NO COURSES ARE BEING OFFERED AT THIS TIME. Stay tuned for upcoming courses and workshops in the Mid-Hudson Valley and Albany areas.

Learning opportunities are available in Tillson, NY by private appointment.

For those who are new to permaculture and for those who seek further practice: all are welcomed.

Course Offerings, Fall 2018:

Accelerated Permaculture Training in Dobbs Ferry
Permaculture Field Training certificate course in BK (scroll down)

Accelerated Permaculture Training (APT) certificate course
6 Saturdays, 9am – 5pm, Dobbs Ferry, NY
September 15, October 27, November 3, November 10, November 17
Five Classes will be held at  South Presbyterian Church in Greenburgh, 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY
Plus One Saturday of Field Practice: September 22, (rain date Sept 23) at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn  10am – 5pm
The Old Stone House & Washington Park, 336 3rd Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
(between 4th & 5th Ave and 3rd & 4th St)  718.768.3195

Teaching Team: Claudia Joseph, Jono Neiger, Anne Wiesen and John Seitz plus special guests.

Locations: South Presbyterian Church

Fee: $450 after August 30th
Early registration:$350
Scholarships and work-trade available, contact to apply.

Students may also pay by cash or check by contacting Lenore Person:

Course description:  This Accelerated Permaculture Training (APT) offers a concise study of the core principles of permaculture design – with a goal of sustaining and regenerating the ecological systems that support us. Permaculture operates on every scale and can be used for both personal and business development. Designing for resilience, multiple-yields, inter-connectedness and balance are at the heart of this course. Permaculture is a globally accepted design system, applicable in tropical, temperate and desert climates. The scope of this course will include ourselves and our bio-region as well as global issues that affect our future.

The APT course is presented by the New York Permaculture Exchange and Roots & Wings Garden:  Roots and Wings, the sustainable living initiative of South Church in Dobbs Ferry, offers green spirituality programs, gardening workshops and permaculture presentations. The Kitchen Garden supplements South Church ‘s Food Pantry.New York Permaculture Exchange has been based in Park Slope Brooklyn for 17 years with demonstration gardens at the Old Stone House & Washington Park since 2004.

Course Objectives:

1. To introduce students to the fundamentals of sustainability.
2. To teach cooperative dynamics and positive approach.
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.

The prime directive of permaculture is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children. Cooperation, not competition is the very basis of future survival for existing life systems. – Penny Livingston-Stark

Teacher’s Bios

Anne Wiesen  – a clinical herbalist and partner at Design by Plants, an ecologically-based garden design firm in Brooklyn. Studying plants from permaculture (2010), ethnobotanical (MS) and herbal medicine perspectives (Arbor Vitae 2016), Anne creates inspired solutions for needs ranging from individual well-being to community and public health. She is co-editor of Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-being Through Urban Landscapes (USDA Forest Service, 2009).

John Seitz  – an Architect, educator and builder. He brings 30 years of experience with the ecological design and sustainable construction of buildings and landscapes to his teaching. His firm, Design by Plants has been designing and installing gardens in Brooklyn for more than a decade. He is also an adjunct professor at CUNY and is currently designing permaculture communities in Tonasket, WA and Kerhonkson, NY with his wife and business partner, Anne Wiesen.

Jono Neiger  – a founding principle of Regenerative Design Group, with 30 years of professional experience in permaculture, ecological land design, site planning, agroforestry, land management, conservation, and restoration. Jono teaches widely around the northeast and southeast, teaches at the Conway School of Landscape Planning and Design, and co-founded the Permaculture Association of the Northeast (PAN). Jono worked as a land manager for Lost Valley Educational Center and a Restoration Specialist with the Nature Conservancy in California. He is the author of The Permaculture Promise.

Claudia Joseph  –  founder of New York Permaculture Exchange and has developed a useful, public landscape at the Old Stone House & Washington Park in Brooklyn, NY since 2004. She has practiced permaculture on both coasts, in both urban and rural settings. Ms. Joseph has taught for many organizations since 1998, including Berkeley Ecology Center, New York Botanical Garden, the  Department of Parks, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, and is a freelance permaculture consultant, designer and teacher.

General Schedule:
9am – morning circle and check-in (in the garden when weather permits)
9:30 – 11:15am lecture or inter-class discussion
11:15 – 11:30am break
11:30 – 12:45pm lecture and discussion
12:45- 1:45 lunch break one hour
1:45pm – 3:30pm lecture or activity
3:30 – 3:45pm break
3:45 – 5pm exercises, group work, movies, etc.

Lunch will be a Community Potluck. Bring some healthy food (try to prepare it yourself) to share with 3 or 4 other people. It is wonderful to experience the diverse tastes offered by our community – handmade and heritage foods are much appreciated. Sharing food that we bring saves time, is economical and is always delicious. Please bring beverages for yourself, for the day. As a class practice, make no trash, to the best of your abilities.

