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what is a permaculture design course (PDC)

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14198
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Maybe somebody more knowledgeable than I can answer this.

My impression is that somewhere there is official content that is covered at every PDC (permaculture design course).

It seems that the old norm was a 14 day intensive course. 

Now I see a lot of PDC's where it is one weekend a month for seven months. 


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Toby Hemenway
author


Joined: May 06, 2008
Posts: 85
    
  15
Originally, Mollison prepared a handbook that covered what was supposed to be included in a PDC. a copy is at
http://www.permaculture.org/nm/images/uploads/PDC_cert_book_.pdf

Later he said that "Permaculture: A Designers' Manual" superseded this and constituted the curriculum; that a course was supposed to cover all chapter headings of the book. To my knowledge, Bill never wrote an easily understood list of what topics were to be covered, but the first couple of generations of teachers all covered the same topics that he did.

Bill's first PDCs were 3 weeks long, but so few people could afford 3 weeks that he shortened it to two. The course is supposed to be a minimum of 72 hours instruction, but all the good ones are 90+ hours or more. I've dropped in on a couple of 10-day courses, offered one once under pressure from a venue, and have met students who have taken them (you can cram 72 hours into 10 days, in theory) and they were not good courses and produced students who lacked a good understanding. Don't take one; don't offer one. So 12-14 days seems the minimum.

There are many formats: 2-week residential, two 1-week courses, one day a month for a year, and 6 or 7 weekends. The 2-week residential is superb for building a temporary community and is a full immersion that people treasure for the rest of their lives, but I've come to prefer the 6-weekend format because it can be given to the residents of a city or region so that they all get to know each other, and a permaculture community that is permanent results that can have a deep influence on a city or area. And the time between classes allows for extra study, socializing, and lets the material really sink in.

I have an FAQ on the course at
http://www.patternliteracy.com/designcoursefaq.html


I'm offering weekend permaculture courses in the SF Bay area. Info (and more) at http://patternliteracy.com
Bill Kearns


Joined: Feb 13, 2009
Posts: 151
Location: E Washington steppe
    
    2

The 2-week residential is superb for building a temporary community and is a full immersion that people treasure for the rest of their lives, ...


What Toby said 

Both Darren and Geoff also stated that the original course was three weeks, but shortened to two ... which is why it's called an "Intensive".  Our days mostly went 10 hours+ with impromptu discussion lasting well into the evenings.  I chose to take the evenings to read the day's Design Manual chapter ... which is the ONLY way I'd ever have read that book cover to cover! 

It really was intense, full-immersion ... and as Toby said, I treasure it!  Really life-changing stuff;  I highly recommend doing everything in your power to take a PDC (or two) 


Permaculture is a gestalt ... a study of the whole. Not just how to produce more and better food, but how human life on the planet affects and is affected by the surrounding environment.
Bill Kearns http://columbiabasinpermaculture.com
                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
On the Tagari site, I see they're now selling the complete PDC lectures on 13 DVDs, given by Mollison and Geoff Lawton.  It costs about 380 AUD (~$315) plus shipping.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
What do you call yourself when you have a certificate? A Certified Permaculture designer?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14198
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Emerson White wrote:
What do you call yourself when you have a certificate? A Certified Permaculture designer?


I do.  Although there are some folks that get their knickers in a twist over that. 



Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3960
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
I understand that the Permaculture Institute is no longer keeping a teacher register and will no longer be issuing Permaculture Design Certificates, leaving individual teachers to issue their own certificates.  I wonder what will happen to the syllabus now?  Will it be up to each teacher to decide what to teach and how much study is required? 


What is a Mother Tree ?
rana McCoy


Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Posts: 7
Permaculture Design Certificate Course with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton in Istanbul

Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton are now coming to Istanbul to meet their students from Europe and Middle East. The Permaculture Design Certificate course starts at 21st November and finishes at 4th of December.

For course details:
http://permacultureturkey.org/en/?page_id=80

get course brochure in pdf format:
http://permacultureturkey.org/en/wp-content/uploads/PDC_Istanbul_en.pdf
James MRobertson


Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Posts: 1
Location: United States
Hi!

