Instructors: Adam Brock, Jerome Osentowski & Kelly Simmons
June 15th – 26th, 2015
Course Overview: The CRMPI Permaculture Design Certification Course is designed to give the participant an understanding of the essential elements and ideas of permaculture so that they can better design and engineer sustainable systems, including forest gardens, greenhouses, and other permaculture endeavors.
Study permaculture with a world renowned group of teachers who imbue their work with rich depths of life wisdom. Experience one of the finest permaculture demonstrations in North America. Thirty years of organic cultivation, state of the art, low energy use greenhouses, mature forest gardens, rain water catchment, composting toilets, passive and active solar and small animal husbandry are all on display along with vigorous and healthy poly-culture systems all at 7200′ elevation. Camping in the fresh mountain air and delicious organic food are included.

CRMPI is located just 2.5 miles from downtown Basalt, Colorado.
•Tuition is $1,775 and requires a non-refundable $300 deposit to reserve your spot!
•Meals, camping, and all curriculum materials will be provided



Move beyond going green and living sustainably.
Gain the deep knowledge you need to restore your world
in CRMPI’s pioneering 5-week, 5-course immersion training!

Dear Agent of Change – yes, you!

We don’t need to tell you that times are dire. We’ve all seen the warnings from too many agencies, flagging the collapse of species, ecosystems, oceans…even predicting the collapse of the biosphere.

But there’s a hidden condition: “If we keep going in the direction we’re taking…”

Here at CRMPI, we’ve chosen to take another direction. For the past 30 years we’ve been building a lush, resilient and improbably diverse local ecosystem of food forests and tropical gardens using the principles of permaculture. And we’ve taught these principles to thousands of students – some of whom are leading permaculture instructors themselves – through the standardized Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) program and our own related courses.

Our students are creating, restoring and maintaining healthy, productive local ecosystems all across the globe!

But let’s be honest: the permaculture learning curve can be long. The PDC is a good foundation, but ongoing training and hands-on practice are needed before students have the knowledge to handle complex projects.

And right now, time is of the essence…..

So, for the first time ever, we are offering three immersion intensives to produce the Permaculture Academy: a 3-week, 3-course, in-depth training in key elements of permaculture practice:

  • Creating Forest Gardens (4 days)
  • Integrating Aquaponics, Greywater and “Humanure” (4 days)
  • Designing and Managing High-Altitude/Low Energy Use Greenhouses (5 days)

This will be one of the most in-depth Permaculture Programs currently offered anywhere, taught by leading professionals in the field. It’s designed to shorten the introductory learning curve and send you out with the working, practical knowledge you need start putting permaculture into practice.

Whatever your level of interest – whether you want to reclaim an urban lot, turn your back 40 into a food forest or take the first steps toward a career in design and consulting – this Academy can suit your need. You may choose to attend all of the modules, or pick and choose the modules you would like to attend.

What does the Academy offer me?

First of all, you won’t be just learning abstract theory! You’ll be fully immersed in the permaculture life at one of the finest demonstration sites in North America, experiencing the results of 30 years of organic cultivation and state of the art, low energy use greenhouses. You’ll eat delicious organic food from mature forest gardens, witness rainwater catchment, use and maintain composting toilets, enjoy light and warmth from passive and active solar technology, and participate in small animal husbandry as you camp in vigorous and healthy poly-culture systems at 7200′ elevation.

And here’s just a brief overview of what you’ll learn in each module:

Module One:  Creating Forest Gardens, taught by Jerome Osentowski

Imagine designing and creating a virtual Garden of Eden –  a natural, self-sustaining forest ecosystem of interdependent plants and animals – an environment specifically designed to support human and non-human life. That’s what we’ll be doing in this course! This is a unique opportunity to spend time in the 26-year- old, high-altitude forest garden at CRMPI during the spring season when many of the over 150 varieties of trees and shrubs will be fruiting. We’ll walk through a tour of CRMPI, then settle down to discussing topics like these:

  • Designing a forest garden
  • Implementing the infrastructure (rock wall construction and trellising)
  • Developing the forest, from vines to overstory
  • Maintaining soil with vermiculture
  • Integrating plant/animal guilds
  • Providing water
  • Harvesting food
  • Processing your harvest

Module Two: Integrating Aquaponics, Greywater and “Humanure”
with JD Sawyer & Jason Gerhardt                             

Fiercely demanded for industry, fossil-fuel extraction and energy production, agriculture, sewage removal, and the everyday needs of 7 billion-plus humans, water is being used – and wasted – at record-breaking levels, while rainfall diminishes, droughts lengthen, and aquifers turn into sinkholes. And you can help to change this through time-honored, future-forward technologies.

In terms of water conservation, Aquaponics is currently front and center in the realm of sustainable agriculture practices. The popularity of efficiently raising fish and plants in a recirculating system is a direct response to our need to choose a better way of eating, better conservation of resources, and a better way of life. The workshop will be a comprehensive lesson in growing your vegetables and protein source together in a balanced, natural ecosystem. Topics will include fish, plant, and bacteria care as well as water quality and system design with a focus on the plant and fish species that work best in the dry, temperate Rocky Mountain region. Course instruction will include a variety of lecture and hands-on activities, including a tour to a local aquaponic greenhouse facility. Learn the important things to consider for moving to a true closed-loop, off-grid system.

