


  • Groups of 2-5 people – Discount of $125 off each ($275 total for each person)
  • Cohort of 6-10 people – Discount of $150 off each ($250 per person)
  • Must indicate who all is in your group at registration


    This plan is for students wanting to take the Full Certificate Program.

    • Payment of $100 when you register.
    • Three monthly installments of $100 ($400 total).
    • Our Student Support Team will assist you in setting this up.


      • Alumni Tuition $100 – For those who have taken this class before, with full access to resources.

      Diversity Scholarship


      • Earth Activist Training is committed to increasing the diversity of global permaculture and regenerative land movements.
      • We recognize the history of this land called the United States and Canada and seek to do what we can to rectify the deep injustices and systems of inequity that formed and continue to shape society today.
      • Diversity Scholarships are available for Indigenous Peoples and Peoples of Color working in or wanting to work in environmental or social justice.

      • To apply select the “Diversity Scholorahip” in the registration form below.

      • These scholarships are pay-what-you-can with the recommended value of 50% of standard tuition ($200), but any amount will be accepted and appreciated.
      • Earth Activist Trainings Diversity Scholorahip fund is supported by donations. Visit our Diverisy Fund page if you wish to support our Scholorhsip program. 

      If you have any questions we are always here to help: support@earthactivisttraining.org


      Your Learning Journey

      You may also be interested in our Advanced Permaculture course, Advanced Permaculture. This course is a year-long course broken up into three six-week modules focused on: design, water management, soil care and building, incorporating animals into a system, building food forests, and managing woodlands.

      Regenerative Land Management (RLM) is a multi year advanced permaculture diploma program designed to further your permaculture practice and provide a deep comprehensive training needed to apply these regenerative skills in your life! Whether caring for the land, building urban gardens, or decolonizing farmland, the Regenerative Land Management diploma program will prepare you for your earth healing endeavors, and to provide a livelihood for yourself and your family.

      Have a question?


      Check out the full schedule to find out when our programs and events are taking place.

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