Ecology Action


Click the tabs below to see information about the 3-Day workshops offered by Ecology Action!

  • Introduction
  • Presenters
  • Topics/Schedule
  • Reading
  • Registration
  • Food/Lodging


T H R E E - D A Y   W O R K S H O PS

March 6-8, 2015 and November 6-8, 2015


John Jeavons teaching about transplanting at the 5-day Teacher Certification Workshop in July, 1999.We are pleased that you are interested in Ecology Action's 3-Day Workshop in GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming. This course offers an excellent opportunity to acquire a wealth of information on the most efficient gardening method we know. The information has been gathered from over thirty years of research. GROW BIOINTENSIVE is currently in use in over 130 countries around the world.

The 3-Day Workshop is an in-depth study of GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farming appropriate to a more self-reliant lifestyle and for work in developing countries. The program will consist of lecture, discussion and demonstration, and will include a full range of information on Sustainability and Efficient Resource Use, Crops and Diet, Fertilization, Compost and Compost Crops, Soil Preparation and Preservation, Seed Propagation, and Income, as well as the perspective to tie all these together. The workshop content covers introductory, intermediate and advanced material. Five-sixths of this workshop is in lecture and classroom work. One afternoon will be devoted to demonstrations in the Common Ground Research Garden/Mini-Farm; a few participants may be able to try their hand at double-digging, pricking out and/or transplanting. Just as GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farming functions as a whole system rather than isolated techniques, this workshop constitutes a whole, with each section building on previous sections; it is therefore important to attend the entire workshop. Transportation should be scheduled so that participants can remain through 5 p.m. on Sunday.

In order to ensure that everyone leaves the workshop with the fullest range and depth of information possible, we must assume that all participants have read the publications listed under Required Reading on the attached sheet. If you do not already own them, you may purchase a full set. If you need just some of the publications, please order them from Bountiful Gardens.

Ecology Action is a non-profit organization, working to rediscover the techniques and scientific principles involved in the resource-conserving, life-giving GROW BIOINTENSIVE method. These millennia-old practices are an important element in the solution to the problems of the planet. The first seven years of Ecology Action's research focused on the techniques and economic aspects of food raising, while the second seven years were devoted mainly to ‘breaking the code’ for a sustainable diet. Our current research focuses on growing one’s food and income on a closed-system basis, with soil fertility maintained sustainably from within the garden. Our classes and workshops encourage gardeners from many corners of the globe to find solutions appropriate to their own context. Our goal is to find a way to live lightly on the planet so that the planet's resources can be enjoyed by all.

Our registration instructions provide step-by-step guidelines and details about our cancellation procedure, deadlines, reading lists, and the registration form.

To better understand what takes place at the workshops, see the list of presenters and the workshop schedule of activities and topics. If you prefer, send a large self-addressed envelope with 63 cents postage to receive all of this workshop information and registration form in one packet.


  • Workshop Costs:

    $325 per person including workshop manual, plus approximately $75 for other publications (purchased separately if you do not already own them). Lunches and a networking dinner are included, but lodging and other meals are not.
    To see food and lodging options in Willits, click here.

  • To Register for a Workshop:

    See Registration Instructions for details on how to register.

  • More Workshops

    For information about other workshops taught by John Jeavons, visit

    One 5-Day GROW BIOINTENSIVESM Sustainable Mini-Farming Basic-Level Teacher Certification Workshopwill be held in Willits, CA on August 10-14, 2015. Prerequisites for attending a teachers workshop are completion of an introductory 3-Day Workshop and an active practice of GROW BIOINTENSIVE techniques. The application deadline is April 15. For more information click here to download Booklet #30  After you have read Booklet #30, if you want to attend the workshop, please write for further details.  Please write for further details.

