Think like a Forest – Permaculture and Social Change

version en castellano

think like a forest flyer

27th – 31st August 2013

at The Boodaville Project, Matarranya, Spain


5 days of camping, eco-living and workshops in the stunning Vall Rovira –

The course is an innovative mix of permaculture, art, activism and social change, perfectly designed to balance fun and thought provoking group activities with time for relaxation and reflection.

  • Course content is delivered by talks and outdoor classes with a range of interactive resources as well as with hands-on experience and practical activities. In the evenings we complement the structured course with informal activities such as quizes, optional team games and music nights.
  • Relaxation and healthy living are key objectives of the week and there is time and space for yoga, enjoying the sunshine, making use of the hammocks, and opportunities to enjoy nature and solitude.
  • Food provided is locally sourced /organic offering guests many chances to sample specialities from the region, such as, local olives and wine, goat’s cheese, cured meats and almond recipes. Three meals a day, snacks and drinks are prepared for participants in our fully equipped outdoor kitchen, however we take a shared responsibility for keeping these areas clean and your collaboration is appreciated. The menu is designed to be delicious,  healthy and sustainable – meat and fish options are available for some meals.

comments from previous visitors!

Course content –

Permaculture design with Alfred Decker (CATPermaculture-BCN).

Alfred is a highly experienced teacher and will introduce the foundations of permaculture design theory and practice. Permaculture uses whole system thinking to consciously create productive environments that mimic the diversity, stability and resilience of natural systems. No chemicals and no excuses. Just good, thoughtful, innovative and effective design to meet our needs and find solutions to our problems: environmental, economic and social. These solutions can be applied to any place, any landscape, any city, and participants are encouraged to find applications relevant to their own situations. The course will explore the integration of permaculture principles and attempts at social transformation on different scales, and look at creative ways to engage people and encourage others to become active, aware citizens.

Mindfulness and Observation with Kat Ainger 

Kat is a writer and long-term activist interested in the places where art, radical democracy and ecology meet. She will run sessions on mindful observation. Connection is key to permaculture; as Bill Mollison says, “Design is a connection between things. It’s not water, or a chicken, or the tree. It is how the water, the chicken and the tree are connected…as soon as you’ve got the connection you can feed the chicken from the tree”. To understand these relationships you have to be able to really pay attention.  Through practical exercises participants will improve their mindful observation techniques; not imposing an idea upon the land but trying to see what already exists there. The next step is incorporating what we observe into a plan for a stable, self-sufficient system.

Eco-living and Global Consciousness with Anna Gurney (The Boodaville Project, Barcelona en Transicion)

An introduction to sustainable living on a local, regional and global scale. After identifying and selecting a specific problem which needs to be overcome at Boodaville, participants will explore the problems/possible sustainable solutions at different levels of society. Through discussions and the sharing of ideas and experience we will explore how these solutions relate to initiatives in people’s local communities, and campaigns or social movements on a global scale. A key aim of this part of the course is for participants to identify an effective action that they want to take, and using the skills gained throughout the course, plan an efficient way to implement it on a long-term basis.
Practical Project
To get some hands-on experience and put permaculture design into action Alfred will facilitate a practical project during the week. The proposals so far are either composting or water use and swales however the actual task will depend on weather conditions and participants interests. We guarantee the chance to get stuck in and build/create an integral part of the Boodaville site!

Other activities –

Yoga – space provided for early morning outdoor yoga/stretching in our peaceful olive grove.

Forest walks – opportunities to hike around the rocky pine valleys where eagles are regularly sighted. On exceptionally clear days you can see all the way to the Pyrenees.

River swimming – a highlight of any weekend at Boodaville is plunging into the clear waters of the Rio Álgars.

Visit the local town – recently nominated one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, Calaceite has a traditional, perfectly preserved “casco antiguo” with sandstone archways, cobbled alleyways and impressive church

General structure –

Before breakfast :  observation practicals / a morning walk (optional) / yoga (optional)

Breakfast  : 8:30am

Workshop 1 and 2 in the morning with a break at about 11  (any physical work will be done early in the day)

Lunch : 1:30pm

Afternoon : walk or cycle to the river/visit the town/free time

Workshop 3 before dinner

Dinner : 9pm followed by after dinner activities (optional)


* Price :

180 euros  Includes  

  • Workshops and all other activities
  • All meals and plenty of snacks, prepared daily in the kitchen. The food is entirely organic and/or locally made and meals are served in our shady dining area. see a typical day’s menu here.
  • All drinks: soft drinks, wine and beer.
  • Campsite with basic facilities, drinking and washing water – see more information on accommodation and facilities here.
  • Pick up and drop off from Calaceite town (on a regular bus route from Barcelona) or Mora la Nova train station.
Prices are set to just cover expenses and the Boodaville Project doesn’t make any profit, or hold any responsibility for guests during their stay.
Other price options – We can offer two volunteer positions for people who help run the kitchen during the course. Volunteers will be able to attend about half of the workshops. To find out about volunteer prices and apply for a position contact Anna –
Additional donations to the project are always very welcome, and are guaranteed to go towards the next short term goals of the project. If all goes well, next year guests will have the option of sleeping indoors!
You need to bring : tent, sleeping bag, mattress, torch, warm clothes, swim clothes, towel, a flannel is very useful, sun hat and lotion, insect repellent, a water bottle to keep refilling, trainers or good sandals (flip flops are not appropriate), shoes to wear in the river are very useful.


YOU CAN NOW BOOK THROUGH THE CROWD FUNDING CAMPAIGN! – choose the “Think Like a Forest” perk on the campaign page here –

a deposit of 70 euros is payable to reserve your place. the remaining amount is paid on arrival. email anna at for bank transfer details, and please provide information on any dietary requirements.



The Boodaville Project is about responsibly providing a stunning holiday destination, mountain adventures and fun. On top of this there is a learning element: guests can choose to do workshops  from a wide range available such as environmental/social issues, or practical tips to live less wastefully.

We don’t claim to be perfect, hence the name “project” and are always open to constructive criticism and new ideas. Here are the main principles to help us achieve “Positive impact holidays”:

Environmental impact = we want the ecological footprint of your holiday to be as small as possible.

Social impact = during your stay you will get to know life in rural Aragon while spending time in a small group of like-minded people. Debate, discussion and cooperation are encouraged during and after our workshops.

Economic impact = prices are based on the costs of sourcing all our food, materials and guides locally and fairly. We like the idea of exchange without using money, however, so bargain with us!

Health impact = delicous food combined with outdoor activities – you’ll come home glowing. The long-term changes encouraged in the workshops always involve healthier happier living, and usually economic savings too.


Vall Rovira, Aragon, Spain

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