I just wanted to say hi!  My name is James and I live in the Jacksonville area. I hope it's okay to post this here. Where is everyone from? Any Jags fans here?

Anyway, I've been a "lurker" for a long time, but I expect to become a frequent poster here.


- James Robertson
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
welcome, my guess is you probably should introduce yourself on the "meaningless drivel" thread..scroll through the forums to the bottom listings..


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
dirtfarmer Hatfield


Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
This is material I collected to put in my permaculture list homepage. It includes a few brief definitions of permaculture
and a list of topics covered in a permaculture course offered back in 1995:

PermaSphere
-- portal to an expanding global network of landtech pioneers --

EcoLandTech: designing ecological land use systems with integrated elements for synergy, sustainability,
regeneration and enhanced nature-compatible human habitat

Wikipedia permaculture entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture
"Permaculture is a design system which aims to create sustainable
human habitats by following nature's patterns."
This forum exists in support of those who choose to become involved with the study of permaculture, gardening and farming as a means of achieving self-sufficiency and independence, practicing it actively at home and throughout their communities and bioregions.

Phil Ferraro, Director
Institute for Bioregional Studies
writes about Permaculture:
"The term, permaculture, was patented by, Bill Mollison in
the early 1970's to describe a system of permanent habitations.
With roots in agricultural systems it has evolved into a program
for designing ecological communities and restoring urban centers.
It is about self-reliance, growing food, and building creative,
beautiful, energy-efficient structures from local materials.
Some precepts basic to both permaculture and bioregionalism:
*Basis in ecology.
*Basing unique culture on indigenous materials
*High degree of local self-sufficiency.
*Observation/awareness of boundaries of plant and animal
communities.
*Preservation and restoration of native plant communities.
*Aesthetics
*Worker-owned, enterprises with non-exploitative relationships.
*Decentralized, participatory, democratic governance.
*Recognizing inter-relationships between elements in the system
and maximizing symbiotic relationships.
[Features]
*Permaculture methodlogy
*Permaculture principles
*Ethic of permaculture
*Observation Skills
*Bioregional planning & mapping
*Local self-reliance
*Site analysis
*Tree crops
*Medicinal herbs
*Organic Agriculture
*Agroforestry systems
*Edibile landscaping
*Keyline system
*Land Trusts & Communities
*Aquaculture
*Greenhouses
*Erosion Control
*Soil microbiology
*Sustainable Forestry
*Ecosystem restoration
*Livestock and wildlife
*Urban permaculture
*Appropriate energy
*Working in the South
*Formal & Informal Economies
*Straw-bale construction"

Dr. Lee Barnes
Editor of:
The Permaculture Connections: Southeastern Permaculture Network News
Waynesville, N.C., 28786
8 page Quarterly
Writes about permaculture:

Permaculture ("Perm"anent "agri"culture and "Perma"nent "culture"
is a sustainable design system stressing the harmonious
interrelationship of humans, plants, animals and the Earth.

To paraphrase the founder of Permaculture, designer Bill Mollison:

"Permaculture principles focus on thoughtful designs for small-scale
intensive systems which are labor efficient and which use biological
resources instead of fossil fuels. Designs stress ecological connections
and closed energy and material loops. The core of permaculture is design
and the working relationships and connections between all things. Each
component in a system performs multiple functions, and each function is
supported by many elements. Key to efficient design is observation and
replication of natural ecosystems, where designers maximize diversity
with polycultures, stress efficient energy planning for houses and
settlement, using and accelerating natural plant succession, and
increasing the highly productive "edge-zones" within the system."

Permaculture designs have been successfully and widely implemented
in third-world countries, but there is current need to expand these
principles in temperate climates, and especially urban areas to
create more enjoyable and sustainable human habitats.

Chuck Estin of Bios Designs
has written a very interesting definition of permaculture in his website:
http://biosdesign.us/

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Anyone interested in market farming? If so join us in the marketfarming list,
see url below to subscribe or contact me directly.

