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Winter Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course at Zaytuna Farm


Photo Credit: Ingrid Pullen

Do you think it is time to look at the world from a different perspective? Do you know what the problems facing humanity are but have no idea how and where and what to start with? Do you want to change your life to a more sustainable, self-sufficient and enjoyable experience? Or maybe you only want to learn about organic home food production, eco-friendly home design and construction, energy conservation and recycling, or water harvesting and management.

Well, a PDC, short for Permaculture Design Certificate course, is probably your best starting point. Now if you don’t know what Permaculture is in the first place, you can easily Google it and have many explanations of the word and practices involved, including permanent agriculture, or permanentculture, and the design of ecosystems to be productive while working with mother nature not against her, remembering that we need diversity to give more stability and resilience for the ecosystem we are designing and living in.

Now if you ask me, Permaculture is a way of life and the only solution to the problems facing the generations coming after us. We are part of the earth’s ecosystems, but we are the only species capable of endangering and destroying the ecosystems we depend on for our existence.


Dave and I inspecting soil quality in a Keyway during a dam installation.

The most important task through humanity’s history was to figure out ways to extract resources from the ecosystems in which people lived in to maintain life — food, clothing, shelter, and energy. The problem was that these human societies throughout history didn’t balance the various demands against the ability of the ecosystem to withstand the pressure of extraction. Earth is a closed system, with only one energy input, sunlight, and photosynthesis being the only process by which this energy is transformed into living matter in plants and certain types of bacteria.

So the only saviors for our human existence and all ecosystems we live with are photosynthesizers (plants), and the only way to guarantee their survival is to learn how to grow them and manage them in resilient ecosystems far from the excessive use of fossil fuels and fertilizers, and starting your own localized food chain from these photosynthesizers instead of depending on fossil fueled protein resources from across our earth. That is why I consider permaculture a way of life.

You can be an accountant and a Permie, you can be a bus driver and a Permie and of course you can be a farmer and a Permie. A PDC is something that all these Permies share. So if you want to be part of this circle of Permies, which is getting bigger and bigger by the day, don’t hesitate. It will be two weeks that will change your life forever.

Here are some of the many subjects we will take you through and show you in the real life Permaculture example that is Zaytuna Farm (one of the longest standing Permaculture Demonstration Sites in the world!)

Chicken Tractors
Banana Circles
Compost Tea
Swales and Water Harvesting

Cold Climate
Tropical Climate
Arid Drylands

Broad Acre
Small Acreage
Backyard Gardening

Patterns, Zones
Food Forests

What you learn in a Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) is how to piece together this jigsaw puzzle of ethics, methods, principles, and techniques and end up realising after only two weeks how it all fits in together in what is called a Permaculture Design.

You will learn how to become a designer of abundance through appropriate solutions.

If you want to become a Permaculture practitioner, or a designer and consultant, or maybe even a teacher, where better to start than in a leading Permaculture demonstration site, learning with people who are living it everyday in the field, in the muck, harvesting water, growing their food, and restoring the land.

Bill Mollison once wrote,

“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds, and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.”


Dave and I after a long day of stitching and filling rock gabions.

Dave and I met at Zaytuna Farm, the home of the Permaculture Research Institute. He was here working with Geoff Lawton laying down some of the infrastructures while I was training new volunteers on the farm’s systems. I was eager to get the chance to work with him and learn from his practical skills but didn’t get the chance at that time. Time passed, and Dave kept coming back to Zaytuna Farm, teaching on the internships, PDCs and we even once filled some rock gabions together!

We are very excited to be teaching this PDC together. It will be one of cooperation and harmony and we are hoping that you will join us and the growing nation of permaculturists and be part of the movement that Bill Mollison envisioned.

To join us on the 6th of July at Zaytuna Farm or for more information on this course please see HERE.

David Spicer teaching at Tiger Hill Permaculture Earthworks course in Tasmania


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