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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.

Please join Onsen Farm and Desert Springs Co-op for five days of learning, hands on projects, good food, camaraderie and soaks in the natural hot springs baths.

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

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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. 

Using the innovative model of Dynamic Governance participants in  BUILD THE GUILD will learn how to structure their work together, formulate ideas, hone a vision and get it off the ground.


This Gathering will be held at Banbury Hot Springs along with neighboring farms in beautiful Hagerman Idaho.   For more information about the schedule please contact us.

Camping will be available at Banbury Hot Springs.  Reserve your camping or RV site at   Space is limited so reserve your spot early!   Contact us for a list of local motels and rental houses for those who do not wish to camp.


  • Early Bird Tuition    We've lowered the price!  $500 includes 5 days of workshops and a big lunch plus snacks each day!!                                                                             


Tuition includes dinner on Sunday evening, and lunch and snacks Monday through Friday.  Breakfast and dinners, camping and lodging are extra.


Until May 1st, fee is fully refundable.  After May 1st, the deposit is non-refundable.




John is a whole systems design consultant, teacher, and facilitator who develops cultural and ecological systems for a variety of public, private, and nonprofit clients. Since 1996, he has studied, worked, taught and published in the realms of human relatings, governance and decision-making systems, appropriate technology and ecological design. He applies his wide-ranging observations of and experience with cultural and ecological systems to all aspects of his practice. The innovative and collaborative methods, tools and techniques that John offers invite to transparency and equivalence while enhancing individual and group effectiveness and integrity.



Bill McDorman is Executive Director and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA), a seed conservation non-profit created to to assure a diverse supply of local seeds for the Rocky Mountain region through community-based seed stewardship.  In 1984 he started Seeds Trust/High Altitude Gardens, a bioregional, mail order seed company he ran successfully for 28 years.  He authored the book, Basic Seed Saving, in 1994.  From 2011 until 2014 Bill and his wife Belle served as Executive Directors of Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson, Arizona.  In 2010 they founded Seed School, an internationally recognized education program now with more than 1,000 graduates from around the world. Bill remains a passionate and knowledgeable presenter who inspires his audiences with the importance of grassroots seed saving and urges everyone to learn to save their own seeds.



Tony has worked in the horticultural field for over 15 years. He received a MS in ornamental horticulture from the Utah State University. Tony has specialized expertise in woody plants, turfgrass, native plants, garden design, floraculture, aquaponics, and pest management. As a retired university professor Tony is an experienced lecturer, instructor and horticultural consultant. He has spoken to many groups nation wide and has appeared on several garden shows. Tony teaches horticulture classes and certification programs through his business Bloom Horticulture Specialists. Over the last five years, Tony has assisted the International Master Gardener Committee with conference administration, chairing the committee in 2016 and 2017.   Tony is very active in local and national organizations including The Association fro Garden Communicators, Idaho Nursery and Landscape Associaton, local/state/and international Native Plant Associations, local/national/and international Master Gardener Associations.



James Loomis is the Director of the Green Team Farm, a 1.5 acre urban farm located in downtown Salt Lake City.  A model of regenerative agriculture in an urban setting, the farm also serves as job training and mojo restoration for women facing homelessness.  A partnership between Wasatch Community Gardens and Advantage Services, the farm also serves as a focal point for community engagement and involvement in the downtown SLC area.

 A life long student of permaculture and eco-friendly technologies, James has a knack for merging biology and mechanics and is known for his imaginative approaches to aquaponics and biological teas and extracts. He is passionate about building soil and turbo-charging soil biology, and some might argue his zeal for composting borders on insanity. 

 A man who relaxes by working hard, he writes a monthly gardening column for Catalyst magazine, and is a contributing writer of both articles and book reviews for Permaculture North America.  He teaches various topics related to Regenerative Agriculture and Urban Homesteading, and consults and mentors several small intensive vegetable farms. 



