What is permaculture?
There are a lot of definitions. Some people say permaculture is working with nature or even “beyond sustainable design.” A lot of people think that permaculture is just about gardening or growing food, and parts of it are, but in fact a better description is “a design system which solves problems.” One that we are especially comfortable with is: “Permaculture is an ethical system which re-integrates humans with the natural world.”
Permaculture incorporates: natural systems, built systems and energy use, social dynamics, and culture. It favors building biological diversity into our lives and limiting the use of materials which are extracted from the earth in a destructive manner. It encourages us to work with each other in participatory, affirming manner which considers future generations.
This course is will help you in generating an initial set of goals, that can then be a take-off point for an initial permaculture design; to be re-evaluated, re-worked, and then implemented. Before we even start to articulate permaculture design goals we will need to take an assessment of the reality that surrounds us. This helps shape the goals from general “ethics” into specific actions to take and will give your goals a firm grounding in reality.
Subscribe with your email to enroll in the free “Introduction to Permaculture” course, over the next six weeks, delivered to your inbox. Each email includes a video and specific questions to help you begin your own journey towards a specific permaculture design for you, your family, and your situation. This is just for the course, we won’t send you any additional emails through this list.
Who is this for?
- Homeowners, farmers, and neighborhood leaders
- Systems thinkers: those who want to work on problem-solving and learning design skills
- Those interested in conservation and ecosystem health
- Urban, suburban, and rural people of all kinds
- People considering having some design work done for them or considering taking a permaculture course.
The outline of our course:
- Systems Thinking & Pattern Language sets the stage – You need to see the big picture before you start
- Patterns dives into understanding patterns in nature and patterns in culture – You need to be able to identify the pieces that you can work with
- Local Ecosystem gives us the opportunity to identify those patterns (or their absence) around us, and also gives us a chance to define what we’re working with – You need to zoom into your specific situation
- Climate & Biogeography looks at the larger patterns around us and the influence they have on our ecosystem – You need you see the larger influences in your situation
- Microclimate shows us how special conditions around us can enhance or mitigate the larger climate around us – address limiting factors (challenges to meeting our design goals) in our systems – You need to see how your local situation can be steered towards welcoming or rebuffing the energies from the larger systems around us
- Goals with a view of the patterns to details we can make changes grounded in reality but that also help us work in the direction of our overall vision
- Next Steps is an opportunity to look back at what this course has accomplished and where we can take that in the future.
By the end of this course you should be able to:
- Understand the use of defining the system you are working with (for example, a small urban farm in a temperate zone)
- Understand the importance of systems thinking to good design
- How patterns in nature and patterns in culture help us identify the health of, the need to, and parts through which we can change a system
- The local ecosystem–what is going on around you and how to understand how to begin to influence it based on natural patterns and systems
- Understand how climate and biogeography contribute to what is possible at your site, now and into the future
- Bring the larger pattern of climate down to the ground (quite literally) and look at the microclimates and niches which provide opportunity in your own system.
- Articulate your design goals
- Understand how all of this brings us towards more regenerative lifestyles and a healthier future