Permaculture in Action
Our brand new and thorough practical training at Zaytuna Farm picks up where the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course leaves off.
The PDC, as we teach it, is an intensive theoretical journey into the essential core concepts and design elements of all aspects of Permaculture. Students of this course undoubtedly emerge inspired and with access to incredible new perspectives on the world around us. This large volume of theory is necessary and teaches the student all of the fundamental components of Permaculture as an entire system.
Which leads us to the most common questions coming out from the PDC:
“How do I develop the skills and confidence I need to get going?”
Our Permaculture in Action course is the answer we have created to these questions.
This thorough five-day training takes the student through five of the core systems we currently run on the farm and teaches the basic practical nuances in running systems, or variations of systems, like these for oneself.
This course is a practical course with a small amount of class time. Around 80% of the time will be working directly in the field gaining the hands-on experience in applied Permaculture.
These systems are:
A solid, functioning nursery is the hub and heart of a Permaculture site. It is in the nursery that we prepare a wide variety of plants ranging from annual vegetable crops, small perennial plants, valuable ground covers, all kinds of support species and our important productive trees.
It is from this heart that a site is able to expand and a good nursery manager is an invaluable asset.
In the nursery component of this course students will learn:
- Basic seed saving
- Potting mixes
- Different propagation methods
- Timing and managing of plantings
- Watering systems
- The use of hardening off stands
Zaytuna Farm hosts several different cropping systems each with a different purpose, function, and approach. The main systems we run are a main crop, kitchen garden, and a tropical garden. It is from these gardens that we obtain the majority of our foods. Students will learn key distinctions in setting up and maintaining an ongoing production system in each of these main cropping areas. Learning components include:
- Correct mulching procedures
- Irrigation systems
- Awareness of seasonal and successional plantings
- The use of poultry tractors in a main crop
- Cropping and scale
- Alternative cropping systems
Integrated Small Animal Systems
Animals are a major component of permaculture and are used to connect elements within the system to one another, provide useful work and give useful products. Here at Zaytuna Farm our small animal systems currently consist of chickens (an almost necessary and incredibly functional component of permaculture), ducks, turkeys and rabbits.
In this section of the course students will learn some of the useful applications of these animals to a permaculture system, particularly in food forest creation, dam/pond maintenance and pasture fertility. We will discuss methods of working with animals to significantly reduce the use of external feeds. Aspects of selection, breeding and processing of animals will also be covered.
Integrated Large Animal Systems
The use of larger animals on a site is an incredibly valuable method of gaining access to and managing large areas of land. Here at Zaytuna Farm our large animals are directed through our creative and highly functional laneway system which allows access to and management of the entire 66 acres of property in an easy manner. Our current large animals are cows, divided into two separate herds for dairy and meat production, and horses.
Students will learn about the management of dairy cows including the process of milking; you will also learn some of the basics of horses and how they can be used to maintain a laneway; and lastly students will learn about the finer points of electric fencing and rotational cell grazing of cattle. Our cows move through the entire site in a specific manner that only allows the herd access to any area of pasture for a maximum period of 1-3 days thus allowing regenerative growth to occur and avoiding problems of compaction and over-fertilisation. Finer points of pasture management and the possibilities of using cows to convert grass lands into forests will also be covered.
The food forest is a signature aspect in the practice of permaculture. At it’s simplest a food forest is exactly what it sounds like, a forest full of food. The dominant aspects of a food forest are fruit and nut trees yet, with good design, all layers of the forest can be turned towards productivity including the understory and even ground covers.
Students will experience establishing new food forest as well as working in mid-term and more established food forest systems thus seeing and learning about some of the finer details of succession and maintenance.
Zaytuna Farm has many sections of food forest at different life stages and students will get an opportunity to walk through, work in and experience these differences at an intimate level.
About the Teachers
The Permaculture in Action course is taught by our senior interns in our Practical Management Certificate. These are the students who have been working, managing, living and breathing the systems for at least 6 months or more and are well trained and experienced in their function. The interns come from a diverse set of background and countries yet all have one thing in common: their passion and drive for Permaculture.
Ben Cains moved to Australia from New Zealand in 2006. He’s now an active member in the Permaculture world.
