Permaculture I VSS104

Develop A Strong Foundation In Permaculture

A permaculture system aims at energy efficiency, to help achieve this, the landscape components are divided into zones and sectors, according to the amount and type of management each requires.

In a normal permaculture system, zones which are furthest away from the house are generally those requiring least attention. They are visited least, and may be largely left to nature and not interfered with.

The next closest zone to a house may be semi-managed. The zone that is adjacent to the home is visited the most, receives the greatest level of management, and is the most intensively productive. The house and its adjacent buildings are the ‘centre of activity’ from which all other zones radiate.

Course Duration: 100 hours

Couse Structure

There are five lessons in this course.

  1. Concepts: The basic theory and ethics of Permaculture
    • Life Ethics
    • Permaculture Defined
    • Guiding Principles -relatve location, multiple functions and elements, elevational planning, energy recycling, etc.
    • Ideas and Techniques from around the world
    • Natural Gardening
    • Organic growing
    • No dig gardening
    • Crop rotation
    • Biological control of pest and disease
    • Integrated pest management
    • Living things vary from place to place
    • Understanding plant names
    • An easier way to identify plants
    • Pronunciation of plant names
  2. The Environment: Ecosystems, the web of life and interactions between living organisms
    • Introduction
    • Ecology
    • Ecosystems
    • Abiotic Components
    • Biotic Components
    • Ecological concepts
    • The Web of Life
    • Replicating Nature
    • Successions
    • Starting a Permaculture Property
    • Cost, Location, Size
    • Information required
    • Structure of a Permaculture System
    • Choosing a Site
    • Permaculture Design
  3. Soils: Soil management, fertilisers, nitrogen, cultivation, gas and nutrient cycles
    • The Role of Soil
    • Soil Components -gravel sand, silt, colloids
    • Peds
    • Naming a Soil
    • Soil Management
    • Cycles
    • Fertilizer Application
    • Nitrogen
    • Factors Affecting Nitrogen Release from Organic Sources
    • Microorganism population
    • Heat and chemical treatment
    • pH
    • Soil temperature
    • Cultivation and Cover Crops
    • Drainage and Erosion
    • How to Measure Soil pH
    • How to Measure Organic Content of Soil
    • How to Measure Water Content of Soil
    • Determining Solubility of Soils
    • How to Test the Affect of Lime on Soil
    • Taking Soil Samples for Laboratory Tests
    • Measuring Salinity
    • Colourimetry
  4. Climate and Water: The hydrological cycle, infiltration, microclimates, the Greenhouse Effect, water and plants
    • Site Types
    • Degree Days
    • The Hydrological Cycle
    • Infiltration
    • Rainfall
    • Evaporation
    • Effective Rainfall
    • Temperature
    • Frosts
    • Extreme Hazards
    • Permaculture Microclimates
    • The Greenhouse Effect
    • Water and Plant Growth
    • Climatic Influence on Production
    • Frosts
    • Climate Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Production
    • Climatic Zones
    • Humans and Water
    • Minimising Plant Requirements
    • Household Water
    • Xeriscaping
    • Interpreting Weather Reports and Predictions
    • Precipitation
    • Wind
    • Weather Maps
    • Weather Map Patterns
    • Interelationships between Climate, Soil and Plants
    • Estimating Water Requirements of Plants
    • Ways to Improve Water Quality, from any Source
    • Water Impurities - sediment, impurities, colour, chemical impurities
    • Water Hardness
    • Alkalinity
    • Corrosion
    • pH
    • Iron
    • Salinity
    • Tastes and Odours in Water
    • Biological Impurities in Water -algae, bacteria
    • Other Water Chemistry Factors -dissolved gasses, nitrogen cycle
    • Fish for Ponds
    • Other Animals in Water
  5. Forest Systems: Biomass, how natural systems relate to agricultural systems
    • Biomass
    • Components of Biomass
    • Plant Associations
    • Pinus Monoculture
    • Eucalyptus Association
    • Deciduous Forest
    • Alpine Communities
    • Myrtaceae Plants
    • Australian Legumes
    • Rockeries
    • Rain forest Systems
    • Wind, Light and Rain in Forests
    • Forest Productivity - fuel, food, forage, shelter belt, structural, conservation
    • Establishment of a Forest
    • Creating a Rain forest
    • Maintenance and Upkeep of Forests
    • Plant Application -trees, shrubs, ground covers
    • A review of how to grow a variety of different plants for Permaculture

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Permaculture Systems Can Be Any Type of Ecosystem

Permaculture systems have been developed in deserts, savanahs and other types of ecosystems; but natural forests are perhaps ehe most stable and productive ecosystems.

Permaculturists will commonly plant and conserve forests for their conservation value, to help maintain healthy air, soil and water and for their potential to provide food, forage, fuel and timber.

It is a permaculture aim to grow trees on at least 30% of all land settled by humans.

A permaculture system usually has a forest of trees that will provide the needs of the human inhabitants and farm animals - in zone 4. The trees in zone 5 are part of a natural or indigenous forest — they maintain genetic diversity, provide shelter and protection for wild animals and birds. 

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Fee Information (S1)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $682.00  1 x $620.00
B 2 x $369.60  2 x $336.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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