Gain a Permaculture Qualification with this Certificate Level course!
Study Permaculture principles and the fundamentals of horticulture in this extensive course.
- Half of the course is identical to the Permaculture courses outlined previously, and the other half provides a broad, general foundation in horticultural practices.
- After satisfactory completion of this course, you will be awarded a Permaculture Design Certificate, recognised by the Permaculture Institute.
- The course is recognised by the Permaculture Association (UK) and the Alternative Technology Association (Australia)
- Learn permaculture principles
- Learn more about creating and designing ethical, sustainable gardens and crops.
- You will study horticulture modules.
- You will study two stream modules of Permaculture Systems and Advanced Permaculture.
- You will then choose one elective from a detailed list including - fish farming, fruit production, poultry, organic plant culture, sheep husbandry and plant ecology
Who is this course suitable for?
- Anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of horticulture
- Anyone who wants to work in an ethical way
- If you want to become a consultant in permaculture
- If you are interested in setting up sustaintable productive garden for others
- If you are interested in working in horticulture or do already work in horticulture, but are interested in placing an emphasis on design, development and management of productive natural garden systems.
- Graduates may find employment in either general horticulture, or in areas servicing permaculture or natural gardening (eg. Garden/system design, plant nurseries, teaching, consulting, etc).
Accreditation: International Accreditation & Recognition Council, Permaculture Association, Alternative Technology Association.
The CORE UNITS
common to all streams of the Certificate in Horticulture:
(ie. Introduction to plants, Plant Culture, Soils & nutrition, Pests, diseases and weeds and Introductory propagation). These studies provide you with an important broad based understanding of Horticulture which greatly improves your ability to design effective Permaculture systems.
These studies also broaden the employment prospects of graduates enabling them to seek employment in areas such as nurseries, landscaping and garden management. It will give you a neiche that will be valuable for consulting in areas that require natural garden systems and permaculture too.
2. The PERMACULTURE STUDIES
You will be studying Permaculture Systems, Advanced Permaculture and a relevant elective such as Organic plant culture or Poultry, see below for electives.
Enrolment fees do not include exam fees
Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate In Horticulture (Permaculture) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
MORE ON THE TWO STREAM MODULES -
There are 10 lessons in this course:
- Evaluating Design Strategies
- The need for sustainability
- Low input farming
- Regenerative farming
- Biodynamic systems
- Organic systems
- Conservation farming
- Matching enterprise with land capability
- Integrated management
- Permaculture planning
- Reading patterns
- Mapping overlays
- Design strategies and techniques
- Undulating edge
- Spirals and circles
- Zig zag trellis
- Temporary shelter
- Small scale sun trap
- Small scale sun shading
- Keyhole beds
- Understanding Patterns
- Understanding patterns
- Know your land: evaluate a site
- Weather patterns, soil pH, EC,temperature, water etc
- Electromagnetic considerations
- Herbicide or pesticide consideration
- Land carrying capacity
- Assessing land capability
- Checklist of sustainability elements
- Indication of sustainability
- Log books
- Water supply
- Water saving measures
- Dam and pond building
- Construction; concrete, brick, stone,
- liners, earth construction
- Collecting rainwater
- Recycling waste water
- Using farm waste water
- Town water supply
- Well drilling
- Pumping subterranean ground water
- Pumping from natural supplies (eg. lakes, rivers)
- Pumps and plumbing supplies
- Water use: power generatyion, deisel generators
- Fish culture: land and water, dams
- Water plant cultureWater plants to know and grow
- Seasonal changes in a pond
- Sewage treatment: reed beds
- Problems with water
- Wasting water and conservation
- Swales and keylines
- Keyline design
- Site clearing
- Solving drainage problems
- Surveying techniques: triangulation, direct contouring, grid system etc
- Levelling terms
- Levelling procedure
- Levelling a sloping site
- Loss of soil fertility
- Soil compaction
- Soil acidification
- Build up of dangerous chemicals
- Improving soils
- Using lime, gypsum or acidic materials
- Humid Tropics
- Climatic systems
- The wet tropics
- Sources of humus
- Soil life in the tropics
- Barrier plants
- Animal barriers
- Permaculture systems for the wet tropics
- Garden beds
- Tropical fruits to grow
- Dry Climates
- Water storage and conservation
- Dryland gardens
- Dryland orchards
- Planting on hills
- Corridor planting
- Overcoming dry soils
- Drought tolerant plants
- Temperate to Cold Climates
