Appropriate Technology

Cancelled for 2017

The Appropriate Technology Series is a four-week course designed to empower students with the ability to implement simple, energy-saving technologies in the home, on the farm or in the field.  From solar cookers to methane digesters; rocket stoves to off-grid electrical systems, this four-week course delves into the science of sustainability while teaching the practical skills necessary for applying these technologies in the real world. This course will also be appropriate for those exploring new, green vocations in sustainability. By working with professionals in the field, students will be exposed to potential career pathways in appropriate technology and beyond. Take the series as a whole or choose week-by-week depending on your interest.

 Take the series as a whole or choose week-by-week depending on your interest.

All courses take place on Aprovecho’s beautiful 40 acre campus in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range.   All students have access to showers, kitchen, library, hiking trails, and relaxation space.  The four-week course is sliding scale $2,600-$3,000 with an early bird special of $2,500 for signing up by March 15th, 2017.  This does not include room and board which is optional and can be found on our room and board page.

Contact Mike Hatfield for more information:

Register Here for the 4-Week Appropriate Technology Series.

You can also take each section of the series separately based on your interest, time, and budget. Please pay the deposit to reserve your space in the workshop. Thank you!

Interest-free financing available. Find out more here.


P1130251Introduction to Metalsmithing 

May 1st and 2nd: $230 (Deposit: $60)

The course begins with a skill-building class in the metal arts.  The use and manipulation of metal is an important ability when fabricating the structure of technology.  Specifically this week will cover the basics of metal fabrication: layout, cutting, welding (both electric and gas,) and finishing.  During this week students will be manufacturing components for future weeks.  If you do not have previous metal working experience this segment is a pre-requisite for the remaining course segments.

BR Farm Office 2Introduction to Natural Building 

May 3rd: $150 (Deposit: $40)

Introduction to the basics of design and construction of energy efficient structures using locally-sourced, non-toxic materials. Aprovecho is known for its robust and empowering Natural Building Program, run by Chris Foraker, who will be teaching this workshop.


water-tap-1933195_640Off-Grid Plumbing 101

May 4th: $85

Learn 90% of household plumbing skills. The basics of solar hot water systems will also be covered.


Woodworking_in_Ancient_EgyptIntro to Woodworking

May 5th: $85 (Deposit: $25)

This class will introduce the basics of working with wood from a live tree to a finished product.

fire-1286956_640Off-Grid Home Heat: Rocket Heaters and Cook Stoves Lab and Consultancy

May 8th to 19th: $1300 (Deposit: $325)

TAprovecho is one of the global leaders in the design, testing and implementation of fuel-efficient wood burning stoves.   Taught by our team of leading international consultants this week will cover a variety of biomass-based cooking technologies including Rocket Stoves, TLUDs, charcoal stoves, fan stoves, and gassifiers.  Students will be studying the science of combustion, and then design and construct stoves for multiple applications including but not limited to a griddle stove, pot stove and oven.  Other topics covered during this week include making insulative ceramics, basic brick laying, international consultancy, and stove testing.


5599777777_e9748c67fb_bOff-Grid Power: Solar, Electric, Machines, & Hydro

May 22nd to 25th: $595

This final week will cover a number of AT topics including Off-Grid Power including solar and hydro electric, solar hot water, the basics of simple machines, and humanure systems

The suns energy is free.  The suns energy is everywhere.  Efficiently capturing the sun’s free energy is an important skill for the appropriate technologist.  Using solar design principles and simple techniques, this week will construct several solar technologies used at Aprovecho over the past thirty years.  Specific technologies will include: solar hot-water, solar ovens and cookers, solar dehydration and solar design for buildings.

This week will also offer an in depth study of code compliant off-grid electrical and lighting systems applicable in the home, shop or anywhere else appropriate for a scaled electrical system.  Students will study the installation of off-grid electric power systems using multiple sources of renewable energy.  Skill building areas include principles of electricity, basic wiring, soldering, photo voltaics and safety.  The student should walk away with the confidence and ability to install their own off-grid electrical system.

Additionally, students will learn about simple, human-powered machines. In this section, we will discover practical methods of replacing grid tied machinery with human and water power. We will look at water wheels, and work on a variety of bike machines, such as a water pump, air compressor, oil press, and others.  This portion of the course will be focused on the repurposing of used bike parts in the creation of human-powered technologies building on skills developed in previous portions of the course.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions! or contact the Program Director, Mike Hatfield at Thank you!