  • Workshops in other countries

    • In 2015, multi-day Biointensive Workshops in Spanish will be held in Veracruz State in Mexico, as follows:
      • Feb 2-7 6-Day Workshop in Agroecology and the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
      • May 11-15 5-Day Workshop in Seed Production and Plant Propagation
      • May 25-30 6-Day Workshop in Agroecology and the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
      • June 8-12 Food Forest Gardens
      • August 3-8 6-Day Workshop in Agroecology and the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
      • Nov 9-14 6-Day Workshop in Agroecology and the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
      • Dec 4-6 3-Day Basic-Level Biointensive Workshop

        Contact Ricardo Romero for more details at: bosquedeniebla[at] or fax him at 011-52-27-37-341577

    • May 1-Oct 31 World Expo in Milan, Italy. Visit for details.
John Okomba, Kenya, teaching composting at a tour in Willits, CA image













Three-Day Workshop Presenters

John Jeavons has been the Director of the Mini-Farming program for Ecology Action since 1972 and is the author of How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops... on GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming, which is currently in use in over 130 countries in English, Spanish, German, French, Hindi and Russian. He is author, co-author and/or editor of over 30 Ecology Action publications. His major responsibilities include directing field and library research and education in Biointensive food-raising. He advises GROW BIOINTENSIVE projects in Mexico, Kenya, Russia and Argentina, as well as all corners of the U.S. John holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. Before coming to Ecology Action in 1971, he worked as a systems analyst in business, government and university settings. He has received the Boise Peace Quilt, Santa Fe Living Treasure, Giraffe and Steward of Sustainable Agriculture awards for his public service. John's dream is to be a GROW BIOINTENSIVE mini-farmer.

Dan and Margo Royer-Miller, a husband and wife team, are now wrapping up their sixth season of Biointensive farming. Starting in an internship with Steve Moore in Pennsylvania, they moved on to complete a Three-Year Apprenticeship with Ecology Action and a year working with Ecology Action Garden Manager Ellen Bartholomew as Field Coordinators at the Golden Rule Garden. In March of 2010 they moved to western Ohio to begin a project that will merge their mutual enthusiasm for teaching, farming, sustainable living, and community building. And in June of 2010 they had their first child, which has added a great deal of joy (and complication) to the process. As they grow into the geographical area they have begun to establish links with Dayton-area local food movements, garden projects, and teaching opportunities. Dan has a passion for grains and appropriate technologies related to small-scale agriculture and simple living, and in any remaining free time he practices fiber arts, Aikido, and music.


Three-Day Workshop Topics and Daily Schedule

To download the complete three-day information packet, which includes the detailed schedule and topics list, reading list and other information, click here

NOTE: In addition to the reading listed in the information packet, above, there is a Workshop Manual
of lecture notes and key articles (included with registration),
which will be handed out at the beginning of the workshop.



            The closed-system concept

World Situation

            Top soil destruction; species loss
            Food production, diet choices and their consequences


            Growing crops, soil, people; individual responsibility


            Chinese, Greek and South American traditional agriculture
            French market gardeners, Bio-Dynamics, Alan Chadwick
            Sustainable systems

            Sustainable diet and 60/30/10 design

SATURDAY Compost: Principles and techniques

Compost Crops: Carbon plus calories

Bed Preparation

            Soil air, water, organic matter, nutrients, structure
            Double-digging: principles, tools, techniques
            surface cultivation

Seed Propagation

            Transplanting vs. direct sowing

Simultaneous Sessions

           Income OR Crops and Seeds

40-Bed, 21-Bed, and One-Bed Units

Demonstrations at Common Ground Mini-Farm Research Garden

            Double-digging, fertilizing, pricking out, transplanting


Simultaneous Sessions

           1. Water Use & Farming Techniques for Low-Rainfall Regions
               OR Crop Rotations
           2. Human Waste and Fertility OR Companion Planting

Fertility and Fertilization

            Living soil; feed the soil, not the plants
            Organic fertilizers, manure, compost


           Making Best Use of the Master Charts


           At the Golden Rule Garden

Group Activity

           Planning Your Own One-Bed Unit

Concluding Perspective




8:00-12:30—Lecture; 12:30-1:45—Lunch; 1:45-5:30—Lecture


8:00-12:30—Lecture; 12:30-1:30—Lunch; 1:30-5:00—Demos 6:30—Networking Supper


8:00-12:30—Lecture; 12:30-1:45—Lunch; 1:45-5:00—Group Activity

N.B. The schedule is subject to change, depending on the weather.

