Talk:Permaculture design

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Development meeting - 5 8 08018:37, 6 August 2008
Meeting to develop the course further014:32, 8 May 2008
Participant introductions902:16, 2 March 2008

Development meeting - 5 8 08

  • Course will be a combination of Thursday evenings and weekends
  • Need to look at 2 soil types
  • Budget has been adjusted to compensate for losses first time around (less contact hours) suggested at 2.5 hours per session... 10 sessions = 30 hours
  • Jason and Peta will do Wikieducator training
  • Peta is finishing new course schedule with session titles based on topics, paragraph of intro text for each session, a to-do list, and then a list of resources to support the to-do list
  • Leigh and Kim to develop an info pack for students
  • Students wil be added to the Permaculture Design email forum
  • Both practical sessions(zone 1 & 2) will be done at the Living Campus Permagarden again but a visit to one participants garden
  • Leigh to look into signage to be developed for plantings on Polytech grounds (as per Living Campus)
  • Kim to give Leigh account number with finance
  • Jason and Peta to send Kim a materials list for the next course
  • Leigh to organise a wiki workshop for Jason and Peta where their content will be loaded into the wiki and the Polytech resources structure explained.
Leighblackall (talk)18:01, 5 August 2008

Meeting to develop the course further

Peta Hudson, Jason Ross and Leigh Blackall met to discuss the first course successes and failures and plan the next course.

  • The pilot course received $5000 seed funding. Initial student in take paid less than cost price of $360 to do the course. We had 9 people enroll, raising $3240. Amounts spent on materials, and then added to teacher and facilitator costs have not yet been calculated but it is expected to be a little less than $5000. So this leaves at least $3240 to develop and run the next course.
  • Considering that the pilot course had a promotion and prep time of less than 2 weeks, it is felt that we should be able to lift participant numbers with better promotion, preparation and course design and budget.
  • None-the-less, we will not risk spending beyond the initial seed funding and fees. We have $3240 to work with, and Leigh will look into other possible funding options (Sponsorship from businesses, sustainability funding from local and national government, Living Campus). If we recover cost through new enrollments then that will be reinvested into further developing the course towards a full Certificate in Permaculture Design. Eventually we hope to pay back the seed funding and run the course regularly on a not for profit basis.
  • Leigh to contact Robina McCurdy to investigate areas of possible further funding support for the course development

  • Looking at the new NZQA Unit Demonstrate knowledge of permaculture and plan a site (21042) It is felt that we develop the course around this unit as core learning.
  • Leigh will look into the unit standard moderation process and what would be involved in formally accrediting the unit. If this is too costly in terms of time, we will simply develop the course curriculum and content with the unit in mind.
  • Using journal based learning with the participants in the course will help to provide evidence both for moderation and for possible Recognition of Prior Learning services if we do manage to be accredited to offer the Unit in the future.
  • We discussed using the Unit as a core curriculum in the course, to which other short courses and workshops would be attached as electives. Eventually, when we have a good range of short courses in place, we can use a certain number of these workshops and short courses as compulsory elements in the attainment of the full Permaculture Design Certificate. The core 10 Credit Unit by itself is probably not enough, although it does go very close.
  • For an example of a full Certificate curriculum, see the book Earth User's Guide to Permaculture - Teacher's Notes. Rosemary Morrow as a guide.
  • An example of a module based course elsewhere in NZ
  • Extended electives in more specialised areas such as Social and economic permaculture design will also be considered

  • In the next running of the course we will develop activities where we use more of the participant properties and sites.
  • First half of the course will be focused on learning theory, but through field visits to established sites (Facilitator to negotiate with landowner prior field trips based on list of thing that can be offered in exchange)
  • Second half of the course will be looking at participant designs, obtaining feedback while on location at the participant's site, and doing practicals on the site such as soils, waste, building etc, depending on the schedule of the second half of the course.
  • This means that we need to fit more of the theory into the first half of the course, so that we are ready to practice by the halfway point. Suggest that by identifying and using more web based resources such as Youtube movies and other websites, as well as library boks and handouts, we can assign self directed study and homework so as to cover the theory prior to the field visits.
  • Look into using a vege oil powered bus for transport (Sports Institute?)

  • Jason to lend Leigh the Hort ITO's booklet for the unit standard
  • Facilitator has hours equal to teaching hours in the course
  • Teachers have their teaching hours + .5 prep on the standard format (Objective, activity description, resources)
  • The structure of the teaching is around the Unit PCs as the core course
  • Jason and Peta will look at the unit standard and decide who best to teach what parts. From that they will determine amount of teaching each, and consider other teachers and guests to share the load. From this we can determine prep time and prepare contracts.
  • Once contracts are in place, work will begin using prep times to identify resources, develop lesson plans and activities, and preparing a course schedule for the activities. All works and resources will be available online, with more effective online participation and learning in mind. (For example - self directed theory activities in the first half would compliment online praticipant needs. We should try to use mostly web based recourses. By using journal based learning for the second half, and designing activities in such a way so that online participants can use them as a guide to setting up their own and equivalent activities, then we will hopefully be able to sustain effective online participation as a resource for everyone's learning.
Leighblackall (talk)11:33, 8 May 2008

Participant introductions

Edited by author.
Last edit: 20:18, 1 March 2008

If you're participating in this course online, please reply to this message with your introduction. If you keep a blog, especially one to document your participation in the course, please include the URL. Brent has created a page that will always display the latest 3 posts from the participant blogs.

