Ourganics Spring Permaculture Design Course
8th February - 31st May 2020 (six weekends)
Non-Residential, with glamping/camping and local B&B options
Can't make these dates?
Why do a PDC?
If you are looking to make significant positive changes in your life, then the permaculture design course will almost certainly help you. This practical course provides you with a broad introduction to the applications of permaculture in a number of different situations, from food production to community structures, and alternative currencies to eco-housing. The course culminates in the main design activity that helps to consolidate all of the learning and empower you to take permaculture back into your home, life and community.
We will be using practical, experiential and theoretical teaching methods to create a fun, lively and inclusive experience. In addition to traditional lecture-style teaching, we use group work, discussions, observation exercises, guided walks, practical activities, videos, and slide shows as learning methods. These are supportive of different learning styles and for people with learning difficulties. We also visit projects where permaculture theory is being put into action.
As a group we will benefit from collaborative learning and from spending time together. We don't expect any previous knowledge and recognise that everyone has their own unique skills, knowledge and areas of interest to bring to the course.
This course is for anyone who believes that we need to find ways to better care for ourselves, for each other and for the Earth.
For more details about course content contact Aranya
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What you will learn
- Why permaculture is particularly relevant today
- What nature can teach us about meeting our all needs more effectively and sustainably
- The ethics and principles that underpin permaculture and inspire harmonious designs that work with nature
- Simple techniques for caring for soil, water, trees and animals
- How to improve your own food security, including permaculture gardening and farming methods
- How permaculture can make cities healthier and more productive places to live
- Techniques for building eco-friendly, low impact homes and how to design them into the landscape, minimising both pollution and unnecessary work
- What really constitutes ‘appropriate’ technology
- Some effective, low-tech surveying tools to analyse and map the landscape
- How to make the best use of space and slope in land-based permaculture designs
- How to apply permaculture thinking to social structures, including alternative economies
- How to achieve bountiful yields with a minimum of effort and create win-win situations rather than trade offs
- How to start using permaculture in your own life and community, to create a more sustainable lifestyle
- And much, much more!
During the second half of the course you will be guided in small groups through a permaculture design process, applying what you have learned to produce an original design on the site. This experience will help you to later apply it in creating further designs for your own home, garden or business.
‘The teaching style was responsive to the different learning styles and personalities within the group. It felt that everyone was receiving information and able to contribute in a way that worked for them'
-Trish Taylor (Ourganics PDC Graduate)
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During the course we'll also be visiting other projects where permaculture thinking is being put into action - a local smallholding with a beautiful eco self-build, and a very average bungalow eco-retrofitted to a high standard by a retired engineer.
Venue and themes
Ourganics Evolving Systems constitutes five acres of water meadow close to the coast in rural West Dorset. It is a working permaculture project set up by Pat Bowcock in 1999 with its own detailed design that participants will have the opportunity to interact with. It is a venue that has previously hosted many permaculture design courses, and also regularly hosts tours by local schools and groups.
Pat started Ourganics because she wanted to run her own business that was sustainable and debt-free, unlike so many that run in constant debt. She wanted to show that permaculture principles could go hand-in-hand with being Soil Association registered, to create a land-based, self-financing, and viable business, which would provide affordable organic vegetables, herbs, salads, fruit and flowers for the local community, with produce going out directly from the field as well as via farmers' markets, box schemes, farm shops etc.
Ourganics has the extra label "evolving systems" because like anything organic, the project is continually evolving, responding and changing. Ourganics is a fantastic venue for this course and lends itself well to practical demonstrations of permaculture in action.
For those who are especially interested, Ourganics Evolving Systems offers an extra emphasis on social permaculture
and on local, small-scale food production
For more details about the venue
contact Pat at Ourganics on 0790 096 3228
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Dates and Times
The Spring 2020 course will run over six weekends starting at 9.00am (please arrive by 8.30am for a prompt start) on Saturday 8th February to 5.00pm on Sunday 31st May.
The full dates are:
8th/9th and 29th February/1st March, 4th/5th and 25th/26th April, 16th/17th and 30th/31st May.
Sessions will start each day at 9.00am and continue on until around 5.00pm. We'll have an hour for lunch, plus tea breaks during the mornings and afternoons.
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On successful completion of the course, all participants will be awarded the Permaculture Association (Britain)'s internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design.
Attendance of most sessions, plus participation in the design activity is necessary for accreditation.
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Completing his Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design in 2003, Aranya started teaching the following year. He discovered this made his heart sing, so he made it his main focus. Since 2004 he has taught over 90 two-week design courses, something he has no intention of stopping. He feels that it's a privilege to have the opportunity to teach "something that can make a real difference in all our lives".
Aranya is also excited about new ways in which permaculture thinking can help us, developing new courses on using its principles to help us design for optimising our health and creating ethical livelihoods.
In the spring of 2012 Permanent Publications published his first book 'Permaculture Design - a Step-by-Step Guide', which evolved from a set of design course worksheets. He also writes occasionally for magazines and from time to time shares interesting items on his blog. Aranya is currently writing a second book, about a subject he’s especially fascinated by, the application of systems thinking and patterns in permaculture design.
‘As a leading practitioner Aranya understands what it’s like to begin to turn your life around and to continue learning as you put permaculture into practice' Trish Taylor (Permaculture Design Certificate Graduate)
Pat grew up in the Gloucestershire countryside, with a beautiful garden, an orchard, open fields, streams & ponds around her. Over the last twenty years she has been saddened to see whole woodlands cut down and not replaced, old hedgerows taken out to create fields for large machinery. It reflected the lack of respect and consideration we show to each other and the planet we are so much a part of and dependent upon.
This inspired her to look for a piece of land to live in harmony with which she found in the form of a pony paddock in June 1999. Her aim was to create a haven for plants, wildlife, trees and people. Pat realized that she couldn't change the world alone, but she could take responsibility for what she ate, where she slept, her waste, and how she interacted with others. A central element of her intention was people care, planet care and fair share.
Pat set about creating the systems she would need to put these principles into action. She was supported and encouraged by her family and the many people who came to help make Ourganics what it is today. Ourganics Evolving Systems has become her portfolio of design work which in July 2006 earned her the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.