With a passion for helping people become resilient, responsible for themselves and the environment, Permaculture was the perfect match. Since then he has become the Zaytuna Farm Intern Manager and Geoff Lawton’s P.A. He’s also been taking on consultancy and teaching roles.
Aaron’s interest in permaculture began over 4 years ago when he was introduced to it by a work colleague. This interest grew into a passion over the next year or so and this led to him converting his concrete back yard to an abundant source of healthy food.
Through the available spaces of his friends and family he continued to gain his experience designing and growing food in a variety of situations from large suburban backyards to small urban apartment spaces, the majority of his experiences coming from warm temperate and subtropical environments.
This gives him a constant inspiration to do everything he can to further the awareness and depth of understanding of permaculture practices in Australia and the rest of the world.
Jack Miller is a Permaculture Consultant, Designer and Project Manager. Jack has been interning at Zaytuna Farm, under Geoff Lawton, learning how to create and run a variety of different systems, including crop garden planting and management, cattle cell grazing and pasture management systems, food forest installation and management, plant and animal nursery management and small animal systems such as: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Quails and Rabbits.
Jack worked for a self funded charity project setting up and demonstrating to children how permaculture techniques work. Teaching how to properly design and build a working compost toilet, how to compost materials properly, how to set up a market garden and how to properly use hand tools.
He is currently working on gaining as much experience in Permaculture techniques as possible in order to give the highest quality consultancy, design and implementation he possibly can.
Our intern team, mentored and supported by Geoff Lawton and faculty, will undoubtedly offer an unforgettable and highly informative experience into the practical aspects of Permaculture.
ABOUT THE LOCATION
This course will be taught at Zaytuna Farm, home of The Permaculture Research Institute in The Channon, Northern NSW. As one of the leading Permaculture demonstration sites in the world, Zaytuna Farm has a range of functioning systems including water harvesting, food production, and a very productive animal husbandry. All of which will add to the learning experience and make this course a very rich experience and one not to be missed.
INCLUDED IN YOUR FEES
Your fees include camping accommodation (in self-provided tents), full catering with three meals per day plus morning and afternoon tea, after hours internet access, and an abundance of Permaculture examples throughout one of the most successful permaculture demonstration farms ever built.
WHY DO A COURSE WITH the Permaculture Research Institute?
We live what we teach
Zaytuna Farm is Geoff and Nadia’s home. Permaculture is their life. They are farmers, teachers, and designers who actively pursue positive change in this world within their everyday lives and they are willing and able to share that with you for a more resilient future.
World Class Teachers
Geoff Lawton is the foremost permaculture consultant, designer and teacher and founder of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. Our intern team are mentored and supported by Geoff throughout their internships and they live and teach alongside Geoff and Nadia at Zaytuna Farm. They are highly experienced, active and passionate individuals who are committed to a sustainable future for all.
Zaytuna Farm is a highly active Permaculture demonstration site. It is at the forefront of Permaculture Design and as a student, you will have the unique experience of learning in a place where all the principles are there for you to see, every day of your course.
We support our graduates in a number of ways. We have developed the Global Permaculture Network. Here you will find an interactive database of permaculture practitioners, teachers, consultants and aid workers from all over the world. The potential for constructive networking here is enormous! Create regular updates on your own Worldwide Permaculture Network blog under your profile, to get noticed, receive friendship, encouragement, and tips.
One of Geoff’s favorite phrases is “getting a result” and his results on the ground and with students is impressive. The quality of a PDC course is not evidenced in the teacher, but in how active the students are able to implement the designs after they leave the course and Geoff has the most active PDC students in the world.
Courses offered through the Permaculture Research Institute are based on the permaculture principles laid down in the 1970s by Australian permaculture founder Bill Mollison.
HOW TO ENROL
You can pay for your course now via Paypal or credit card by purchasing a ticket below, or you can contact us at [email protected]. All prices are in Australian dollars, including GST. An early bird discount is available if the course fee is paid 21 days prior to the course start date.
Prior to booking please read our refunds policy.
If you have any questions about this Design Course please contact us.
Please note: PRI recommends that all students and visitors to Zaytuna Farm have a valid tetanus immunization. This is due to Zaytuna Farm being an active farming site.