Earth Allies Restoration Network (EARN) was founded by long-term partners, The Valley Foundation and Mainsprings. In 2012, The Valley Foundation helped Mainsprings transform their conventional gardens into a Permaculture farm and over the years, have witnessed the farm thriving, providing an abundance of food, helping with the sustainability of the organization, and helping to improve the soil quality and overall environment of the Mainsprings campuses.

After seeing the tremendous success at Mainsprings’ farms, The Valley Foundation once again partnered with Mainsprings to enable other grassroots organizations from across East Africa to learn about the possibilities of Permaculture could bring to their own communities. The Valley Foundation and Mainsprings raised money to bring organizations from across East Africa to the Mainsprings campus in Tanzania where they could participate in a 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification Course and receive a multi-year seed grant in order to implement permaculture in their own communities.

The idea for this partnership stemmed from conversations about the limitations organizations might face in being able to implement such change without the knowledge and funding to do so, as well as the shared belief that nonprofits should be working together to lift each other up, not competing against each other for resources. From that idea, the EARN movement was created, with it’s first pilot class of grantee partners accepted in 2020.

After a successful pilot program which brought several organizations to Tanzania from all across East Africa in early 2020, the East African Regenerative Network (EARN) has enabled organizations from throughout East Africa to be able to implement Permaculture practices in their own communities. Since then, the success and growth of the network inspired us to adapt the network in a way that didn’t limit us to East Africa. As a result, we re-branded our name to Earth Allies Restoration Network in 2023, keeping the same mission and vision, but on a larger scale. It’s now our goal at EARN to start to grow an even bigger movement across this planet to help transform our landscapes and better provide for our community members.



Chris Gates (Mainsprings), Sophie Oppenheimer (Valley Foundation), and Permaculture expert Mark Shepard (Restoration Agriculture Development) talk about how EARN is teaching organizations and farmers all across East Africa about Permaculture practices and how to live a more sustainable and ecologically friendly life.


If you are interested in becoming a Permaculture Partner, you can register for our PDC Course or apply for the EARN Restoration Agriculture Grant Opportunity. If you are interested in becoming a Supporting Partner, you can contact us directly or donate online.


The Valley Foundation and Mainsprings work together as Managing Partners to fundraise, organize trainings, and provide technical assistance to Permaculture Partners. Permaculture Partners are organizations or individuals who have attended a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course hosted by EARN at the Mainsprings campus in Tanzania. These organizations and individuals take what they have learned and implement restoration agriculture practices on their land and in their communities. Supporting Partners contribute funding and/or other services to support the cause. Click this link to learn more about the EARN Partners.