The Seed Huntress is "on the hunt to save the genetic biodiversity of our farms & forests." She mentors agrarians in the establishment of community seed banks (CSBs) in areas recently disturbed by natural disasters. Sefra holds her Teaching Masters in Agroecological Education from Cornell University & is trained in the tradition of seed saving by the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. As a wilderness skills instructor & permaculture educator of the perennial polycultural guilds- the Seed Huntress believes solutions must move beyond sustainability and promote regenerative succession- fostered through hands-on, place-based engagement. Her ethnobotanical wanderlust is mycelial: foraging & sharing seeds of knowledge in the wyld lothloriens. Sefra is Foundress of Puddy’s Luxury Wildernest tent camps, Directress of Expeditions with her twin brother for Tactivate, Cheiftess Mix-Ecology Officer of Mortar & Pistil: The World's First Survival Skills Bar & Hostess of Grit & Garden at SpartanUP! The Podcast.

She has an insatiable curiosity for the unknown... relishing the sun rays of a dawn-song, peacocking behind an ancient  mountain range- with  seeds- magic embryos- entrusted by an elder, snug in her paw...



Judy Dolmatch, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and group leader, exploring theintersection of creativity, theatre, healing, personal growth and community building since 1977. She is a nationally certified director of psychodrama, and a trained facilitator of the Zegg Forum. She co-founded, taught, and performed with the Rogue Valley (Oregon) Playback Theatre and the Hamazons, an all women comedy troupe. From 2005-2015, she was a founding member of La’akea Community, a permaculture farm and intentional community on the Big Island of Hawaii.



Kelley has been a long time advocate and instructor for alternative methods of gardening, Xeriscape and Native Landscaping. In 1982 he developed the Vocational Horticulture Program at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge Montana where he supervised 10-15 inmates in the development of a 12-acre organic vegetable garden. In 1988 founded Native Landscapes a landscape design/build business focused on the design, installation and maintenance of native drought tolerant landscapes that is still active today. In 1993 Kelley helped found the Sawtooth Botanical Garden and in 2007 helped found Idaho’s Bounty a local food co-op. Kelley sits on the board of Western Watersheds Project and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance a grassroots educational organization working to protect and preserve important seed varieties throughout the Rocky Mountains.



John Caccia is a Ketchum-based permaculture design certified gardener and founder of the Wood River Seed Library.  He has been a back-yard bee-keeping for the past 5 years and is currently managed by 10 hives located on various properties stretching from Bellevue to Smiley Creek.  John has a passion for honey bees and will offer a fun and informative workshop for anyone interested in bees or bee-keeping.  The workshop will demonstrate how to set up a new hive, walk us through a typical 12 month cycle-of-life within a honey bee colony and offer tips on how everyone can help bees and other pollinator populations remain healthy.



Aspen Moon, MA, MBA, PMP, has worked over 20 years on business operations, entrepreneurship, process engineering and project management.  Most recently he worked as VP of Operations for a Forbes 100 Fintech company with a mission and products to help small business owners achieve success.  Aspen's career successes include effective strategic plans and budgets, celebrated employee culture, relentless measuring and quality improvement, brand new business programs and systems and high achieving teams.

In late 2017, Aspen took a break from the corporate world and turned his focus to the Earth in order to participate in internships and training around farming and permaculture.  His learning culminated not only in his ability to perfectly prepare a bed for planting, but also in working on the team to create the Build the Guild event.




Associate Professor Ariel Agenbroad serves southwest Idaho as a University of Idaho Area Extension Educator in community food systems and small farms. She is deeply committed to helping individuals and communities grow. She holds a BS in Agricultural Education and a MS in Plant Science with an emphasis on certified organic vegetable crop production and community supported agriculture, both from University of Idaho. Her applied research and outreach is centered on sustainable community food systems in the greater Boise metropolitan area, particularly issues related to urban agriculture, food safety, hunger relief, Farmers’ Markets, small scale food processing, farm to school programs and community gardening. Partnership, collaboration and cooperation form the foundation for much of her work



Casey is a Seed Freak and urban farmer. Her current twin labors of love are her Earthly Delights Farm in Boise and the Snake River Seed Cooperative, which aims to grow a robust regional seedshed for the Intermountain West. She is fascinated by the sexy interconnections of the natural world and delights in finding creative ways to ignite that intrigue and wonder in others. You can learn more about her work and explore rants, recipes, and other novelties at and



