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GaryD

My Permaculture Design Course

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Hi,

 

Over 30 years after David Holmgren and Bill Mollison first coined the term, I've enrolled in the Permaculture Design Certificate offered online by Geoff Lawton.  Better late than never, I guess.

 

I would have preferred to have done an attendance course but I didn't have the fortnight that it would take do such a course.  

 

The other thing is that I've been around Permaculture concepts long enough (and I've worn out enough Permaculture books) that I understand a lot of what any Permaculture course will cover……so my main motivation is the certificate that comes with successful completion of the program…..and the license to practise as a Permaculture consultant or teacher.

 

That's not to say that I won't learn anything.  I expect to learn a great deal from the program…..and from the other participants…..and much of that will come from 12 weeks of reading and watching videos about Permaculture in general.

 

My first design project will be my own property on Macleay Island.

 

I'm looking forward to the journey.

 

Gary

 

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Hi Gary,

 

Well done mate. You wont be disappointed with Geoff's course.

 

I need to find the links, there are no less than 3 or 4 free PDC courses available on the net. The draw back is that the freebee's dont offer a certificate on completion. Non the less, a further 280+ hours of video tuition never goes astray and each presenter has a niche focus on their local environments.

 

Now stop reading the forum and get back to study :D

Cheers

Joe

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Hi Joe,

 

Hi Gary,

 

Well done mate. You wont be disappointed with Geoff's course.

 

I need to find the links, there are no less than 3 or 4 free PDC courses available on the net. The draw back is that the freebee's dont offer a certificate on completion. Non the less, a further 280+ hours of video tuition never goes astray and each presenter has a niche focus on their local environments.

 

Now stop reading the forum and get back to study :D

Cheers

Joe

 

I'd be very interested in those links.  

 

Gary

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Hi Gary

 

Will be interested to see how your property on Macleay Island.is changed into a permaculture environment, as you are constrained by block size, water and the water retention properties of your soil. Geoff Lawton is an inspirational teacher enjoy your course.

 

Cheers

 

Joey.

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Hi Joey,

 

Our block is around 1,000 square metres (about 1/4 acre) in size.  It has mains water - and annual rainfall of 1278mm - and (thin cover of) sand over acid sulphide clay soil = poop.

 

We'll install rainwater tanks and implement natural water capture and retention strategies so that we minimise mains water use.  

 

I've re-established our worm farm.....and we're about to set up our composting arrangements......as a precursor to soil improvement.  I've got a nice plastic drum with a cone-shaped base for use as a compost-brewer, too.

 

I've ordered 9 Moringa trees......and I've split up my comfrey plants and potted them out in anticipation of creating a food forest for chickens and ducks.

 

I've also purchased some hardwood garden stakes in readiness for contour mapping our block.

 

And I've started to watch the introductory videos for the course.

 

Gary

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Hi Gary

 

At 1278mm you have triple the amount of rainfall that I get at Narre Warren North. I also have town water, however my 50000 litre water tanks are now nearly empty. A few days ago we had cloud where it looked like rain however it just cleared.

Interesting you are growing moringa trees,  I had never heard of them so I googled it and found this interesting video describing its use in water treatment.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoTfyhK5WNQ&feature=player_detailpage

 

Is this the same as what you are groing ?

 

Cheers

 

Joey

Edited by Joey (see edit history)

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Hi,

 

I've started the Online PDC.  This week is the Introduction to Permaculture…….it's ethics, origins, etc.  All up there are something 300 videos to watch. ….many of them videotaped classroom sessions presented by Geoff Lawton.  Each session is of 10 - 15 minutes' duration.

 

Gary

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Hi,

 

I'm busy collecting useful plants for my proposed chicken food forest.

 

Nine moringa trees arrived today…..and my sectioned comfrey plants are growing well, too.

 

I've been googling Moringa…..and feasting on the YouTube videos about the trees……and I'll be buying some seeds ASAP.  I plan to have plenty of these trees in my backyard.

 

Gary

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Edited by Gary Donaldson (see edit history)

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Hi Gary

The comfrey looks great, I've only just aquirred some comfrey after learning of its benefits to soil. And those moringa trees should be enjoyed by all your microponics cast, including yourself. Here's a shot of the Jades enjoying foliage from one of my young trees.