Lawrence London
(LFLondon, dirtfarmer)
http://lists.ibiblio.org/permaculture
http://lists.ibiblio.org/marketfarming
http://ibiblio.org/permaculture
http://ibiblio.org/marketfarming


Lawrence London
lfljvenaura@gmail.com
EcoLandTech
http://ecolandtech.blogspot.com
http://ibiblio.org/ecolandtech
Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
paul wheaton wrote:
Maybe somebody more knowledgeable than I can answer this.

My impression is that somewhere there is official content that is covered at every PDC (permaculture design course).

It seems that the old norm was a 14 day intensive course. 

Now I see a lot of PDC's where it is one weekend a month for seven months. 





I honestly think 99% of them are scams, and have been.  Who taught them?  What makes them able to give a certificate other then have a farm?

If nature if my teacher, why is a 2legged saying I am doing it right?

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14198
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Have you been to a PDC?

I think that there are a few where the people teching it are mighty clueless, but I have yet to hear of one I thought was a scam.
Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
paul wheaton wrote:
Have you been to a PDC?

I think that there are a few where the people teching it are mighty clueless, but I have yet to hear of one I thought was a scam.



Sure haven't and honestly don't intend to.    Nature is my teacher  for Permaculture, &  I don't need a piece of paper handed to me by another person to telling me I am listening to nature properly.  ((No offense anyone))

I do believe in communication and the sharing of ideas like at this fine website & forum.  I believe in the work you are doing Paul, just as much as everyone here who made the leap and is doing the best they can while sharing information with others.

It's just my 2 cents on the subject, which, in reality, means nothing. 

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14198
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Pakanohida wrote:
Sure haven't and honestly don't intend to.    Nature is my teacher  for Permaculture, &  I don't need a piece of paper handed to me by another person to telling me I am listening to nature properly.  ((No offense anyone))

I do believe in communication and the sharing of ideas like at this fine website & forum.  I believe in the work you are doing Paul, just as much as everyone here who made the leap and is doing the best they can while sharing information with others.

It's just my 2 cents on the subject, which, in reality, means nothing. 


Let me say this:  I read all of the permaculture books, all of salatin's books, over 100 books on gardening, had been working a farm for several years, grew up on a farm, had completed some really excellent master gardener training, had done heaps of gardening for many years and .... on and on and on .... all of that and bunch more like it before attending my PDC. 

I wanted to use the word "permaculture" in my operation.  And to legally use the tradmarked work in your stuff, you had to complete a PDC.  I shopped carefully and selected a PDC taught by Michael Pilarski (skeeter).  I fully intended to grill the instructor with a thousand questions during the 14 day intensive.  My expectation was that I would learn very little.

Pilarski easily answered my questions.

And he told me things that I never even thought to have questions for.

And what I learned was far beyond what I thought I would ever learn. 

I think I paid $950 and that included a bunk and food for two weeks.  Worth every penny.  The food was excellent.  The company was astonishing.  I feel it was was one of the all time best experiences of my life.

I respect your choice to never go.  At the same time I feel a little sad for you.

Mekka Pakanohida


Joined: Aug 16, 2010
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
I respect your view point, and the moccasins you travelled in Paul, I really do. 

However, as I have been reading, and watching videos on Youtube, and else where.  Had college, this that and the other thing to get me where I am today.  I have been researching this on my own & experimenting on my own, and as I did over the years I saw a huge upswing in the information, both on the internet and in paperback.  While it is good, IMO, at the same time, like the internet, it is a "Wild West" moment and there are a lot of charlatans on the web & giving courses. 

In the last 5 years alone, the amount of sudden permaculture farms, organic farms (including those who use RoundUp) and so on have taken a huge upswing turn.  I would be astonished if anyone hasn't seen this occurring.

Like art & permaculture, we are on 2 sides of a hedgerow.    Either way, we are both happy doing what we love aren't we?
ryan112ryan McCoy


Joined: Aug 23, 2010
Posts: 45
Does anyone know a solid PDC offered on the East Coast?  Ideally in North Carolina. 

