The Center for Sustainable Living facilities and programs primarily show how natural systems can be a model for human institutions in order to achieve sustainability. These programs include:
  • Construction utilizing energy efficient, renewable local resources of timber & straw bale
  • Soft energy technologies: photovoltaic, wind, biomass
  • Nature based waste management systems: composting, living machine water treatment
  • Total recycling of materials
  • Arts, music, dance, oral tradition and ritual to supplement text-based learning
  • Sustainable farming demonstrations: permaculture practices and community supported agriculture
  • Education on the natural and cultural (including indigenous peoples) history of the region, with the examination of current issues arising from human impact on the environment
  • Wildlife and fish habitat enhancement and protection
  • Nature interpretive facilities: walking trails and outdoor study sites
  • Classes, workshops and discussion groups, both onsite and in the community
  • Encouragement for the initiation of new programs and projects 
  • A public access multi-media resource center
  • Serving as the regional center for information and resources (including organizations and individuals) related to sustainability

Rochester Permaculture Workshops

posted Oct 5, 2011, 3:36 AM by Lindsay D'Ambrosia

Classes and Workshops
Register or more information: or 585.506.6505
Preregistration is required.

All fees are sliding scale at the discretion of the student.  Full fee helps fund scholarships.

Limited work-trade arrangements are available, if arranged in advance.

All classes are held in Rochester, NY and are stand-alone experiences, which may be taken individually or as a series. 

Edible Forest Gardening In A Nutshell:  An Introduction – Saturday, October 8, 2011 9am – 1 pm $45-60

Edible Forest Gardening (EFG) is an effective way to design home scale gardens in our climate that mimic forest ecosystem structure and function, but grow food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, "farmaceuticals," and fun while we consciously apply the principles of ecology and permaculture.  Join us for a hands-on skill-building experience in edible forest gardening.  Learn to transform traditional lawn landscapes into abundant food-producing perennial forest gardens.  Participants will learn the skills needed to get started at their own home or expand the abilities of a gardening business.  We will get our hands dirty while we install and establish a brand new forest garden.  Have you wanted to:

•      learn about Permaculture and/or Edible Forest Gardening?

•      learn how to grow more food in less space with less weeding and watering?

•      learn how to use organic gardening methods to produce healthier food for your family?

•      learn how to build healthy soil?

•      learn how to incorporate healthy nuts, fruits, and perennial vegetables into your garden space?
Preregistration is required.


Edible Forest Garden Caretake and Winter Prep – October 8-9, 2011, 9am-5pm both days $200-225
Join us as we caretake and install new polycultures of multi-purpose plants at the new Rochester Permaculture Center, a program of Seeking Common Ground, and a local urban/suburban space.  Using Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier as a guide, we will discuss and experience methods and practices to manage a food forest. Beginners and experienced forest gardeners and permaculture practitioners will all benefit from this experience.  This dynamic, hands-on class will be held out of doors.  Preregistration is required.

Mushrooms 101 - Sunday, October 16, 2011 9:30am to 12:30pm with optional brown bag lunch to follow -$30-45

Learn to cultivate and enjoy mushrooms in your yard and garden with Steve Gabriel, mushroom grower and Program Director for Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.  Mushrooms are a remarkable source of food and medicine that have been cultivated and wild-crafted by humans for thousands of years. This workshop will introduce participants to the world of mushrooms and their link to healthy soils and forests. We will inoculate shiitake, oyster, and stropharia mushrooms and talk about their applications to both the home and farm enterprise.   Participants receive complete instruction and take home an inoculated substrate and instructional booklet with further resources.  Preregistration is required.

Weekend Permaculture Design Certification 72 hour course – 6 Fridays/Saturdays October 2011 – February 2012 $800-1000
Successful completion of this course will earn participants an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.  This course is structured on Friday/Saturday “weekends” from 8:30 am to 4 pm.  Class dates are:  Oct 28 & 29, Nov 11 & 12, Dec 9 & 10, 2011 and Jan 13 & 14, Jan 27 &28, Feb 17 & 18, 2012.  (Note:  at publication time, another Saturday/Sunday option is still being explored for Nov – March completion.)  Preregistration is required.

Edible Forest Garden Design and Theory – Winter Weekend 2011/2012 (date TBD) $225-250
Would you like to learn how to garden like the forest even in urban/suburban spaces?  Using Edible Forest Gardensby Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier as a guide, we will explore the rationale for using these methods to produce a food forest.  We will also explore the design process to create conceptual and detailed designs for the Rochester Permaculture Institute.  Beginners and experienced forest gardeners and permaculture practitioners will all benefit from this experience.  This dynamic, hands-on class will meet 6-9 pm on Friday, 9-9 on Saturday, and 9-1 on Sunday.  All classes will be held in Rochester, NY.  Class size is limited.  Preregistration is required.

Four Seasons Permaculture Design Certification 72 hour course – March 2012 – Feb 2013  $800-1000
This course is structured in one introductory weekend followed by monthly Sunday sessions, allowing full-time workers, students, and people with families more flexibility to participate.   All classes will be held in Rochester, NY.  Camping and a few indoor overnight accommodations are available.  Preregistration is required.


Free Monthly Meetup – (next meeting Sunday, October 9th)

Each month we meet up to talk about topics such as (but not limited to) edible landscapes, gardening, farming, renewable energy, green building, local currency, rainwater harvesting, composting, mushrooms, local food, forest gardening, herbalism, "green" living, sustainable economic systems, conservation, community-building, relocalization and transition towns.  Meeting location and details available on website.


Free Garden Tour – Thursday, October 20th 5-5:45 pm  Free

Take a guided tour of the Rochester Permaculture Center’s Edible Forest Garden, located at 163 Helen Road 14623.  The tour is being held in conjunction with Upstate Green Business Network’s Green Drinks - October, Third Thursday Event. 

About Rochester Permaculture Center

Mission:  Rochester Permaculture Center, a program of Seeking Common Ground, Inc. is dedicated to exploring, modeling, and inspiring more conscious, sustainable, and restorative ways of life through the application of permaculture and other regenerative design techniques and principles.

1-1 of 1