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A Permaculture Design Course Model with an Emphasis on Hands-On Experience and Mentoring

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By Warren Brush of Quail Springs Permaculture and Casitas Valley Farm and Creamery

Different models for creatively delivering the standard 72 hour Permaculture Design Course (PDC) curriculum have surfaced over the years to better equip the student for the life long learning journey that permaculture inspires and demands. I have always wanted to move toward a longer term, hands on mentoring PDC where students are immersed in a thriving farm setting in small groups. This happened last year at our family’s Casitas Valley Farm and will happen again this summer.

How does this month-long permaculture Design Course and Farm Apprenticeship look like with myself and over twenty guest facilitators at Casitas Valley Farm from July 5th to August 2nd, 2015? Here is the thumbnail list of subjects that make up our curriculum for the twelve students we accept into the program:

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  • Course logistics, farm orientation and tour
  • Principles of permaculture and resiliency
  • Cultural ecology and pattern learning
  • Building a wheel of life that symbolizes natural patterns
  • Landscape pattern observation exercise
  • Storytelling campfire
  • Ecological processes in nature
  • Permaculture design methodology
  • Element analysis exercise
  • Small property design exercise
  • Indigenous permaculture
  • Patterns in nature and design
  • Herbal medicine and wild harvesting practicum
  • Herbal gardens
  • Water in landscape
  • Forests and biophysical functions
  • Forest/orchard observation walk
  • Climates, biomes and microclimates
  • Earthworks for resiliency
  • Earthworks practicum for surveying, mapping, and layout
  • Bioswale practicum
  • Living soil and the soil food web
  • Compost teas
  • Soil building around the world
  • Thermophyllic compost making and practicum
  • Vermicompost systems and practicum
  • Vermicompost enterprises
  • Animal systems design and practicum
  • Tropical landscape design
  • Temperate landscape design
  • Arid landscape design
  • Appropriate technology
  • Broad acre permaculture
  • Farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR)
  • Keyline systems
  • Holistic management
  • Food forest systems and practicum
  • Tree planting, irrigation and orchard care
  • Grafting and pruning
  • Bee tending and systems design
  • Bee enterprise development
  • Mushroom cultivation
  • Mushroom enterprise development
  • Aquaponics systems and practicum
  • Journey to Quail Springs Permaculture
  • Watershed observation walk
  • Arid land farming strategies and animal systems
  • Natural building systems and practicum
  • Butchering, sanitation and honoring the animal
  • Yogurt, cheesemaking and bread making
  • International development and permaculture
  • Permagardens and practicum
  • Water, waste and opportunity – greywater and rainwater harvesting
  • Greywater system design and practicum
  • Horticulture and permaculture
  • Nursery development, plant starts and seed saving
  • Design project practicum
  • Base map creation
  • Working as a permaculture consultant
  • Invisible structures in permaculture
  • The permaculture movement
  • Bioregional organization
  • Celebration, fearing and certification
  • Wrapping the bundle

In addition to these subjects, the students learn important lessons around community integration, group synergy, and enterprise development.

For more information: https://www.casitasvalley.com

or email: ana@regenerativeearth.com or call 805-649-8179

Warren_Brush

Warren Brush is a mentor, storyteller, educator, and a certified Permaculture designer and teacher. He has worked for over 25 years in inspiring people of all ages to discover, nurture and express their inherent gifts while living in a sustainable manner. He is co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture, Regenerative Earth Enterprises, Sustainable Vocations, Wilderness Youth Project, Casitas Valley Farm and Creamery and his Permaculture design company, True Nature Design. He works extensively in Permaculture education and sustainable systems design and implementation in North America, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Australia. He has taught the following courses: Permaculture Design Certification, Resilient Small Farm Design, Permaculture for International Development, Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Ferro-Cement Tank Building, Spring Rejuvenation and Watershed Restoration, Compost Toilet Systems, Water for Every Farm, Drought Proofing Landscapes, Ecological Restoration, Cultural Mentoring, Introduction to Permaculture Systems, Permaculture Gardening, Food Forestry, and Origins Skills among other offerings. He can be reached through email at warrenbrush@mac.com or by calling his offices at 805-649-8179.

Websites:

www.quailsprings.org

www.permaculturedesign.us

www.casitasvalley.com

Warren Brush

Warren Brush is a global permaculture design consultant, educator, lecturer and storyteller. He has worked for over 25 years in sustainable systems design for communities, private and public organizations, households, small holder farms, and conservation properties worldwide. He is co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture, Regenerative Earth Enterprises, Sustainable Vocations, Wilderness Youth Project, Casitas Valley Farm and Creamery and his Permaculture design company, True Nature Design. He is also an advising founder of the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya. He consults for the USAID’s TOPS (Technical, Operations, Performance Support) program where he trains technical field staff, for their African Food for Peace programs, in a Resilience Design Framework. He works extensively in North America, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Australia. He has taught the following courses: Permaculture Design Certification, Earthworks for Resiliency, Resilient Smallholder Farm Design, Permaculture for International Development, Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Ferro-Cement Tank Building, Community Design Using Permaculture, Permaculture Investing, Spring Rejuvenation and Watershed Restoration, Compost Toilet Systems, Water for Every Farm, Drought Proofing Landscapes, and Ecological Restoration. Contact www.permaculturedesign.us or write: warrenbrush@mac.com. Websites: www.permaculturedesign.us www.quailsprings.org www.casitasvalley.com www.pri-kenya.org

One Comment

  1. Looks amazing. Even though I’ve already done a PDC (2 weeks long, and still I felt was too short), if I were available, in the US, and had the money, I would surely take part.

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