Special Offer Permaculture Design Certificate
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What does the Permaculture Systems course cover?
The course comprises 8 lessons as detailed, below.
Lesson 1. Permaculture Principles
Nature and scope
- Principles of permaculture
- Elevation planning
- Biological resources
- Recycling energy
- Natural succession
- Maximising edges
- Other concepts and systems that have been incorporated into permaculture
- No dig gardening
- No till planting
- Crop rotation
- Green manure cropping
- Companion planting
- Pest and disease prevention and management
Lesson 2. Natural Systems
- Abiotic components of an ecosystem
- Biotic components of an ecosystem
- Ecological concepts and terms
- Understanding climate
- Degree days
- Water in permaculture systems
- Minimising water needs
- Arid landscapes
- Using swales
- Reed beds for waste water treatment
- Reed bed plant species
- Hydrological cycle
- Water - Direct fall onto land surface, intercepted fall, fall onto water bodies
- Rainfall, Evaporation, Infiltration
- Effective rainfall
- Soil Environments - micro organisms, organic matter
- Types of soil degradation
- Types of erosion & control
- Salinity and its control
- Soil acidification and management of pH
- Wildlife in a Permaculture system
- Structure of a Permaculture system
- Plants and their function in permaculture
- Guilds and stacking
Lesson 3. Zone and Sector Planning
- Scope and nature
- Five standard zones
- Landscape profile
- Site selection
- Pre-planning information; what is needed and how to find it
- Procedure for concept design; step by step
- Recording site and locality details
Lesson 4. Permaculture Techniques
- Forests and trees
- Trees as energy transducers
- Types of forests; fuel, food, forage, shelter, barrier, structural, conservation
- Forest establishment
- Designing fire or wind break
- Fire resistant plants
- Mandala gardens & their construction
- Keyhole beds
- Water bodies in a permaculture system
- Water body design
- Water containment options
- Water plants
- Managing water bodies
Lesson 5. Animals in Permaculture
- Location for animals
- Functions for animals in a permaculture system
- Bees, poultry, pigs, cattle
- Grazing animals
- Types of fencing (post and rail, hedge, wire, barbed wire, electric, banks and rises, gates
- Animal water supply
- Shelter for animals - trees, a valley, purpose built shelter
- Aquaculture scope and nature
- Aquaculture production systems (EP and IP)
- Aquaculture species
- Aquaculture management
- Harvesting fish
Lesson 6. Plants in Permaculture
- Scope and nature of plants for use in permaculture
- Growing vegetables organically
- Physical characteristics of a soil
- How to test and name a soil
- Chemical characteristics of a soil
- Soil nutrition
- Animal manures
- Liquid plant feeds
- Rock dusts
- Nitrogen fixation
- Identifying plant nutrient deficiencies
- Using mulches
- Types of mulch
- Weed management
- Preventative weed control
- Other methods of weed control
- Culture of selected permaculture plants - asparagus, black
locust, cassava, chicory, dandelion, endive, fennel, garlic, ginger,
horseradish, leek, mint, okra, pigface, rhubarb, sweet potato,
tarowarrigul greens, water cress, water spinic, yams
- Culture of selected fruits - apple, apricot, cherry, citrus, fig, loquat, nasi pear, olive, peach, pear, plum, quince
- Culture of selected tropical fruits - avocado, banana,
carambola, coconut, custard apple, guava, mango, paw paw, pepino,
- Culture of selected vines - grape, passion fruit, kiwifruit
- Culture of selected berries
- Culture of selected nuts
- Culture of rarer nuts
- Crop plants which grow in shade
- Fodder plants
- Plant pest and disease management for permaculture
- Plants with insecticidal properties
Lesson 7. Appropriate Technologies
- Scope and nature of appropriate technology
- Solar energy
- Wind energy
- Biofuel power
- Composting toilets
- Energy efficient housing
- Living fences (hedges, hedgerows etc)
- Water recycling
- Domestic needs - climate control, space heating, washing and
drying clothes, cooking and cook stoves, refrigeration and cooling, hot
water supplies, water conservation, electricity and lighting
- Alternative energy and management
- Waste disposal: kitchen waste, non composting waste, recycling
- Biological filtration system
- Conservation and recycling
- Types of waste water (liquid waste, grey water, black water)
- Energy conservation
- Solar energy
- Solar greenhouses
Lesson 8. Preparing a Plan
- Scope, nature and methods
- Designing for natural disasters
- Drawing a plan
- Developing the final design
- Explain the principles of permaculture.
- Explain the concepts of natural systems.
- Explain permaculture techniques involving zones and sector planning.
- Explain a range of permaculture techniques: (forest plantings, mandala gardens, ponds etc.).
- Explain the significance of different animals in a permaculture system.
- Select plants appropriate for inclusion in a permaculture
system, to supply a useful and sustained harvest; explain their
- Select appropriate technologies for use in permaculture systems.
