Courses

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, vegan cooking, fermentation and foraging courses.

Upcoming courses

19-21 April 2024

Introduction to Permaculture and Vegan Cooking

17-19 May 2024

Introduction to Permaculture and Meditation

14-16 June 2024

Introduction to Permaculture, Fermentation, and Foraging

12-14 July 2024

Introduction to Permaculture and Vegan Cooking

Our weekend courses are free

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

Other ways to learn permaculture with us

We also offer five-day courses around applied permaculture (the next course will be 27-31 May 2024), WWOOFing, and one-day introductions to permaculture for groups. Please contact us if you would like 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 dinner on the Friday at 20:00 and ends at 17:30 on the Sunday night. You can see the programme for our Permaculture & Meditation weekend here, our Permaculture & Vegan Cooking weekend here, and our Permaculture, Fermentation & Foraging weekend here.

Pricing

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.

Donations

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.

Other courses

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 info@thebigraise.fr 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 info@thebigraise.fr for more information. 

WWOOFing

We also offer WWOOFing possibilities. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s an exchange of services: the organic farmer promises to lodge, feed and, most importantly, teach the WWOOFer and the WWOOFer works 5-6 hours a day in return.

We accept WWOOFers from 1 March to 31 July and from 1 September to 30 November.

To WWOOF with us you need to sign up via 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 info@thebigraise.fr 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 Certificate (PDC) with the late great Patrick
Whitefield, author of The Earth Care Manual, and has completed two permaculture courses (Forest Gardens & Micro Farms) with Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer at France’s foremost permaculture farm, Bec Hellouin. He has also studied nut growing with Martin Crawford, author of Creating a Forest Garden. Martin is a nut tree specialist who is widely recognised as having created Europe’s finest forest garden.

Before moving to Paris in 2015, Alexis taught Introduction to Permaculture courses in London. He has completed five Vipassana courses (10-day silent meditation retreats) and has been vegan since his first silent retreat in May 2017. He’s taken numerous cooking courses, including at Leith’s School of Food & Wine in London and La Bastide des Saveurs in the Bandol region of southern France. More recently he has participated in vegan cooking courses at Sol Semilla restaurant and La Parenthèse Végétale cooking school, which are both in Paris. 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 completed a 10–day silent meditation retreat (Vipassana). Blanche turned vegan in 2023 after watching the documentary Dominion, which graphically describes the brutality of factory farming and which shows that being vegetarian, in terms of animal suffering, is no better than being omnivorous.

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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