Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple...Bill Mollison
Design Course Outline
A 12 day program, divided into three parts, offered
Part One"Fire, Water, Earth & Air... New Ecology and Sacred Geometry": Introduction to Permaculture Design and Natural Pattern Understanding
This session will introduce the guiding philosophies and fundamental methodologies of Permaculture Design. Students will develop skills for recognizing the intrinsic characteristics of natural systems.
Permaculture design emphasizes the patterning of landscape, function and species relationships. Concepts of flow patterns, guilds, edge effects and harmonics are covered in this section with reference to specific site examples. Students will begin to formulate their own ideas for site improvement using Permaculture principles. Each student will be assigned to a Design team, and each team will be responsible for a final group presentation.
Water has been called the stuff of life. Without it, life is not possible. We will examine unique approaches to water harvesting, storage and utilization, and the role of trees and their energy in landscapes to manage water, store carbon and provide other benefits to agricultural zones.
Cultivating Soil Fertility: The soil is alive! This workshop will cover key strategies for improving soil health naturally, and reducing the classic problems of pests, weeds and pathogens. Soil classifications and the role of soil in nutrient cycling and plant nutrition will be covered, along with restorative earth works and necessary equipment.
"Food, Water, Shelter...Earth-Friendly Techniques & Technologies": Building the Home Ecosystem.
The second Part will focus on techniques and technologies for designing & building a complete home ecosystem, restorative agriculture and natural building,
The Permaculture concepts of zones and sectors helps land stewards and community designers make best use of a given site. We will cover the application of landscape profiles, base maps, and on-site analysis to assist in the logical orientation of design elements.
This workshop will provide students with an overview of large property designs and, renewable and affordable technologies, with a Permaculture Design emphasis on how to assess their relative appropriateness to a given circumstance.
Aquaculture and wetland environments are among the most productive on the planet. They nourish plant life, provide habitat, help recycle natural resources and more. This course section will survey the world's principal wetland habitats, both natural and man made: marshes, estuaries, chinampas, Keyline ponds and constructed wetland.
Animals in Permaculture; animals and insects offer an astonishing array of intrinsic factors that can prove invaluable to a design. Holistic management of a site using animals...
Creating Community...Self-Reliance, Eco-Village and Eco-Economics: EcoVillage Design and Community Celebration
The final session will feature community building & "creating a sense of place," patterns of human dynamics, intentional communities & eco-villages. We will learn strategies for creating community-wide sustainability and methods for finding our own right-livelihoods.
Eco-Villages and Invisible Structures. Various strategies for the design and development of intentional communities and eco-villages will be considered, including legal structures and sociological ramifications.
EcoVillage design and strategies for Urban Links. Invisible Structures underlie the arrangement of human societies, and involve psychological, political and economic patterns. These hidden frameworks for human interaction link the Permaculturist and one's site to society at large, and exert a profound influence on how decisions are made and, how effective they can be over time.
A principal challenge to moving off the grid and into more holistic lifestyles is meeting one's daily needs. Ideas for establishing community-scale industry, bioregional associations, and for increasing self-sufficiency will be shared.