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Qualification - Certificate in Permaculture Consulting

Course CodeVHT037
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours
QualificationCertificate

Offer Consultancy Services in Permaculture

If you are passionate about the changes that permaculture can bring for the future and want to spread the word by consulting in permaculture, this is the course to your dreams. Learn about permaculture, how to operate as a consultant, with a large variety of electives such as organic agriculture and farming; sustainable agriculture, alternative energy; nut and fruit production and more.

Permaculture is a growing movement worldwide that revolutionises the way we manage the environment around us to maximise the use of energy to increase food production and environmental health. Permaculture courses are in demand as are skilled consultants. This is a great course for those already practicing permaculture and wanting to take the next step and those just wanting to start out and learn more.

 

 

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Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Permaculture Consulting.
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Advanced Permaculture BHT301
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 9 modules.
 Classroom Delivery Skills BGN106
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Renewable Energy VSS102
 Fruit Production (Temperate Climate) BHT218
 Fruit Production (Warm Climate) BHT217
 Nut Production BHT219
 Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Landcare Reafforestation) BHT205
 Organic Agriculture and Farming BAG305
 

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Permaculture Consulting is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Why Study This Course?

This course develops very broad skills, pertaining to sustainability, but with a particular focus on permaculture.

There are many different ideas about how to be more sustainable. You will find different people promoting different concepts with great vigour and enthusiasm, and in most cases, these concepts will have something valuable to teach you. Many are quite similar in approach, often being just variations of a similar theme. Each approach will have its application; but because it worked for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you. Some of these concepts are explained below and will be discussed in more detail later in the course.

Low Input Farming Systems
This approach is based on the idea that a major problem is depletion of resources. If a farmer uses fewer resources (e.g. chemicals, fertiliser, fuel, money, manpower), farm costs will be reduced, there is less chance of damage being caused by waste residues or overworking the land and the world is less likely to run out of the resources needed to sustain farming.

Regenerative Farming Systems
This seeks to create a system that will regenerate itself after each harvest. Techniques such as composting, green manuring and recycling may be used to return nutrients to the soil after each crop. Permaculture is currently perhaps the ultimate regenerative system. A Permaculture system is a carefully designed landscape which contains a wide range of different plants and animals. This landscape can be small (e.g. a home garden), or large (e.g. a farm) and it can be harvested to provide such things as wood (for fuel and building), eggs, fruit, herbs and vegetables, without seriously affecting the environmental balance. In essence, it requires little input once established, and continues to produce and remain sustainable.

Biodynamic Systems
This approach concentrates mobilising biological mechanisms. Organisms such as worms and bacteria in the soil break down organic matter and make nutrients available to pastures or crops. Under the appropriate conditions, nature will help dispose of wastes (e.g. animal manures), and encourage predators to eliminate pests and weeds.

Organic Systems
Traditionally this involves using natural inputs for fertilisers and pest control, and techniques such as composting and crop rotation. In Australia and many other countries, there are schemes which "certify" produce as being organic. These schemes lay down very specific requirements, including products and farming techniques which are permitted, and others which are prohibited. In Australia, you can find out about such schemes through groups such as the Biological Farmers Association (BFA) or the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture (NASAA).

Conservation Farming
This is based on the idea of conserving resources that already exist on the farm. It may involve such things as identifying and retaining the standard and quality of waterways, creek beds, nature strips, slopes, etc.

Hydroponics
This approach involves separating plant growth from the soil, and taking greater control of the growth of a crop. This increases your ability to manage both production and the disposal of waste. Hydroponics is not a natural system of cropping, but it can be very environmentally friendly. A lot of produce can be grown in a small area; so despite the high establishment costs, the cost of land is much less allowing farms to operate closer to markets. In the long term, a hydroponic farm uses fewer land resources, fewer pesticides, and is less susceptible to environmental degradation than many other forms of farming.

