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Permaculture Design Course
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Permaculture Design Course
In the Methow Valley
July 6-20, 1999
A two-week course on sustainable design.
Held in the beautiful North Cascades.
Permaculture is an integrated systems approach
to designing sustainable homes, farms and communities.
* Permaculture principles
* Permaculture methodology
* Organic gardening
* Organic agriculture
* Agroforestry systems
* Straw bale building
* Natural building
* Ecosystem restoration
* Livestock raising
* Urban permaculture
* Appropriate energy
* Village development
* Intentional communities
* Observation skills
* Site analysis & design
* Water harvesting
* Arid land strategies
* Edible landscaping
* Tree crops
* Medicinal herbs
* Seed collecting
* Erosion control
* Sustainable forestry
* Integrated pest management
* Networking & research
* Formal & informal economies
and much, much more . . .
Michael Pilarski: Instructor
Guest instructors: Suzanne Martin, Simon Henderson, Jerry Johnson, Ed
Welch, George Wooten & others.
This course will emphacise:
sustainable forestry, agroforestry,
medicinal herbs, lesser-known crops, and native plants.
A two-week residential course
at Herb'n Relief Farm
on the Methow River.
Friends of the Trees Society
Course fee: $850
About the Course: The main purpose of the course is to impart
permaculture principles and methodologies which can be applied anywhere
in the world. Through lecture, discussion, observation, field trips and
hands-on activities, permaculture design students will develop the
practical skills and knowledge to design and implement sustainable
systems that are in harmony with the natural world. Course participants
will work in design teams to produce a permaculture design for the
70-acre Vogt property. We will cover dozens of crops which can provide
family needs or cash income. Medicinal herbs will be a major focus.
Although this course's focus is on the interior Northwest, participants
from other bioregions are also welcome. Permaculture principles, design
methodology and many of our techniques are applicable around the world.
Methow Ecosystems: The Methow river riparian zone is dominated by
cottonwoods. Semi-arid low-elevation sites only recieve 12-15" annual
precipitation and support shrub steppe with sagebrush (Artemesia
tridentata), bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) and rabbitbrush
(Chrysothamnus nauseosus) as well as bunchgrass ecosystems. Aspen groves,
ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests occupy the zones above. Higher
still in the mountains are wetter subalpine forests and meadows and then
timberline, krummholz, and alpine tundra. We will make field trips to
many of these local ecosystems up to as high as 7,440' Slate Peak in the
North Cascades. Methow ecosystems are similar to plant communities found
throughout the interior Northwest. Mongolia, the Altai Mountains and
parts of central Asia and Far East Russia have analogous climates and
many flora affinities. Eventually we should have some farmer to farmer
exchanges with this region and joint permaculture courses.
Course site & Facilities: The course will be held at Herb 'n Relief Farm,
Peter & Ali Vogt's 70-acre property outside of Twisp, Washington. The
farm includes river frontage on the Methow River at an elevation of
1,650'. Facilities include several buildings including a large, beautiful
lodge where we can hold classes. We will also set up an outdoor teaching
area. We are outside quite a bit anyway with hands-on activities and
field trips. Shower facilities are available. For those hot days, we have
a pond and the river to cool off in. A sweat lodge will be available.
Accomodations: There may be a few indoor accomodations but most
participants from outside the valley will have to set up their own tent
or utilize one of the several tipis on site. Participants can bring their
own tents, vans or live-in rigs. Local participants can commute from
their homes if they wish.
Food: Three tasty wholesome meals a day will be provided with an emphasis
on local, organic food. Be sure to note any health needs or dietary
preferences on your registration.
Course Tuition: Tuition for the course is $850. This includes
instruction, meals, lodging, curriculum materials, and use of facilities.
Several partial scholarships are available with preference given to Third
World or Native Americans. A $250 dollar deposit is required with
registration. $100 of the deposit is non-refundable. Single day
attendance is possible at $75 per day. Participants will be sent an
information packet upon registration.
* The term "permaculture" was coined in 1978 by Australians Bill Mollison
and David Holmgren as a contraction of "permanent agriculture". It can
also be defined as "permanent culture".
* Permaculture is about self-reliance, growing food, and building
energy-efficient structures from local materials.
* Permaculture establishes multiple-story, agroforestry systems using
tree crops, shrubs, vines and herbaceous plants in symbiotic assemblages
which are highly productive.
Michael Pilarski has lived and worked in eastern Washington and north
Idaho since 1972. He has extensive experience in organic farming, seed
collecting, plant propagation, horticulture, wildcrafting medicinal
herbs, teaching, and international networking. I have taught seventeen
permaculture design courses thus far including in the cold northern
climates of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Wisconsin; the temperate
climates of Puget Sound, Oregon and California; and the subtropical
climates of Hawai`i, Nepal and Belize. I am excited to be offering the
first permaculture design course held in the Interior Northwest in six
In 1986, I hosted and graduated from a Permaculture Design Course taught
by Bill Mollison near Cle Elum in eastern Washington. Mollison is the
founder of permaculture and one of the world's leading authorities on
sustainable settlement in arid and semi-arid lands. This was the first
design course taught by Bill which focused specifically on "Drylands
Permaculture". We will use & adapt Mollison's Drylands Permaculture
Design Course curriculum.
Suzanne Martin is the co-founder of Kikta Design, a permaculture design
and consultation firm in Kitsap County.
Simon Henderson has studied traditional agriculture systems in many parts
of the world and was permaculture instructor at the Bear Tribe near
Spokane for many years. He is now a bamboo specialist.
Jerry Johnson manages his family property for cattle, grain and wildlife
habitat in the channeled scablands southeast of Spokane.
Ed Welch is a long-time Methow organic farmer growing vegetables and
medicinal herbs who also has an organic alcohol distillery.
George Wooten is a local botanist with a broad knowledge of native plants
and essential oils.
Other guest presenters to be announced. Course participants will also
bring a wide range of knowledge and experience.
Certification: Course graduates will be certified as Permaculture Design
Trainees, and after two years experience will be eligible for Applied
Permaculture Design diplomas. Graduates are entitled to use the term
"Permaculture" in pursuit of livelihood, and for educational purposes.
Friends of the Trees Society
PO Box 4469,
Bellingham, Washington 98227
Tel: (360) 724-0503.
_____ Enclosed is my deposit of $250
_____ Enclosed is the entire tuition.
Make checks payable to: Friends of the Trees Society.
Accomodation choice: Space in Vogt's tipis_____
Bring own tent ______ Live-in vehicle_____
Commute from local home ______
Indoor accomodations (may be extra charge)_______
Health or dietary needs, restrictions or allergies? ________
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