 

 

 

 

post-3669-0-56172800-1423671538_thumb.jp

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Hi Rotaco…..nice photo.  It's good to see that the jades get into to the moringa.  I plan to feed it to me as soon as I've got enough to harvest.  My immune system took a kicking last year so I'll have a go at anything that's likely to help with that.

 

Gary

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Thanks Rob.

 

I've just completed the second week of the PDC……about Permaculture design concepts.  Next week, we begin to focus on practical application of Permaculture.

 

I'm immersing myself in Permaculture at the moment.  Aside from the PDC sessions, I'm also listening to sessions by Larry Korn (a prominent US Permaculture teacher) and Bill Mollison - co-founder of the Permaculture concept.

 

Gary.

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Hi,

 

The past couple of weeks have been interesting.

Last week, we worked through Patterns - and the identification and application of patterns in a Permaculture design context......things like core patterns, dendritic branching, overbeck jets, wave forms, fibonacci sequences, webs.....all manner of wondrous things.

 

This week, the focus is on Climatic Factors.  Much of the stuff on climate is new to me.  As a micro-farmer, I've generally worked with controlled environments for animals and plants.  I've always thought of climate as being too chancy.....so better to eliminate it as a factor in my micro-farming efforts.  

 

Similarly, when it comes to growing plants, I've always thought of soil as being problematic.....to the point where I'd just use something over which I could exercise greater control.

 

Over time, I'm starting to develop a new respect for soil and this week's sessions on Climatic Factors are opening my eyes to ways in which I might productively engage with climate rather than resisting (or ignoring) it.

 

Oh.....and something else is happening inside of me.  

 

It's the re-awakening of the idea that Permaculture is the only ism that has any real solutions to the world's very real problems.

 

Gary

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This week's sessions have been on Trees and their energy transactions…...how they interact with rain and fungi.  We've also looked at tree legumes and their role in the establishment of Permaculture projects.

 

My favourite session, this week, was one called Food Forests…..how to create an food production environment that provides for abundance in perpetuity.

 

I have to say that, going in to this program, I had some misgivings…..particularly since it cost me over AUD$1400 (USD$997) but I've been pleasantly surprised.  Unlike a US online program (which was a lot cheaper), the sessions in Geoff Lawton's program have been excellent.  He works a lot off a whiteboard and you end up with enough diagrams to fill a good-sized notebook.

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this is the bit that a lot of permies have trouble with. They botch the soil building sequences and rush in too early with the produce trees and it runs out of energy and collapses. or they are not ruthless enough in removing trees that are counterproductive and the biology does not build, it just plateaus. Or they are a bit squeamish about growing plants that could be regarded as weeds. It's so frustrating to realize that a mistake has been made and that step needs to be got right before things can move on.

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Hi Yahoo,

 

One of the measures of the value of this program, given my familiarity with the general subject matter of Permaculture, is how I might have done things differently to that suggested in the program sessions.  The food forest is a good example of where I'd have pulled up short.  Establishing a food forest properly is a comprehensive undertaking….but everything I've seen about the approach taught by Geoff Lawton has been logical…..and easy to follow.

 

Everything you said is right……and made more so for the fact that we're talking about trees……and mistakes are more difficult to rectify.

 

Gay

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This week's topic has been water……the big one….since nothing much of interest to humans can survive without it.

 

The sessions have included types of dams and identifying suitable dam sites (pond sites for our US friends)……and building and sealing dams. My pick of the week would have to be charging a landscape with water…..how to build dams/ponds so that you make a farm self-sufficient in water.

 

I've been poking through some of the video resources attached to the course and I've seen large Permaculture projects…..like the "Greening the Desert" project in Jordan and the Loess Plateau project in China…..and a 60 year-old project on the side of a mountain in Hong Kong that is reflective of many Permaculture strategies.  Geoff Lawton makes several of these videos available at no cost (save an email address) and many of them are truly inspirational.

 

Next week, we focus on soil.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Donaldson (see edit history)

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This week's focus is on.....soil.

 

We've already covered the Biocide Cocktail....the process by which virgin soils are brought into conventional agriculture and "developed" to the point where input $'s are eventually exceeded by output S's.

 

Geoff Lawton has also covered the interaction between plants and soil micro-organisms - similar to the stuff that was discussed in other threads recently.

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