- Characteristics of a temperate biozone
- Cool temperate garden design
- Useful crops for this zone
- Crop protection
- Soils in a cool temperate area
- Growing berries
- Soil life
- Planning Work
- Alternative planning procedures
- The planning process
- What goes where
- Equipping the environmentally friendly garden
- Barriers, walls and fencin
- Rubble, brick and concrete walls
- Retaining walls
- Changing an existing farm to be more sustainable
- Monitoring and reviewing
- Contingencies and seasonal variations
- Planning for drought
- Excessive water
- Property costs
- Making cost cutting choices
- Planning for the cost conscious
- Likely costs to establish a garden
- Socio economic considerations in farming
- Production planning
- Economies of scale
- Value adding
- Sustainable Systems
- Other sustainable systems
- Working with nature rather than against it
- Minimising machinery use
- Only use what is necessary
- Different ways to garden naturally
- Organic gardening
- No Dig techniques
- Biodynamic preparations
- Crop rotation
- Bush gardens
- Succession planting
- Seed saving
- Environmental horticulture
- Sustainable agriculture around the world
- Integrated pest management
- Cultural controls
- Biological controls
- Physical controls
- Chemicals Quarantine
- Controlling weeds without chemicals
- Animals in sustainable systems
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Evaluate appropriate design strategies for a specific development site.
- Explain the relationship between a Permaculture system and natural patterns occurring in your local area.
- Develop strategies for the management of water in a Permaculture design.
- Determine earthworks for the development of a Permaculture system.
- Design a Permaculture system for the humid tropics.
- Design a Permaculture system for a dry climate.
- Design a Permaculture system for a temperate to cold climate.
- Determine planning strategies for the development of a Permaculture system.
- Prepare cost estimates for a Permaculture development plan.
- Explain alternative sustainable systems practiced in various places around the world.
What You Will Do
- Explain the evolution of a Permaculture system which is at least five years old.
- Compare the suitability of different planning procedures, for development of a Permaculture system on a specified site.
- Develop a permaculture plan on a specified site, by using flow diagrams.
- Illustrate the progressive development of one view of a Permaculture system, over several years
- Explain the relevance of patterns which occur in nature, to Permaculture design.
- Explain the importance of observation skills in Permaculture planning.
- Analyse the weather patterns of a site in your locality as a basis for planning a Permaculture system.
- Compare different methods of water provision, including collection and storage for a specified Permaculture system.
- Analyse the adequacy of two different specific Permaculture system designs, in terms of: water requirements, water provision, water storage, and water usage.
- Explain, the use of different survey equipment.
- Survey a site, that has been selected for a proposed Permaculture system, recording details, including: topography, dimensions, and location of features.
- Prepare a Permaculture site plan, to scale, of the site surveyed,
- Distinguish between, using labelled drawings, different types of earthworks, including: banks, benching, terracing, and mounds.
- Compare different methods for the provision of drainage on a site proposed as, or being developed as a Permaculture system.
- Determine the factors unique to the design of Permaculture systems in humid tropical climates, dry climates, and cold climates.
- Determine a large number of different plant species suited for inclusion in a Permaculture system in each of the climates above.
- Determine different animal species suitable for inclusion in a Permaculture system in each of the climates above.
- Prepare a Permaculture design for each of the climates above.
- Calculate the quantities of materials, showing necessary calculations, required in a specified permaculture plan.
- Estimate the work-hours required, showing any necessary calculations, to complete each section of work.
- Estimate the equipment required, showing any necessary calculations, to complete each section of work.
- Determine suppliers for all materials, for a specified Permaculture development, in accordance with specific plans supplied to you.
- Determine the costs of different types of materials, for a specified Permaculture development, from different suppliers.
- Determine the essential costs for services to establish a specified Permaculture system, such as: labour costs, sub contracting fees, equipment hire, permits and planning applications, technical reports, legal fees.
- Compare the costs of establishing different Permaculture systems, which you visit and investigate.
- Explain different sustainable agricultural or horticultural systems, other than permaculture.
- Differentiate Permaculture from other sustainable systems, including: Biodynamics, Organic farming.
