NEW WEEKEND WORKSHOP – ‘Permacultue Meets Creative Design’ at Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-Village. Click here for a flier about the next one.
Permaculture Design Certificate Courses (PDC’s) have been run by Earthcare Education at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village and around the country since 1990.
In that time Robin Clayfield and Skye, and in later years, Robin and Jenny Allen hosted and presented over 30 of these two week residential courses based on Bill Mollison’s Permaculture Design Course Curriculum. These days Robin prefers to facilitate the learning of Permaculture from a deeper Earth based perspective and to be invited to present a course rather than do all the organizing herself.
Several years ago Robin presented 2 x two week courses for Vital Living International entitled Permaculture, Deep Ecology and Earthcare Design.
These were primarily for Japanese people and were presented using translators in a beautiful venue and environment. These courses supported participants to learn more about living gently on the Earth and inspired Robin to ‘be open’ to continuing to offer Permaculture Courses even though she officially stopped teaching PDC’s (Permaculture Design Courses) to focus on Training Facilitators and Teachers.
In 2005 Robin was invited by ‘Whispering Seed’ to offer this work in Thailand in a remote hill tribe village in Western Thailand. The course spanned 4 weeks and catered for western visitors as well as Thai people with an interest in Permaculture, Mud building, Alternative Education and Thai culture. There was also interest, involvement and support from the hill tribe village folks.
If you twisted Robin’s arm (a lot) she may consider offering the ‘Permaculture, Deep Ecology and Earthcare Design’ course again at your invitation in your area or country.
PERMACULTURE, DEEP ECOLOGY and EARTHCARE DESIGN COURSE.
This is a two week intensive, residential course. The courses run by Earthcare Education are uniquely experiential, being based on active, interactive and people-oriented learning processes, field trips around the local area and practical design exercises.
The aim is not simply to pass on lots of information but rather to encourage and allow participants to learn what they want and need to know and to encourage growth, on individual, community, ecological and social levels, using creative techniques rather than a lecture format.
The course will enable participants to develop the competencies and skills needed to design and implement sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible systems and to help people connect more deeply with the Earth and the local environment..
Our courses are designed to make learning an interesting, exciting and fun experience.
The interactive, people-centred approach used by Earthcare means that we do not set a rigid curriculum, but allow course participants to determine the program for the two weeks.
Topics which have been covered in previous courses include:
Principles of Permaculture
Topography – and how it affects us, how to read the landscape
Water – conservation, treatment, storage, use and recycling
Soils – structure, symbiosis, fertility cycle, improvement
Resource use, re-use, re-cycling and Earthcare philosophy
Design for catastrophe
Social systems – how they affect us, how we can change them
Energy – flow, use, generation….
Financial systems – and their alternatives (LETS)
Animals – designing them into our system
Garden Design and Strategies
Orchard Layout and Retrofit
Integrated Pest Management
Urban Strategies/ Co-housing
Land Form and Microclimates
Forests – natural and planned
Deep Ecology and connecting with the Earth
Building – designing for your lifestyle
Appropriate Technologies and Communications
Bio-regionalism and Local Action
Designing with the Patterns of Nature
Bio-dynamics and Earth energies
Spiritual Aspects within Permaculture and caring for the Earth
Practical Design Exercises
and lots of fun.
Earthcare Education’s PDC courses, (30 of which were run over 12 years from 1989) were led by Robin Clayfield and Skye, with the last 5 being led by Robin and Jenny Allen. Skye and Jenny’s Bio’s at the time and a list of Guest Presenters that were involved over the 12 years is included for your information below. For Robin’s Bio see the About Us page.
Skye (B. Sc. hons., Dip Perm.) – Since completing his Design Course fifteen years ago Skye has been involved in many Permaculture Projects including city farms, food co-operatives, recycling programs (Maleny Wastebusters) and education campaigns. Since he moved to Crystal Waters nine years ago he has been actively involved in the administration and social development of both the immediate community and the wider community. Over the last 7 years he has, in conjunction with Robin played a central role in the development and implementation of the new interactive, ‘people-oriented’ method of teaching Permaculture. Other interests include participatory design processes, ceramics, computer communications, deep ecology and writing. Skye has spent much of 1996 & 1997 working and teaching Permaculture in Mexico, in the high dry plateau area of the Bajio.
In 1993 both Robin Clayfield and Skye were awarded the Permaculture Community Service Award for “vision and work forming an essential and selfless contribution to the promotion of Permaculture…”
Jenny Allen is a co presenter/producer of the latest comical Permaculture video “Eat Your Garden”. She co-edited the innovative educational “Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively”. As a lawn avoiding citizen she converted her garden into an abundance of bushfoods, exotic fruit trees, a rainforest, cabinet timbers, vegetables and herbs. She specializes in bushfoods, forest regeneration, fruit trees, community development and exciting educational techniques.
Crystal Waters is the home of many people with extensive skills and knowledge in many areas of Permaculture. Where appropriate some of these people may be called in as guest resource people during the course. In any region there are special people who can lend their skills and knowledge to a course.
Past appearances have included:-
Steve McLeisch- Trust Games and Rhythm
Hans Erken- Bamboo, Aquaculture and Site Visit
Kim Dunlop- Environmental Artist
Eric Keirnan- Economystics
Robert Thorley- Socio-drama
Nigel Parratt- Wastebusters
Yvonne Tolley- First-aid from the Garden
Barry Goodman- Living Environment Design and Site Visit, Appropriate Technology
Guboo Ted Thomas- Aboriginal Elder
Dave Blewett- Arid Land Stratagies
Phil Smith- Garden Site Visit
Fred Kohl – Mud Brick Dome Construction & Site Visit
Neville Ackland- Mud Brick Dome Construction
Wayne Wodsworth- Permaculture in El Salvador
Barb Knudsen- Permaculture in Palestine
Robena McCurdy – Permaculture Patterns, Permaculture in South Africa
Dean Cameron – Composting Toilets
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is an integrated process of design which results in an environment that is sustainable, balanced and aesthetic.
The design itself pays particular attention to the interrelationships between the elements and processes within the system to ensure a stable, functional and high-yielding system.
It encourages restoration of the balance to the eco-systems which support us, through the common-sense application of ecological principles and strategies. Much of its inspiration comes from natural ecologies, indigenous approaches to the land, as well as modern scientific research.
Permaculture is fundamentally very practical, and can be equally applied to urban balconies, small acreage farms, large properties, natural areas, economic strategies and social systems.
As a process it is a synthesis of ecology, geography, anthropology, sociology, observation and design.
Developed by Tasmanian ecologist, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren over 30 years ago, it is now practised and taught all around the world.
Many of the 30 PDC’s conducted by Earthcare Education were held at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village
Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-Village
Crystal Waters is the World’s first Village to be designed and implemented according to the landscape design principles of Permaculture from the beginning.
It is situated at the headwaters of the Mary River, 27km from the thriving town of Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland of Queensland.
While it is still early days in the development of the community, there is much to see and do for people interested in Permaculture, with various gardens, tree plantings, innovative housing and some commercial crops.
It is also our home (along with some 250 other people) and is not normally “open” to the public. Courses held at the Village are a unique opportunity to temporarily become part of the Crystal Waters Family and to experience Permaculture as it manifests at Crystal Waters.
Who Can Attend
There are no prerequisites. To get the most out of the course we recommend people be familiar with the “Introduction to Permaculture” by Bill Mollison, “You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too” by Robin Clayfield or the “Earth Users Guide to Permaculture” by Roe Morrow. For the very studious try the “Designers Manual” by Bill Mollison.