Who participates in these programs and what are they seeking?
We get a great diversity of people on our courses — doctors, activists, lawyers, students, retirees, kids, you name it. The common thread is that everyone comes looking to learn about sustainability and seeking community — and an incredible community does form on nearly every course we run, faq-pinebranchwith life-long friendships often resulting.

We openly welcome people of all ages and backgrounds in our programs. We do ask that minors be accompanied by parents or guardians. We fully welcome and embrace participants regardless of their political, religious or social views — that diversity of viewpoints is what helps create the richness of dialogue in each programs.

We do not come together to agree but rather to have a diversity of viewpoints that are absolutely necessary to creating a beautiful, thriving, sane world. While a rich philosophical dialogue about our world emerges on nearly every program, our programs strictly have no religious affiliation or components.

What will we be eating during the program?
While in We provide a menu and divide the group into cooking crews. Each day a different cooking group takes turns preparing and making the meals — which greatly helps build community as people spend time cooking together.

The ingredients we provide are largely organic, vegan, non-processed and wheat+soy-free. Our menu is designed to provide very simple meals that are highly nutritious. Please come expecting to eat a profoundly healthy diet and know that you will likely find yourself challenged by the meals if you are used to eating unhealthy or processed foods. We go to great lengths to source our food as sustainably as possible; know that due to availability and logistics we are only able to source a small portion of our meals directly from the farms and portions of our food comes from cans. The meals you will be eating will be extraordinarily healthy and we regularly get comments from participants who mention how much healthier they feel as a result of the good food on our programs.

Where will we be sleeping during the program?
The accommodations included in the tuition for our programs are usually camping; dorms are also often available for certain workshops (additional fees apply).  We tend to camp at host farms or campgrounds with bathroom facilities.  We usually provide tents and you just need your own sleeping pad and sleeping bag. Because of the community-building focus of our programs, we firmly request that all participants plan on lodging on-site with us for the duration of the program.

hIf you are concerned about camping for the duration of the program, please contact us as we can advise you, give you tips, and help make your stay a lot more comfortable than you think is possible.  A lot of comfort issues really come down to having proper gear, and our staff are experienced and can advise you as to what you will need to be most comfortable.

Do you programs involve any kind of therapy?
We have no trained therapists, psychologists or mental health professionals on our staff and our programs are not therapy. Our programs are designed only for emotionally and physically healthy adults who are able to handle living in close quarters with other people for the length of the program, and able to productively process the emotional challenges that arise as part of this experience.

hAll of our programs are heavily focused on regenerative leadership and social permaculture – the science and art of developing healthy communities. In order to build a healthy, thriving beautiful world, we must first begin by truly acknowledging the root causes of the challenges that face us. Our program processes involve philosophical and personal discussions about the state of our world and the impact on us individually and collectively.

What is your policy if I need to cancel and cannot make it to the course?
For us to offer a flexible refund policy would require a loss of at least a third of our tuition revenues, and thus require raising your tuition fees by at least fifty or more percent to compensate for the supply and demand economics. That would be completely contrary to our mission of making sustainability accessible to those with limited financial means. Thus in order to provide you with the absolutely lowest tuition rates, we do not allow refunds under any circumstances.

windmillsWe do however advise several things — please purchase appropriate travel insurance that would cover you and your tuition fees in case of illness or other unforeseen circumstances. We are also sometimes able to allow you to sell your course to someone else or to change to another course (depending on program availability and with additional fees and conditions). Our goal is to take this work as widely as possible – and we absolutely want to work with you to enable you to participate in a program, so please contact us to discuss your options.   We very strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. It is both quite inexpensive and can save you quite a few hassles along the way.

What is your drug and alcohol policy?
We have a zero tolerance policy on consumption of alcohol and drugs, including marijuana.  Please do not come if you intend to drink or use drugs, as you will be sent home without a refund.

There are numerous reasons for this policy and we are very strict about enforcement:

  • there aren’t very many places in our society to meet people and build community without intoxicating substances
  • hintoxicated people are not constructive to promoting good community
  • some of our hosts specifically requested this policy
  • our programs are about healthy living and alcohol is a toxin that causes cancer
  • alcohol dehydrates, and proper hydration is critical
  • we often host under-age participants
  • many people simply do not like to be around drinking or smoking

Please note that due to the nature of our programs, all logistics and program details are subject to change at any time without notice and refund.