Courses and workshops taught by Peter Bane,
Keith Johnson, Rhonda Baird and associates.
Peter Bane (Dipl. Perm. Des. &
publisher Permaculture Activist), Keith Johnson
(Dipl. Perm. Des. & Patterns
for Abundance), Rhonda
Baird, and guests. Midwestern
natives, Peter, and Keith have between them facilitated
over sixty permaculture courses and led groups from four
to over a hundred students and between them have graduated
more than 2300 design students. They have gardening, building,
design, and teaching experience in all regions of the
Bane published Permaculture Activist magazine for
over 20 years and has taught permaculture design widely in
the temperate and tropical Americas. He is a native of the
Illinois prairie whose interest in good food and simple living
led him at mid-life to become a writer and teacher of permaculture
design. He was also drawn into the arcane world of intentional
community as fate presented the opportunity to help create
and build Earthaven Ecovillage in the southern Appalachian
Mountains. There he discovered his inner architect in the
course of building a small off-grid solar cabin and later
took on the more prosaic job of rehabilitating a pair of suburban
ranch houses in the Midwestern college town of Bloomington,
Indiana. That was the first step toward creating a small suburban
farmstead where he now lives with his partner and apprentices.
A prolific writer in journals and collections on forestry,
building and all things sustainable, he consults
with universities and municipal governments as well as for
Johnson was raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
(where he learned at an early age he was related to Johnny
Appleseed), and has been a commercial landscaper, stonemason,
and organic gardener since 1976 in places as varied as subtropical
Bay Area of California, the White Mountains of New Hampshire,
Michigan, & the mountains of W. North Carolina. After
devouring Permaculture One in 1978 he continued to learn all
he could on the subject. He’s been teaching Permaculture
since ’95, has instructed more than 1200 students, many
of those through Indiana University’s annual Design
Course which began in 2003. He’s taught or trained with
Bill Mollison, Larry Santoyo, Tom Ward, Penny Livingston,
Peter Bane, Chuck Marsh, Andrew Goodheart Brown, Albert Bates,
Starhawk, and Jerome Osentowski and others. Now resident in
Bloomington, IN, Keith participates in a number of local activism
projects including the editorial guild of the Permaculture
Activist, the founding of Transition Bloomington (Indiana’s
first Transition Town Initiative), past board member of the
Local Growers Guild, contributor to Bloomington’s Peak
Oil Task Force, member of the Bloomington Permaculture Guild,
member of the Bloomington Food Policy Council and the Trillium
Horticultural Park Project. A frequent public speaker and
radio interviewee, he works constantly to share a vision of
cultural and ecological regeneration and continues to provide
ecological design and consultation services via Patterns
Baird is a permaculture educator and designer; homeschooling
mama; and community organizer. She and her family are nestled
in Bloomington, Indiana. Rhonda is a seventh generation Hoosier,
with deep ties to the forested hills and rivers of southern
Indiana. Though permaculture practice began formally for her
in 2005, she grew up in a working-class family that had multiple
gardens-incorporating fruits, shrubs, and animals into the
patterns and rhythms of those sites. Her family also preserved
seed, propagated young fruits, foraged on nearby public lands,
and was active in forestry. In 2005, Rhonda “stumbled”
into a Permaculture Design Course with Peter Bane and Keith
Johnson and never looked back. She began apprenticing as a
teacher and after the first year, began working as a designer
and offering independent workshops as well as coordinating
the Bloomington Permaculture Guild. In 2008, she began working
with The Permaculture Activist. In 2010, Rhonda joined the
board of the Association for Regenerative Culture.
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from Nature: Permaculture
Two intensive weeks
of being outdoors, classwork, and camaraderie
Join us for
the twelfth year of this fantastic experience!
Dates: June 5 – June 19, 2016
Application Deadline for IU students: Wednesday, March 30,
2016, by 5PM
Enrollment deadline for the public is May 5, 2016
Peter Bane, Publisher
of Permaculture Activist magazine and author of The Permaculture
Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country.
Keith Johnson, Editor of Permaculture Activist magazine and
celebrated urban polyculture forest gardner.
