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Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Course

Posted by bruc33ef (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 13, 09 at 5:59

I am seriously considering taking a Permaculture Design Course. But before I spend money on it, I would like to ask a few important questions:

1. What percentage of the time is spent dancing in a circle and holding hands while singing and praying to Gaia and such?

2. What percentage of the time is spent as free labor in someone's garden?

3. What percentage of the time is spent on hearing people preach to the choir about humankind's path toward self-destruction?

4. Is the T-shirt included or do you have to pay for it separately?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

lol lol.

good one, i think you summed it up pretty well.

yes have heard it said before that those who attend are wwoofrs in reverse that is paying wwoofrs. one bloke said you got heaps of time to just sit and read from the library, doesn't make sense to pay for the privelage when it can be done free.

anyhow way back in this forum a link was posted to a free online pdc course, think i still have it on my site. or just go to the library and grab one of the many books on the subject the best probably being by bill molleson and co' "introduction to permaculture".

keep your system natural and simple. and for what it is worth you can gain nearly all of you knowledge from these sorts of forums, free.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

If you really want the certificate but don't want to risk being a paying WWOOFer, you could do the online one with Permaculture Visions. I'm doing this at the moment with my son, who is homeschooled and needs a few bits of paper to wave at various authorities who seem to think education is equivalent to certificates. The tutor gave me a special 2-for-1 discount so I get to study it with my son and pick up a certificate of my own at the end. Also, there are no time limits so you can do as much background reading and hands-on stuff as you like.

I think the idea of doing the full design course is supposed to be that you are then qualified not only to design for other people, but also to teach them, so that the ideas spread, but I think in practice it tends to end up a bit like a pyramid selling scheme.

There are some wonderful books and dvds around to learn from if you don't want to do the full design course, and you could probably build up quite a good library of them for what you'd spend on a course, too.

RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

g'day bruce,

take a look at the following link is is a free online intro' to pc course:

intro to permaculture

why pay anything at all ever?


RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

Appreciate it, Len. There are some other Permaculture documents available also at:

And your website is among the best out there -- a real commonsense approach to Permaculture; I visit it often.


RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

thank you bruce,

accolades from ones peers always makes it all worthwhile.


RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

If there is a permie course that interests you, ask for the schedule of what you'll be doing and when you'll be doing it.

I've never been to a PDC, but I have the feeling that there are good ones and bad ones, just like anything else.

Good research tends to pay off.


RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

people learn in a variety of ways. i know people who have been very satisfied taking permie courses, learning a great deal by doing hands-on work with like-minded people. if it's not for you, that's ok, but some folks have experienced these learning opportunities very differently, with many more dimensions than you have described. let's respect all learning styles.

RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

I did a PDC last year with pretty much no idea what it actually was. It was very much theory based- in fact I was sort of hanging out to be a paying WWOOFer after 8 hours a day of 'school'!
I think it varies hugely depending on the tutor- Geoff Lawton, a big cheese in the permy world, taught ours. He does lots of work in deserts and is based in the sub-tropics, so a lot of his info had to go through a 'how does this relate to New Zealand' filter.
If you're interested in learning about and using permaculture ideas, I'd read the books and just do it; if you're already really involved and want to get a diploma, get paid as a designer or teach, a PDC is pretty much a requirement.
I also was a bit worried about the potential for hand-holding and Gaia-praising, but the PDC was actually very grounded and scientifically presented. If woo-woo freaks you out, stay away from biodynamics! It really works, but it and its adherents can be a bit...intense, shall we say.
Just make sure a PDC is offering what you need for your money, and remember intangibles like contacts/friends made and so on. A major part of our experience was learning about (and eating a lot of!) fantastic food, but again take into account the particular interests of the people running the PDC.

RE: Important Questions Before Taking the Permaculture Design Cou

These guys Might be made to offer up a degree with a little prodding. It would be worth about as much as the others, specifically the paper its printed on.

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