OAEC supports diverse communities to design their own regenerative systems at the regional and local scale.
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 a video tour and beautiful photographs of our Guest Houses, Meeting Room, Bathhouse, Kitchen & Dining Room, Mother Garden 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.
Our School Garden Teacher Training supports schools to integrate the school garden into multiple subject areas using place-based, experiential learning.
Every seed and plant in our collection has a story.
North Garden 1979, photo by Alison Dykestra
To ensure that all future farming operations are free of synthetic chemicals and in keeping with our California Certified Organic Farmers certification, OAEC and the Sonoma Land Trust signed the United States’ first permanent Organic Agricultural Easement over our gardens and orchards in 1994.
The Mother Garden Biodiversity Program & Nursery are committed to preserving our plant heritage by curating and propagating thousands of varieties of heirloom, open-pollinated annuals and edible, medicinal and ornamental perennials. Our plant collection emphasizes food crops of special genetic, cultural and historic importance that are appropriate to our bioregion. The gardens serve as a living laboratory for our classes and allow us to provide delicious fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers for thousands of meals prepared onsite each year.
The gardens onsite have a history that outlives OAEC. They have been a source of inspiration and training for thousands of gardeners, farmers and landscapers for over 40 years, first as the Farallones Institute (1974-1990), then as the Center for Seven Generations (1990-1993) and now as OAEC (1994-present). Over time, the garden has become something of a cradle of diversity for plant and animal life. We have collected and evaluated thousands of varieties, chosen our favorites, planted them again and again, and shared them with others. Sometime in the late ’80s we started calling the gardens “The Mother Garden,” referring both to her abundant fertility and to the fact that she was providing a wealth of seeds, plant material and wisdom to other gardens and gardeners and, quite literally, giving birth to daughter gardens.
After years of preserving and propagating thousands of varieties for our gardens, the Mother Garden Biodiversity Program began to more widely spread biodiversity through our 100% California Certified Organic, open-pollinated plant Nursery. All our crops have been trialed and savored in our demonstration gardens and kitchen.
Our nursery is open every weekend through the warm gardening months April through October, with a focus on multifunction perennial plants appropriate for Permaculture Design, including a wide selection of culinary and medicinal herbs.
Over the years, we have fallen in love with countless plants on this site. Come share in their beauty with us! When you buy our annuals and perennials, you are supporting the work of OAEC.