drylands permaculture

Applied Permaculture Workshop For Dry Environments

Permaculture is a holistic and ecological design system, it helps us design, or redesign, human communities by using ecology as the base of study, designing and creating systems that are sustainable, functional and integrated. It can also be considered as a social movement that offers positive solutions for the challenges in social sustainability, likewise, it is proposed as a tool for all the people that want to be responsible for their own future as well as the future of the planet.

The workshop uses as its guideline the permaculture principles, but it is focused on techniques for Arid to Semi-Arid areas where rainfall is lower than 400mm (15.7 inches) of rain per year.

The Workshop, “Applied Permaculture Workshop for Dry Environments” is a theoretical/practical course run over 5 days. Teaching materials for the workshop include presentations, slideshows, audio-visual material, hands-on and discussion.

The Objective is to provide the students with an understanding of sustainability from the perspective of a Permaculture design system focused on dry areas, including topics such as healthy food production, natural building, energy accountability, the capture and conservation of water and any other elements required to design a natural system, and to promote a change of perspective that facilitates a transition from the unsustainable high energy consumption culture to a sustainable low energy consumption culture

This workshop is for any person who is interested in learning how to make sustainable designs, no matter their educational or experience level. Permaculture can be applied at any level: urban, rural, academic, corporate, institutional or government.

The information contained in the workshop has been designed to cover the most relevant aspects. By undertaking it, the students will understand how Permaculture principles work and how a healthy and fertile system works.

- Evidence to act
- What is Sustainability?
Food Security Applied Permaculture
- Permaculture principles - Methods of design
- Patterns
- Weather & Climate
- Water
- Soils
- Plants
- Animals
- Urban and community strategies. - Closing ceremony
- Seed propagation
- Composting
- Garden building for Dry Areas
- Water system calculation & design

October 13-14: Core A "Dome Building"
October 15: Rest
October 16-20: Permaculture


Core A + Permaculture: $1000 early bird/$1200 regular
Permaculture Only: $750 early bird/$950 regular

Permaculture is about relationships. The combined workshop goes beyond the relationship between the elements and the house to include how we live with the land we’re building on.
— workshop participant
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Jose (Pepo) Dib is originally from Mexico. He started his career in Permaculture in September 2009, when he took a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course in Melbourne, Australia with Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison, who he lived and worked with for 2.5 years. Pepo has continued teaching, consulting and working in Permaculture and natural building in different climates all around the world. Currently, he is the managing director of Rancho Uha, in a semi-arid area, where many Permaculture and sustainability techniques are being developed and taught, including: biointensive agriculture, natural building, and other appropriate technologies. Read more about Pepo here.


  • Workshop check-in and orientation is at 8:30am, please arrive promptly.

  • Please plan to stay through the late afternoon on the final day. You are welcome to stay on-site the final night so you don't have to rush out. You may also arrive the afternoon/evening before the workshop (after 3pm) if needed for your travel plans. Please confirm this with us if you plan on extended stay.

  • Breakfast is provided each morning of the workshop. You will be responsible for lunches/dinners. We have plenty of restaurants and grocery stores nearby and a kitchen on-site for storage and cooking.

  • We will provide each person a small folder with paper and a pen, but feel free to bring a notepad if you prefer.

  • Please wear work clothes including a hat and proper closed toed shoes (sandals not permitted). Please bring your own work gloves as well as a pair of plastic/rubber gloves for wet work.

  • The weather in the high desert can fluctuate significantly, so we recommend checking the weather online prior to your arrival, and bringing layers to ensure you are prepared. You'll receive an additional email after you apply with more information on what to bring, especially if you will be staying on-site.

  • Participants ages 15+ allowed to attend with a parent or guardian.

  • You are welcome to take photos but video and audio recording are not permitted.

  • There is limited wifi access on site


If for some reason you are unable to attend the workshop you registered for, your deposit may also be applied to another course that same year if you notify Cal-Earth at least two weeks before the start of a course.

If you wish to withdraw completely and cannot reschedule, a $50 registration fee will be deducted and your remaining balance refunded if you notify Cal-Earth two weeks prior to the start of the workshop. Any cancellations within two weeks of the workshop will not be refunded, only transfered.

If Cal-Earth cancels the workshop due to low enrollment your tuition will be fully refunded or transferred.