- Compare specified sustainable agricultural or horticultural practices from different countries.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
- Permaculture Principles
- Permaculture principles and ethics, Principles of Design (Relative location, Multiple Functions, Multiple Elements, Elevational Planning, Biological Resources, Energy Recycling, Natural Selection, Maximise Edges, Diversity); Permaculture Relationships to other Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, Organic Growing, No Dig Gardening, Sheet Composting, Not Till Planting, No Dig Raised Beds, Crop Rotation, Cover Cropping, Composting, Companion Planting, Pest and Disease Prevention, Biological Control
- Natural Systems
- The Ecosystem (Abiotic and Biotic components), Ecological Concepts, Biomass, Climate, Microclimates, Water, Water and Plant Growth, Maximising Plant Water, Arid Landscapes, Irrigation, Swales, Waste Water Treatments, Reed Beds, Aquatic Environments, The Hydrological Cycle, Rainfall, Evaporation, Infiltration, Effective Rain, Soil Environments (Micro organisms, Organic Matter, Soil Degradation and rehabilitation, Erosion, Salinity, Acidification), Managing Wildlife in a Permaculture System, Structure, Structure of a Permaculture System, Stacking, Successions.
- Zone and Sector Planning
- Five Standard Zones, Sectors (sun, Cold, Windy etc), Site selection, Pre planning information, Staged procedure for concept design.
- Permaculture Techniques
- Forests and trees, Trees as energy transducers, Forest types (Fuel, Forage, Shelterbelt, Animal barrier, Structural, Conservation), Establishing a forest, Sector/Zone Analysis, Firebreak, Windbreak, Mandala Gardens, Keyhole beds, Water bodies, Pond design, Pond construction,
- Animals in Permaculture
- Locating animals in a system, Function of animals in Permaculture, Bees, Poultry, Mobile Tractor Systems, Pigs, Grazing animals, Fencing, Water supply, Shelter, Birds, Earthworms, Aquaculture
- Plants in Permaculture
- Vegetable Growing Hints, Soil Management for plants, Organic fertilizers, Animal manures, Liquid feeds, Rock dusts, Legumes (Nitrogen fixing), Mycorrhyzae, Mulch, Weed Management, Pest Control, Culture of a large range of plants suited to permaculture, in different environments (including: Asparagus, Black locust, Cassava, Chicory, Dandelion, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Leek, Mint, Okra, Pigface, Rhubarb, Sweet Potato, Taro, Warrigal Greens, Water Cress, Water Spinach, Yam, Apple, Apricot, Cherry, Citrus, Fig, Loquat, Nashi Pear, Olive, Peach, Pear, Plum, Quince, Avocado, Banana, Carambola, Coconut, Custard Apple, Guava, Mango, Paw Paw, Pepino, Pineapple, Grape, Passionfruit, Kiwi fruit, Strawberry, Raspberry, Currant, Gooseberry, Mulberry, Blueberry, Brambles, Elderberry, Cranberry, Nuts, Fodder Trees, etc)
- Appropriate Technologies
- For example; Solar energy, Wind Energy, Methane, Bio fuel power, Composting Toilets, Energy efficient housing, Living fences (hedges, hedgerows etc), Water recycling (grey water and constructed wetland).
- Preparing a Plan
- Design for natural disasters, Drawing a Plan, Preparing a final design
- Several plans will be prepared by the student, including one major design.
- This is an ideal starting point for anyone who already has professional
- training in a related field such as agriculture or horticulture
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- 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 husbandry.
- 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 practicing different techniques which are sympathetic to Permaculture, including: No-dig gardening, Companion Planting, Biological control, and Sustainable harvesting.
- 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 Environments.
- 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 area.
- 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 YOU WILL DO IN THIS COURSE
- Develop a good understanding of the scientific system of naming plants.
- Discuss some of the aspects which play a part in permaculture.
- Describe how permaculture is different to other forms of horticulture and agriculture.
- Visit an outdoor environment area determine what relationships the living and non‑living things might have with each other.
- Explain contour maps and how this information can be used to estimate potential effects on plant growth.
- Explain weather patterns in your local area. Determine why this knowledge may be important to the permaculture practitionist.
- Explain water within an ecosystem or permaculture garden and its application.
- Describe the differences between the three main types of climate zones (ie: Tropical, Temperate and Desert); and briefly give your views on what major differences would need to be taken in establishing a permaculture system in each climate zone, compared with the other two.
- Explain the importance of trees in a Permaculture system.
- Describe how you would build a no dig garden approximately 10 X 3 metres in size.