This will be a non-smoking classroom.

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Required Reading for the Workshop

The list below contains required reading for the 3-Day workshops, which you should do before you come to the Workshop, as well as other materials that you should bring with you.

You can order the full or partial set of these publications by visiting Bountiful Gardens.

NOTE: In addition to the reading below, there is a Workshop Manual
of lecture notes and key articles (included as a part of your workshop registration),
which will be handed out at the beginning of the workshop.

Required Reading: Read before the Workshop, and bring with you:

    • How to Grow More Vegetables, 8th ed., 2012
    • The Sustainable Vegetable Garden
    • EA Booklet #14: The Complete 21-Bed Biointensive Mini-Farm
    • EA Booklet #26: Learning How to Grow All Your Own Food

Recommended Reading:

    • One Circle (especially pp. i-vi, 1-72, 125-128)
    • EA Booklet #32: GROW BIOINTENSIVE Composting and Growing Compost Materials

Other Possible Reading (optional):

Practical Perspective: 

    • The Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book

Diet / Compost / Income:

    • EA Booklet #15: One Basic Mexican Diet
    • EA Booklet #25: One Basic Kenyan Diet
    • EA Booklet #28: The Smallest Possible Area to Grow Food and Feed
    • EA Booklet #36: An Experimental 33-Bed GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farm: Growing Complete Fertility, Nutrition and Income

Compost Materials / Carbon:

    • EA Booklet #12: Growing and Gathering Your Own Fertilizer

Research Perspective:

    • EA Booklet #1: Cucumber Bonanza

Saving Seeds:

    • EA Booklet #13: Growing to Seed (rev. ed. 1999)


    • EA Booklet #18: Cut, Dried and Edible Flowers for Income, Pleasure and Taste

Transforming Human Waste:

    • Future Fertility


    • EA Booklet #29: Test Your Soil with Plants!

Questions To Ask When Beginning To Farm:

    • EA Personal Booklet #1: Another Way to Wealth

Teacher Training:

    • EA Booklet #30: GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming: Teacher-Training and Certification Program
    To download the complete three-day information packet, which includes the detailed schedule and topics list, reading list, and other information,
    click here


Three Day Workshop Registration Information and Instructions

To view the registration information, click on a topic below.
(To close a topic, click it again. To close all topics, Click Here.)

How To Register

3-Day Workshop Registration: A Four-Step Process

Registration and payment should be completed at least one month in advance, and participants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as these workshops can fill quickly. A higher fee is charged for registrations received less than one month in advance. Registration closes March 5 for the Spring workshop and closes November 5 for the Fall workshop.

Space is limited. In case of oversubscription, the Mini-Farm staff will select later applicants on the basis of the impact their work is likely to have in the future; priority will be given to those with a goal of using GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farming practices in outreach and public service projects. Workshop fees will be returned to those not selected

  1. Download and read the 3-Day Workshop Information Packet (296KB PDF)

  2. Complete the Online Workshop Application/Registration Form for the workshop of your choice: (click the link for the workshop you want to attend, below; our secure online registration form, hosted by FormSpring will open in a new window).

  3. Pay for workshop fees. When you submit your workshop registration, you will automatically be redirected to our online payment page, hosted by PayPal. Make sure to complete payment or your registration will not be processed. Prices are as follows:

    • $325 per person covers workshop registration, workshop manual, lunches and networking dinner. You will receive your copy of the manual at the workshop.

    • Participants are responsible for providing all meals and lodging for this workshop, except for lunches and the Networking Dinner, which are included with registration. If you wish to bring a guest to the networking dinner, the cost for the dinner will be $20 per person. For food and lodging options, click here.

  4. Look over the Required Reading for the workshops, and if you need any of the books or papers, order them from Bountiful Gardens.

If you need more information, please contact us at: (707) 459-0150, M-F between 10AM-3PM PST.


