Permaculture, Ecovillage, and Arts Community Education (PEACE) Program

The Permaculture, Ecovillage and Arts Community Education (PEACE) Program 

The 2014 PEACE program has been canceled.  The program may be offered in the future.

Spend a month living in the beautiful wooded home of Heathcote.  Work on our organic farm, take workshops on Permaculture, ecovillages, collaboration, mindfulness and more!  Experience community living.  Learn skills that you can use for the rest of your life to help create a more peaceful, sustainable, and socially just world.

Tuition Options:  The program has a modular design so you can participate parts of the program without committing to the full month.  You can take individual workshops without doing an internship ($250-$500 per weekend).  You can also do an internship without taking any workshops (the cost is $220/month for food).  Or you can do an internship and "pay as you go" for individual workshops and activities. Our Internship Program runs year round.  Questions?  Email or call 410-357-9523.


PEACE Program Mission

To offer experiential, transformative education that empowers people to create a more peaceful, sustainable, and socially just world.


PEACE Program Overview

The PEACE Program has 2 main elements:

  • Internships in farming and carpentry that provide opportunities to engage in experiential learning by doing hands-on projects at Heathcote.  Interns live at Heathcote and participate in community life.  
  • Weekend workshops on ecovillages, permaculture, community skills and more.  These are open to the general public.



Those who are accepted into the full one-month PEACE Program  will participate in an internship for 20 hours per week.  Internships provide an opportunity for hands-on learning through work projects. Focus areas include farming, carpentry, and community life.  This is also an opportunity for team building and learning to work cooperatively with others.  Click here for a detailed description of Heathcote's Internship Program. 

Note:  Heathcote offers internships year round, so if you can't do it during the PEACE program you can come at another time. This is also a good option if you can't afford the PEACE program tuition. Heathcote's standard internship is 20 hours per week of work in exchange for lodging.  Interns are responsible for paying $220/month for food.  Sometimes interns can get college credit for their internship experience.



Weekend Workshops

These workshops are open to the general public.  Click on the links for more details and to register.

June 13:  Introduction to Consensus and Facilitation with Ma'ikwe Ludwig

June 14-15:  Introduction to Ecovillage Education with Ma'ikwe Ludwig

June 21-22:  Introduction to Permaculture Design with Patty Ceglia

June 28-29:  Community Skills Weekend  with Debby Sugarman

July 5-6:  No workshop scheduled  (holiday weekend)

July 12-13:   Wilderness Awareness:  Nature Connection & Survival Skills with Wade Mergen



Additional benefits for PEACE Program interns

The following activities are included for PEACE Program interns who pay for the full program.  Other people can participate in these activities on a "pay as you go" basis.

  • Evening activities including short workshops on empathy, social justice, breath work, and more.  There will also be fun community building activities such as Interplay, music, drumming, games and fire circles. 
  • Mindfulness practice such as meditation and yoga every weekday morning.
  • Open Space for informal skill shares, discussion groups, independent self-directed study or self care on weekday afternoons.
  • Group meetings for the PEACE program interns where they will make decisions together as a community and practice their collaborative skills.  
  • Mentors will support the PEACE program interns in applying their learning and addressing challenges that arise during the program.


Evening Activities

These activities are open to the general public.  Click on the links for more details.  Suggested donation $10-$20 per workshop.  Please RSVP by emailing or calling 410-357-9523.

Monday Night Workshops

Empathy in Action with Alex Bryan

June 16, 23, 30 & July 7, 7:30 - 9:00 pm  

Note:  This workshop happens via conference call, so you can participate from anywhere as long as you have a telephone connection.  You must commit to participating in all four classes.

Tuesday Night Workshops

Social Justice with Karen Stupski

June 17, 7-9 pm     Sharing our Social Identities

June 24, 7-9 pm     Film screening: "Cracking the Codes:  The System of Racial Inequity"

July 1, 7-9 pm         Peer Counseling as a Tool for Dismantling Oppression

July 8, 7-9 pm         Cultural Competence

Wednesday Night Workshops

June 18, 7-9 pm:   Introduction to Breathwork with Carol Seddon and Paul Phillips

June 25, 7-9 pm:  Conflict as a Doorway to Intimacy with Carol Seddon and Paul Phillips  

July 2, 7-9 pm:      Interplay with Greg Newswanger and Juji Woodring

July 9, 7-9 pm:      The Enneagram with Carol Seddon and Paul Phillips


Mindfulness Practice

These activities will take place at Heathcote and are open to the general public.  Please RSVP by emailing or calling 410-357-9523.

