to Jun 8

"BUILD THE GUILD" a Dynamic Governance Based Permaculture Convergence

SAVE THE DATE!  More information will be coming soon......

Please join Onsen Farm and Snake River Earth Arts for 5 days of learning, hands on projects, good food, camaraderie and soaks in the natural hot springs baths.

"Inspiring Connection to Nature and Empowering Stewards that Create Healthy Communities"

In Permaculture design synergistic constellations of plants are known as "Guilds".  The "Build the Guild" event expands the idea of a Guild to include the art of assembling Guilds of people that collectively vision and implement change in their communities.

Dynamic, healthy communities are fundamental to human well being.  In community we define and structure our relationships with each other, provide for our basic social and economic needs and define our relationship with the natural world.

*  But how do we actually build a community that values self reliance, stewardship and a healthy relationship with the natural environment?

*  What are the practical skills and tools we need to learn and practice in our day to day lives in order to weave people together into a healthy community?

*  What constitutes inclusive governance and how do we implement it?

*  How do we include local farmers and other craftsman and support their work?

Please join us for five days as we explore these questions together.  In the spirit of encouraging greater self reliance BUILD THE GUILD offers practical workshops in Permaculture Design, Working with local regulations and government, Winter Greenhouse Production, Pond Culture, Composting, Vermiculture and Orcharding - all led by local farmers, craftsmen and horticulturists.  Hands on workshops in basic construction design and an introduction to the tools and skills, including plumbing and electrical, necessary to build safely with a minimum of debt using re-purposed materials.

This workshop will be held at Banbury Hot Springs and neighboring farms in beautiful Hagerman Idaho.  For more information please contact us at onsenfarm@gmail.com.

Camping will be available at Banbury Hot Springs.  We will also have a list of local motels and rental houses for those who do not wish to camp.

$600 Early Bird Tuition

$650 After May 1st

$200 Reserves your spot





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9:00 AM09:00


Taught by Claudia Shimkus

Cost:  $50

This one day course will be on Living Soil - covering the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of organisms that are living in the soil. 

Claudia will also dive into Worm Composting; basics of setting up a worm composting bin, harvesting and using worm compost.  She will cover Compost Extract;  basics of making and applying compost extract.

We will build a worm bin for our farm so hands on experience!

Claudia is hoping that everyone will be able to read the following book before the class – “Worms Eat My Garbage” by Mary Applehof

Claudia spent 40 years in a career as a registered nurse.  She is a lifetime gardener with an interest in non-toxic, nutrient dense food.  She has been a hay farmer since 2008.  She received her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015.

Claudia began training with Dr. Elaine Ingham in 2014;  Life in the Soil, Thermal and Worm Composting, Compost Extract and Compost Tea, and Soil Microscopy.  She is a serious composter!    For more info on Dr. Ingham you can go to her website   soilfoodweb.com

What to Bring:

*Sack lunch and water bottle(Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided)

*Sturdy Shoes that can get wet

*Rubber Gloves(optional) for digging into the worm castings


*Layered clothes – We will be working both outdoors and in the greenhouses which could get warm in the afternoon.

*Sack full of Paper/Cardboard/Newspaper

*Our soaking pool will be available after the class from 5pm – 6pm.  Bring a bathing suit and a towel if you’d like to partake.


 Location:  Onsen Farm * 4799 B River RoadBuhl, ID 83316 208/720-0673

Space is limited so sign up early!  To reserve your spot please mail $50 to Onsen Farm and include your phone number and email.




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to Mar 27



You don't need a greenhouse to grow your own fresh, organic produce.  With carefully selected plantings and simple to construct cold frames and low tunnels, your garden can be cranking out premium greens long before your neighbors even drag out their hose.  Instructor James Loomis will also arm you with tools you need to break the boom and bust garden cycle;  no more will you plant everything all at once, wait two months, then struggle with an avalanche of abundance.  With good design, your garden can produce steadily twelve months a year!

With an eye towards the summer garden, we'll cover the various techniques for starting plants from seeds.  By growing your own starts, you'll have access to more variety and stronger, more robust plants than you find at your local big box store or nursery, not to mention you might even save enough money for this workshop to pay for itself!

Of course, all of this great knowledge will be accompanied by fantastic locally sourced meals and hot soaks in our geothermal pool.

Topics will include:   Season Extension, Cold frame Design & Building, Decoding the Language of Seed Catalogs, Vegetable Selection, Garden Planning, Succession Planting, Plant Starting, Building your own Soil Mixes

Workshop will start on Friday at 4pm with a presentation and a great dinner, Saturday from 9am to 6pm and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.  We will serve a light breakfast and a hearty lunch plus snacks on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information or to register please call Leslee at 208/543-0987 or email us at onsenfarm@gmail.comWe will have several rental homes with rooms to rent, or we can give you the name of a couple of local motels for your lodging needs.

Cost is $250 plus lodging

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to Feb 28


This winter escape the weary weather and come to our geothermal oasis, basking in the perpetual spring of our lush greenhouses.  Up your garden game with instructor James Loomis and learn the techniques to take your garden beyond organic and into the realms of a regenerative ecosystem.

