Permaculture Intensive - Albuquerque, NM

Orchard Oasis Farm where the course is being held

Orchard Oasis Farm where the course is being held

Learn about the power of patterns and how to use them

Learn about the power of patterns and how to use them

Why Permaculture?

Permaculture comes from the words "permanent" and "culture" and asks the question, "how is it that we can live indefinitely on the Earth and be a positive presence?" While it acknowledges the so-called problems of the world, ultimately it is a science based on positivism that looks at the state of things and uses it as motivation to take positive action. Its immediate aim is healing of the Earth and thereby also humanity. It understands that we can take all of our potential, which has been largely used to create destruction, and create healing faster than the Earth could heal itself without us. How this is done is the subject of this course.


A Design science

Permaculture accomplishes this healing by basing all of its 12 design principles and 3 design ethics on the inherent patterns found in nature. Through thoughtful connection of elements learned by observing nature Permaculture teaches us to not only live sustainably but to live regeneratively upon the Earth. Because of its comprehensive nature Permaculture is not limited to any one method but rather is a way of viewing the world. In this new world view, which is comprised of knowledge from Older Cultures around the world, Permaculture enlists sciences like ecology, mycology, geology, zoology, oceanography, biology, agrology, et cetera but also mindfulness and awareness, because they are all relevant and useful.

Animals play an important role in creating an abundant ecosystem

Animals play an important role in creating an abundant ecosystem

Learn how to use plants and place them better on a property or within a system

Learn how to use plants and place them better on a property or within a system

About this course

This course is unique in that it is designed to deliver the "essentials" of permaculture design over the period of 5 days. Additionally, students may pick and choose which individual sessions they want to take should they not desire or are not able to take all 5 days. This makes it very accessible to those who have been wanting to take a full certification course but have lacked the time or the money. In this setting the students will learn how to practically apply permaculture immediately in their daily lives. Whether one rents or owns property, whether one gardens or works with community, this course will dramatically enrich ones life and ability to be an Earth healer. 

This series of classes features 19 sessions but one may take as many as they choose. Please click on "view detailed schedule" for the up to date schedule with times, teachers and subjects.


Taught "permaculturally"

In order to be taught in a manner consistent with the principles of permaculture (valuing diversity) this course will be community based. Instead of having only one teacher this course will include 4 teachers to give the student the most insight into this beautiful system of ecological design. This additionally brings the community together, enriches the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area as well as supports local teachers who have a wealth of knowledge to share. This class will be taught by Richard G. Powell (permaculture designer and teacher), James Brooks (founder of Soilutions), Michael Reed (long-time permaculture and gardening expert in the High Desert) and Danny Skinz (permaculture designer and co-founder of Knowaste). The experience available to the student in this course will give the student immense insight into a new way of viewing the world and knowledge that otherwise would take years to amass.



Aside from building community and educating individuals one of the primary goals of this intensive is to offer permaculture at a rate far lower than what is traditionally offered. Typically a full permaculture certification course runs around $1,200 and up. However, this course will teach you the core principals of permaculture with a much lower per class price:

Drop in class charge is $20 per session or $15 per session if one takes 10 or more sessions. 

The entire course - 19 sessions - $250 (a $20 discount)

Payment can be made ahead of time or in person. We recommend reserving your space or at the very least letting us know you are coming.

Scholarships available. See contact info below.

The first session on Saturday morning Sept 24th at 9am is FREE. So please come and be inspired and connect a little even if you don't want to take the whole course.



Primary Location

Orchard Oasis Farm:

723 Chavez Rd, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107

This 3-acre property is a young project which features several buildings, including a large barn, a pond and chickens. It has tremendous potential and it is this property we will be focusing on for the design project for this course. Through this process students will learn how to work with an existing property in a practical yet transformational way. There will be several hands-on projects which will serve as another way of learning how to apply permaculture.

