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Financial Permaculture Course – Save $80 on Registration

Announcing the 2013 Financial Permaculture & Local Business Summit.

Earth Learning, the South Dade Economic Development Council, Financial Permaculture Institute, and Miami Dade College will host community investment/financial experts, permaculture designers and sustainability entrepreneurs for this dynamic gathering and integrative learning experience to begin building resiliency in our community. We will address economic andecological challenges of the 21st century as we explore creating money cycling, local investments, and forward-looking businesses that optimize the local natural systems and human capacities to implement models of regenerative business and local resiliency!

The workshop will run January 21-25, 2013 in Homestead, Florida, USA. Register using the coupon code ET88 and save $80!


Part of the Earth Learning team outside their cafe/kitchen/market food hub building.

Event Design

The January, 2013 Financial Permaculture and Local Business Summit will host community investment and financial experts, Permaculture designers and regenerative entrepreneurs for this dynamic gathering and integrative learning experience of building community resiliency. Participants will learn tools and skills to address the economic and ecological challenges of 21st century as we explore creating forward looking businesses, resource cycling, local investments, and optimizing the local natural systems and human capacities to implement models of regenerative business and local resiliency.

The event is regional, national and international. There are four tracks within the event:

  1. Permaculture
  2. Finance/Business
  3. Community Economic Development
  4. Local Business Development (broken into 4 specific types of businesses)


Each of these tracks will be taught on a meta level (applicable and replicable within the US, and relevant abroad), and then on a ground level using local examples from the Miami community. Thus our participants can fit within each of these tracks, including people interested in developing any of the four specific businesses within their own communities. At our largest event we had thirty-two US states and seven countries represented, along with fully one quarter of the participants from the local community. Diversity is key to this event and provides rich potential for cross-pollination.

During the event these 4 local businesses will be designed:

  1. Commercial Permaculture Farm
  2. Farm-to-Table Café (including mobile market)
  3. Commercial Kitchen (including mobile processing kitchen)
  4. Local Foods Distribution Network & Online Market

All four are already in start-up stage.

Local organic coconuts in Earth Learning commercial kitchen


Setting up the Design:

  1. Presentation of design objectives and desirable outcomes;
  2. Interviews of business stakeholders;
  3. During the event each of our experts will be placed on one of the four design teams as Advisors;
  4. After a two-day design charette, the participants will present the results to local stakeholders and the public.


Place & Businesses

During the 5-day event, participants will work with the Miami-Dade community to create four businesses.


The Local Context:

  • Verde Gardens community & homeless campus: A local economy (with a local currency probably) is possible with residents of Verde Gardens, the 145 town homes occupied by formerly homeless families, and folks from the surrounding homeless campus includes temporary shelters and longer term temporary housing for homeless individuals and families.
  • South Dade & Upper Keys (local): A mostly low-income food desert core, with a couple large employers including Air Reserve Base, and lots of recent urban sprawl in pockets all around, a large industrial farming community to the west that is waning; no decent local food (retailer or otherwise) happening.  
  • Greater Miami – Southeast FL (urban areas) Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe: No local food infrastructure, few farmers markets, several new producer-based efforts, lots of growing interest.
  • Greater Everglades (bioregion/foodshed), encompasses Southern 1/3 of state: a couple hundred small and mid-sized organic and sustainable producers / little to no infrastructure to connect them with urban markets.
  • State of Florida (region): Several local food initiatives in various parts of the State that could be served by a trade network / opposite growing seasons, large range (temperate to sub-tropical), once again little infrastructure…

The Four Businesses:

  1. Commercial Permaculture Farm:The Farm is a 22-acre Permaculture farm, with a diversity of food ecosystems and a crazy diversity of products; some of the enterprises include:
    • Food year round (annuals, perennials, animal products);
    • Edible Plant Nursery (plants, planting supplies, design services);
    • Programming (tours, events, workshops, courses)
Mario Yanez of Earth Learning in a commercial polyculture of papaya, banana, pigeon pea, and sweet potato.

The Farm must become self-sustaining in being able to provide for itself all its needs (fertility, feed, plant material, fuel, etc.).

  1. Farm-to-Table Café (including mobile market): The HH Market (a 5,000 square foot facility with a large walk-in cooler and learning kitchen) serves as an access point for local, “sustainably-grown” foods from the bioregion, throughout Florida, and bulk organic foods (not grown locally) from further afield. The HH Café serves healthy, local, seasonal “sustainably-grown” fare and is operated in conjunction with a culinary arts educational program. They both serve an area that otherwise has very few food options, and zero healthy food options.
  2. Commercial Kitchen (including mobile processing kitchen): Preserving the Harvest is a venture that was launched to capture as much produce not sold at market and or not sold from The Farm to preserve it and give it a longer life. There are several really great products and recipes already developed that have a following and endless opportunities to create more. PTH shares a large “learning” kitchen with the Café and is situated inside the Market building. A 30’ foot mobile kitchen (PermaKitchen) is available (not yet permitted) as a traveling community kitchen for small producers to process their produce.
  3. Local Foods Distribution Network & Online Market: Our food hub (located in market building and sharing large walk in cooler) is (1) an aggregator of local foods from small producers throughout the Greater Everglades foodshed, primarily in Miami-Dade; (2) a local distribution network and online marketplace for small local producers, including The Farm and PTH, to reach local markets, buying clubs, restaurants, schools & other institutions; (3) a way of connecting other local hubs to a regional (all of Florida) food network.
  4. Farm Market (including mobile market): The HH Market (a 5,000 square foot facility w large walk-in cooler and learning kitchen) serves as a locus for all the above businesses and an access point for local, “sustainably-grown” foods from the bioregion, throughout Florida, and bulk organic foods (not grown locally) from further afield.
Design of Earth Learning Farm


Instructor Team

  • Hosts, Coordination and MCs: Mario Yanez, Jennifer English, Elena Naranjo
  • Permaculture Designers: Eric Toensmeier, Jude Hobbs, Jono Neiger and Marisha Auerbach
  • Finance and Business Experts: David Rose, Jonathan Cloud, Emily Kawano, Gerry Segal, and Elizabeth Ü
  • Business Content Providers: Dion Taylor, Diego Angarita, Rafter Ferguson, and Charlie Wilson