Matching Enterprise with Land Capability
Some sites are so good that you can use them for almost any type of farming enterprise, for any period of time without serious degradation. Other places, however, have poor or unreliable climates or infertile soils and might only be suitable for certain types of enterprises or certain stocking or production rates. If you have a property already, only choose enterprises that are sustainable on your land.

Genetic Improvement
This principle involves breeding or selecting animal or plant varieties which have desirable genetic characteristics. If a particular disease becomes a problem, you select a variety that has reduced susceptibility. If the land is threatened with degradation in a particular way, you should change to varieties that do not pose that problem.

Polycultures
Many modern farms practise monoculture, growing only one type of animal or plant. With large populations of the same organism, though, there is greater susceptibility to all sorts of problems. Diseases and pests can build up to large populations. One type of resource (required by that variety) can be totally depleted, while other resources on the farm are under-used. If the market becomes depressed, income can be devastated. A polyculture involves growing a variety of different crops or animals, in order to overcome such problems.

Integrated Management
This concept holds that good planning and monitoring the condition of the farm and marketplace will allow the farmer to address problems before they lead to irreversible degradation. Chemical pesticides and artificial fertilisers may still be used, but their use will be better managed.  Soil degradation will be treated as soon as detected. Water quality will be maintained. Ideally, diseases will be controlled before they spread. The mix of products being grown will be adjusted to reflect changes in the marketplace (e.g. battery hens and lot-fed animals may still be produced but the waste products which often damage the environment should be properly treated, and used as a resource rather than being dumped and causing pollution).

PERMACULTURE

The term “Permaculture” is derived from the idea of “permanent agriculture”.

In its strictest sense, Permaculture is a polyculture system of agriculture based on perennial or self‑perpetuating plant and animal species which are useful to man. In a broader context, Permaculture is a philosophy which encompasses the design and establishment of environments which are harmonious, highly productive and stable. These environments provide food, shelter, and energy, as well as supportive social and economic infrastructures, in a sustainable manner.

In comparison to modern farming techniques practised in most modern civilisations, the key elements of Permaculture are low energy and high diversity inputs. The design of the landscape, whether on a suburban block or a large farm, is based on these elements. It also takes ethical issues into consideration.

Design is required to place plants, structures and animals in relation to each other so that their functions and yields are enhanced. Permaculture design skills include observation, deduction, analysis, mapping, pattern reading and experience.

ACS Distance Education is a member of the Permaculture Association (UK) and The Alternative Technology Association (Australia)

If you have any questions, please do ask. Our permaculture tutors are more than happy to help and advise. 

 
 


Meet some of our academics

John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Christine ToddUniversity lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.
Bob JamesHorticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC


Check out our eBooks

Starting a Garden or Landscape BusinessExpert advice on how to get started in your own garden or landscape business! Packed with valuable business advice, horticultural and landscaping knowledge, and practical ideas - this book is a must have for garden lovers. It is great for anyone thinking about (or already involved in) a horticultural, landscaping or garden business. This updated re-print is only available as an e book. Originally published by Simon & Schuster. 125 pages
Organic GardeningCreate a healthy, well-balanced garden. Attract abundant beneficial insects to pollinate your plants. Have healthy, fertile, organic soils teeming with life. Use this book as a guide to establish lush gardens laden with fruit, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals - without the use of chemicals. The ebook covers: soils and nutrition, pest and disease, natural weed control, conservation and recycling. 179 pages, 170 colour photos
Professional Practice for ConsultantsExplore becoming a consultant. This ebook contains chapters on how to be a consultant, packaging your services, delivering the services, building your resources, finding the work and getting the job, planning and ethics.
Project ManagementLearn to manage any type of project, in any industry. Six chapters cover the nature and scope of project management, risk and uncertainty, maintaining control, interpersonal relationships, the end game, and golden rules. This is a very concise text - easy to follow, with much of the information presented in bulleted lists. 72 pages