Big news here at NorthernHomestead, I’m (Anna) taking the Permaculture Design Course, Starting on November 18, 2021. The Permaculture Design Course is the international standard for permaculture certification. It is an online course, so I get to go to classes without leaving the comfort of my home. And if you know me, you will know I love that option.
What is permaculture you might ask?
Permaculture is a set of design principles centered on a holistic system of thinking. To say it with the words of Geoff Lawton, one of the most prominent permaculture teachers:
Permaculture is the science of design anchored in ethics, where we connect all the disciplines together to provide all the needs for humanity in a way that’s beneficial to live on earth in all its forms. So it actually improves the environment, it strengthens the environment, it gives the environment integrity. They can all be designed to be beneficial in ways that are beyond even the function of nature, because of our ability to apply human intelligence in a harmonic way. Using the lessons of nature, we can actually improve on nature itself. That is something that most people have no idea about, but once they’re switched on to it, it becomes a terminal activity for life. You can’t give it up, you can’t let it go, it’s addictive.
This quote is taken from a video What is permaculture? that is worth watching for its videography even if you are not interested in permaculture.
Even though we have never taken any official classes in permaculture, we have been trying out its principles a bit on our urban homestead. We already know the addictive part of it, that may actually be a reason I’m finely taking the course itself.
Why a permaculture design course?
Since we are already growing a quite successful garden, greenhouse, and indoor garden, collect rainwater for gardening, and preserve a big portion of our food for winter, you might be wondering why I would need a permaculture design course.
Permaculture is such a big subject that even specialists admit that they do not know it all, and never will. The more principles we apply the more we realize there is much more possible.
Growing up on a homestead, I don’t remember when I started with gardening. One of my first jobs as a kid was tending to the raspberry patch in spring and then gathering potatoes after my parents dug them out in fall. I was learning by example and simple instructions. I share more about my parents’ homestead here.
I learned about cold climate gardening by doing it and watching videos on youtube. That’s where my desire to share what I learned came from. Since I was sharing what I was doing, I spend more time thinking about it, which lead to more intense learning. NorthernHomestead has always been more about inspiring people, not a know-it-all blog.
Learning by example and experience is very valuable, I would not want to miss it. On the contrary, it makes me want to learn more.
I want to be able to design a place not through trial and error, as we have been playing around here, but have the science behind it. To be able to look at the ecosystem as a system so it can do what it does in the best way.
The idea to design a garden, food forest, and a whole homestead so it is less work and more production at the end excites me.
I also love helping others. Our little homestead is becoming more public through our blog and video activity, I want to be able to give solid and helpful information to my fellow food growers.
What permaculture design course to take
Since most everything is online these days, it really does not matter where in the world the teacher of the course is located. And there are many permaculture design courses available. However, since we currently live in an extremely cold climate, I decided to take a course very close to home.
Verge permaculture is located in central Alberta and many instructors come from places around us. We have been touring their gardens and farm. Rob, the cofounder did some videos in a case study on our Geodesic Dome Greenhouse. There is some acquaintance already there.
Cold climate permaculture uses the same principles any permaculture does, working with nature, not against it. In our gardening experiences, we have already seen that is the best approach, giving us a clue that a lot more is possible.
Looking forward to this chapter of my growing and evolving, and also applying and sharing what I learn.
Books on permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming, and Gardening by Sepp Holzer’s; A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Gaia’s Garden.