Permaculture Design Course

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The 2023 Murrnong Permaculture Design Course begins on Saturday Feb 18, and takes place over six weekends until Jun 4. All the dates and other details for the course are available here.

The 2022 Murrnong Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a 14 day course over 6 weekends from summer through to late autumn/ early winter. This extended format gives you time to take what you’ve learnt each session, thoroughly digest it all, absorb the sometimes life-changing content, and grow together as a learning community through these seasons. 

This PDC engages and immerses you in design examples ranging from intensive urban to rural. The base is our outdoor learning space at Murrnong, with easy access to the many features of applied permaculture design on the property. David Arnold is convenor and the host tutor throughout the course, with Beck Lowe and others as guest tutors. One special guest tutor is the co-originator of permaculture, David Holmgren. It is a treat for us to have David over for a weekend each year.

Each day has a mix of teaching, demonstration and discussion, some days include hands-on activity. Through a series of design exercises you will be supported to prepare a retrofit plan for an existing building, or perhaps design a simple new building, and then to prepare a permaculture landscape plan for the land around that building. You might choose your existing home and garden, or a project you have in mind, as the subject for this design work. We workshop the development of these plans in small groups, supported by tutors. You get to consult with your tutors and fellow participants for your building retrofit and for your landscape plan. You also get to act as consultants with the tutor and other participants, helping each of your companions to think through their projects. 

On completion of the course you will receive a permaculture design certificate, as part of the worldwide permaculture movement. Here are some things that previous participants have said about the Murrnong PDC.

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What will I learn in the course?

You will gain analysis and design skills, an understanding of our domestic and human ecology within the global context and an introductory understanding of how our landscapes function. You will experience solutions and strategies that are already being developed, and gain an understanding of the methods being used to achieve this.

We look at how houses can be designed or modified to be energy efficient and comfortable, and how home gardens and farms can be set up to be productive, healthy and attractive spaces for the people and animals that live there. You will learn to identify how buildings and landscapes work, and ways to modify this so they work better, and require less external input.

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You will be special guests at exciting permaculture sites, each quite different, to gain an understanding of the scope and scale to which permaculture can be applied. Within these sites we engage with elements ranging from intensive urban to rural homesteading, farming, forestry, ecological building and energy efficient retrofit, and from long established to under recent active development.

We will see and discuss how any permaculture is a combination of people and place, an expression of the culture of the people doing it. You can join our culture of earth care, people care, and fair share, with pragmatic and respectful solutions, to create a world that we want.

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The topic areas cover these seven domains of permaculture action, below, with particular focus on solutions to the practical challenges we face in our own efforts to re-localise ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The principles of permaculture design are explored and returned to throughout the course. For more information about these principles and the permaculture domains, (and an answer to ‘what is permaculture’) see Richard Telford’s

Book online or contact us to pay directly by funds transfer.
Details for the upcoming course here