Barbara Scheltus - van den Berg

As a facilitator I like to make permaculture practical for people. How can you do things, how can you design (parts of) your life so that you take good care of the earth, of yourself and other people, and care for the future. Even when you live in an appartment in the city.

Barbara Scheltus - van den BergI used to live in the city (Amsterdam and Leiden, in The Netherlands) where I had edible balconies and organized guerilla gardening days to spice up the city.
I was always intrigued by growing and foraging my own food. Our patio was crammed with fruit shrubs and vegetables and I had a weblog called "Wildplukker", about food foraging in the city. One day a film crew followed me and my son on a city foraging tour, for a Dutch TV show.

I lived in urban environments until 2009, when Peter Scheltus suggested to move to the countryside in Croatia. After the first shock, it became an exciting opportunity to bring my theorethical permaculture knowledge into action!

In Croatia we live on 12 hectares of land that we designed as an edible, sustainable landscape. On our terrain (called "Bogata Suma", Croatian for Rich Forest) you can find:
- a beautiful kitchen garden ("vegetable park") that produces our vegetables all year round,
- an edible fence or branches wall
- a plum orchard with net and pan system
- a forest garden
- a "food savannah" (that eventually will grow into a 2nd forest garden)
- a well designed greenhouse with a stone wall to trap warmth and a rainwater drip irrigation system
- we're setting up a polyculture nut orchard on the field
- we did some preparations for a natural greywater cleaning swim pond

On our wishlist: to finish the grey water cleaning swim pond, a compost heated glasshouse with aquaponics, a safe system to let animals cut the grass for us, and a rain water catchment system to water the garden in dry times.

Barbara Scheltus as permaculture facilitator at Bogata Suma, Croatia

Besides land based permaculture designs, I am also making people based designs. I use various methods, like the "SADIMET design process" and Looby Macnamara's "Design Web".

Permaculture designs I work on

Overall permaculture design for Bogata Suma
Design about our life and our land

Sustainable community with young and elderly
Design about starting a sustainable comunity where young and old can live together.
Needs chapter about attracting community members and how to live together.

Nut farm design
About how and why to setup our polyculture nut orchard.

Natural greywater cleaning swim pond design
About how and where we can make a natural pond that filters our greywater and gives us a nice spot to swim.

A garden for the chickens
Nice design, needs new ideas because chickens do much more damage than planned.

Forest garden and food savannah
An extensive design about our edible landscape and fruit park. Is still a bit behind the facts.

Facilitator design
About how to develop myself as a permaculture facilitator.
This design will remain a work in progress.

Speak fluent Croatian design
A personal design about how to learn better Croatian. About learning styles and creative solutions.

Design "Give me a break"
Personal design about How not a "pause" (stop in the action) but a "break" (step back) helps me to be more effective.

A balanced family life with hosting guests and volunteers
How can we set a positive, including culture in our community with people from all over the world, and keep our family culture. A co production of my family, about living with vision and values, and helpful routines.

Our ultimate home
Design for the ultimate passive family home that uses Nature's elements in a positive way.
This design will be made together with Peter Scheltus.

"Homemaking with our family" design
Design about how to get our household in a flow.
A family co-production.

Barbara Scheltus with Rosemary Morrow in Greece

Relevant courses:

Social Permaculture Design for Peace
Teachers: Barbara Scheltus & Lucy Walton
Institute: GAIA (Kosovo) & Nešto Više (Bosnia & Hercegovina)

Design your life with permaculture
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Bogata šuma, (Croatia

Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
Teachers: Karmela Kis, Sabine Engelhardt & Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Gea Viva, Brac (Croatia)

Cultural Emergence Design course (1 week, 2019)
Teachers: Looby Macnamara & Barbara Scheltus
Institutes: Thriving Ways (England) & Bogata Suma

Permaculture for kids (4 lessons, 2018)
Teachers: Barbara Scheltus & Jasenka Martinovic
Institutes: Osnovna skola Vojnic & Bogata Suma (Croatia)


People and Permaculture Facilitator Training (1.5 year traject, 2017-2018)
Teachers: Looby Macnamara & Peter Cow
Institute: Thriving Ways (England)

Permaculture in practice (1 day, 2018)
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Bogata Suma (Croatia

Permaculture and forest garden design weekend (2 days, 2017)
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Bogata Suma (Croatia)

Workshop restoration agriculture (1 week, 2016)
Teacher: Mark Shepard
Institute: ZMAG Vukomeric (Croatia)

Permaculture Design Course (2 weeks, 2015)
Teachers: Rosemary Morrow & Tina Lymberis
Institute: Nea Guinea, (Greece

Creating low maintenance Edible Landscapes The Permaculture way (2 days, 2014)
Teacher: Rakesh Rootsman Rak

Garden design course (6 months, 2012)
Institute: Het Groene Penseel (The Netherlands

How to create a forest garden (5 days, 2010)
Teachers: Mark & Rakesh Rootsman Rak
Institute: Eco Village Network

Introduction to permaculture (1 day, 2008)
Teachers: Taco Blom & Ishi Crosby
Institute: Permacultuurcentrum Den Haag (The Netherlands


Teaching with Looby Macnamara

Fun permaculture teacher