Danny has been managing Onsen Farm with his wife Lexy since June 2017.  They moved to Onsen from Boise where Danny was managing a coffee roastery and practicing permaculture principles at their suburban home.  Danny has been learning, practicing, and refining his winter greenhouse skills since he arrived at Onsen, calling on his previous farming experiences in Boise as a guiding light.  His experience at Onsen has been fueled by observation, experiment, and a humble reverence for the guiding life-force of Nature.  Danny's primary goal at Onsen Farm is to synergize permaculture philosophy with the intensive farming practices that fuel the CSA business model. 



Lexy O'Malley spent a lot of time outside in childhood, however her real passion was first kindled when she started work at a large scale organic farm in Boise ID. Since then she has completed an internship at an organic seed farm, and went on the become co-manager of Onsen Farm with her husband Danny. She is most interested in permaculture eco-system friendly farming, seeds, feeding into the local food economy, and large scale food waste management via gleaning from other farms and either re-distributing it or turning it into a preserved food via dehydration, canning or fermenting. She loves learning and teaching, and is thrilled to be a part of the Hagerman Valley farm community. 



Brian's life's work has exposed him to an extraordinarily wide spectrum of experience in methods, materials and tools which has given him the skills and confidence to design, construct, fabricate and execute any project.
Every project has a design element to it. Brian looks for the easiest, yet most elegant and beautiful solutions as a designer. Whenever possible up cycling and re purposing materials. Brian is fluent  in the fields of fine carpentry, home building, electrical, plumbing, mold making and renewable energy including wind, solar and micro hydro. Experienced in building sets and props for theater, television, film and architectural design elements, Brian believes humans have untapped abilities and potential that, when revealed, surprise and delight them. "Confidence to work with your hands and tools lead to personal empowerment and confidence in self reliant living.



John McNamara develops cooperatives through the Northwest Cooperative Development Center based in Olympia, WA and serving the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. He also teaches about Worker Cooperatives and Democratic Management at The Evergreen State College. John holds a Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions degree from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and expects to finish his Ph.D. in Business Administration this summer. His dissertation considers sociocracy and the ways in which different management models hinder or facilitate the expression of cooperative values and principles. Prior to moving to the PNW, John gained almost three decades of experience in the worker co-op world as a worker-owner of a 250 members taxicab cooperative in Madison, WI with eight years as a director and over 10 years as a manager. John is a founding member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and is a founding member of the Democracy at Work Network. He served the USFWC as a director and president and served six years on DAWN’s  Board of Governors.  Northwest Cooperative Development Center



James is co-founder of Onsen Farm, a CSA / Permaculture inspired garden project.  As a co-founder of Idaho's Bounty Co-op and board member of Snake River Earth Arts, an education based Idaho non-profit, James is passionate about growing farmers, grandkids and regionally based food systems. He is an advocate of "dynamic governance" (Sociocracy), and regenerative hedonism.



Joseph Lofthouse grew up in a village in which the people were hyper-connected due to hundreds of years of shared travel across two continents. Barter, swap, gifting, and community mindedness are the hallmarks of his childhood and current world view. He breeds modern landrace plant populations to meet the current nutritional, social, agricultural, and culinary wants and needs of his local and world-wide community. Some of Joseph's favorite current projects are developing inter-species crosses using corn, beans, squash, and tomatoes.



Bill is a Magic Valley native with a long interest in self-sufficiency, gardening and renewable energy. He worked as a survival instructor with various wilderness schools and is familiar with both the necessary survival skills, and the mental attitude necessary in survival situations. Bill has an interest in finding out what makes us tick and as a yoga instructor, he knows the importance of self-discipline in strengthening body and mind.  Bill will be leading morning yoga.



Born to a family of cooperative wheat and cotton farmers in the Texas panhandle, Joe Garrison has lived in coop housing and worked at a food coop. For the last 14 years he has learned about bread and collaboration at worker-owned Blue Scorcher Bakery Cafe in Astoria, Oregon. Some of the best advice he’s gotten so far is “Fix your own damn oven!”

Earlier Event: July 22