Our cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes inspired by seasonal eating from our biodiverse Mother Garden, orchards and Wildlands Preserve.
Experience the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center through beautiful slideshows of our Guest Houses, Meeting Hall, Kitchen, Garden, Wildlands and more.
Our 100% Certified Organic plant nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants - all tested in our onsite gardens and appropriate for our bioregion.
OAEC offers the longest consistently running two-week Permaculture Design Certification course in the West. Immerse yourself in information, ideas and inspiration on how to design sustainable, regenerative systems in balance with your home ecosystem.
The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center is a rustic and beautiful place to convene organizations, networks, public agencies, foundations and other groups working towards social and environmental change. Just 70 miles from both Oakland and San Francisco, OAEC is a unique gathering space for effective and transformative retreats, workshops or strategic planning meetings in a truly stunning environment.
Welcome! The land that OAEC inhabits is the territory of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo peoples. When you visit OAEC, we invite you to join us in honoring and continuing their legacy of land stewardship.
Since the 1970’s these 80-acres of organic gardens, wildlands, onsite intentional community, and education center have served as a living laboratory for research, collaboration and forging the transition towards ecological and socially just human settlement. In developing and collectively caring for our home, we hope to reveal a place of beauty that is deeply connected with nature and full of examples to inspire you to bring regenerative practices back to your own community.
Aside from the beautiful natural surroundings and learning opportunities that the site offers, participants in our courses and retreats can also enjoy other features and fruits of the land, including delicious homegrown organic food, swimming pond, sauna, hot tub, campfire, and comfortable eco-dwellings, as described below.
Completed in 2018, our beautiful new Meeting Hall was designed and built with the utmost care for aesthetics, materials, usability and function – a one-of-a-kind space in the Bay Area for effective and transformative gatherings.
OAEC’s new Guest Houses can accommodate a total of up to 32 overnight guests.
Each Guest House has:
*NOTE: Many rooms with two twin beds can be made into one comfortable king-sized bed upon request.
If groups wish to house additional guests in private accommodations offsite, there are many nearby options that we would be happy to recommend, including the affordable Occidental Hotel which is just down the hill. Please call us to discuss this option.
OAEC is housed within the context of a working farm, research center, and on-site intentional community. The organic gardens and orchards, Wildlands nature preserve, and “Conservation Hydrology” Demonstration Site as described in the tiles below are part of what make a visit to OAEC unforgettable.
We offer tours for all rental groups to get oriented and learn more about OAEC and the land.
For an additional fee, we can work with your group to design custom sessions lead by OAEC’s core staff for your retreat, including:
Please let us know in advance if anyone in your group has accessibility needs (physical, medical, etc).
OAEC is adhering to COVID-19 related mandates and recommendations issued by both the state of California and the Sonoma County Department of Public Health. This guidance, and thus OAEC’s policies, may change as the date of any retreat approaches.
As of February 15, 2022, the Sonoma County Department of Public Health has lifted the mask mandate and does not require the use of face masks for everyone indoors. It is up to the retreat group to decide if they want retreat participants to wear masks indoors. While some of the retreat time will likely be spent outdoors in the fresh air, retreat participants will spend much of their time at OAEC in shared sleeping accommodations and use common indoor spaces such as meeting rooms, dining facilities, bathrooms, etc.
Out of care for the safety of retreat guests as well as our residential community and other visitors who also use these shared spaces, all OAEC staff and residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of now, OAEC requires that all participants in an organizational retreat be fully vaccinated or have a documented medical exemption. It is the responsibility of the organizer of the group retreat to ensure that all people coming to OAEC as part of their retreat have proof of vaccination or documentation of medical exemption.
Unvaccinated people with a medical exemption may attend a retreat, but must provide a negative COVID test to the organizer of the group retreat dated 48 hours or less before the start of the retreat and then remain on-site for the duration of the retreat. OAEC’s Retreat Manager and the point person for your group who is organizing the retreat will stay in touch with any updates to OAEC’s policy. If your group is interested in booking a retreat with us and you would like to learn more about our COVID protocols, please reach out to .
We appreciate your understanding and collaboration as we navigate how to best support everyone’s health during this still-changing pandemic.