Instagram   Facebook   YouTube   e-mail   Call +385 95 5555677   WhatsApp   Website in Dutch language NL   Hrvatski HR


Barbara Scheltus - van den Berg

Passionate permaculture gardener & designer (of land and life), living self sufficient in harmony with nature
Some of the roles I play are wife, mother, permaculture teacher, facilitator, campsite owner, web designer, volunteer manager, cook, nut farmer...

Barbara Scheltus in permaculture garden


I live with my family on our permaculture homestead called BOGATA ŠUMA ("Rich Forest"). We're situated in the green hills in the heart of Croatia, at the end of a dead end street.

At Bogata Šuma you can enjoy colorful organic FOOD from our land, learn how permaculture works on our COURSES, or you can enjoy a holiday in Croatia's nature on our small, eco CAMP site.

With Bogata Šuma's COUNTRY LIFE ACADEMY you can be coached to a harmonious, successful life in nature. We organise weekends and courses for people who want to learn all about a good life on the land.

We are GROWING A VILLAGE with likeminded young and elderly in rural Croatia. People who love a life in harmony with nature, care for the earth, each other and themselves, love a good meal and a good conversation and give respect to diversity.

With our NGO "Udruga Anno 3033" you can volunteer for a month or longer to learn about permaculture and a fulfilling self sufficient life.

As one of our (future) income streams we're setting up a permaculture nut orchard (with walnuts, hazelnuts, sweet chestnuts and other plants) as future protein source to save animals and the planet.


From city life to rural Croatia

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.

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.


Teaching in nature at Bogata Suma

Relevant courses:

online course: Cultural Emergence Effective Design
Main teachers: Looby Macnamara, Jon Young
Tutors: Barbara Scheltus, Delvin Solkinson, Geri Sinclair and others
> Click here for more info >

Social permaculture for peace (September 2021)
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: GAIA Kosovo & permaculture farm Nesto vise, Bosnia & Hercegovina

Cultural Emergence Effective Design (June-July 2021)
Main teachers: Looby Macnamara, Jon Young
Tutors: Barbara Scheltus, Delvin Solkinson, Geri Sinclair and others
Institute: Applewood Permaculture Centre

Permaculture Design Course (PDC) (23/5-2/6/2021)
Teachers: Karmela Kis, Sabine Engelhardt & Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Gea Viva, Brac (Croatia)

Peace, Empowerment And Cultural Emergence (2021)
Main teachers: Looby Macnamara, Jon Young

Activating Cultural Emergence (2020)
Main teachers: Looby Macnamara, Jon Young

Design your life with permaculture (2019)
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Bogata šuma, (Croatia)

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

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 (2018)
Teacher: Barbara Scheltus
Institute: Bogata Suma (Croatia)

Permaculture and forest garden design weekend (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 (2008)
Teachers: Taco Blom & Ishi Crosby
Institute: Permacultuurcentrum Den Haag (The Netherlands)

Barbara and Looby teaching in 2019


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

Permaculture pathway design
My personal Action Learning Pathway design for a Permaculture Diploma, for becoming an experienced designer and a resourceful facilitator.

Permaculture design for Bogata Šuma
Overall design about our life and our land. It links to al other land-based designs:

Growing a village
Design about starting a sustainable, self sufficient village where young and old can live together in harmony with nature.
How can we set a positive, including culture in our community with a diversity of people. This design is 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 and how to get our household in a flow.
A family co-production.

Design for self sufficiency
This design for resilience is made for 100% self reliance for our family. Not necessarily realistic; we are not (yet) willing to live without coffee, chocolate, bananas and our car.

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.

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

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

Mindmap of How to be the best version of meME
Personal permaculture design about how to be the best version of me.

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

My unfashionable minimalistic capsule wardrobe
A permaculture design about how to dress myself better with just a few good pieces

Barbara Scheltus - permaculture teacher

Instagram   Facebook  YouTube e-mail   Call +385 95 5555677 WhatsApp   Website in Dutch language NL   Hrvatski HR

Bogata Šuma

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

Barbara Scheltus
Peter Scheltus

digital nomads welcome!

artist in residence

eco venue Croatia
venue with organic food
venue pictures

picture gallery
pictures forest garden
pictures natural home
pictures ecological garden


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
tree guillds
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


What we do

calender of workshops & courses
permaculture workshops
permaculture teacher Barbara Scheltus

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 Šuma,   GPS 45.21798,15.41358,   Call +385-95-5555677,   mail