We'll take an in depth look at how to encourage a robust and resilient garden ecosystem, one that sustains fertility and discourages pests and disease.  Entertaining lectures, hands on learning experiences and proper project participation will accompany fantastic locally grown farm to table meals and leisurely soaks in our geothermal pools.

Topics we'll cover will include:  Soil structure & Biology, Advanced Composting & Compost Teas, Sustained Soil Fertility &  Plant Nutrition, Mixing your own Fertilizers, Beneficial Insects & their Habitat, Crop Rotation, Garden Planning, Greenhouse Growing/Season Extension, and Escaping Winter while submerged in hot water.

Class will begin on Friday at 4pm with presentation and dinner, Saturday will start at 9am and end at 6pm.  Sunday will begin at 9am and end at 4pm.  Both Saturday and Sunday will include a light breakfast and a hearty lunch, plus snacks.

We will have several local rental homes with rooms available for students, along with names of a couple of local motels.  Class is limited to 15 people.  Call Leslee for more information or to sign up at 208/543-0987 or email us at onsenfarm@gmail.com

Cost $250 plus lodging

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to Apr 24


We are very excited that Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance is offering a special "teacher training" edition of their acclaimed Seed School.  During this six-day course, participants will gain a deep understanding of ancient seed saving practices alongside leadership development training to empower them as community seed leaders.  For more information please go to  http://rockymountainseeds.org/attend/seed-school-teacher-training

For those just beginning with seed saving we will be hosting our 3rd Seed School November 1 to November 6, 2015.   We will be posting more information on this soon, or you can contact Belle belle@rockymountainseeds.org


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to Feb 1



Instructor:  James Loomis, Head Grower at Onsen Farm Greenhouses

In this workshop students will cover basics of aquaponic theory, it's history and many variations.   From backyard bathtub systems to massive warehouse raft installations, Ebb & Flow to NFT, we will decode hydroponic terminology and explain the dynamic biology in an active re-circulating Aquaponic ecosystem.  After covering the basics of the system design we'll hit the greenhouse and explore Onsen Farm's hybrid AP system.  Students will lock in this knowledge and construct a complete aquaponics system by repurposing an IBC tote into a small backyard food growing machine.  We'll also tackle the techniques with hands on instruction for building a DWC raft system, a suspended NFT run and build a complete bell siphon assembly for each student to take home.

We'll wrap up the workshop with a discussion concerning the hurdles to making Aquaponics a truly sustainable technology.  Solving the issues around energy, materials, and sourcing a truly sustainable fish feed is the main focus of the aquaponic research here at Onsen Farm.

This WORKshop will get down and dirty with all aspects of our commercial AP system.  A system built almost entirely of repurposed materials, heated with geothermal water and cooled with spring water with an end goal of having all nutrition for the fish generated on site.

The Workshop will begin with a meet and greet on Friday at 4pm, followed by dinner and an introduction to Aquaponics technology.  Saturday is a full day intensive and we'll end things on Sunday at 4pm.

Tuition is $160 including four meals (two lunches and two dinners) along with the pleasure of soaking in our hot springs pool.  Space will be limited to 10 persons.  Please call 208/543-0987 or email us at onsenfarm@gmail.com to register.

We have a couple of local homes rented for students.  Accommodations will run approx. $35 per night per person. 

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to Nov 7


Sunday, November 2nd - Friday, November 7th

Early bird deadline:  October 5th     $600

Regular tuition after October 5th  $700

Some scholarships are available

$200 deposit reserves your space


What is Seed School?

Seed School is a groundbreaking, six-day educational course that trains people from all walks of life to build local seed systems rooted in the ancient tradition of seed saving. Practiced by farmers and gardeners for thousands of years, seed saving strengthens food security at the community level, empowering people to reclaim control over their food supply. Students walk away from this innovative learning experience with the knowledge and inspiration to start their own independent seed initiatives, such as community seed libraries and exchanges, seed growers cooperatives, heirloom seed businesses, and participatory plant breeding projects.

Seed School is designed to offer a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the science, business, and craft of seeds. Appropriate for teens and adults at all skill levels, this course is for gardeners, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs, NGOs, activists, policymakers and anyone interested in turning the tide on the industrialization of our food system.

For more Information or to register contact Belle Starr at belle@rockymountainseeds.org  

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to May 25


We invite you to join us for nine days of inner exploration and sacred ritual in the Little City of Rocks in the Southern Idaho back country.  Using the traditions of Sacred Council and the Medicine Wheel, we will each prepare for a personal rite of passage  - a solo journey  or vision fast of up to four days - followed by deep sharing and integration time to honor and deepen what we've been given.  We will also take time to enjoy good food, laughter and each other's company.

MICHAEL RYAN is a gifted teacher who has been leading workshops and groups for men and women for over 30 years.  His work assists people in improving relationships, building community and resolving difficult emotions.  A Former staff member of the Findhorn Community , a spiritual education center in Scotland, and a founding member of the Council Circle Foundation, Michael blends spiritual wisdom and psychological insight with warmth , humor, and compassion.