This APT course  is an intensive study, designed to acquaint you with the core principles of permaculture design and promote and support daily practice of the principles. It is not equivalent to the Design Certificate Course (minimum 72 hours of study) that allows one to use the word permaculture in relation to business. If you are interested in pursuing the PDC, please talk with Claudia Joseph.

Students are required to participate in 6 hours of Field Training to receive an APT certificate.
There is one Field session scheduled at the Old Stone House. It is weather dependent and will be postponed if downpours or high winds are expected. If you are unable to participate in Field Training, notify the course administrators in advance. If Field Training presents special challenges for you, please let us know.

Cellphone use is not permitted during Field Training, as this learning is experientially based. Students may be asked to lift heavy items, use sharp tools, get dirty and otherwise exert themselves. Close toed shoes are required.

Course Content & Guidelines
Permaculture teaches active approaches to positive change, using practical knowledge, landscape design and social principles. By utilizing appropriate technology, traditional knowledge and innovative solutions, we can be more prepared for our unknowable future. Permaculture provides a useful toolbox for personal and professional design.  This Accelerated Permaculture Training course has been organized by Claudia Joseph, a permaculture consultant, practitioner and community leader who holds a Diploma of Permaculture in Education and Design from Permaculture USA, and is certified by Permaculture Institute of North America. The APT is administrated by Roots & Wings and supported by a teaching team.

Claudia Joseph, Jono Neiger, Anne Wiesen and John Seitz are the  Teaching Team. Guest teachers will visit the class periodically to present in-depth knowledge from their individual fields and will sometimes lead the class. Improvised and group learning are part of the teaching style of this course and topics may vary from those listed in the syllabus.

Attendance and Course Requirements
Students are expected to attend all sessions and to participate in all activities – including Field Practice – in order to receive a Certificate. There will be some physical exertion required as well as speaking in front of the class. Absences should be communicated to the administrator of the course in advance or as soon as is possible. Missed hours must be compensated with make-up activities, arranged on an individual basis, and may include sessions that require further payment to earn the certificate.

You will be asked to turn off your cell phones during class and not to use them in the gardens. Please inform the instructor in advance if you are going to be late, absent or leave early. Bring something to drink and wear comfortable clothes. Shoes with closed toes are needed for fieldwork.

Recommended Reading:
Books, videos and other media abound – several books pertaining to the session topics will be available for reference at each class. Team teacher, Jono Neiger has written the very accessible, yet thorough, book Permaculture Promise, highly recommended. Patrick Whitefield ‘s Permaculture in a Nutshell, is great for those seeking an easy, clear, read. Peter Bane ‘s book The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town & Country is more detailed and is considered a standard. Mark Shepard ‘s Restoration Agriculture, focusses specifically on perennial agricultural systems. Bill Mollison ‘s Permaculture: A Designers Manual is the classic permaculture reference book. And anything by David Holmgren (co-founder of permaculture) takes you right to the source, as well. Many free on-line links will be offered as we move through the material and students are invited to share their favorite resources.

Tentative Schedule: topics, locations and teachers may vary.

Saturday, September 15, 9am – 5pm
Instructors: Jono Neiger and Claudia Joseph

Morning Circle/Introductions
Permaculture: History & Ethics
Pattern Recognition in the Landscape
History & Policies of Conventional Farming
Food Security & Global Trade
Climate & Weather
Forest Garden Model/Perennial Food Landscapes/Silva-pasture, Trees and Forest Systems
Zone & Sector Analysis
Basic Mapping Techniques
Plant Selection and Function
Soil Health
Individual Assignment

Saturday, September 22 – Field Practice at the Old Stone House, 10am – 5pm
Instructors: Claudia Joseph & Anne Wiesen

Morning Circle
Review individual design projects as a group
Field Observation
Herbal Use
Seed Saving
Stormwater Mitigation Techniques
Plant Guilds & Bio-intensive Planting
Mid-scale Compost Systems
This teaching day is weather dependent. Light rain is fine – dress appropriately. Heavy rain or strong wind would postpone. The rain-date is Sept 23rd.

Saturday, October 20, 9am – 5pm
Instructors: John Seitz and Anne Wiesen

Biomes & Bioregional Planning
Water Delivery Systems
Water Conservation Practices
Rainwater Catchment, Rain Gardens, Ponds, Swales & Earthworks
Flood Mitigation Techniques
Aquaculture and Aquaponics
Students present Individual Assignments

Saturday, November 3
Instructor: TBA (Claudia Joseph or Jono Neiger, and guest)

Homesteading Skills
Grafting, Pollarding and Propagation
Natural Building Techniques
Lifestyle Choices
Group project assignment:
Begin design project

Saturday, Nov 10
Instructors: John Seitz and Anne Wiesen, and guest

Eco-village Design & Community Blocks
Cooperative Structures
Economic Strategies and Equations
Designing an Edible Landscape/Small Business
Consensus Process/Group Dynamics
Revisit Pattern Understanding
More Mapping & Presentation Skills Development
Group Design Work
Outdoor activity if weather permits

Saturday, Nov 17
Instructors: John Seitz and Anne Wiesen and Claudia Joseph, guest teacher
Applying Permaculture to our Lives & Businesses
Group work between morning break and lunch
Final Presentations and Student Finale

Questions? contact

Skip the gym and come to the garden! Training begins September 11. (with all due respect)

September 18th-Nov 6, 2018
Time: 10am – 2pm
September 18,19,25,26 October 2,9,10,16,17,23,30, & Nov 6
$450 for 40 hr Permaculture Field Training certificate program
Or $20 per session flexible fee.
By application only, students must register in advance.
Contact: to register.