Leighblackall (talk)12:15, 14 February 2008

Well, I'll be participating face to face and online :) I have read a bit about Permaculture, and keep a home vegie garden. I'm going to help document this course with video, text etc, and make the content accessible to distance learners. At the some time, I hope to larn a few things about Permaculture, meet people in the know, and think about the principles and how they might apply to all types of design. I keep a blog here: but my garden work is logged at

Leighblackall (talk)12:18, 14 February 2008

Hello all, I've been interested in permaculture for a number of years and done a lot of reading already. I wanted to take a on the ground course last summer but was able to work it out. Just this evening I thought to myself...hmm I wonder if there is anything online, so after a quick 'google' I came across this. Perfect! I live on an acre and half property in Ontario Canada that we purchased last summer. It's pretty much bare bones and quite wild. I managed to get in a small veggie garden with a focus on heirloom tomatoes last summer and am currently planning for next season. I have a background in herbal medicine, ecology and have done a lot of activist work around sustainability in and urban setting. I'm quite excited to have moved out to the country but I always have 'urban' situations in mind, particularly around small-scale, small space food production. Glad to have come across this and plan to follow along. I'll set up a blog early next week.

Thanks for doing this and I think using a wiki format is great!

Jadeapple (talk)15:10, 23 February 2008

Hi Jade, its great you found us. I've set up an email forum with Google groups. You're welcome to join that too if you're up for discussions etc, or send me your email address and I'll add you. I dunno if an email forum would be any better than what we have going here though... my guess is that it will be easier for people like me who sometimes forget to check anything other than my email :)

Otherwise, we will try to keep the Schedule up to date with media and resources on the topics we are covering as we get to them. If you find stuff to do with the session topic, feel free to add it too!

Looking forward to seeing your blog.

Leighblackall (talk)20:50, 23 February 2008

Hey Folks, I'm here in Vermont, right out side of Burlington. Like "Jadeapple" I found this program with Google. It's great that it was so accessible. But the synchronicity of finding this program right now and the idea of finding it on "Google" (billion-dollar-spy-engine-corporation) is a perfect example of the paradox of these times.

I'm developing an "eco-village" in vermont. We already have 20 ares of flat farm land 10 acres are hay fields and 10 acres will be other crops. Our intentional community will most likely settle on a 175 acre mountain in Monkton, VT. A few of my friends have already taken a Permaculture courses and a few studies similar veins at the University of Vermont. As a cofounder of our project I try to keep growing in all directions. I think a Permaculture Design course is exactly what I'm looking for right now. I'm a good self-educator and a passionate learner. I hope to have some great dialog and make the most out of learning online. I'll be setting up a blog over the weekend. Thanks again

Benny (talk)17:10, 23 February 2008
Edited by 0 users.
Last edit: 20:57, 23 February 2008

Hello again Benny, we've talked already through email so its great to see you made it in here :) The eco village sounds very interesting. We have a few like them here in New Zealand.. I'll get the guy I know who knows more about the NZ ones to send links and info for you.

The face to face group here has already formed a team to design a living campus here. Its a project that has been given some seed money so we'll see how it goes. I was in Melbourne Australia last week to check out similar projects. Was most inspired by the CERES Community Environment Park. Grabbed an interview with one of the coordinators there.

Leighblackall (talk)20:57, 23 February 2008

Sorry, bit late on getting here. I will be following along as much as possible and have set up a kind of blog page (complete with RSS) on WikiEducator itself here: One Beatty Parade Blog (I've made a bit of an intro over there already). I'd suggest that we create a page, perhaps as a subpage off of the main Permaculture Design page for aggregating all the feeds from the Distance people who are blogging their responses, etc. Countrymike 21:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

BrentSimpson (talk)09:15, 26 February 2008

Great idea Brent! and its great to have you with us. Going by your user page I can see you're a bit of a master at using MediaWiki! This online group could be really something.

Leighblackall (talk)09:46, 26 February 2008

Hi guys,like Leigh , I have enrolled in the course as well as being employed as a facilitator which is a fancy name for being the "go for ".I have also been contributing to some of the resources by video blogging some of the activities we are doing in the classroom which could then be applied to your local surrounds.You sound like a good bunch and I hope we can provide you with enough information to help you in your endeavours.Google "hortykim" to see my stuff.

Hortykim (talk)08:25, 29 February 2008

Hello All,

Well I got busy this week so this is the first chance I've gotten to get back to this. It helps that I'm completely snowed in right now and have no choice but to sit back with a good cup of tea and get down to work. I've decided to follow Brent's idea and set up my blog on this wiki as well. Makes sense as it would be really easy to link back and forth between the main pages as well as other users. It's at Odonata Fen. I've used a wiki before but it was a number of years ago so I'll basically be learning how to use it as I go along. I expect it will look a bit rough at first.

I also realized I hadn't introduced myself with my actual name! I'm so used to using user names on my travels around the net so hello again I'm Christine Taylor.

Jadeapple (talk)02:07, 2 March 2008