We want to help people to live differently, to have less impact on the planet and to be happier. That’s why we’re delighted to be able to offer permaculture, meditation and vegan cooking courses.

Upcoming courses

March 2024

Introduction to Permaculture, Fermentation and Foraging

April 2024

Introduction to Permaculture and Vegan Cooking

May 2024

Introduction to Permaculture and Meditation

June 2024

Introduction to Permaculture, Fermentation and Foraging

Our courses are free

But we accept donations. See our bookings page for more details.

Other ways to learn permaculture with us

We also propose five-day applied permaculture courses, WWOOFing and one-day introductions to permaculture for groups. Please check our Courses page for more information.

Find out about our permaculture teaching, the style of meditation we practise and our vegan cookery courses

Course details

Course schedule

The fun starts with the 18:06 train from Paris Montparnasse to La Ferté Bernard on a Friday evening and ends when participants return to Paris Montparnasse at 19:55 on Sunday night. You can see a typical weekend programme here.


Our permaculture, meditation and vegan cooking courses are free! Instead of asking for money before a course, we give participants the chance to make a donation afterwards if they want someone else to benefit from a weekend with us.

Other courses


This concept is called Dāna, which means generosity, charity or alms in Sanskrit. The idea is simple: if you feel you’ve learnt something during your time with us, then you donate so that someone else can benefit.

Applied Permaculture

We also propose five-day Applied Permaculture courses structured around classes and practical workshops. It’s the ideal way to follow on from a weekend introduction course. Please contact us via for the programme and prices.

Permaculture for Groups

We offer one-day Introduction to Permaculture courses for groups. The day consists of a tour of the farm, an introduction to the principles behind permaculture, a vegan lunch and practical permaculture workshops. Please contact us via for more information. 


For those who want to do WWOOFing (working on an organic farm), we have a vegetable plot, an orchard, a forest garden, a nutfield, a wood, several ponds and a large field. So there is a lot of variety in the work we offer to WWOOFers. If you want to WWOOF with, you need to register with WWOOF France.

Book a course at The Big Raise today

If you’d like to book a weekend course at The Big Raise, then please send us an email to and include your first name, surname, email, mobile phone number, dates of the desired course and mode of transport (e.g. Paris, train).

If you have any questions, please consult our FAQs here.

Why study at The Big Raise with Alexis & Blanche?

Alexis studied for his Permaculture Design Course with the late great Patrick Whitefield and has completed two permaculture courses (Forest Garden & Micro Farm) with Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer at France’s top permaculture farm, Bec Hellouin, and has done a nut growing course with Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust, who is widely recognised as owning Europe’s finest forest garden.

Before moving to Paris in 2015, Alexis taught Introduction to Permaculture courses in London. He has completed two 10-day silent meditation retreats and has been vegan since his first silent retreat in May 2017. Before that he was vegetarian for many years. Alexis loves to cook and Blanche loves his cooking!

Blanche is a teacher in Paris. She incorporates permaculture thinking into many of her classes. She has also done a 10–day silent meditation retreat. Blanche is a vegetarian.

Don’t take our word for it

Here are a few testimonials from some of the lovely people who’ve already taken one of our courses

This weekend invites us to ask ourselves about our way of life and thus to find other ways for a more harmonious life, for a better knowledge of oneself … but also of others. I deeply thank Alexis and Blanche for their warm and generous welcome, which was a key element in the success of this beautiful moment.
Laurence Rodriguez

Blanche and Alexis, thank you sincerely for the generosity of your welcome! Your project is inspiring on many levels and I feel privileged to have participated in this weekend. The involvement of everyone, and the feeling of sharing that we have experienced, affects me a lot.
Grant Butcher

As a citizen engaged in the ecological transition, the subject of permaculture interested me, but I had never really practised it. This weekend showed me how vast the subject of permaculture is and how it has practical value for improving the life of Earth but also humans. Thank you, Blanche and Alexis!
Frédéric Aublé

This weekend was very refreshing and informative, all in good humour and communicative joy. I loved what we did in the garden and the creative workshop of the second day. And among the highs I definitely put the excellent vegan meals!
Vanessa Filhol

I found the weekend extremely inspiring, amazing, engaging, stimulating and motivating!
Annick Rivoire

The general tone of the weekend was set by the personality of our guests: we bathed in intelligence, benevolence, generosity, openness, humour, love, curiosity and determination.
Florence Marchal

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