Agro-Ecology & Farm Design Course September 2nd – 11th, 2022 near Marrakesh

Marrakesh Organics & La Finca

Agro-Ecology & Farm Design

 September 2nd – 11th 2022

All around the world, Agro-Ecological systems and practices have proved themselves as viable solutions to the convergence of crises facing us today. Combined with other practices such as permaculture design, we are able to create remarkable social, economic & environmental impact.

Our program aims to provide participants with various approaches to Agro-Ecology, soil regeneration, water management and food sovereignty in various contexts, giving them all the tools necessary to design, implement and manage resilient small-farms that are economically profitable and environmentally wholesome & abundant within a changing climate.

Course sessions provide a wealth of information which is the fruit of many years of tested on the ground knowledge and research. There will also be several hands-on sessions for participants to partake in.

Participants in the retreat “Agro-Ecology and Farm Design” will also experience living and sharing with an amazing community in full immersion in nature at a beautiful farm in the Ourika valley near Marrakech. This unique experience offers you the opportunity to reconnect, restore and rest while learning hands-on skills and discovering the most important aspects of environmental design and farm life. 

Our goals for this program are to:

  • Provide solutions, tools & techniques for individuals who are interested in a sustainable and eco responsible lifestyle 
  • Prepare individuals to design, implement and manage small farms.
  • Empower farmers with the confidence and skills necessary to design a productive landscape
  • Provide a strong support system through a valuable network of experts, practitioners & resources
  • Inspire individuals to continue to develop creative solutions adapted to their own social context and communities.

Course Content

Topics covered in this course will be:

  • Theory and principles of Permaculture
  • Methods of design
  • Understanding patterns in nature
  • Water harvesting and management
  • Dryland regeneration strategies
  • Forest design & creation
  • Natural building, house placement and design
  • Energy efficient architecture
  • Earthworks & their use in earth repair
  • Soil microbiology
  • Soil rehabilitation and erosion control
  • Organic gardening
  • Livestock management essentials
  • Ecological pest control
  • Business plan development
  • Recycling and waste management… and much more!

Facilitators

OMAR HAJJI is a Regenerative design educator & consultant and the founder of Marrakesh Organics, an Agro-Ecology farm and environmental education center near Marrakech, Morocco. He has an academic background in philosophy and sustainable development and over 10 years of regenerative design education and farm management experience. Marrakesh Organics experiments and implements best sustainability practices pertaining especially to dryland water management, arid climate agriculture, arid climate architecture and alternative energy.

Omar has travelled to many parts of the globe learning, teaching or consulting in the fields of ecological restoration, regenerative agriculture & Ecovillage development notably in the US, Morocco, Senegal, Thailand, Kenya, Tunisia, Ghana, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia.

AÏDA BENNOUNA is a Nutritional Psychologist at ABC Institute in Rabat which she founded in 2020. She is also the founder and manager of La Finca Farm, a retreat center and Agro-Ecology demonstration site near Rabat which she started in 2018. At la Finca, Aïda combines her love for growing healthy, wholesome fruits & vegetables with her passion for nutrition and wellbeing to host workshops and retreats centered around human wellness.

Course prices:

  • 10% Early bird discount if you register before August 19th
  • Price for local participants is 7500 Dh
  • Price for international participants is 850 EUR

Accommodations and other specifics

  • Comfortable accommodation in double rooms will be provided. Private rooms are available for an added cost.
  • If you prefer to camp there are plenty of good spots on the farm. Please bring your own tent.
  • Full catering is included in the price fee and includes three meals and two coffee and tea breaks.
  • The average day temperature in the area during the month of September is 30°C, with temperatures dropping to around 17°C at nights.

The Venue

The farm produces olives as its main enterprise, but also includes animals, fruit orchards and vegetables. It also acts as a guesthouse and a social gatherings site for retreats and workshops.

The average annual rainfall in the region is around 300 mm and the altitude is 700 m. Humidity is 24%. 

Getting Here?

We will send you the location upon request

We can arrange for Airport and city pick-ups for a fee of 250 Dh

Payment

50 % of the fee must be paid before August 24th to book your spot. The remainder of the payment should be handled on the first day of the course.

What can you do to prepare for the course?

This course is intended for the beginner – who may have just heard about Permaculture for the first time, as well as for those with some experience, who may be practicing Permaculture already, but are interested in learning the theoretical framework behind it.  You are not expected to have any specific knowledge or skills upon arrival.  We do think it is helpful to start thinking about ecological systems, and permaculture design in advance.  Read!  Find a book about design, organic gardening, integrated systems, ecology, solution based exploration of our world’s problems, etc. Any of these subjects will provide you with some context prior to the lessons of the course.

Accommodations

You will be accommodated in very simple double rooms. Private rooms available on a first come first served basis. If you prefer to bring your own tent, there are lots of great spots for setting up a tent and having a little more privacy from the group.

Great local cooks will be preparing our meals, so you can expect excellent food.

Laundry service will be provided for a small fee.

If you have any special needs please let us know ASAP.

What should I bring?


Work clothes, which will get dirty, especially if we do a bit of natural building.
Sun hat
Sturdy working shoes
Flashlight / Head lamp
Books- if you want to donate to our library
Towel
Own soap & shampoo
Notebook and good pens for taking notes.
Sandals and indoor footwear (house rules dictate no outside shoes inside)
Water bottle
Favorite snacks
Chocolate (We can never stress it enough!)
Beginners Mind – Be open to learning from everyone present.

Important guidelines

Open and receptive attitude toward cross cultural communication
Willingness to ask questions whenever necessary
Conduct yourself in a cooperative manner and show respect to others
Sobriety at all times during the course
No music played out loud
No Alcohol is permitted on premises
No illicit drugs are permitted on premises
No pets

Travel Insurance

We recommend that all our international students have comprehensive travel insurance for cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, baggage, money and liability before traveling.

Contacting us

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