Introduction to Permaculture and Organic Gardening

Introduction to Permaculture and Organic Gardening from South Facing Slope

By: South Facing Slope  23/02/2011
Keywords: food, gardening, plants

Permaculture is a system of design that integrates all elements together for sustainability. It aims to enhance relationships between organisms and elements, reduce work input, minimise waste and maximise efficiency and yield. Gardening through Permaculture uses techniques of design to create a diverse and interesting landscape. This course is creative and active, and will provide an introduction to Permaculture as well as practical skills for small-scale gardens.

Introduction to Permaculture and Organic Gardening

8-week overview

Students will learn:
• Fundamentals of Permaculture: Ethics and Principles.
• Use of permaculture principles in small-scale gardens.
• Seed-sowing, growing on, planting and nursing vegetables.
• Composting, Mulching and feeding crops.
• Fundamentals of Forest Gardening – fruit and herbs.
• Techniques of preserving food and storing energy.
• Designing and planning your work through the gardening year.

Class by class:

1. Getting started in the garden.
This week will introduce the course and compare differences between conventional and
permaculture design.
Groundrules and expectations. Introduction to mindmapping.
Mindmapping exercises: What is self-sufficiency? Inputs and Outputs of a human. Inputs and
outputs of a chicken in a battery system vs permaculture system.

2. Permaculture Ethics and Principles.
Students will be introduced to the foundations of Permaculture, showing how permaculture can be
applied in growing organically.
Why grow organically? Beginning to design a garden. Zoning. Seed sprouting.

3. Seed sowing and composts.
Students will be introduced to techniques in seed sowing and composting.
What is needed to sow different types of seeds.
Different types of compost. How to make a compost bin, how to make compost. Mesophyllic and
Thermophyllic composting. Wormeries. Liquid teas. Feeding.
Introduction to fermentation and microbial activity - Kombucha and Kefir.

4. The Permaculture Garden.
Class will discuss how permaculture principles can be applied to growing food in urban and small-
scale environments.
Implementing the garden. Permaculture principles in design. Intercropping and companion planting.
What do you eat, How much do you eat? Planning quantities.
Dig vs No Dig systems. Mulching.

5. Biodiversity.
Students will be introduced to the significance of animals, insects, fugi and microbes.
Pests and Diseases. Animal habitat.
Plant families and relationships. Crop rotation.

6. Forest gardening.
Students will be introduced to perennial plants and forest gardening in Permaculture systems,
including elements of woodland management and uses of trees.
Inter-relations of trees. Introduction to significant trees. Native vs Non-native.
Soft fruit. Taking cuttings. Herbs.

7. Energy.
Students will be introduced to energy storage in permaculture systems.
Preservation of vegetables and fruit. Chutney, pickles, fermentation and jams.
Water, wind, sun. Fuel.
The importance of Permaculture on an individual scale to a global scale. Transition initiatives.

8. The Gardener's Year.
Students will generate a calendar for successional sowing and generate schedules for jobs
throughout the year.
What do I do now? Winter crops.
Open space/special topics – Presentations from students. Completion.

Keywords: food, Fresh Fruit And Vegetables, fruit & vegetables, garden care, garden landscaping, garden maintenance, Garden Service, garden services, gardener, gardening, Herbalism, herbs, Landscape Design, landscape gardeners, landscape gardening, landscaping services, organic gardening, organics, Permaculture, plants, vegetables