Way Of Living
We believe that exploring ecology, sustainability and permaculture through textbook, website, or lecture is not enough. Sure, one can learn a lot about composting and the benefits of using a compost toilet from a book. However, actually using one for several months results in an experiential shift in one’s understanding that renders using a “conventional” flush toilet an unearthly experience.
This sort of consciousness shift can only occur by doing – that is, by living a truly sustainable lifestyle first-hand. With this in mind, Eco-Israel on the Hava & Adam Farm takes cues from nature, and teaches sustainability through this very simple principle: learning by doing.
Permaculture Design Course:
Who is more sustainable than Mother Earth? By observing the ways and patterns found in nature, we can design systems that are inspired by and mimic natural systems thereby achieving not only sustainability but abundance and plentitude. Permaculture and other models of sustainable living all involve a reunion with Mother Earth and her cyclical, super-efficient ways.
The course offers certification upon completion. We cover the ethics and principles of permaculture and several design methods such as zone & sector analysis, component analysis and more. Classes are devoted specifically to observation, soil, water, gardening, sustainable gardening & farming, composting, green & natural building, social permaculture, sustainable economics and urban sustainability. There are several design projects throughout the semester done individually or in small groups.
The Land & the People:
One of the design methods of permaculture is component analysis, which is sometimes referred to as the art of location. In this course, we explore what it means to be studying permaculture specifically in Israel. We learn about the history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel from ancient times to present day Israel.
We have the opportunity to develop a deep, spiritual, nature-based relationship with the Land of Israel, its diverse cultures, and inspiring landscapes. Working the land is done in tune with the seasonal flow and holiday celebrations of the agricultural Hebrew calendar. We engage with the Bible and Jewish agricultural precepts in relevant, hands-on ways. Experiencing the land of Israel through an ecological, environmentally sound lens strengthens our connection to the Jewish peoplehood and Israel itself.
Medicinal Herbs, Natural Building, Hebrew and more:
The rest of the curriculum is divided into several other classes. We spend time in the medicinal herbs center, learning about useful herbs and plants that can be made into therapeutic teas, tinctures, salves, soaps, and other useful products made from natural materials that are grown on the farm. We also learn how to extract essential oils for therapeutic uses.
During the mud building course, we learn about several natural building methods. We have many opportunities to get our hands dirty building with mud. We also have a chance to work in the masgeria (workshop) to build things like furniture and structures, or help add to the charm of Hava ve Adam by adding artwork to our structures or creating mud-built sculptures around the farm!
Hebrew is taught in small groups divided into different levels, in combination with Jewish Heritage to receive a truly deep and spiritual connection to the language as well as the land. Classes are supported by additional opportunities to engage with the Israelis who live and work on the farm.
In addition to the courses offered, there is an amazing opportunity to gain knowledge in vegan cuisine by working in the kitchen. We always have a variety of very talented cooks on the farm, and our food comes directly from our vegetable beds – talk about farm-to-table!
As part of the Eco-Israel curriculum, we travel, hike and explore Israel from the Negev Desert to the Golan. These trips cover a variety of ecological, cultural and historical points of interest in Israel and introduce our students to the amazing work and organizations that make Israel a world leader in sustainability.