Secondary Location

Tijeras Creek Restoration Site - with special guest Jim Brooks of Soilutions

Sunday, September 25th - Sessions III and IV only



For More information or to sign up


Phone: 330-235-9422


Dates - Each day begins at 9am 

Segment 1

Saturday, September 24th - 4 sessions - 1st session @ 9am = FREE session open to the public

Sunday, September 25th - 4 sessions 

Segment 2

Friday, September 30th - 4 sessions

Saturday, October 1st - 3 sessions

unday, October 2nd - 3 sessions



Instructor Bios

Richard G. Powell - Richard G. Powell is an experienced certified permaculture designer and teacher.  He has taught many permaculture certification courses, both in the United States and abroad. He has studied bamboo architecture in Colombia, South America, Cob/Earthen Architecture in Kentucky, USA and organic horticulture in Germany. While living abroad he interned for an international environmental and humanitarian organization called Salem International. During his time in Orlando he partnered with the City of Orlando to build community gardens, ran a permaculture/community project known as "the Homestead" and founded Orlando Permaculture, a non-profit dedicated to bringing permaculture to the people. One of his specialties is greywater design for which is often sought out. He has traveled to permaculture sites, both large and small, well-known and completely unknown, in more than 20 countries to continue his studies. He lovingly shares his passion for the Earth, community, and the space where these intersect with all of his students.


James Brooks

James Brooks, founder and president of Soilutions Inc., and principal of Adaptive Terrain Systems, has provided consultation, design and installation services for soil and water conservation for over 27 years. Widely respected in New Mexico as an erosion control expert, he has designed and installed storm water, erosion control and landscape systems at private, commercial, and governmental sites throughout the state. As an organics recycling expert, he has developed innovative applications for compost and mulch products in the arid Southwest. Trained as a permaculture designer and certified as a permaculture instructor, James uses permaculture principles as a guide to the preservation of natural resources, and the creation of healthy terrain systems.

He currently co-chairs the New Mexico Organic Recycling Organization and is former chair of the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District. He has been an active member of the International Erosion Control Association since 1992 and is trained in Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, Erosion & Sediment Control for Construction Sites, and Slope Protection. He is a staff instructor for the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED Compost Facility Operators Certification Course and has provided both workshops and professional consultation to the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP) Workshop, and the Composted Mulch Specification Achievement Workshop. Visit Soilutions for more information.


Michael Reed - 

The wild Michael Reed in his native habitat

The wild Michael Reed in his native habitat

Michael Reed is an environmental philosopher and certified permaculture designer and instructor. As a farmer, he is dedicated to the development of truly sustainable agriculture, including growing and introducing to the public native, heirloom, forgotten, and regionally adapted edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants and animals. As an educator, he demonstrates how the individual systems interact and function together in the creation of healthy and resilient agroecosystems. For the past five years he has taught a 12-part, permaculture-based study of the garden arts titled The Mother of All Backyard Gardening Courses, which everyone simply calls the Mother Course. He is also a primary instructor in a two-year seed-saving certification course developed jointly with Cuatro Puertas called The Whole of Seed. 

(Michael doesn't have a website, however, there is a great article about him in Local Flavor called "Grounded"


Danny Skinz


Danny Skinz has helped some of todays most progressive organizations reimagine themselves. His unique design sensibilities and ‘whole systems’ approach appeals to a new generation of mission driven entrepreneurs and awakened consumers. Skinz is able to tap into rhythms, patterns and cycles that most never see. It is this keen awareness that allows him to bring abstract ideas to life for clients in practical, tangible and purposeful ways.

A self-described ‘Ecolutionary’ Skinz holds certifications in both Permaculture Design and Ayurvedic Medicine. In 2005 he co-founded Pure Habitat™, an eco-friendly cleaning service that helped New York City ‘go green’ for over a decade. In 2007, Skinz helped to develop a master site plan for the Sivananda Yoga Ashram and in 2012 he co-founded Knowaste™ “a consulting agency located in ABQ, New Mexico that provides seamless integration of sustainable waste management practices into organizations daily operations.

Skinz is also a respected innovator in the street art movement. He has contributed to numerous international art festivals and in 2005 co-founded ‘The Walls Belong to Us’ a grassroots organization that celebrates the legacy of graffiti culture and challenges the notions of public space.

Today, Skinz serves as the Chief Communications Officer for Knowaste™ and as on-going design consultant for Soilutions Inc., a commercial scale organics recycling facility in ABQ, New Mexico. He also serves on the board of the ABQ Permaculture Guild. When he’s not developing innovative landfill diversion systems or playing with worms you’ll likely find him dumpster diving in an exotic locale. Follow his latest endeavors @skinztagram