JAMES REED is a trained guide and wilderness survival instructor and co-founder of the earth-based spiritual community organization Common Ground.  A graduate of Lost Borders, the nationally recognized training center for ritual and rites of passage, James has many years experience leading men's groups, guiding youth at risk on knife and blanket survival trips and teaching outdoor survival skills for community organizations.

The retreat is open to all, regardless of gender.  Space is limited to about a dozen participants --"first come, first served".  Registration deadline:  April 15th or until full.  

*Base Cost:  $300 - this covers expenses and includes nothing for Michael or James.  We ask that all donate generously to sustain and give thanks to our guides.  Buddhists sometimes call this "Dana".  Please donate as generously as your financial situation allows.

*Deposit of $150 due at registration.  50% refundable until April 15th.  Balance  due by April 15th.

*Some partial scholarships available

To register please email us at onsenfarm@gmail.com and we will send you a registration form or call us at 208/543-0987 or 208/720-0673.



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WORKshop Series
to Feb 2

WORKshop Series

Onsen Farm WORKshop Series

Building and interacting with sustainable technologies is deemed crucial to our future by many;  we agree, but besides that, we also find it to be downright fun, and a hell of a way to spend a weekend.  We can't stop tinkering, and we think you'll have a blast when you join us at Onsen Farm as we develop our acreage into a hot-spring fueled eco oasis.  Our WORKshop series is designed to tilt the balance of the workshop experience heavily in the favor of a hands on educational experience.   Participants will cover theory, design, and techniques  for some of the various earth assisting technologies, then get out of the classroom and build it!  The opportunity to learn, and then to lock down the experience with action, is fundamental to retaining and utilizing  knowledge.  The capital letters in WORKshop is a reminder of what the term is all about.   A large portion of all WORKshop tuition will be for the funding of the installations the students participate on.

WORKshop I - Aquaponics I     January 31-February 1-February 2,   2014

Students will cover the basics of aquaponic theory, it's history, and it's many variations; from backyard bathtub systems to massive warehouse raft installations.   From media beds to NFT, we will decode hydroponic terminology, and explain the dynamic biology of an active recirculating semi-closed ecosystem.  After covering the basics of system design, we'll hit the greenhouse and complete the first phase of Onsen Farm's hybrid aquaponic system.  Students will help chop an IBC tote into a small self contained backyard system, construct a wood and liner media bed, and build a DWC trough and raft.   

We'll wrap up the workshop with a discussion concerning the hurdles to making Aquaponics a truly sustainable technology.  Solving the issues around energy, materials, and sourcing a truly sustainable fish feed is the main focus of the Onsen.  This WORKshop will complete the first phase of our research system, the final goal of which is to have an aquaponics system built almost entirely of repurposed materials, generating it's own electricity, heated with geothermal water, and cooled with spring water, with all nutrition for the fish generated on site.  In a future WORKshop, we'll build our Insectory, which is exactly what it sounds like……

Cost:  $300  Includes 4 meals (two dinners and two lunches - mostly local & organic food featuring greens from our greenhouses!).   We are keeping this to a maximum of 10 persons so space is limited.  Please call 208/420-4230 or email us at onsenfarm@gmail.com to register.  $100  due when you register to reserve your spot with the balance of $200 due 2 weeks before the workshop.  We have rented a couple of homes in the neighborhood for accommodations at $30 per night per person.


WORKshop II - Vermiculture and Insect Allies     March 21, 22, 23,  2014

The second installment of our WORKshop series focuses on critter assisted composting, and raising insects as a food source for livestock and fish.    We'll cover the basics of composting with worms (vermicomposting), from the home to commercial scale, as well as the brewing of biologically incredible worm tea.  Black soldier flies break down food waste as fast as, if not faster, than worms, and their grubs are prime food for chickens and fish, so we'll cover them as well.   Crickets are a staple of pet lizards all over the world, and serve the same role as the above two critters, so we can't leave them out!   Then we'll get out of the classroom and build composting systems for all of them in the Insectory!

The Insectory grew out of our necessity to provide our on site aquaponics and future earthen pond aquaculture systems (WORKshop III) with a truly sustainable food source, and that means generating their feed on site.   Inside of a small dedicated greenhouse we'll build a large top loading worm bin, cricket hutches, and black soldier fly composting pods.  Repurposed materials will be used in all systems. 

Cost:  $300 includes 4 meals (two lunches & two dinners).   Space is limited to 10 people.  Call us at 208/420-4230 or email at onsenfarm@gmail.com to register.  We will be renting a couple of homes in the neighborhood for accommodations.  Cost will be around $30 per night per person.



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Seed School 2013
to Nov 8

Seed School 2013

Facilitated by Bill McDorman (NS/S Executive Director), Joy Hought, MSc. (Director of National Seed School), and Rowen White (Co-founder of Sierra Seed Cooperative), this 6-day workshop is perfect for those wishing to set a new precedent in sustainable agriculture. And because of a generous grant from anonymous donor, the cost for Seed School is being offered at a discounted rate. Price includes camping, breakfast & lunches. 

 For additional details as well as enrollment, click here

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