Permaculture Design Practicum

Cold Climate design strategies for gardeners, land stewards, and those interested in learning more about permaculture.

What: Permaculture Design Practicum with Jerome Osentowski and Kareen Erbe 

When: Saturday, September 30 – Sunday, October 1, 2023

Where: The Sacred Sanctuary in Boulder, Colorado

Cost: $360. This includes three meals and camping in the temple space or in a personal tent on the land. (Limited indoor lodging available for an additional fee.)

More info: Additional details, location and preparation will be sent after registration and again before the retreat begins. If you have any questions, please contact Răćhel at

New dates announced! To fill our retreat and gather more community for this powerful weekend immersion into permaculture design, we have moved our retreat from June 24th-25th to September 30-October 1.


A Permaculture Design Practicum is a collaborative process that allows for a diversity of perspectives and design ideas at a specific site. We are ecstatic to welcome Jerome Osentowski with the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and Kareen Erbe with Broken Ground to the Sacred Sanctuary to lead a weekend long permaculture retreat! 

This design practicum is intended to give participants an introduction to permaculture concepts while engaging them in the real-life design process of a permaculture plan at The Sacred Sanctuary.

During the weekend, participants will learn about permaculture practices and principles, the importance of human relationships and community building in the design process, site analyses and design methods, and various strategies for food production, soil building, water capture, and fire mitigation. By the end of the workshop, participants will have created a site design for The Sacred Sanctuary, incorporating permaculture principles and knowledge gained.

For info and photos from past retreats, visit this page.

Participation is limited to 20 and we invite you to claim your spot now. 

Meet Your Teachers

Jerome Osentowski, author of Forest Garden Greenhouse. A forager and permaculturist with roots in rural Nebraska, Jerome Osentowski lives in a passive solar home he built at 7200 feet above Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and a permaculture designer for thirty years, he has built five greenhouses for himself and scores of others for private clients and public schools in the Rockies and beyond. He makes his living from an intensively cultivated one acre of indoor and outdoor forest garden and plant nursery, which he uses as a backdrop for intensive permaculture and greenhouse design courses.

Among his accomplishments is hosting the longest-running Permaculture Design Course in the world, now at twenty-nine years running. Jerome also been instrumental in identifying, conserving, and propagating heritage fruit trees that have survived and borne crops for over a century in the harsh environment of the Roaring Fork Valley. Jerome’s explorations of sustainable systems and his travels for development projects have taken him to Baja, Nicaragua, Patagonia, Finland, Australia, and the Caribbean.

If you have a property at which you would like to host a practicum, send an email to Visit to see more about Jerome’s legacy, projects and high altitude land sanctuary. 

Kareen Erbe is a certified permaculture designer and has been teaching permaculture and gardening workshops through her business, Broken Ground, for 9 years. She and her husband live on a suburban cold climate permaculture homestead in Bozeman, Montana. She has a BSc. in Environmental Science and completed an advanced permaculture program taught by Geoff Lawton, at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. Kareen has also trained with Rosemary Morrow, author of the Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture. Additional studies include Master Gardener and Master Composter Certifications, training in Ecology Action’s Grow Biointensive methods, and participation in a Food Forest Design Charrette with author, teacher and designer, Dave Jacke. She has also worked as a permaculture consultant for the sustainability organization, GoodtoChina, in Shanghai, China, and is currently the permaculture advisor for Bodhi Farms in Bozeman.

Kareen is currently on the faculty of the Online Women’s Permaculture Design Course and the Green Path Herb School. She has been a regular contributor to Rocky Mountain Gardening Magazine, Permaculture Women Magazine, and was featured in The New Pioneer. Learn more about Kareen at or through her youtube channel here

The Sacred Sanctuary

Nestled in the foothills of Boulder and held by a sacred mountain and river, The Sacred Sanctuary is an intimate healing retreat space of regeneration, wisdom, community and sustainability.  Through wisdom based practices and honoring of the natural world, The Sacred Sanctuary recognizes the interconnectedness of all life and nourishes the health and wellbeing of both the inner and outer landscapes. To learn more about our land sanctuary, click here.

If you are eager to come to our sanctuary before the retreat and be a part of our community this summer, we welcome you!

  1. We have many projects going and need more help! If you’d like to get your hands in the dirt, please use our contact form to volunteer.
  2. We are seeking a long-term land steward to join our sanctuary as a permanent work trade position. More info is available here.
  3. Our retreat cabin is ready and available for short and long term stays. More info is available here.

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