I have wanted to take one, have been tempted to fly to the West Coast, but the environment is very different so many of the plants talked about might not work here.  Any thoughts?


With in permaculture circles, what is considered to be the top tier PDC?  link to their site?
len gardener


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: sub-tropics downunder
i dunno to me it is an unstructured curriculum, with no meaning in the greater community more so than a piece of paper to hang on the wall, every one who does a course then takes on that they too can try and earn some money and run their own course. bottom line it is a way of trying to sell permaculture and a way that frightens many new players off due to over emphasis of something that can be learnt from a book. as one person in the US said he paid for a course to learn that he was really a paying woofer doing the course holders projects. and that learning was more just grab a book from the library and read it, his final comment if nothing else it was a different paid holiday.

unless there is a career path then a certificate is only a piece of paper.

we need to get back to grass roots level and make permaculture relevent in the greater community not just in an all but exclusive club. i have had many write andask me where they can get involved in pemaculture where there is not talk of the need for courses. one person said in one group if you don't do a course then you really don't understand pemaculture, sounds like judging others by one's own merits.

i saw p/c introduced on local tv app' 30 years ago i've seen show ponies supposedly representing p/c on noon day tv stages, more like their moment of glory in front of the camera, would be totally surprised if anyone took anymore away from that stage act than how it looked.

currently looks like a somewhat sinister side emerging as the heirachy align themselves and their followers with fringe political parties.

when ego's rule.

if you don't like what i say that is your right as much as it is my right to voice my feelings and concerns.

len


--

len

With peace and brightest of blessings,

"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."

http://www.lensgarden.com.au/

<img src="http://www.lensgarden.com.au/peregrine_falcon.jpg">
ryan112ryan McCoy


Joined: Aug 23, 2010
Posts: 45
gardenlen wrote:
i dunno to me it is an unstructured curriculum, with no meaning in the greater community more so than a piece of paper to hang on the wall, every one who does a course then takes on that they too can try and earn some money and run their own course. bottom line it is a way of trying to sell permaculture and a way that frightens many new players off due to over emphasis of something that can be learnt from a book. as one person in the US said he paid for a course to learn that he was really a paying woofer doing the course holders projects. and that learning was more just grab a book from the library and read it, his final comment if nothing else it was a different paid holiday.

unless there is a career path then a certificate is only a piece of paper.


if you don't like what i say that is your right as much as it is my right to voice my feelings and concerns.

len


Certainly good points, while books are good, I would like to get some hands on training.  It is almost like learning math, we could just get a used book and teach it to ourselves, but sometimes it is easier to have a teacher there.  Different learning styles come into play with this I suppose.  Here in Charlotte I can't seem to find anyone to even talk with about permaculture. 

As for the cost of it, I run a community garden and we have a fund for training money, so I won't be footing the bill, just need to take the time to do it, which seems like a good deal to me. 
len gardener


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: sub-tropics downunder
you have forums like this to discuss things with, permaculture after all is simply common sense in action. equating p/c to maths is like comparing chalk with cheese.

spending any money if it is unwise is no recommendation.

but anyway you have made the decision.

len
ryan112ryan McCoy


Joined: Aug 23, 2010
Posts: 45
I would still like to hear others recommendations on PDC's particularly on Easter Coast
Kerrick McCoy


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
I don't think I would trust someone who had learned permaculture from a book. At minimum, you need a book and a lab—somewhere to try out what you're reading and see if it will actually work. And people who don't have a lab of their own, in particular, can really benefit from a course.

Another benefit of a course is the chance to test your ideas with other people. Without testing the ideas you're developing as a response to your reading, it's easy to go way off base in interpreting the material.

The benefit of learning something in a school or a course should always be the deeper education that comes from joining a community of practice, not a piece of paper.

