Apprentice at the Old Stone House Gardens 
Contact: to register or to apply for the 40 hour Field Training Certificate program.

Skip the gym and come to the garden.

$20 per session/flexible fee per individual visit
$450 for 40 hr Field Training Certificate program

This is a rare apprenticiship opportunity designed to learn by doing: 
Medicinal plants, perennial food systems, annual sequencing, soil development, polllinator plants, community building, flood mitigation and climate response.

Diverse gardens populate the Old Stone House & Washington Park and MS 51: explore the innovations needed to reclaim our public space and respond to climate fluctuations.  

The development of social interactions along with whole systems landscape design is our permaculture challenge at the Old Stone House & Washington Park. Active participation will allow you to learn from a real-life example in Park Slope, Brooklyn during our hands-on apprentiship program.

This is guaranteed to be a good work-out both physically and mentally. We will expect students to shovel, dig, prune, lift and hammer as well as research, map and work with plants. Some handouts will be made available online – the core of the study is focussed on direct experience in the field.

You will have access to Claudia Joseph who has developed the site for over 10 years with students and volunteers. Get close to the plant material and learn from it. Exiperience peer to peer learning. Empower yourself to change the landscape for the future.

Permaculture Field Training Certificate goals:

  • Practice the social and landscape design aspects of whole systems management.
  • Learn design skills and biological gardening through hands-on experience and direct observation.
  • Interact with a landscape designed specifically to survive climate chaos.
  • Increase the dynamic life level – and thus the livability – of a landscape.
  • Understand what makes a landscape useful.

During the Spring season, work will be fast and furious as we install perennial plants, set the annual beds and tend the compost system. The dates below are assured and other dates will be added. The apprenticship program consists of 40 hours of concentrated field work coupled with home study. Successsful completion results in a Permaculture Field Training Certificate.

Eight Tuesdays + Three Saturdays + dates TBA

 Tuesdays, 9am – 1pm

April 18
April 25
May 2
May 16
May 23
June 6
June 13
June 20

Saturdays, 10am – 2pm

May 6
May 13
June 3

Led by PINA certified permaculture educator and designer, Claudia Joseph.

Field Training sessions will be subject to weather conditions; heavy rains or winds over 20 mph will postpone classes. Make-up days will be on the Wednesday  following the postponed date. Other dates will be added to the schedule as the season progresses.

Claudia Joseph is certified in Permaculture education and Permaculture design by the Permaculture Institute of North America. Ms Joseph also holds a Diploma of Permaculture from Permaculture USA.







Permaculture Design Certificate Course: 12 Saturdays, 2016

Jan 9, Jan 23, Jan 30, February 6 , Feb 20, March 5, April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23, May 14, May 21

10am – 5pm thru March 5
9am – 4pm  April 2 – May 21

Classes will be held at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture and at the Old Stone House.
Both are located in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Course fee: Regular tuition fee $1,200. Payment Plans and Gift Certificates are available. 
To ask a question, please contact:

Permaculture is more than just good gardening. It is a life long approach to analysis, action and social structures that results in better relationships, more functional systems and a clearer understanding of everything necessary for human communities to thrive.

Site instructor, Claudia Joseph: founder and Director of the New York Permaculture Exchange, Director of Environmental Programs at the Old Stone House, consultant and community gardener; Claudia has taught and practiced permaculture on both coasts at the Berkeley Ecology Center, Merritt College, the New York Open Center, BBG, and NYBG, and others, since 1996. 
Guest Instructors: Jono Neiger, Tattfoo Tan and Jude Hobbs


1. To introduce students to the fundamentals of sustainability.
2. To teach cooperative dynamics and positive action.
3. To learn about useful plants and ecosystems design.
4. To relate our needs to our local and global resources.
5. To study homesteading skills and appropriate technologies.

