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The Balkan Retreat
The Balkan Retreat
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Žike Begojevića 31, Bešenovo, RS
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

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The Balkan Retreat

The Balkan Retreat

Bešenovo, RS

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72-Hour Certified Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with Karmela Kiš, Sept 2019

Project: The Balkan Retreat

Posted by Vivien von Abendorff almost 5 years ago

In a standard 72-hour permaculture course, you will find practical knowledge, design, group work in a permaculture garden, socialising and delicious home-made organic food.

With renowned Croatian permaculture designer and teacher, Karmela Kiš, we will be hosting our second full Permaculture Design Course at the Balkan Retreat, in Serbia.  Join us if you want to be part of the beginnings of a new project, rooted in a rural, village community at the borders of a hilly, forested National Park.

For over 20 years there is much talk about permaculture, but not a lot of people know first hand, not even the founder of the term, Bill Mollison. On this course you will become familiar with the basics of permaculture, and what you do with this knowledge is up to you.

Permaculture is usually spoken about as ethically shaping (designing) and maintaining productive agricultural ecosystems which are biodiverse, stable and resilient. Permaculture is the harmonious integration of people and environment, which in a sustainable way ensures the security of food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs.

The syllabus will cover the following areas: 

  • Permaculture ethics and approach to challenges
  • Principles of Natural Systems 
  • Sustainable Design Methodologies
  • Patterns in Nature, Culture and Society 
  • Reading the Land & Understanding Natural Processes 
  • Large Scale Land Restoration Techniques 
  • Water Harvesting Techniques
  • Design Principles of Sustainable Human Settlements 
  • Grey Water Recycling
  • Natural Building Strategies
  • Cultivated & Productive Ecologies
  • Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Gardens for Self-Sufficiency
  • Energy Conservation Technologies
  • Appropriate Technologies and Renewable Energies
  • Urban Environment Permaculture
  • Wildlife Management and Biological Pest Control 
  • Invisible Structures: People, Community, Economics, Eco Villages 
  • Community Supported Agriculture

About Karmela:

The lead instructor Karmela Kiš, a renowned permaculture designer, has long-standing experience in permaculture, organic gardening and ecological garden design. Being completely immersed in permaculture for almost twenty years, Karmela has created and sustained a number of permaculture gardens, grown a wide range of rare plants, published a book on conserving fruit and vegetables and has, together with her deceased husband, Miroslav, written the first book on permaculture in Croatian. An inspiring teacher with in-depth knowledge of applied permaculture, Karmela truly walks her talk.

Price: €460/€500/€520/€640 (includes all meals and accomodation)


  • There are several camping spots under the shade of Linden and Elderflower trees and 6 basic dormitory beds in an old stable. There is one private double room, which can be used by one person or a couple.
  • Toilets and showers are outdoors and shared by all participants (part solar, part electrical).
  • The site has wi-fi and electricity.

Please bring:

  • Tent, if you are camping. If this is not possible, let us know and we can try to provide a tent for you.
  • Sleeping bag/bedding, if you are camping (or ask us in advance).
  • Ecological body products.
  • Swim-wear for the lake.
  • Materials for note-taking.
  • Special medical requirements (we are 25 minutes drive from the nearest hospital).

How to get here:

Žike Begojevića 31

Bešenovački Prnjavor

22212 Bešenovo


  • We can help arrange pick-up from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (50-minute drive). Pre-ordered taxis cost 4000 dinars (€34). 
  • Alternatively, make your own way: There are good bus connections from Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade to Sremska Mitrovica, where taxis (€12) or pick-up can be arranged (if available). There is also a local bus which runs from Sremska Mitrovica and stops outside our property, several times a day. Please ask us for details. Trains also from Zagreb and Belgrade (not from the airport). We are just 15 minutes off the Zagreb - Belgrade motorway (E70). There is plenty of room for parking.

How to book a place:

  • Email us at [email protected]
  • Fill in our registration form.
  • Please make a €50 deposit.

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