That said, I'm concerned about some courses. Some of the folks in my teacher training course reported having been very disappointed with a particular organization. Incidentally, that organization had their PDC course students actually defect en masse to join another class with whom they were temporarily sharing a site. We agreed that students tend to "fire" you if you're a teacher who clearly doesn't know what you're talking about, or if they're not learning due to difficulties with your style. But even so, it's clear that some people are willing to risk it, whether it's because they overestimate their own competence or because they're actually running a scam and wager that the number of people who will demand their money back will be less than the number who will pay.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Kerrick wrote:
I don't think I would trust someone who had learned permaculture from a book.


Would you trust them if they learned it from a book, applied it to their own life and garden and could show you their results?

My criteria for a permaculture teacher would be have they applied it to their own life and can they show me the results.  In other words, can I see their garden? 


Idle dreamer

Kerrick McCoy


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
That's what I meant by "lab"—someplace where you are applying what you've learned and testing it for results.
len gardener


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: sub-tropics downunder
no need to waste money to compare or get an idea what someone is doing, no ones right to judge another's achievements or efforts. the only lab' if a lab' is needed is forums like this. we learn from one another, nothing to be paid for.

len
Kerrick McCoy


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
Really, len? You think I could learn everything I need about permaculture from this board? And then go on to teach it, having never walked into a garden? With respect, I disagree. I need some ground to test what I'm learning, or I won't really know it, I'll just be regurgitating hearsay. And I think if someone proposed to teach me some information that they had learned from a message board and had never tested, I'd be very suspicious. It might be good information—but as Ludi mentioned, how do you know unless you see the results?
len gardener


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: sub-tropics downunder
that's the real catch in this whole sell permaculture saga, get a piece of paper then when one has it they automatically have the right to sell their own course, that's how it is all of a sudden that paper says they are educators and have license to hold courses. so forget grassroots go right to the upper echalon.

the way i and many others see it sad for permaculture.

len
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
I don't think there's a big deal about getting a certificate or not, personally.  If people like the courses and can afford them, that's great, they should take a course.  The way I see it, a big part of permaculture is sharing ideas and experience.  That can be done for free or for money, as people prefer.  I don't personally think a big deal should be made about any kind of "selling permaculture" thingy.  I just don't see it as that much of a problem.  If permaculture has gotten a reputation as something that has to be bought and sold, then I think it's even more important that places like permies.com exist where people can share ideas freely. 

Kerrick McCoy


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
I would hate to see only two polarities considered—that either the only way to learn permaculture is to pay a lot of money for a traditional PDC course and get a certificate that proves you've learned it, or permaculture is something you can learn just by talking to people on a message board and any attempt to judge relative skill or insist on actually applying the information is mere elitism. There are other models. There are after school permaculture classes being held for impoverished schoolkids in inner city San Francisco. There's a permaculture program at a city college in Oakland. There are permaculture classes for inmates in prisons. These are all valid ways of reaching people who aren't likely to take the 10/12/14 day intensives. There's also a necessity for places to share information freely and without much restriction, and there's a necessity for some critical thinking about what people are presenting under the name of "permaculture".

I think real understanding of permaculture happens on three channels: intellectual understanding, practical application, and creative innovation. Different people are likely to pick things up more quickly on one channel or another—one person might be quick to grasp the information at an intellectual level but have a hard time with the kind of thinking necessary to apply it to a site themselves. Different people are also likely to do more work on different channels—some people might get just a little exposure to the ideas but then apply permaculture to their own site for years and years. But I think everyone needs at least a little of each in order to develop thorough understanding, not just of permaculture but any complex body of information. So to me, it wouldn't be enough to know that someone's read the books and talked a lot to people. I've read the books and talked a lot to people, but until I had spent time on a permaculture site doing the work, I didn't know what I was missing.

It's like learning a second language—you can learn to do the exercises in your grammar book, but until you try to have a real conversation with a native speaker, you don't know what you don't know. And once you're basically conversational, it takes another step to be able to innovate—come up with creative new ways to apply the language, in poetry for instance.

I think to be able to teach permaculture effectively, one needs to be able to function on all three channels to some degree. Teachers have students who need work on each channel. You have to be able to teach them not just the basic information, but how to apply it, and in the end how to think for themselves and solve new problems.

