- Permaculture design ethics and principles
- Creating abundance with natural patterns
- Nutrient dense “beyond organic” gardening and farming
- Grow more food with less work by working with nature
- Edible landscaping, food in small spaces
- Building rich, live soils
- Designing sustainable water use
- Greywater and rainwater catchment
- Building food forests
- Agroforestry and ecoagriculture, regenerative farming
- Composting and vermicomposting
- Alternative pest management
- Natural building, regenerative building technology
- Reducing energy costs in your home
- Best forms of sustainable energy
- Appropriate technology
- Boosting your career with permaculture
- Sustainable economics
- Increasing quality of life through “placemaking” design
- Community revitalization and rebuilding
- Successful intentional communities, ecovillages and cohousing, urban and rural
- Do it yourselfers
- Educators – homeschool, teachers, professors
- Green architects/builders
- Green businesses
- Green consultants
- Natural health practitioners
- Non-profit/community organizers
- People seeking a career change
- People who care about the earth and each other
- People who love healthy food Permaculturists
- Policy makers
- Professionals (of many types)
- Recent college graduates
- Religious leaders
- Urban and rural farmers
- Vegan, raw food, slow food, and/or local food
- Yoga practitioners
Below you will find a schedule of Fall 2015 PDC, and some of the highlights that we will cover for each weekend. We provide glossaries, outlines, additional written materials, self-testing material, videos and more, to assist you to access and absorb the information. Please note that there are sometimes changes in this line up based on needs of students/instructor availability (we have sometimes had surprise visits by veteran designers for instance).
Permaculture principles, patterns and design
9 AM to 5 PM
Location: Clearwater, FL (14 Nov TBA, 15 Nov is at Moccasin Lake Park, Clearwater, FL)
Learn to work with nature, instead of against her
Apply permaculture principles and design in any setting or circumstance
Recognize and use the patterns of nature to increase abundance
Get practical tools that can be immediately applied to your life to increase abundance and quality of life
Hands on design techniques – zones, assessments, sectors, mapping, and more
We will cover an overview of the scope of what permaculture is and what it can do for your life and your community
To register for this or all weekends, call Taina at 727-495-6145
Secrets of the natural world – energy patterns of trees, water, land
November 21-22, 2015
9 AM – 5 PM
Special guest instructor
How to bring the magic of nature into every aspect of an urban environment through conscious design
Think like an ecosystem
Climates, strategies for temperate, drylands, tropical, subtropical and changing weather patterns
Rainwater catchment and sustainable water use
The transactions of trees – mimic the powerful energy transactions of trees in your design
Simple secrets of building soils – how to grow lush, healthy plants anywhere
Broadscale applications with water and soil – transforming the landscape
Hands on techniques for preparing your land for regenerative abundance
Growing food sustainably and abundantly
Work with nature instead of against her to create abundant organic gardens
and “food forests” that need little work to maintain.
December 12-13, 2015
9 AM – 5 PM
How to grow food in Florida, the easy way, from seed to harvest
Jump-starting a food supply – feed yourself within one season
Integrated pest management (organic)
How to design and build a Florida friendly forest garden – plant lists, guilds, step by step implementation, propagation, low-water and no-water techniques, and more
Animals in a permaculture system
Hands on techniques
Container gardening, aquaculture, urban farming, agroforestry, small integrated farms, making a living by growing food
Wrap up of food forestry specifics – designing, plant choices, etc
Field Trips and Hands-On Activities
See what is going on locally that will impact our future, get hands on experience,
and define careers and purpose.
Dates – 9-10 January 2016
Get into the garden and plant! Hands on intensive will assist you to integrate classroom learning.
See examples of permaculture in action.
See “green” buildings, organic farms, etc, and get feedback from experts on how to improve the designs using permaculture principles.
The built environment and appropriate technology
January 23-24, 2016
9 AM – 5 PM
Learn to retrofit your built environment to reduce costs and help the environment
Ctting edge “green building” and how to solve problems of the built environment yourself with creative, low cost or no cost solutions.
Natural building techniques
Alternative energy and technology
Appropriate tech workshop – solar power, rocket stoves, and more
Putting it all together – integrating the off grid homestead for maximum production
Financial and social permaculture – invisible structures
February 20-21, 2016
9 AM – 5 PM
Creating a regenerative local economy
Alternative approaches to creating abundance – how and why do time banks, local currencies, etc, work?