Meditation Group with Bob Geissel.  

Mon, Tues, Wed,and Thurs mornings, 6 - 7 am.  Free.

Yoga Class with Nicole Montanardi.  

Friday mornings, 6 - 7 am.  Cost is $10/person/class.


Open Space

Every week day afternoon the PEACE program interns will have free time from 2 pm to 5 pm for skill sharing, individualized study, or cooperatively planned group activities.  We intentionally provided this open space so that the participants can self-organize and explore whatever topics they choose.  Participants can also use the time for self care if desired.  Heathcote community members are happy to share skills during this time but it is up to the participants to coordinate afternoon activities.  A list of skill share topics and recommended texts to use for individualized study or discussion groups is provided below.  We encourage each participant to create their own individualized study plan to help maximize their learning during the program.

Skill Share Topics

Heathcote members and local experts are available to share skills in the afternoons on such topics as:

  • permaculture design
  • biointensive mini-farming
  • organic gardening
  • forestry
  • social justice
  • community land trust
  • peer counseling
  • beekeeping
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
  • InterPlay
  • midwifery
  • natural building
  • bowl turning
  • music
  • breathwork
  • mushrooms
  • nutrient recycling
  • tie-dye
  • sailing
  • meditation

Recommended Texts

Introduction to Permaculture​, by Bill Mollison and Reny Mia Slay.

Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg.

The Empowerment Manual:  A Guide for Collaborative Groups, by Starhawk.

Cultural Etiquette:  A Guide for the Well-Intentioned by Amoja Three Rivers


Group Meetings

The PEACE program interns will form their own community. In our experience of community, its in the living and working with people on a daily basis where the challenges arise.  We will be having meetings regularly to spend the time it takes to work through these challenges in a creative way that will support you in all your relationships in the years to come.  We see these challenges as the path to our authentic selves, and will delve into processes that will be liberating to each participant.   We will also use these meetings to cooperatively plan afternoon activities.  We intentionally created space for participants to be co-designers of the program. All participants will learn to how to make decisions by consensus and have the opportunity to practice their facilitation skills in the group meetings.


PEACE Program sample day, week, month

Daily:  We'll begin the day at 6 am with mindfulness practice such as meditation, yoga, or a quiet walk.  Participants will prepare their own breakfast from 7 to 8 am. Work projects will start early before it gets too hot in the sun, most likely at 8 am.  Lunch will be at noon, which can be prepared as a group or individually.  After lunch we will have a daily meeting Monday- Friday where we will do check ins, clear any issues that are coming up in the group, and make decisions as a group.  The group can also plan afternoon activities together.  There will be open space in the afternoon, followed by dinner at 6 pm and an evening workshop or activity.

Weekly:  Three to four nights a week the community will be hosting workshops or fun activities for everyone to attend, such as sing a longs, fires, games etc.  PEACE program participants will also attend Heathcote Community's plenary meeting on Thursday nights.

Weekends:  There will be workshops each weekend taught by guest facilitators who are experts in their fields.  The workshops will be open to outside participants as well as PEACE program interns.  During the workshops we will learn skills and ideas that we will apply throughout the program.


Past Programs

Click here to read about the experience of participants in our pilot Ecovillage Immersion Internship Program which ran in June 2013.


About Heathcote Community:

Heathcote Community, a community since 1965, is a group of 14 adults, 5 teens, and 1 child, located on 112 beautifully wooded acres in northern Baltimore County.  We are a permaculture and farming demonstration site.  We enjoy a consensus decision making process and value the careful balance of our shared lives together. The majority of Heathcote's members have lived at Heathcote or in community over 10 years, and there is a deep collective wisdom in those years of experience.  While Heathcote is a permaculture demonstration site, we shine in terms of our social permaculture.  Most members have trained in various social permaculture skills for years, from Re-evaluation Counseling, Interplay, Breathwork, Nonviolent Communication, and Meditation just to name a few. 


