Biochar, Milpa Farming & Ecstatic Tortilla Gridling

Enjoy freshly griddled tortillas and Café de Olla while discussing milpa theory and culture

Saturday, November 9, 1-5 pm

Earthaven Ecovillage
Near Asheville, NC

Join permaculturist and mutual aid advocate Zev Friedman for a hands-on conversation around the fire. Learn how to make masa from homegrown heritage corn soaked with hardwood ashes, how to press the masa into tortillas, and then how to griddle them over a fire. As Zev’s teacher Martin Prechtel says, “it’s impossible to be miserable while you’re griddling tortillas.” We’ll enjoy tasting the warm tortillas with Café de Olla, a Mexican spiced coffee, prepared over the fire.

While griddling and tasting tortillas, we’ll discuss milpa food nutrition, the agro-ecological farming approach, cooperative patterns for human culture and economies, and how this all fits in through biochar and soil creation as a major piece of the puzzle for carbon sequestration, climate resilience, and ecological restoration.

After covering the theory, we’ll examine ashes and charcoal to learn about making and using biochar and activated char, along with the dynamics of soil carbon and mineral cycling.

Corn and sumac mandala
Zev with corn plants


Saturday, November 9

  • 10 am – noon: Optional Earthaven Ecovillage tour
  • Noon – 1 pm: Lunch – bring your own
  • 1 – 5 pm: Program


Sliding Scale Tuition

Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. The high-end of the scale reflects the value we believe the program holds, and the low-end offers a more accessible entry point.

By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. Please consider your needs and resources to determine what might be a stretch, but not a strain.

Mirna griddling tortillas


Earthaven tour and program: $65 – 95 sliding scale

Program only: $45 – $65 sliding scale

A light snack of freshly grilled tortillas and Café de Olla is included. You are welcome to bring additional food or drink.



A light snack of freshly grilled tortillas and Café de Olla is included. The Café de Olla has caffienne, sugar, citrus, and spices. You are welcome to bring additional food or drink. 

Cancellation & Refunds

If you cancel your registration, you may:

  • Donate your tuition to support our continued work
  • Request a refund per our policy:
    • 90% refund for cancellations prior to 30 days before the start of the program
    • 50% refund for cancellations prior to 10 days before the start of the program

If SOIL cancels this program for any reason whatsoever, you would receive a 100% refund.

Contact us at [email protected] with registration questions.


The campground will be closed during this program and no indoor lodging is available at Earthaven.

Off-Site Options
Various options in Bat Cave, Black Mountain, and Asheville.

Read More About Accommodations


This program takes place at Earthaven Ecovillage. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where participants will engage with the natural world, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of rural community living.

What to Expect at Earthaven


Mutual aid expert Zev Friedman

Zev Friedman

Earthaven Experience Programs Faculty

Zev is a leading permaculture designer, researcher, teacher, and writer in Western North Carolina. Almost a decade of study with world-renowned teacher Martín Prechtel helped feed his passion for regrowing our own diverse indigenous lifeways through youth initiation and ritual.


Complete the registration form for one or two adult participants. It takes 5-10 minutes, and you will complete your enrollment with a credit card authorization.

After your enrollment is processed, you will receive several confirmations…

  1. An automatic confirmation of receiving your registration form
  2. A payment confirmation from our card processor
  3. Confirmation that your registration has been processed

Contact Info - Step 1 of 3
Please check all that apply