Rhonda Baird, permaculture practictioner and teacher from
the forests of sourthern Indiana.
David Haberman, Department of Religious Studies, IUB
You will also be working with the on location staff.
the IU Permaculture Design Course
University has offered the permaculture design course (PDC)
since 2002, making it one of the longest running university
permaculture courses in the nation. The course introduces
students to core permaculture ethics, principles, and practices,
and is led by some of the top teachers and designers in the
region. It offers an in depth look at the problems we face
today (climate instability, peak oil, deforestation, famine,
economic injustice, etc.) and provides participants with a
wide range of practical solutions and steps towards resiliency.
PDC is offered as a two-week residential course giving participants
time to be immersed in the learning experience, to engage
with peers, and to connect with the place around them. The
course is taught through hands on activities, lecture, group
design projects and discussion, videos, and lots of one-on-one
conversation. During the two weeks, students will stretch
their understanding of how the natural world works and strengthen
their observational skills - learning to identify patterns
found in nature and how to mimic them through thoughtful and
integrative design. The PDC has inspired thousands of people
worldwide and creates the foundation to lives and careers
that help heal our planet. Join the movement towards a future
full of abundance!
excited to announce that the course is returning to the magical
Lazy Black Bear, a 270-acre retreat center located just south
of Paoli, Indiana. This site, which is surrounded on three
sides by the Hoosier National Forest, gives students ample
opportunity to experience the wonders of the woods of southern
Indiana while contemplating some of the most challenging issues
of our times within a creative community. It features swimmable
ponds, a 3-acre organic farm, a renovated barn classroom,
a spacious and picturesque outdoor eating pavilion, a kitchen
that prepares locally grown organ food, solar showers, composting
toilets, a menagerie of animals (including possums), an open
meadow for residence in a tent or cabin, and funky art everywhere.
can get enrollment packets here.
Non IU students can enroll by contacting Peter Bane pcactivist(at)mindspring(dot)com
Northern Michigan, Dates: July 17-31
Location: Onaway, MI
Description: Over 72 hours of classroom and hands-on education.
Those of us who live in Northern Michigan, love it here and
want to keep the beauty we have found in nature, our neighbors
and our lifestyles. We can take charge of our future! To preserve
the best and improve the rest, we need a broader understanding
of what has been going on, what it means and where it is heading.
To prevent negative changes, enough of us need to see what
is not obvious to everyone yet, nor visible at a glance. Limited
to 40 students.
Instructors: Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, Rhonda Baird, and
Contact: Bob Lawrason, 989-733-5267
Purpose of the Course
a world of diminishing resources and increasing stresses
on natural and social systems we must rapidly implement
strategies to restore degraded
landscapes, shelter and feed displaced and hungry people,
and convert our energy-wasteful infrastructure to holistic
and ecological systems that meet their own needs and the
needs of those who manage them. This course
lays the foundation for understanding the
workings of natural systems and for designing human
environments that produce food, shelter, and energy.
It also provides participants with models of community development
and extension by which they can create
networks of support for themselves and empower others to
do the same.
my mind the very act of enrolling for a permaculture design
course is one of the most political acts most people ever
engage in. Since I have certified over 3,000 people
I feel that I have helped create a small village of active,
engaged and aware folks who now have the tools to change
the reality around them - and many of them are very busy
doing just that.
very act of reading "Permaculture - A Design Manual"
is extremely radical and political as the information
and realizations sink in of the ultimate outcome of following
the permaculture path. The beauty of permaculture has
always meant, to me, that I can travel all over the world,
in some of the most brutal dictatorships, espousing a
revolutionary system of design and I am considered harmless
by the powers that be. That is an incredible advantage
in a world that has become increasingly polarized by the
paranoia of rampant capitalism and lack of ethical guidance.
the ethical guideposts of permaculture are contained all
the political guidance one could need."
agriculture" or "permanent culture,"
a term coined by Australians David
Holmgren and Bill Mollison in the 1970s, describes
a design system for creating
human settlements that function in harmony with nature.