- Step by step work through a process of planning changes to a garden to make it into more of a permaculture system.
- Collect and list preplanning information relevant to developing home into a permaculture system
- Write a report explaining the five permaculture zones.
- Create a table listing 50 different pest, disease and weed problems in one column, and an appropriate natural control method for each one in an adjacent column.
- Make a list of companion plants. In one column, list the herb or companion plant.
- Draw a plan for a fruit or vegetable garden which incorporates companion planting.
- Explain briefly each of the companion planting interrelationships you have included in your plan.
- Design a small and simple water garden for use in a permaculture system.
- Design and build an herb spiral.
- Design a vegetable and herb garden based on permaculture principles which would produce enough food to feed you and your family for the entire year.
- List as many different central features as you can think of which could be used in a Mandalla garden
- Outline how to plan and prepare garden zones in relation to animals. Provide step-by-step instructions and accompanying photographs or drawings.
- Contact your state department of Agriculture and obtain leaflets relating to poultry which you are particularly interested in keeping.
- Contact your state department of Agriculture and obtain leaflets (and any other publications) relating to bee keeping.
- In no less than 500 words explain the importance of bees to horticulture and the permaculture garden.
- Develop a 5 year plan for developing a one hectare permaculture farm utilising plants, animals and fish (aquaculture). Use drawings and diagrams where needed to assist in this report.
- Select three different aquatic animals which would be appropriate to grow in a permaculture system. For each one in turn, explain how you would incorporate it into a permaculture system.
- Go to nurseries and agricultural supply companies and inquire about environmentally safe pesticides. Write a report on these products.
- Observe the construction process of a building or structure that involves some type of earthworks (eg, roads, dams, etc).
- Take a photograph of your home or residence. Discuss your residence in relation to designing with consideration to the environment (eg. does it efficiently utilize sun and shade, is it energy efficient).
- Describe the importance of house design in relation to location, eg. tropical region of your locality.
- Contact the local council or health department and inquire about allowable use of waste material in your area. Consider asking about grey water, septic tanks, use of effluent and animal wastes, etc. Write a report to 250 words on the task.
- Contact and obtain information on composting toilets from a manufacturer. Compile this information and use it as a personal reference.
- Contact a supplier of windmills and find out all that you can about the use of these devices for supplying water (ie. pumping from a river, lake, dam, ground water etc). Discover the alternatives available, the costs involved, the applications, operation etc.
- Contact the National Parks and Wildlife department or a conservation body in your locality and obtain as much information as possible on wildlife corridors, conservation, etc. Contact your local council department and inquire about their wildlife corridors, etc. Are they similar or drastically different? Can you think of a reason why there may be a difference?
- For a month period, write down all tasks performed by yourself and anyone who enters your permaculture garden. Submit this work schedule plus a brief report on how it may be possible to improve the time efficiency in the garden.
- Write a report on where you think ‘alternative’ permaculture is heading in terms of main-stream acceptance.
If you want a change, to get your hands dirty and try something new; gain a solid training in Permaculture Design and practices! This course was recently revised to provide even more extensive and solid training for those who want to work in horticulture, especially in the design and care of productive natural garden systems. Graduates may find employment in general horticulture, permaculture design, or natural gardening (eg. in garden/system design, nurseries, teaching, consulting, etc). An excellent starting point for an exciting career in permaculture or sustainable gardening, and the skills you will learn will be valuable for any area of Horticulture too.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE THE PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE?
IF SO, THERE ARE THREE PATHWAYS TO ACHIEVE THE PDC WITH ACS DISTANCE EDUCATION BY COMPLETING EITHER –
PERMACULTURE SYSTEMS COURSE
CERTIFICATE IN HORTICULTURE (PERMACULTURE)
ACS Distance Education is a member of the Permaculture Association (UK) and The Alternative Technology Association (Australia)
What do our students think about the course? "So far I have found the course very thorough and extremely informative. I enjoy the assignment questions and reading the course material. Having glanced ahead at the future lessons I can easily see I am going to cover all the important aspects of Horticulture before starting the Permacutlure half of my course." Dale Rider, Certificate in Horticulture (Permaculture) course.
So do you want to learn more about permaculture and horticulture in this intensive flexible course?
Do you want the permaculture design certificate?
Do you want to open up your career opportunities in this area?
Then this is the course for you!
Enrol now and start the Certificate in Horticulture (Permaculture)