This two-week intensive course goes above and beyond the full 72 hour curriculum as laid out by the founders of Permaculture. Using a great mix of field trips, practical work, numerous guest facilitators, and design practicals, this course provides participants with much more than just the internationally recognised Permaculture Design Certificate. It also provides the foundations for a new way to see the world. How to capture energy, become a producer, and respect and encourage diversity. Led by Shad Qudsi, the renowned ninja farmer of Atitlan Organics and Zach Loeks, author of The Permaculture Market Garden and master farmer. Price includes course, field trips, plus all food and shared lodging at the luxurious Bambu Guest House.
Our amazing course curriculum covers SIXTEEN points:
1. Permaculture Ethics and Principals of Natural Systems and Design
The course begins by covering the three main Permaculture Principles of Earth Care, People Care, and Sharing the Abundance.
2. Design and Implementation of Permaculture Market Gardens
This aspect of the course takes a close look at how permaculture can be scaled up and managed so as to be productive for more than one household. How can the ideas of permaculture be used to produce abundance, and how can that abundance be shared with the surrounding community? How can the models of permaculture and market gardens combine to form a whole greater than their parts? How can surplus be generated for the farmer and the ecosystem simultaneously? These are some of the questions we will be exploring during the course.
3. Understanding Natural Systems and the Establishment of the 3 Major Land Types within a Site
This section takes a look at trees and forests, as well as wetland areas, pasture, and other natural ecosystems in order to understand the importance of each and how they can be integrated together to build resilient landscapes.
4. Earthworks, Swales, Contours, and Deep Site Modification
Earthworks are a major piece of permaculture that often gets overlooked. Stripping native vegetation can often cause people to shudder and write this whole process off as not being ecologically sound. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
5. Water Management, Capture, and Efficient Use
Water is the most important resource that is available for us to capture and utilize. We cover a wide range of strategies across a variety of different climatic conditions for the efficient capture, storage, and use of water.
6. Permaculture Gardening Techniques, Soil Basics, and Fertility Management
Mainly a Zone 1 and 2 strategy, this part of the course will cover intensive vegetable gardening techniques that allow for big production in small spaces with minimal reliance on outside inputs.
7. Sustainable Animal Systems, Wetland Integration, and other Innovative Land-Use Strategies
This part of the course will cover a variety of animal systems and their integration into the total landscape design. Free range systems, rotational grazing, wetland integration, grazing within food forests, and other designs will all be covered in detail.
8. Food Forest Establishment
This is where all the various components come together, focusing on the integration of animals, wetlands, and perennial/annual productions systems.
9. Seed Banks and Plant Propagation
Nursery work and seed saving are major activities that can aid in building the diversity of a site. Learn to master the tools that nature has given us, which allow us to tap into her abundance through the use of propagation material for useful plants.
10. Value-Adding, Fermentation, and Handling Abundance
Another component that is heavy on the hands-on participation. Students will have the opportunity to kill and process a chicken (which will be part of their meals for non-vegetarians), as well as milking goats and making cheese/yogurt. There will be a fermentation workshop and lectures on how to preserve the harvest and improve its value over time, without diminishing the nutritive value.
11. Small-Scale, Sustainable, Land-based Business Opportunities
Another unique aspect of our course is the focus on making a sustainable and comfortable living based on a Permaculture site. Basic business models for small-scale cottage industries are covered, as well as case studies of past successes and failures.
We will briefly cover aquaculture and the diversification of landscapes via ponds, wetlands, and water systems. Useful plants, animals, and water retention systems will be looked at and the opportunities for aquaculture will be covered, with relevant examples provided.
13. Natural Building
Guest Speaker Charlie Rendall will be leading the natural building component of the course. His specialty is building with bamboo, but he also has extensive experience in cob structures, natural stucco, traditional stone buildings, thatch roofing, and many other natural building techniques.
14. Alternative Technology
Both passive and active technologies will be explored, with many examples and hands-on opportunities.
15. Community-Based Alternatives and Invisible Structures
Building on the small-scale business opportunities for permaculturists, this lecture will examine invisible structures at play in the current prevailing socioeconomic arrangement and cover a variety of ways that we can work to change the status quo.
16. Design for Climate Change and Resilience to Natural Disasters
This area will focus on how to design for climate change and natural catastrophe, via the built-in resiliency that can be achieved by permaculture design.
- Studying Permaculture in Central America offers amazing opportunities to learn from indigenous cultures, rich natural patterns, and enormous diversity. Permaculture in Central America is representative of the edge effect or Edge Valuing Principle of Design. As one of the world’s centres of biodiversity, Central America attracts people from all over the world interested in learning through nature. Permaculture practices can be seen in action via the surviving indigenous traditions that are common in Central America. Studying permaculture in Central America offers designers great opportunities to learn from diverse groups of people in incredibly diverse natural settings
- shared rooms
- restaurant on site
- medium: voice calls (no video)
- permaculturemultiple times a day
Coming from Antigua or Guatemala City you would go to Panajachel, which is one of the three big towns on the lake and takes about 3 hours to arrive.
From Panajachel, you take a boat (lancha) at the public dock. Tell the captain that you are going to the town of Tzununa (zoo-new-nah) which is three public stops from Panajachel.
Get off at the Public Dock in Tzununa and take a Tuk Tuk or little three wheeled car and tell them you want to go to El Bambu. It costs q5 per person per tuk tuk and should be around q15 to q20 per person for the Lancha ride.
When you get to El Bambu, go through the gate and up to the main building. Someone will show you your room.
As noted, we are in the little town of Tzununa, quiet and still ‘undiscovered’. From the guest house you are less than 10 minute walk to the lake and less than 20 meters from beautiful rivers. You are a 45 minute walk or a 10 minute tuk tuk ride away from the town of San Marcos la Laguna. This has many places to eat, drink, practice yoga, etc.
Again, we can help you get to the lake from Antigua or the airport, or from anywhere. Just let us know and we can arrange a shuttle for you.
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