Incorporating traditional knowledge, modern science, and
the ecological patterns of the living world, permaculture
design is applicable to farms, gardens, organizations, housing
developments, towns and villages, or city neighborhoods.
1978, tens of thousands of individuals on all continents
have learned and taught to others the principles of energy
flow and materials cycling, and the simple
appropriate technologies of
self-reliant living: gardening, shelter, water and waste
management, aquaculture, forestry, and how to organize supportive
local economies. The aim of this grassroots
international movement is to
liberate people everywhere to provide for their own and
their communities' needs for food, energy, shelter, and
a decent life without exploitation or pollution and from
the smallest practical area of land.
read David's introductory PDF, The
Essence of Permaculture.
Kinds of People Take Permaculture Courses?
Thousands of people from all over the planet!
by Keith Johnson: Students & teachers at Permaculture
Design Course, VA)
farmers, homeowners and prospective buyers of land and
homes will benefit from the energy-saving and productive
insights of permaculture, while students and professionals
in the fields of ecology, agronomy,
resource management, architecture, and planning will
find their work enlivened by the holistic and interdisciplinary
perspective of the course. Community
development and aid workers, real estate brokers, municipal
officials, and religious leaders will find practical
and creative applications for permaculture design in their
respective fields of endeavor.
Learn simple steps to improve your
home ecosystem and your immediate surroundings while saving
money, resources, and building a healthy habitat for family,
friends and neighbors.
& Managers: Learn how to
integrate sustainable design methodologies into the planning
process using a multi-disciplinary approach for the well-being
of the whole community.
State & Federal Employees:
Improve public service & work efficiency
and community benefits via creative land, water, and air
resource management techniques.
Design & Construction Professionals:
Learn about current practical systems
of natural building, as well as how to integrate
land-use design into the built environment.
Architects, Designers & Gardeners:
Learn principles and techniques of sustainable landscaping,
with an emphasis on functional, edible, and economic
plants, the creation of microclimates for extended growing
seasons, and rainwater harvesting.
Acquire tools for empowerment and
new dimensions in place-based professional practice
applicable to micro through macro
& Community Leaders: Integrate
ecological design, professional networking, and social
marketing approaches to advance your mission and programs.
Explore how ecological models can
be used to design, develop, implement, and manage a sustainable
Integrate ecological systems design and social/environmental
change practices into your academic studies.
Add a whole systems perspective to
your ecological / green ministry.
of the Curriculum
Evidence of the Need for Change and the Ethics of
Principles of Permaculture
Observation and Landscape Analysis
Pattern & Design
Ecosystems: the Models of Nature
Gaian System: Climate and Biogeography
Forests, Trees & Tree Care
Water Harvesting, Management, and Conservation
Building Soil Fertility
Creating the Home System
The Third Skin: Natural Building Design
Waste Recycling and Treatment
Aquaculture and Animals
and Forest Gardening
Useful Plants and Planting Strategies
Feeding Yourself from Home
Garden Design & Establishment
Integrated Pest Management
Tools & Appropriate Technologies
Patterns of Settlement
Cooperative Economics, Money & Financial Systems
Mapping and Design Exercises
A Home in the City
Villages and Neighborhoods, The Hope and the Results
of Practical Design
Landscape and Systems Design
from over 100 countries in all regions of the world and
from all walks of life have called the permaculture design
course "life-changing, transformative,
and enormously affirming." In the lively company
of a diverse group of engaged and motivated women and men
with a common interest in the future of humanity, learning
is rapid, multidimensional, and long-lasting.
Design Work and Certification
completing this course participants will receive a Certificate
of Apprenticeship in Permaculture Design from the College
of Graduates of Permaculture and will be entitled to use the
term Permaculture in their professional work. Generally, students
are encouraged to apprentice with other designers for two
years. Prospective teachers should aim to gain experience
through a permaculture teacher training course and practice
teaching with others for a comparable period. This course
presents 72 hours of the standard certificate curriculum.
The Instructors: Midwestern natives Peter Bane, Dipl. Perm.
