This is the PDC that starts from Zone 0.
The one that understands that real change must come from true self-knowledge. Our collaboration with the Yoga Forest is not only a full PDC, but also journey of self-investigation and inquiry through the tools of yoga and meditation. Participants are encouraged to understand how Permaculture is applicable to their own inner lives as well as the outer world as they incorporate new perspectives.
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 recognized 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.
The course takes place across two different sites, the 1st week at the The Yoga Forest in San Marcos La Laguna, and the 2nd week at Atitlan Organics.
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. Inner Work - Yoga and Meditation
This is a special component that is unique to our course. Guided by the skilled leaders working with the Yoga Forest we will turn our gaze to the inner landscape of the self, and delve into the use of yoga and meditation to achieve balance, stability, and resiliency.
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.
- "The most fruitful thing I'll walk away with is a feeling of empowerment and understanding how we can implement what we learned this week into any and all aspects of our lives.” -Todd, England, Class of April 2015
- All-Inclusive price covers all course facilitation, materials, field trips, food and shared lodging across both sites, and optional yoga and meditation during you stay at The Yoga Forest!
- Delicious, nourishing vegetarian meals prepared from fresh, local ingredients plus snacks and dessert
- "Before last week I had never thought about Permaculture. Now I will use it for the rest of my life."
- shared rooms
- over 80% locally sourced
- restaurant on site
- communal kitchen access
- medium: voice calls (no video)
- permaculturemultiple times a day
Please plan to arrive at The Yoga Forest by 2 p.m.
Directions here: http://www.theyogaforest.org/gettinghere/
If you need help getting to Lake Atitlan, write separately. It is quite easy, whether you come from the airport or Antigua, or from another town on the lake. We can help arrange shuttles from the airport as well, so let us know if you would like this.
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