Any form of teaching permaculture that does all these things is valid and likely to be effective, no matter what it looks like or whether it results in a certificate.
ryan112ryan McCoy


Joined: Aug 23, 2010
Posts: 45
Kerrick wrote:

I think real understanding of permaculture happens on three channels: intellectual understanding, practical application, and creative innovation. Different people are likely to pick things up more quickly on one channel or another—one person might be quick to grasp the information at an intellectual level but have a hard time with the kind of thinking necessary to apply it to a site themselves. Different people are also likely to do more work on different channels—some people might get just a little exposure to the ideas but then apply permaculture to their own site for years and years. But I think everyone needs at least a little of each in order to develop thorough understanding, not just of permaculture but any complex body of information. So to me, it wouldn't be enough to know that someone's read the books and talked a lot to people. I've read the books and talked a lot to people, but until I had spent time on a permaculture site doing the work, I didn't know what I was missing.

Any form of teaching permaculture that does all these things is valid and likely to be effective, no matter what it looks like or whether it results in a certificate.


Very good points, I really like you break down of the three parts: Intellectual, practical and innovation. Couldn't agree more.  But I would say this, of the three, it is the innovation aspect that is most crucial.  If you think about it, Permaculture focuses a lot on philosophies or abstract concepts, it doesn't do a lot of step by step procedures and this is by design.  So the real test, the real meat of the subject is where you take these things and innovate from them.  Without innovation, you have missed the bulk of the learning. 

Second comment for you is this, for a long time the body of knowledge was largely exchange through talking about it, before the books, the websites, the courses or certificates.  So I feel there is some value in just talking about it, but I do also feel that since this school of thought is ever evolving, the formalizing of the knowledge in books, websites, and courses brings an aspect of peer review, consolidating knowledge into structured curricula, bring about debate, and thus I feel is better for it. 
rbrgs McCoy


Joined: Nov 22, 2010
Posts: 11
It can take a whole lifetime to learn about one place.  How can people who aren't farmers grow roots?
Matthew Fallon


Joined: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 307
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
    
    1
ryan112ryan wrote:
Does anyone know a solid PDC offered on the East Coast?  Ideally in North Carolina. 


contact these folks at southeastern PC gathering, in celo NC, outside asheville.
i was at the 08' gathering there, wonderful bunch. lot of PC buzz around ash.
http://www.southeasternpermaculture.org/index.html


Baldwin Organic Garden Share  Our home-based garden cooperative.  Tribal Wind Arts Rustic Furniture  & Artisan-Craftwork from reclaimed suburban trees
Kerrick McCoy


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
How can people who aren't farmers grow roots?


Yeah... Good question. A few people in urban areas are working on "permanent (agri)culture" for temporary residents—permaculture for renters. There's a temporary permaculture site in the middle of San Francisco which is being considered as one design component of a permanent site that theoretically encompasses the whole city. One can test one's knowledge on sites one is invited to work on for pay or as an intern or through some other arrangement. In the long term, though, for those who don't have access to land ownership, clearly alternative models are needed.

Ryan: I totally agree.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
what if the clients had a stake in defining the course programs?

as teachers, to offer the PDC, folks are obliged to cover the 72 hours of Mollisonian curriculum. thats simply reasonable and respectable. At the same time Ive heard so many questions raised-  ones that I feel are valid or better- about course content, how site specific and regionally specific the course's focus is, or if/how the PDC serves the registered clients....

I am co teaching a PDC on Vashon Island, Washington, from the last weekend in April through the first weekend in June. Im co teaching with Emet Degirmenci.  Were creating a hands on emphasis for most of the course subject matter- teaching theory through hands on applications.  (links will with registration info will be posted by late December).

For those intent of taking a PDC  in the next two years, what do you want to see? Seriously, what questions do you have and will you ask?

if you've taken a  PDC,  what would like to have discussed that you didn't see- please realize that PDC's are very unique from one another nad your inquiry may be adressed in PDC's I havent taught. And I would invite other teachers to chime in on that tip.