Des., and Keith Johnson have between them facilitated over
50 permaculture courses and led groups from four to over a
hundred students. They have gardening, building, design, and
teaching experience in all regions of the Americas. Both instructors
live in Bloomington, Indiana.
of thePermaculture Course averages about $800 to $1400 with
some charging more for extended duration. The weekend series
format usually costs less because food and lodging needs are
Design Course Syllabus
Principles, and Design, The Key Permaculture Overview (1 day):
of systemic ecological and cultural crisis; derivation and
evolution of ethics; spirals of degradation and the etiology
of health; energy and entropy; the Permaculture innovation
and synthesis; roots of permaculture knowledge; principles
of energy efficient design, language and terms; exercise in
observation of landscape; the nature of pattern in form, orders
in natural phenomena; application of pattern to design; design
process, purpose and methods.
Systems (2 days):
of ecology; energy flux and materials cycling; conservation
and diversity; guilds; cooperation; niches; forests as organism;
climate, global weather patterns, and biogeography; forest
impact on climate and the hydrologic cycle; functions of the
tree; landscape analysis; the nature, sources, and value of
freshwater; water's duties in the landscape; water movement,
storage, and purification; water in the domestic system. The
soil community; oxygen/ethylene cycling and nutrient availability;
soil biota regimes, mycorrhizal associations; carbon/nitrogen
and other nutrient relationships; tropical and temperate soil
conditions; building soil; physical properties of soils and
soil testing; climate near the ground; factors in microclimatic
design; windbreaks; moisture and humidity effects; modifying
sunlight and capturing solar gain; thermal zones and frost
pockets; limiting factors in living systems; exercise building
swales, ponds, trellises, and/or brush fences; use of leveling
Domestic System (1/2 day):
of the home system; zone and sector analysis; placement of
elements for beneficial function; the domestic economy; staging
of development in small permaculture systems; building design,
materials, methods, and examples; conservation of energy;
building as organism; nutrient cycling in the domestic system;
biological treatment methods for human and animal waste: compost,
constructed wetlands, biogas; urine as fertilizer.
of Cultivated Ecologies (2 days):
advantages of aquaculture; designing aquatic systems; water
quality and species composition; animals as energy translators;
their utility and efficient management; self-forage systems;
intensive grazing; silvopasture; agroforestry systems; forest
gardening and farming; alley cropping, coppice-with-standards;
; orchards as floristic communities; principles of pruning
and tree health; useful plants and planting strategies; guild
assemblies; plant identification, plant families, nomenclature;
wildcrafting; establishment of nurseries and intensive small
systems; economics and rolling permaculture. Self reliance
and food security; the year-round harvest; methods of food
storage and adaptation to climate; garden design, establishment,
and methods; exercise in sheet mulch bed preparation; short
design exercise in creativity; tools and their energy implications;
choosing appropriate technologies; favorite tools.
Design, Common Resources, and Larger Human Systems (1-1/2
of human settlement; city and regional design; orders of magnitude;
the village as building block of human community; building
cooperative networks, organizations, and communities; resource
inventories; business incubators; principles of economic design;
how money works; the problems with present financial systems:
interest, corporations, taxes, planning; community-based financial
systems; the use of maps; simple methods of mapping; the integral
urban house; resources in cities; appropriate scale for conviviality,
economy, and security; components of village life; new village
development; designing for human cooperation and interaction.
Resources for further work; the permaculture movement; continuing
education; how to organize locally; making a living; future
visions and participant evaluations.
Practicum (Section Two)
Elements of Practical Design - 2 days
of Ethics and Principles; pattern languages; site analysis
exercise; mapping & field surveying exercise; introduction
to client interview, cost & budgeting, earning a living.
Design Projects - 3 1/2 days
group projects for real clients son or near the course venue;
mentored, hands-on design work involving application of all
presented skills; site observation and analysis, mapping,
client interview, conceptual design, mind mapping, and presentation.
- 1/2 day
of presentation skills; several opportunities for planned
and impromptu presentation to the whole class; formal presentation
in group of the team design with sketches, maps, speech, and
other modes of work.
Landscape and Systems Design - 2 days
and Village systems; farm landscapes; design for wildlife;
restoration and earthworks; economic design including financial
systems; land access, regional strategies.
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