Business and community guilds; how to create abundance through connection
Social, economic and energy aspects of city and town life – practical solutions that work
Urban design – visible and invisible structure design for the specific challenges in cities and towns
Community building strategies and social permaculture
Intentional communities, increasing quality of life through permaculture design
Saturday: Disaster permaculture – creating resilient systems, where do we go from here?
March 19-20, 2016
9 AM –56 PM
Efficient ways to create more resilience for yourself, family and community.
Design for disaster – key elements to understand.
Where do we go from here? Options and resources.
Sunday: Really Free Market, design presentations, and afterparty
Bill is a real pioneer species. After taking the first two weeks, on site permaculture design course taught in the state of Florida at age 77, braving primitive conditions and unexpected wind and freezing temperatures to gain the knowledge, Bill started a small book study group on the book Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway, in his home town of St Petersburg. This group helped build a permaculture meetup site to over 500 members, and created a groundswell of permablitzes, backyard and front yard permaculture gardens, and hundreds of people introduced to the concept of permaculture. When it came time to choose a name for themselves, they became Gaia’s Guardians, a fitting name for what this group is doing.
As a veteran native plant landscaper and now a permaculture designer, Bill was the ideal person to help establish a permaculture project at the Faith House, a transitional housing organization with 1/2 acre of land given over to grow food for the participants in the program. Along with Emmanuel Roux, another energetic pioneer, and many volunteers who lent their hands and backs to the project, Bill has created an organic garden paradise on this lot. Complete with several dozen chickens, a kenaf forest to feed them, an exotic looking banana lined and papyrus stocked pond, native pollinator borders, numerous productive vegetable beds and a budding food forest, this plot provides a large amount of food for the Faith House, with leftovers for volunteers. A number of 275 gallon containers catch rainwater from the roof, and a well provides clean water to the garden. The site gives a boost to new community gardens by collecting pallets and dock wood for raised beds, and tools and other materials. You can find Bill working in the garden on just about any Wednesday or Sunday morning, and pitch in and help, if you like.
Bill’s own home permaculture garden is a regular and favorite stop during the permaculture home tour that is organized by Gaia’s Guardians. From the weeping yaupon holly and other beautiful natives, and the huge kale and watermelon growing on his hugulkulture bed in his front yard, to the large abundant backyard overflowing with perennial edibles and potted permaculture plants for sale via his permaculture nursery, to his greywater and rain catchment systems and pond, Bill’s garden is a great example of how permaculture style organic gardening can create abundance, and a real nice place to hang out.
Bill regularly tours permaculture students, school classrooms, and others through the Faith House, and shares his wisdom and experience on creating community through permaculture style gardening, via our Permaculture Design Courses.
Bill has taken his activity up yet another notch as one of the original members and continuing very active member of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition of St Petersburg. This Coalition is a diverse group of individuals from many walks of life who want to see both the city and the environment become healthier and reap all the other benefits available through growing much more local food. Bill heads the Education committee and is very active in the Board selection committee, Community Gardens committee, and as an advisor for new community gardens. Bill’s community involvement is truly inspiring – he has gone above and beyond to bring permaculture to his community.
Eric is one of the more dedicated and enthusiastic designers we have met. He didn’t wait to finish the course, but got one project started during the PDC itself, creating a food garden at a Habitat for Humanity site in Pasco County. He has shown many other people the advantages of permaculture through personal contact and an active permaculture web site, Codegreencommunity.org, that provides support and information to permaculturists in the greater Tampa Bay area. And most recently, he has become co-founder and one of the driving forces of a local food co-op in Pasco – Suncoast Food Co-op. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264378686981983/?ref=ts&fref=ts
He has transformed his yard into a food forest jungle complete with a pond ecosystem and much more – showing his neighborhood how to make food, not lawns. And he is selling the food he grows to the cooperative. How much carbon is he reducing by growing and selling food locally, eliminating thousands of miles of travel and the energy and pollution associated with pesticide and herbicide use, and by setting the example, influencing others to do the same?
We are offering apprenticeship or “shadowing” opportunities to course students in several exciting projects we have ongoing. We are working on all of these from the Tampa Bay area, Florida. There is a lot happening, a lot that needs to be done and if we work together, the sky is the limit!
