Aprovecho Workshops

About Aprovecho’s Workshops

Apart from our internationally-recognized summer residential programs in Permaculture and Sustainable Shelter Series, Aprovecho also hosts guest instructors to teach workshops aligned with our mission and vision. These workshops develop environmental career skills and homesteading skills, while helping students and teachers cultivate social networks specific to sustainability. We aim to give people, from beginners to advanced practitioners, the expert knowledge and guided practice they need to develop or advance skills. We offer the best well-known and emerging instructors in the Pacific Northwest community. Our standards are high, and we strive to make every student’s experience here inspiring, comfortable, and rewarding. Workshop formats vary depending on subject, teacher, and student needs.

Workshop Goals

  • Provide high quality instruction which provides students sustainability-related trade or homesteading skill(s).
  • Create networks among leaders and students in sustainability-related trades and fields.
  • Honor our guest instructors’ commitment to sustainability and subject expertise.


Please register to reserve your space. You will receive an email confirmation within 2-3 business days. Registration may be on Eventbrite or PayPal, or you may register and pay by sending us a check in the mail for the full amount or deposit (if applicable). Please include the workshop name in the check memo. You can send the check to Aprovecho, 80574 Hazelton Rd., Cottage Grove, OR 97424. Full payment is due by the first day of the course.

Room and Board

Non-local students who are traveling to attend our workshops have the option to stay on campus on a first- come, first-served basis. If staying on campus, a bed in a double dormitory room is $20 per night. There may be other options available. Please contact us for details. Students are asked to bring their own food, and will have access to plentiful indoor space including a large common room, showers, kitchen and library as well as hiking trails and relaxation space.. A light gluten-free, organic, vegetarian lunch and refreshments will be offered for each day of the workshop for all students.




Saturday and Sunday, January 20th and 21st

INSTRUCTOR: Lydia Doleman

This women’s only weekend workshop is designed to build basic skills and confidence using power tools via hands on experience on a group project. No experience is necessary, or if you have some skills and want to build on those you are welcome to join in!!!! We will focus on tools such as the circular saw, cordless drill and jig saw and a variety of hand tools. With these three tools and the basic knowledge of plumb, level and square participants will feel confident to tackle larger projects.

With an emphasis on safety and fun we will learn a few tricks of the trade and build up muscle memory for working on projects independently in the future. Participants will leave feeling empowered and excited for projects in the future! LEARN MORE.

TUITION: $200-$250 Sliding Scale

Registration Closed on January 13th



Thursday, February 8th to Sunday, February 11th 

INSTRUCTORS: Tao Orion and Heron Brae

The Willamette Valley region offers a unique mix of conifer forest and oak savanna ecosystems. Although many old-growth conifers and oaks have been cleared to make room for industrial forestry and agriculture, opportunities abound to actively participate in rekindling the biodiversity of these ecosystems. This three-day intensive will use lecture and hands-on projects to delve into the principles and practices of developing a culture of regenerative forest and land stewardship in this special place. We will discuss different approaches to land management, investigate our personal relationship to the land, learn ecosystem assessment skills, and chart a path towards sensitive and sustainable use of forest ecosystems in our region.  LEARN MORE.

TUITION: $400, $300 Low Income. This workshop includes all food and lodging. Partial work trade may be available on an individual basis.

 Registration closed



The Date of this Workshop is being rescheduled.. TBD.. please check back!

INSTRUCTOR: Lydia Doleman

This workshop is designed for students with familiarity with carpentry and power tools who would like to take their skills to the next level. Each student will learn intermediate techniques for working with wood using power tools by assembling a folding chair that they will get to take home at the end of the workshop. LEARN MORE.

TUITION: $200-$250 Sliding Scale

Please check back, this workshop is being rescheduled for later in the year



Thursday, April 5th through Sunday, April 8th


Forge your own blade(s), then learn to carve spoons and bowls; includes basic blacksmithing, hardening/tempering, sharpening, knife use/grips/techniques, use of a shave-horse and draw knife, basic principles of carving, sculpture, and design, as well as discussion of traditional and appropriate technologies and their histories. Traditional foot- and/or bow-powered lathes may be available for practice/demonstration. LEARN MORE.


TUITION:  $525-$625 Sliding Scale



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Wednesday, April 18 – Sunday, April 22, 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Bear Diriwachter

This course offers an all inclusive metals program for the sustainable farm and home. It includes Blacksmithing, Welding, Metal Acquisitions, Problem Solving and the use of metal shop tools, including, but not limited to: forges, welders, gas torches, grinders, drill press, and a variety of hand tools. With a focus on safety and proper use. Several small and one large project will be completed during this course. The projects made by students will be taken home by students.

The course will begin with shop safety and tool identification, followed by an intensive introduction to basic forging skills. In this part of the class students will make 4-5 small hand forged items including wall hooks, door pulls, chisels and screwdriver. The class will then move into proper layout and the use of metal layout tools followed by torch brazing and MIG welding instruction. These parts of the class will combine skill sets to build a small but complicated project. Finally each student will, using the skills they have learned, build a Broadfork for their farming needs.

Because the class takes place in an active metal/blacksmithing/repair shop serving the farming community of Cottage Grove, Oregon, we will also use any incoming job as a potential learning situation. Given the opportunity we will assess, diagnose, and discuss metal shop solutions for any applicable scenarios. LEARN MORE

TUITION:  $675



Wednesday, April 25 – Saturday, April 28, 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Matthew Corson-Finnerty

In this four day course, learn how to build, repair, and maintain human-powered machines.

Together the group will collaborate to construct a pedal-powered blender, as well as repair a pedal-powered water pump and a flour mill on Aprovecho’s campus. Topics covered include the basic principles of utilizing human power, human-powered machine maintenance, OxyAcetelyne brazing, SMAW welding, how to use basic metal working tools and basic wood working tools. By the end of the class each student will have the skills to build themselves a pedal powered blender, as well as a set of instructions to take home with them. LEARN MORE