Permaculture topics such as climates, energy use, buildings, food, waste streams, water management and our bioregional connections, along with current information in the media and traditional wisdom from voices of experience. With emphasis on social change and cooperative structures, lots of field models and hands on learning opportunities, this course responds to the rapid transitions we are experiencing culturally, politically and ecologically.

Urban soil repair and bioremediation techniques are at the base of our historically referenced gardens, showcasing plants for food, medicine, craft, wildlife support and storm water mitigation.  Raising our quality of life, improving the commons, analysis of global outlooks, business ideas and healthy lifestyles will all be included in class discussions. 

Instructor Bio's:  Claudia Joseph & special guests
Claudia Joseph has taught permaculture since1996, first in CA and then in NYC, in numerous venues and formats. She promotes the active engagement of her community through public gardens and programs and also teaches Organic Gardening at the New York Botanical Garden.

 Jono Neiger, a conservation biologist with nearly two decades of experience in land stewardship, ecological studies, and restoration, was Lost Valley Educational Center’s Land Steward and Permaculture Apprenticeship Program Director in Oregon for five years. A permaculture teacher and designer since 1996, Jono works to help organizations and individuals further their goals for stewarding their land and for creating productive, regenerative human ecosystems.

Tattfoo Tan is a NYC artist who works in the realm of ecology, sustainability and education, offering imaginative visions for cultural change. Queens Museum of Art, Artisphere, Parsons the New School for Design, F.I.T., Bronx River Art Center and many more have hosted his insightful perspective on art & ecology.

Jude Hobbs operates two businesses–Cascadia Permaculture and Agro-Ecology Northwest offers a wide range of services to agricultural businesses, individual land-owners and Permaculture students. Jude is one of the prmeir permaculture instructors in the US.
Claudia Joy Keel is the co-founder of the Arborvitae School of Traditional Medicine.
Mark Scaramucci owns Permascapes green roof and green walls landscaping. 
Craig Desmond is the owner of EcoTones natural urban building and natural garden Landscaping.

Reading: Permaculture, A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison is the primary reference for permaculture training: it is not required for this course but if you plan to spend your life studying permaculture, it is recommended.  An Introduction to Permaculture, by Mollison is an easier read and contains much pertinent information. Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles by David Holmgren, Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway and Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield are useful as preparatory reading as well. New Permaculture books are appearing often! There is plenty to read online as any simple search will reveal and videos by Bill Mollison are abundant and informative.

Classroom rules of conduct: No cell phone use during class or field sessions. Students will be expected to attend all sessions and be on time or to inform course managers of their lateness or absence. Please wear sensible clothes for comfortable all day sitting. For field study please wear shoes that cover your feet. Bring water. Luch is a community potluck – everyone brings something to share as well as a mess kit – a plate, utensils and cup. Any recording must be approved in advance.


Short Format Course will be offered again in 2017

Urban Permaculture Accelerated Training 2015 
Five Saturdays: March 14 & 21, April 25, May 9 & 16
9am – 4pm

Regular registration: $650

40 hour training course (30 hours classroom, 10 hours field practice)
Place: The Old Stone House, 4th St and 5th Ave. Park Slope,Brooklyn
Time: 9am – 4pm

The Old Stone House gardens, located in Washington Park, are open to visitors from dawn to dusk. OSH is between 4th & 5th Avenues and 3rd & 4th Streets in Park Slope, Brooklyn (718) 768-3195

The Urban Permaculture Accelerated Training course (UPAT) is a five day introduction to the principles and techniques of permaculture. This course includes both group and individual  presentations and 10 hours of required field training. Permaculture knowledge recognizes our human communities as natural systems, promoting better efficiency, cooperative relationships and greater abundance.   To register contact:

Held at the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War, this model at a park and middle school is pioneering useful landscapes in public spaces in NYC.  The UPAT course offers an approachable format for those who are new to permaculture and a comfortable re-entry for those who seek further practice. Ten hours of field practice are mandatory. A UPAT certificate from the New York Permaculture Exchange will be received upon completion. 



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