– Plan and implement a permaculture design for a city park.
– Plan and stage multiple food forests designs for Pine Ridge reservation.
– Work with Greenwood neighborhood on planning a permaculture community garden, and get it created.
– Help with fall planting and ongoing care for an expanding permaculture edible perennials nursery.
– Work on creating and expanding financial permaculture models, including innovative urban farming cooperative ventures, link-up, beneficial connection and integration of permaculture energies around the Bay for mutual benefit, start up businesses that get support from the existing community, time banking, etc.
– Work on community projects, including art gardens, neighborhood place-making, etc.
Last year’s tree planting and gardening at Pine Ridge has led to expanded plans for this year! Our plans include three food forests at Pine Ridge this year, with three different organizations on the rez. We will also help install gardens and give classes on the techniques we’ll be using. We’ll be there from late April to mid-May, . Planting will occur Apr 29, May 1-4 and May 5-9.
We still need volunteers! We have a Kickstarter campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/892430421/pine-ridge-reservation-food-forest-2012-0
Pine Ridge reservation is a “food desert” in the extreme sense of the word. There are almost no organic foods being sold on the reservation. People often have to drive two hours or 100 miles to get organic or fresh vegetables or fruits. Diabetes, heart disease and other diet-related diseases are at epidemic proportions on the rez. The infant mortality and early death rates are some of the worst in the world. Food security is a major issue. The land is harsh – with severe, drying winds, hail in July, and freezes in June and August sometimes. Insect pests are ubiquitous. It can be challenging to grow things on this land.
Food forests are a way of working with nature to create stable ecosystems that grow lots of food. We mimic how a natural ecosystem of trees would behave in this zone. Because this is open prairie land and the main trees are pine forests, we will be experimenting to some degree to create a good microclimate for fruit trees. There are a number of successful orchards around that we are learning from.
Forests create milder temperatures (cooler in summer, warmer in winter), windbreaks, water capture, erosion control, and many other benefits. One can have a small food forest in the backyard, or a larger one on a few acres. Agroforestry is another version of using trees to produce food. There are many advantages to all of these approaches and they can be integrated in the existing ecosystem in ways that enhance the ecosystem.
The Lakota are known for buffalo hunting, but they also traditionally appreciated the wild plant food that grows in the region. We’ll be including native edibles traditionally used by Lakota in our food forest, as well as other fruits and nuts that are of interest.
Food forests provide a food system that mimics the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tradition of the Lakota. We are creating demonstration/experimental forest gardens this year and will continue to document progress, make it publicly available, enhance the forests, and help plant new ones in years to come. This is not a one shot deal!
We need donations of trees, seeds and plants, irrigation piping and equipment, rain catchment containers, and funding for travel and food expenses for experts who will install and educate while there. We also need volunteers to help with planting, and are looking for skilled volunteers to help install irrigation, water catchment, and other systems.
Two members of Grow Permaculture (formerly Permaculture Guild) Koreen Brennan and Bob Lawrason, will be headed to Pine Ridge in late April for approximately three weeks, from the Tampa Bay area. We are looking for other volunteers to come up from the Tampa area to carpool and share travel costs. There will also be volunteers coming from Oregon, Wisconsin, California and elsewhere.
Please consider a tax deductible donation via our donation Pay Pal button.
If you have donations of materials or would like to volunteer, please contact us via the web site!
After a one hour consultation with Koreen, I put in a fantastic vegetable garden using waist high containers over the summer and am hooked on growing my own veggies now. Also I am using the Bokashi method of composting and LOVE it! I then got a grant from our local water and power company to convert my lawn in front to native garden and I’m doing that now! I’m having SOOO much fun with this new game. So, I owe Koreen a big thanks for turning me onto a whole new world. My plant kingdom is truly flourishing! Barb Dakin
We were impressed with the amount of useful information Koreen was able to impart to us in one day of design consulting. We had some ideas and plans for our 5 acre homestead but also a lot of questions. She was able to answer all of them and shared a lot more with us that we did not know was possible or would not have thought of. We love the integrated cob bench design, the detailed plant information, the energy savings ideas, and the water systems suggestions. We are excited about moving forward and can’t wait to try out some of these ideas. Scott and Leslie Brown
Apprenticeship, volunteer and internship programs on Pine Ridge. Read more