Our course will be on Vashon Island, and is weekends from the last weekend of April through the first weekend of June, minus memorial day weekend. Evolution is far more effective than revolution.


give energy to growth.


Please weigh in on how we can co-evolve.

thank you!

Deston
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
I've been thinking about taking a PDC course offered in London Ontario in 2011. I'd like to see an emphasis on farm scale forest gardening, earthworks for passive irrigation (or passive irrigation methods in general), and guild/polyculture building and existing examples. I feel like I have only the most basic grasp on these subjects and since I'm self taught, I have a lot of doubts about whether my conclusions and assumptions are correct.


http://www.greenshireecofarms.com
Zone 5a in Central Ontario, Canada
Joop Corbin - swomp


Joined: Jan 01, 2010
Posts: 172
Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
    
    1
Hey travis, i would consider this thoroughly,
because,
I feel like I have only the most basic grasp

A PDC never goes past a basic grasp... which can leave you with some disappointment.

Unless you know of a place giving PDC courses where experience with forest gardening, earthworks and guilds/polyculture is high, some kind of site where they have done these things.

I have done several PDC's and find that mostly they are about getting a basic grasp, depending on the interest and field of knowledge of the teachers certain subjects will be covered better...

(this doesnt mean i dont advise people to go to a PDC, for getting a basic understanding they are great)


land and liberty at s.w.o.m.p.
www. swompenglish.wordpress.com
Koreen Brennan


Joined: Jul 26, 2009
Posts: 27
It's true you can learn a lot from these types of forums and from studying on your own. Experience with the natural world is the best teacher of all.  But a course can help shorten the time period of learning and that's why I've made a point to study with mentors from the beginning and learn from their errors and wisdom. It shortened my learning curve by many years, I'm quite sure.  And that is my goal when I teach a course - to give people the tools and understandings that will enable them to shorten their learning curve by years.  That, I believe, is worth the admission fee. 

A key point of the course is learning how to do a permaculture design - all the logisticis of it as well as the creative process.  Done right, a good design can shave years off of whatever project you're working on, not to mention thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, tons of material, plant and animal lives, etc.  It can also get you up and running and making money with it a lot faster if that's what you want to do with permaculture.

We give mentoring on all those points - a designer's career (if that's what you want), how to grow food for money, financial permaculture, social permaculture, etc.  Our organization is forming an incubator for those who want to make a career with permaculture in the area. 

We emphasize practical application with the key, fundamental basics and also cover where the best places are that you can find the rest of the stuff that we don't cover (keeping in mind the subject covers virtually every element of human systems).  And that is also worth the price of admission - it took us years and hundreds of hours of research to compile that knowledge.

You can also learn specific skill sets from specific permie teachers - their areas of expertise tend to be emphasized in the course. 

I know people who never have done the course who have great gardens and go off grid or near to it, and people who have done it who do almost nothing with the subject.  But I've never had anybody tell me, no matter how much they had read or how much they had already done, that it wasn't worth it to do the design course.

I also love diversity and think that if people would rather learn on their own, more power to them.  Good for you!  Wish there were more like you.  There are lots of people on this planet who could use this knowledge and really not enough teachers/mentors/people willing to share info for free to go around when you look at it that way.  Even a badly taught permie class might be better than nothing. 

Cory Brennan
permacultureguild.us
jleslie Hatfield


Joined: Jan 03, 2011
Posts: 2
Permaculture is only a patented term coined by the owners. When I looked into the guts of this system, I realized I was taught the same principles, practices and ideology in my graduate coursework in Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona California, (now called the Center for Sustainable Studies).

I could teach a similar workshop to Permaculture without calling it such, but I wonder if "principles of sustainable site planning for your personal homestead" would sound as sexy as Permaculture Design Certification. I think many people who have an interest in gardening like to learn and learn about more advanced topics related to basic gardening.