Prices and Deadlines

Costs and Deadlines:

3-Day Workshop
takes place on:
Registration & Payment
should be completed by:
Registration Closes:
March 6-8, 2015
February 6, 2014
March 5, 2015
November 6-8, 2015
October 6, 2014
November 5, 2015
  • $325 per person covers workshop registration, workshop manual, lunches and networking dinner. You will receive your copy of the manual at the workshop.

  • Participants are responsible for providing all meals and lodging for this workshop, except for lunches and the Networking Dinner, which are included with registration. If you wish to bring a guest to the networking dinner, the cost for the dinner will be $20 per person. For food and lodging options, click here.

Registration officially closes a few days before the workshop, but since these events tend to fill fast, we recommend registering as early as possible.

Food and Lodging:

Catered lunches and the networking dinner will be provided. Lodging and other meals are not included in the workshop fee and are to be provided by each participant. Workshop meals will be vegetarian. Please indicate on the registration form if you prefer vegan meals. If you have any special food allergies, such as nuts or wheat, we recommend you bring your own food. If you wish to bring a guest to the Networking Dinner on Saturday, please indicate and include payment when you register.

For more information about food and lodging in the Willits area, click the
Food/Lodging tab, above.


Ecology Action has very limited funds for scholarships. Applicants interested in scholarships are encouraged to contact garden clubs, youth groups, churches, Rotary or Kiwanis clubs, etc., for sponsorship.


Cancellation Policy

1) If a person cancels his/her workshop registration at least two weeks prior to the first day of the workshop, $300 of the workshop fee ($325 minus $25 processing fee) will be refunded or applied to another Ecology Action workshop during the year that follows.

2) Cancellations that occur less than two weeks before the start of a workshop will result in the loss of the registration fee, or $300 of the fee may be applied to another Ecology Action workshop during the following year.


Preparation, Planning, and Other Information

Your understanding of the workshop will be enhanced if you already know the following about your area: elevation, first and last frost dates, rainfall by month, temperature—monthly highs and lows. (See forms for these in The Sustainable Vegetable Garden. Your County Agricultural Agent should be able to help you find this information.) You are welcome to bring along photos of the project you are involved in, if you wish.

Please bring your own mug for hot liquids, a calculator and 2 pencils. Our weather is unpredictable. Come prepared for cold, rain, snow or heat at mid-day. Waterproof boots with good tread are highly desirable! Generally, tape recorders and video cameras are not permitted at the workshop.

There will be an opportunity to submit an order to Bountiful Gardens on Saturday and receive your order on Sunday at the workshop, to save you shipping costs.

Feel free to write us about any particular or personal concerns or questions. We will try to be accommodating, if it does not interfere with our work here. Our staff is prepared to stay in touch with participants after the workshop is over. Notice of further training opportunities, such as Teacher Certification workshops, will be given in the Ecology Action Newsletter.



We Look Forward to Seeing You in Willits!!


Suggestions for Food and Lodging in Willits

Catered lunches and the networking dinner will be provided, and are included in the cost of the workshop.

However, lodging and other meals are not included in the workshop cost and are to be provided by each participant.

Willits, the gateway to the redwoods, has many restaurants, shops, hotels, campgrounds, and recreational activities for you to enjoy during your stay here.

  • For information on food, lodging, recreation and cultural events in Willits,
    check out the excellent suggestions on the
    Willits Chamber of Commerce website

  • Special note: Ecology Action workshop participants receive a special rate at:

    The Old West Inn
    1221 S. Main Street, Willits, CA 95490
    The EA discount rate for a single occupancy is $65+tax/night for a single room (one King or Queen bed + a twin bed)/; $75+tax/night for a double room (2 queen beds)

    Only 19 rooms available, so book ahead!
  • Also, there is an RV park at the Golden Rule Ranch, very close to the workshop site:

  • For an interesting idea for a road trip through the area, including
    restaurant reviews, activities and lodging information,
    take a look at this article from the
    Arts Council of Mendocino County website

  • For a list of grocery stores in Willits, click here.

  • For a list of campgrounds near Willits, click here.

  • For a map of Willits, click here.



Ecology Action of the Mid-Peninsula has been a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization since 1971.

©2006 Ecology Action.

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