- Draw permaculture designs (plans) to scale.
What You Will Do
- Differentiate between permaculture and other sustainable systems.
- Explain the procedures followed in practising different
techniques which are sympathetic to permaculture, including: No-dig
gardening, Companion Planting, Biological control, and Sustainable
- Explain the interactions that occur between living and
non-living components in five different natural environments, including:
Forest Systems, Aquatic Environments, Soil Environments, and Arid
- Evaluate different permaculture designs against the nine permaculture principles.
- Distinguish between different garden zones in a permaculture system.
- Explain sector planning in a specific garden design.
- Design a mandala garden for a specific site.
- Determine the appropriate use of swales on a sloping site.
- Investigate distinctly different permaculture systems.
- Explain three different cultural techniques used to minimise the maintenance requirement in permaculture systems you study.
- Determine different animal breeds, which can provide a useful and sustained harvest from a permaculture system in your locality.
- Describe the harvest, treatment and use of various products derived from different types of animals in a permaculture system.
- Explain the factors which can affect the success of different
types of animals, in a permaculture system, including: Poultry, Aquatic
animals, Domestic farm animals, Insects, Earthworms.
- Describe the husbandry of one specified type of animal, in a permaculture system visited by you.
- Determine different species of plants which can provide a useful, sustained harvest from a permaculture system.
- Describe the harvest, treatment and use of various products derived from twenty different plant genera in a permaculture system.
- Compile a resource file of fifty information sources for different plants which can be incorporated into permaculture systems.
- Explain the factors which can affect the survival of different
types of plants, including those used for: Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs,
Fibres, Building materials, and Fuel.
- Explain the husbandry of one specified type of plant, in a permaculture system visited by you.
- Explain the relevance of appropriate technology to permaculture design.
- Compare three different waste disposal techniques which may be used for kitchen scraps in a permaculture system.
- Compare three different waste disposal techniques which may be used for effluent in a permaculture system.
- Evaluate the suitability of different building techniques in a permaculture system.
- Explain the application of two different systems of alternative energy in a permaculture system.
- Compare differences in the impact on a permaculture system, of
three alternative technologies designed for the same purpose (e.g. three
alternative sources of electricity).
- Evaluate the use of technology in a house (you choose the house).
- Determine more "appropriate" technologies to replace currently used technologies, in a house you evaluate.
- Illustrate on a plan, twenty different components of a design, including: Plants, Buildings, and Landscape features.
- Transpose a simple permaculture plan to a different scale.
- Represent an existing site, drawn to scale, on a plan.
- Describe the stages involved in the process of producing a permaculture design.
- Prepare a concept plan for a permaculture system surveyed by
you, which is between five hundred and one thousand square metres in
- Prepare a detailed design for a permaculture system of between
five hundred and one thousand square metres in size, including: scale
drawings, materials specifications, lists of plant and animal varieties.
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a philosophy which encompasses the establishment of environments which are highly productive, stable and harmonious and which provide food, shelter, energy etc., as well as supportive social and economic infrastructures. It involves developing a garden or farm where the plants and animals are put together in such a way that they support each other's growth and development. The garden or farm may very well change over the years, but it always remains productive, requires little input once established, and is environmentally sound.
Learn How to Design and Plan Natural Gardens by Distance Learning
seeks to increase sustainability and biodiversity, lessen input, grow
plants that have more than one use and that are actually used rather
than just grown. Many plants will perform these functions. Plants that
are grown as culinary herbs can have medicinal qualities, trees that
bear nuts and fruit feed people and animals, provide windbreaks, animal
shelters and alter microclimates. Some provide fodder for animals, fix
nitrogen in the soil, provide mulch, are beneficial companions to other
plants, improve the soil and attract insects. Others provide wood for
fuel and timber for buildings and fences.
Discover Sustainable Gardening Practices
Completion of this course will help you to develop your ability to
independently prepare plans for a permaculture system appropriate for
particular environments and sites. Learn about the different growing
methods which underpin permaculture, natural systems which constitute
ecology i.e. the relationships between water, soils, plants and
animals, zonal planning in permaculture systems and how plants, animals,
fish and other components fit in. The course culminates in designing a
permaculture system and preparing drawings.
- Tutors in this course hold an authentic PDC.
- ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (UK), The
Institute of Horticulture (UK), and the Alternative Technology
Study for the Permaculture Design Certificate
This course was developed to encompass and go beyond the curriculum
of the Permaculture Design Certificate, as set down by the Permaculture
To obtain the PDC, the permaculture tutor must be satisfied
of your knowledge and understanding of permaculture. To that end, we
require that students wanting to achieve the PDC take the ACS DE exam at
the end of the Permaculture Systems course.
Enrol Today at a Reduced Price
You can start studying the Permaculture Systems course at any time - you can enrol today at a reduced course price and receive three free eBooks.
If you have any questions or want to know more, please get in touch with our specialist Permaculture tutors today.