Learn Edible Landscaping and Permaculture techniques in the Old Stone House Gardens
The gardens at Washington Park and MS 51 demonstrate how to reclaim our public space, create a beautiful, useful landscape, reduce waste, increase benefits and respond to climate change.  Students should expect to get dirty, lift heavy loads at times and otherwise fully engage in garden activities.

Contact: to apply. Pre-registration is required.

Permaculture Field Training Certificate goals:

Field Training Goals:
• Learn about biological gardening through hands-on experience and direct observation.
• Learn about resilience.
• Learn how to increase the dynamic life level of a landscape.
• Learn about the social design of whole systems management.
• Learn simple herbal remedies and forage plants.

In Fall, the students learn to plant the fall cycle, save seeds, harvest, mulch, install perennials and put the garden to bed.  This training program consists of 40 hours of concentrated field work coupled with home study and unscheduled site visits. Successful participants will be awarded a Permaculture Field Training Certificate.

Contact: to register.


SPRING FIELD TRAINING, 2018 has concluded.
Tuesdays April 17, 24, May 8, 15, 22
Wednesdays: April 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23
$20 per session/flexible fee or $450 for 40 hr Field Training Certificate program
Learn Edible Landscaping and Permaculture techniques in the Old Stone House Gardens
The gardens at Washington Park and MS 51 demonstrate how to reclaim our public space, create a beautiful, useful landscape, reduce waste, increase benefits and respond to climate change.

Contact:  to apply. Pre-registration is required.

Time: 10am – 2pm

A rare learning opportunity, designed to educate by providing a dedicated practice space:  Medicinal plants, perennial food systems, annual sequencing, soil development, pollinator plants, flood mitigation and climate response are lessons offered by our gardens. Community building, stewardship of our public land and social equity underly all of our work.

Students will shovel, dig, prune, lift and hammer as well as research, map, work with plants and interface with the public – offering a good workout physically and mentally. Handouts will be available online – the emphasis is through direct experience in the field. Move at your own pace and focus on the areas that interest you by interfacing with the instructor and other members of the group. Field Training sessions will be subject to weather conditions; heavy rains or winds over 20 mph will postpone classes. Make-up days will be offered.

Permaculture Field Training Certificate goals:
+ Practice  community  and landscape design aspects of whole systems management.
+ Learn 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. In Fall, the students learn to plant the fall cycle, save seeds, harvest, mulch, install perennials and put the garden to bed.  This training program consists of 40 hours of concentrated field work coupled with home study and unscheduled site visits. Successful participants will be awarded a Permaculture Field Training Certificate.

Claudia Joseph is certified in Permaculture Education and Permaculture Design by the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA). Ms Joseph also holds a Diploma of Permaculture from Permaculture USA. She has led the design, development and care of the gardens since 2004 and taught with NYBG, BBG, BSEC, Grow to Learn, Just Food and NY Open Center and is Director of the New York Permaculture Exchange.
Contact the Old Stone House:
( 718) 768-3195

New! Urban Permaculture Accelerated Training, Certificate Course in Dobbs Ferry: Fall 2018
Contact to apply

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.

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.



Ongoing educational opportunities are offered at the Old Stone House. To be added to our electronic notifications list, contact or subscribe to

Jillian Hovey – International Permaculturalist
Monday, October 26, 2015
The Old Stone House (5th Ave & 4th St)
Permaculture Odyssey: Projects from Around the World
Come and join your local permaculture community to view international Permaculture in Practice through a holistic lens of a world-class permaculturalist. Experience the richness of permaculture in its many forms around the globe, while in touch with the complexity of the human landscape. Jillian Hovey’s gripping stories of life in the field, from the UK & Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and back to The Americas, will inspire what you can do here.

Bio: Jillian Hovey is a leading edge international practitioner of Permaculture Design with 20 years of experience. Formerly based in Canada, she travels and consults full-time, with a wide range of projects from urban balconies, to rural eco communities of hundreds of acres. Her warm, grounded, and inclusive style will both inspire you, and make you feel at home.


Forage Walk, Talk and Book Signing with Leda Meredith
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Old Stone House & Washington Park
5th Ave @ 3rd St in Park Slope, BK

Leda is the author of Northeast Foraging, Preserving Everything and The Locavore’s Handbook
This timely information is presented with unbridled joy and a true appreciation for gastronomic delight. Leda is a world-class forager, gardener and culinary wizard.

$20 suggested donation.
Register in advance by contacting



Leave a Reply