In this module you’ll learn how to effectively make use of rainwater and set up water-conservation systems in the home landscape. We’ll discuss:

  • Harvesting rainwater in the earth, in cisterns and in plants
  • Building earthworks as the most effective place to catch and store water
  • Designing, implementing and maintaining cistern systems for longer-term storage
  • Integrating plant ecologies for water purification
  • Designing and building greywater and blackwater treatment systems
  • Setting up and maintaining composting toilets
  • Processing and making use of humanure
  • Colorado specific legalities regarding nonstandard waste management

Module Three: Greenhouse Design & Management
with Jerome Osentowski & Michael Thompsonhipnursery

If your idea of greenhouses is limited to the seasonal garden store variety – steaming in summer, freezing in winter – you’re about to see a world of new possibilities! Imagine harvesting tropical fruits in regions with short growing seasons…growing your own food year-round wherever you are…growing a perennial poly-culture (multiple crops in the same space) to increase your yield exponentially! This course, taught by greenhouse visionary Jerome Osentowski, encapsulates (?) years of practical experience  in just five days of hands-on instruction in all aspects of high-altitude greenhouse design, installation and maintenance. We’ll talk about:

  • Designing greenhouses for residential and commercial use (featuring guest speaker – Architect Michael Thompson, Jerome’s partner in Ecosystem Designs LLC)
  • Integrating the revolutionary, solar-powered Climate Battery technology
  • Coordinating design, construction, and planting schedules
  • Designing and installing water systems
  • Setting up and maintaining your greenhouse as a contained ecosystem
  • Stacking functions to make your greenhouse more efficient
  • Incorporating vermiculture to fertilize the soil
  • Harvesting and processing the food you’ve grown

Together these modules will give you hands-on experience in designing and constructing forest gardens, aquaculture and water-conservation systems, and greenhouses…experience that will place you ahead of the curve whether you take them alone or followed by our PDC program in August!

Finally, if you want to see it all in action – don’t miss this optional Agrotourism module:

Guided tours of nearby permaculture & sustainable agriculture operations.

Who is teaching the modules?

This is a one-of-a-kind training, on a site that is unique in the world!  CRMPI is celebrating 27 years this summer and is one of the oldest permaculture demonstration sites in the United States. You’ll be learning from an all-star faculty of veteran permaculturists and local practitioners:

  • As CRMPI founder, Jerome Osentowski has extended sustainable greenhouse technology and forest gardening beyond the bounds of the possible. After training thousands of permaculture practitioners – some of whom are now leaders in the field – he’s now helping a local community college to develop a full-semester permaculture course.
  • Adam Brock is a veteran permaculture activist. As Director of Operations at the GrowHaus in Denver he trains disadvantaged communities to create sustainable food-based businesses using permaculture principles.
  • JD Sawyer is an international aquaponics researcher; he is now building the aquaculture/hydroponic systems and providing community training for the GrowHaus project.
  • Jason Gerhardt is a veteran permaculture designer/trainer who has taught for Denver Botanic Gardens, Permaculture Institute USA, and the US EPA (among others); he’s currently teaching at Naropa University.
  • Michael Thompson is a Colorado-licensed architect, with 30 years of experience designing buildings in the high Rocky Mountains.  His passion for design is focused on land planning in concert with Nature, and on energy productive buildings, including greenhouses for growing food year-round in cold climates, as well as passive and active solar buildings.  Michael is also driven by passions for the arts of home brewing, cooking, gardening and fruit tree management.

So what does it cost?

Let’s face it: most people struggle to find ongoing training to build their permaculture knowledge and credentials. To have three full-immersion certificate trainings on key permaculture topics, offered within a three-week period, on a mature and pioneering demonstration site, is unprecedented!

So, to make it even more accessible to you, we’ve rolled the tuition, the food and lodging, and all curriculum materials into affordable, modular investments, giving you the option to pay for each module individually, or to remit your tuition for the entire Academy up front.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Creating Forest Gardens (5 days) – $535
  • Integrating Aquaponics, Greywater and “Humanure” (4 days) –  $935
  • Designing and Managing High-Altitude/Low Energy Use Greenhouses (5 days) – $735
  • Tuition for full 3-week Academy: $2,200

To lock in your place in each course, you’ll need to provide a non-refundable deposit upon registration:

  • Forest Garden  - $200
  • Greenhouse – $200
  • Aquaculture & Water Catchment – $200
  • Full 3-week Academy – $1,000

If you’ve been watching the headlines and wondering – What can I do? – this is your answer!

Permaculturists see it time and again: by restoring the land, you shift the dance of earth, air and water, shifting local weather patterns…and ultimately, climate. Food forests, greenhouses, and water conservation systems offer food security and safety to your family and community in uncertain times. Simple steps add up to a groundswell of change!

This is the time to embrace hope…embrace possibility…and empower yourself to help in creating a different world. Don’t wait. Dare to change your future. Take a first step with one course, or step up as a local change agent-in-the-making with all five.

Send your deposit or full payment by cash or check today to:

PO Box 631
Basalt, CO 81621

Please include your name, mailing address, email address and which course you are registering for. We will send a “Permaculture Playbook” and further details in the mail prior to the course.

Questions? Call Jerome directly at 970-927-4158, or email




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