Food is included in the cost of the PEACE program. We call our food program, Grandmother Moon Food Co-op.  Our co-op keeps our kitchen stocked with vegetarian (some fish), and mostly organic food, with a focus on locally produced food when possible.  Some members do eat meat, but its not included in the co-op and not cooked in our main kitchen.


Program participants will stay in our historic Heathcote Mill bunk-room.  The Mill is our Community Center as well as the location of our conference room and our shared community kitchen.  Expect to stay there with up to 10 other people of various ages and backgrounds.  The mill has 2 bathrooms and showers. 

Who should apply for the PEACE program?:

Individuals of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and of the age of 18 or over, are welcome to apply.  Its important that participants be willing to really look at themselves, and feel their feelings, taking responsibility for themselves in this program.  We will be looking for this ability through our application process. We select participants based on how they fit into our dynamic community and availability of space.  Applicants should be enthusiastic, responsible, reliable, flexible, able to do physical work, and willing to learn new perspectives.  They need to be willing to live in rustic accommodations with a mostly vegetarian diet; and an interest in rural community living is essential.  Heathcote is a drug free and smoke free community. The use of alcohol is not allowed in community spaces.  

Application process:

Complete the written application posted below; include your resume and three references.  The application deadline is May 1, 2014.  Submit your application by April 20, 2014 to get a $105 early bird discount. Space for the PEACE program is limited to ten people, so please get your applications in as soon as possible.  Applications received after May 1 will be considered on a rolling basis if there is still space available. You may submit your application electronically to  or via postal mail to:  Heathcote Community, 21300 Heathcote Rd, Freeland MD, 21053. 

If you have any questions about the PEACE program, e-mail us at, or call us at 410-357-9523.  We welcome any questions and will respond as quickly as possible.  After receiving your application, our PEACE program coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview.  Interviews are done in person, over Skype, or by phone.  The community considers all applications and will notify you of our decision as quickly as possible.

Program Tuition: 

The tuition is a sliding scale of $1,500 - $3,000 for the full program.  The purpose of the sliding scale is to make the program more accessible to people who have fewer economic resources.  People who pay at the higher end of the sliding scale support the opportunity to experience learning with a more socially and economically diverse group.  We trust that everyone will determine the appropriate amount to contribute in light of their personal financial situation and the value of this information and experience.  Click here for more information about tuition options.

Meals are included.   If you are accepted into the program we will ask for a $200 deposit to reserve your space.  The balance is due at the beginning of the program.



You can make a donation to support the PEACE Program.  The donation can be for general program support or you could specify a specific purpose such as scholarships.


Permaculture, Ecovillage and Arts Community Education (PEACE) Program Written Application Questions

Note:  Please copy these applications into a new document and write your answer beneath each question.  You can submit your completed application in Word doc or pdf file formats.  Thanks!

  1. What is your name, address, phone number and email address? What is the best way to contact you?

  2. What do you hope to learn and accomplish through the PEACE Program?

  3. Which Internship focus areas interest you? (Farming, Carpentry)

  4. What skills do you already have? (ie. gardening, carpentry, organizing, computer, etc.)

  5. Can you work well without supervision? (Please explain.)

  6. For your stay, how many days and nights per week would you like to stay at Heathcote? How many meals per day would you eat with us? (Most interns reside at Heathcote 7 days and nights per week and eat all meals at Heathcote but you can do less than that if desired.)

  7. When can you begin and when would you like to finish your stay at Heathcote?  Can you be in residence for the whole PEACE Program (June 13-July 13)?  (If not, it may be possible for you to participate in part of the program, although we will give priority to those who can commit to the whole time.  You are welcome to continue with your internship after the PEACE program ends as long as it is going well. The maximum stay is 3 months.) 

8. What do you like the most about yourself?

9. What do you like the least about yourself?

10. What is your experience with children? What is important to you about interacting with children?

11. Do you have any special needs?

12. What concerns or questions do you have?

13. When can you do an interview?

14. Where did you hear about the PEACE Program?

Please attach your resume and 3 references.



Friday, June 13, 2014 (All day)