As a practicing landscape contractor and designer for homeowners, I question how many people actually put these principles into practice full on. A true permaculture design is site specific and its fruition is a long term solution that evolves... the average homeowner seems to be to transient to see through a true version of Permaculture.

I've had a difficult time trying to sell water conservative designs and rainwater harvesting let alone full blown permaculture... Perhaps my clientele is not "green" enough. On the other hand, those green clients are often do it yourself types who have limited funds and perhaps are the best candidates to attend a permaculture workshop. Conventional selling of permaculture principles that get built seem awfully expensive.

I'm trying to figure out how I as a landscape contractor can incorporate permaculture into my business offerings. What do you think would sell and be practical. Would the client have to have a good understanding of permaculture in order to realize the value?

I appreciate anyone's' input.. thanks in advance.
Koreen Brennan


Joined: Jul 26, 2009
Posts: 27

Cal Poly has had a lot of interaction with permaculturists, got many ideas from that science.  If you're working with paying clientele, then you do have some restrictions based on what they think is important. I personally found that I didn't want to spend a lot of time enlightening people so I could plant a permaculture garden for them, so I went into teaching and am doing it that way. Then they can do their own permaculture garden   And I'm doing my own, my way.

But to answer your question, the more I show them the personal advantage to them, the more elements they want of the permaculture system. There is that selfish element to the culture. So, I show them money savings, health benefits, stuff that is very real to them. It isn't too hard with all the toxins in water supply, GMO food, etc, etc and rising utility and food prices to find a button that gets them interested.  Depending on the neighborhood I've also appealed to base things like "You will be the first in your neighborhood to have a forest garden!  Everyone will envy you!"  It has actually worked!  Or dress up like an Indiana Jones movie star and carry an esoteric icon with you that has a cool name and helps you do the design (ok, this worked in California, maybe not everywhere .

I'm being a bit tongue in cheek here, a long day at the computer and I needed some levity and steam blowing. So I hope you can read between the lines and get something out of this. 

Cheers,

Cory
permacultureguild.us



jleslie wrote:
Permaculture is only a patented term coined by the owners. When I looked into the guts of this system, I realized I was taught the same principles, practices and ideology in my graduate coursework in Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona California, (now called the Center for Sustainable Studies).

I could teach a similar workshop to Permaculture without calling it such, but I wonder if "principles of sustainable site planning for your personal homestead" would sound as sexy as Permaculture Design Certification. I think many people who have an interest in gardening like to learn and learn about more advanced topics related to basic gardening.

As a practicing landscape contractor and designer for homeowners, I question how many people actually put these principles into practice full on. A true permaculture design is site specific and its fruition is a long term solution that evolves... the average homeowner seems to be to transient to see through a true version of Permaculture.

I've had a difficult time trying to sell water conservative designs and rainwater harvesting let alone full blown permaculture... Perhaps my clientele is not "green" enough. On the other hand, those green clients are often do it yourself types who have limited funds and perhaps are the best candidates to attend a permaculture workshop. Conventional selling of permaculture principles that get built seem awfully expensive.

I'm trying to figure out how I as a landscape contractor can incorporate permaculture into my business offerings. What do you think would sell and be practical. Would the client have to have a good understanding of permaculture in order to realize the value?

I appreciate anyone's' input.. thanks in advance.

vangstrt Hatfield


Joined: Apr 30, 2011
Posts: 3
paul wheaton wrote:
Maybe somebody more knowledgeable than I can answer this.

My impression is that somewhere there is official content that is covered at every PDC (permaculture design course).

It seems that the old norm was a 14 day intensive course. 

Now I see a lot of PDC's where it is one weekend a month for seven months. 




I feel like everyone needs to learn permaculture, it is at the core of how we need to be living our lives. At the moment it has not been centralized and controlled, thank god, nature changes constantly and permaculture will be following nature. I think a PDC is getting the idea out there, let people do with what they will, cause they will, to try and define the ever changing goes against permaculture and nature. One day PDCs will be like kindergarten and will be second hand knowledge.
 
 
subject: what is a permaculture design course (PDC)
 
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