Join permaculture farmer and educator Connor Jones and ecologist Avery Hardy on an exploratory learning journey through the past, present, and decidedly hopeful futures of our California landscapes. This intensive is grounded in the deeply sustainable philosophies of permaculture and regenerative design, which we will delve into and use to frame our learning about the complex natural history of our region. Our intensive will engage an ongoing dialogue between learning and doing by alternating time in discussion with walks on the land to hone key practices in reading the landscape. Through investigating the role of indigenous land stewardship and the impacts of colonizer practices in severing our relationship with our ecosystems, we will piece together the systems and dynamics that have shaped our current ecological crisis. From this historical contextualization we will investigate the many opportunities for us to implement regenerative agriculture, carbon farming, water harvesting, and permaculture practices to restore our landscapes while improving the resiliency of the resources and yields that we derive from them.
- Understand the key ethics and principles of permaculture
- Comprehend trends in the natural history of California and how they have shaped our current ecological challenges and opportunities
- Understand the dynamics and opportunities in three key cycles—the water cycle, the carbon cycle, and the nutrient cycle—that shape the California landscape
- Envision a future in which human beings play an active role in stewarding and harvesting from our ecosystems
- Be inspired by and familiar with regenerative design-based solutions available to reverse climate change, protect biodiversity, and decolonize our relationship with the land
Meet the Instructor(s) For the Week
Avery Hardy is an ecologist, land steward, and lover of wild places who draws sustenance from the richness and complexity of our central coast biodiversity. She lives and works as a Research Coordinator at Quail Springs Permaculture, a 450-acre off the grid community and demonstration site in the high desert sagebrush country of the Cuyama Valley, due East of Santa Barbara. Her background spans academic research in ecohydrology, restoration ecology, and ecological design to permaculture farming. She holds a BS in Forestry and Natural Resource Management and two Minors in Sustainable Environmental Design and City Planning from UC Berkeley. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, she recharges by backpacking in our chaparral backcountry when not exploring the desert wildlands she calls home.
Connor Jones is a certified permaculture designer and teacher with a lifelong fascination for ecology, anthropology, and traditional food systems. As a child he marveled at the wonders of nature in immersion with it and in small assembled ecosystems created at home. Later in life farming, and his love for ecology began to merge with the introduction to permaculture design. His discoveries led him to the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia at the age of 18 where he became certified to design and teach. Since then he has founded East End Eden a 10 acre family operated permaculture demonstration site in Ojai, California where he teaches regular workshops and offers mentorship opportunities through farm work trade positions. East End Eden is also a nursery for varied perennial crops well suited to the bioregion. Connor also has a permaculture design and consulting company that offers clients sound advice for improving their yields and land value through applied ecological design.