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Bogata Suma permaculture farm in Croatia


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.

I 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!

Barbara Scheltus teaching social permacultureIn 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.


Teaching in nature at Bogata Suma

Besides land based permaculture designs, I am also making people based designs. With 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.
> Download PDF of this design

Nut farm design
About how and why to setup our polyculture nut orchard.
> Download PDF of this design

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.
> Download PDF of this design

Speak fluent Croatian design
A personal design about how to learn better Croatian. About learning styles and creative solutions.
> Download PDF of this design

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.

My unfashionable minimalistic capsule wardrobe
A design about how to dress myself better with just a few good pieces
> Download PDF of this design


Relevant courses:

Permaculture Design Course (PDC), (23 May - 2 June 2021)
Teachers: Karmela Kis, Sabine Engelhardt & Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Gea Viva, Brac

Design your Life with Permaculture (2020)
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Bogata Suma

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

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

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

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 RakGarden design course (6 months, 2012)
Institute: Het Groene Penseel (The Green Brush), 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

Barbara and Looby teaching in 2019

Barbara Scheltus - permaculture teacher


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Bogata Suma

about us
you're welcome
the name Bogata Suma
"eco" for us
self sufficienct living

Barbara Scheltus
Peter Scheltus

eco venue Croatia
venue with organic food
venue pictures

picture gallery
pictures forest garden
pictures natural home
pictures garden
pictures terrain
pictures of our animals
various pictures
winter pictures


Permaculture farm in Croatia

permaculture @ Bogata Suma
permaculture principles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
our permaculture designs
natural resources
compost and fertilizers

goat stable
rabbit palace
chicken garden design
permaculture greenhouse
forest gardens
food forest
food savannah
net and pan orchard
garden projects
- terraced garden beds
- keyhole gardens
- edible fence
natural playground
natural playground design
the house
strawbale insulation
compost toilet
summer kitchen
natural swim pond



calender of workshops & courses
permaculture workshops
permaculture teacher Barbara Scheltus
personal development
garden workshops
forest garden workshop
workshop herbs
workshops felting and wool
workshops blacksmithing

Country Life Academy

micro restaurant The Table

volunteering with us
volunteers about us
pictures with volunteers

Camping in nature

in Google maps

Camping in nature
Our permaculture camp site

"eco" for us
Welcome at our table
Our ideas about food

venue in nature in Croatia
venue with catering
venue pictures

Bogata Suma,   GPS 45.21798,15.41358,   Call +385-95-5555677,   mail