permaculture design Course
Learn to design a sustainable lifestyle + eat healthy + immerse yourself with hands-on experience in a tropical food forest.
THE PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE IN DETAIL
Enrollment open - Summer B: Sunday, July 28 – Sunday, August 11, 2019
Enrollment open - Fall: Sunday, October 27 – Sunday, November 10, 2019
Enrollment open -Winter A: Sunday, January 5 – Sunday, January 19, 2020
Enrollment open -Winter B: Sunday, February 9 – Sunday, February 23, 2020
Enrollment open -Spring A: Sunday, March 8 – Sunday, March 22, 2020
Enrollment open -Spring B: Sunday, April 19 – Sunday, May 3, 2020
Permaculture Design Course
The Fundamentals of Ecological Design
Permaculture is a conscious, integrated design system based on ecological principles. It provides a framework for creating landscapes that mimic the patterns found in nature, which delivers diversity, stability, and resilience. Permaculture creates an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food, to address local needs in efficient, cost-effective and productive human environments; while reducing our 'footprints' on Earth.
Finca Tierra offers the international standard curriculum of 72-hour permaculture certificate course. The course covers the fundamentals of ecological design with a particular emphasis on perennial woody polyculture food systems or food forests. This course goes beyond the theoretical and focuses of real-world situations in this food forest and has a strong emphasis on hands-on application and practical skills. It offers the experience of learning in an immersive setting from mature systems with which students have daily interactions. The methods and techniques will transfer directly to any climate. The accommodation is in natural buildings, and the food is from our farm and other local organic farmers. With the completion of the course, Finca Tierra will issue a Permaculture Design Certificate. While the information serves as a general education in permaculture, this course offers an in-depth examination of the function of the homestead and farm and is designed to inform students who will gain the skills and design thinking to implement and manage a system. This is a very hands-on course. Mornings are usually devoted to practical applications and afternoons are dedicated to course lectures.
Principles and ethics of permaculture design
Site analysis and design, from the tropics to temperate regions
Landscape master planning and microclimate design
Reading the landscape and pattern recognition
Design for climate change
Regenerative land management and stewardship
Water catchment, storage, filtration, and distribution
Biologically based treatment of greywater and blackwater
Using greywater in the landscape
Natural building techniques and vernacular architecture
Plant propagation and grafting
Medicinal plant propagation, usage, and preparations
Biointensive gardening and seed saving
Soil rehabilitation and fertility approaches
Orchard design and maintenance
Local and regenerative economics
Urban and suburban permaculture tactics
Ecovillage design and community building procedures
Strategies for creating an alternative nation
Mornings are dedicated to the hands-on application of useful skills.
Blade and knife sharpening.
Land clearing with scythe or machete.
Food forest fundamentals.
Clearing and planting new disturbance in agroforestry systems.
Techniques in small-scale vegetable gardening.
Tree planting fundamentals, support species, and broad-scale fertility management.
Plant propagation fundamentals, including propagation and planting of seeds, rhizomes, cuttings as well as various forms of grafting.
The construction of thermal compost and its use in hot water heating.
Nursery management including making an in-house potting soil.
Soil pH testing and techniques to balance pH.
Leveling for application of swales, hedgerows, and techniques for finding key points and key lines.
Food processing skills including lactoferments of vegetables, nut milk, milk kefir, and mead.
Off Site Visits
MEET DON JONI, crossing the river and into the jungle, he will teach us about Cabecar indigenous cosmovision, traditional land use management, and how he interacts with the land to produce his building material, food, and medicine.
VISIT SEED ECOVILLAGE, and learn about community-scale ecological design and animal management.
Also, prepare for a good swim in the river!
*Because of weather conditions and other factors we can't guarantee the off-site trips. However, nothing has stopped us yet, so be ready for it!
About the Location
Finca Tierra is a 9-acre permaculture homestead and a food forest located in the lush jungle of the Costa Rican Caribbean Coast. Finca Tierra has become an important demonstration center for permaculture education and sustainable development activism. Our infrastructure includes natural buildings constructed from local materials (bamboo, leaf thatch and onsite timber), renewable energy systems, biological flush toilets, rainwater catchment, organic vegetable gardens, a plant nursery, a seed bank, medicinal plants, food forest, bamboo woodlots, and native trees.
What began as an off-grid homestead on degraded cattle pasture, has been developing for the past decade into a productive agroforestry system consisting of hundreds of varieties of fruit trees, staple crops and integrated animal systems. Due to the local and global interest, Finca Tierra started offering education courses and internships for ecological design, the good food movement, and sustainable living.
Four bamboo cabinas were built in a mix of indigenous and local Afro-Caribbean style. The materials were harvested from our farm and surrounding forest, then cured and constructed with hand tools. They offer orthopedic queen beds. The walls and floors are bamboo, and we supply large mosquito nets.
Also, a bunkhouse built with the same construction techniques and up in the air on stilts. It holds 8 single beds and great views, it's like camping under a roof above the forest.
The bathrooms are located near the accommodations and have biological flush toilets. The showers are supplied with warm rainwater by a biothermal heating system.
We supply sheets, pillows, towels and biodegradable organic shampoo and body wash.
* Accommodations are provided on a first come, first serve bases. The first students to pay the totality of the payment are accommodated in the cabinas, then bunkhouse beds.
We love to cook! Food abundance is what we want everyone to experience at our farm kitchen. We promote the good food movement, and therefore most of our fruits, veggies, greens, roots, and spices are fresh from our permaculture farm. We process many of our foods like plantain and yuca flours, coconut and cashew milk, coconut oil, banana vinegar, fermented foods, mead, kefir and more. We have a plant-based diet, but we also have free range chicken eggs, and the aquaculture system provides fish and river prawns. Some other products, like oils, raw honey, cheeses, yogurts, and other fruits we buy at the local organic market.
Finca Tierra carters all meals during the course.
Plates are typically vegetarian, we can also cater to vegan and gluten-free diets, please let us know when you register.
72-hour Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
Certificate as a Permaculture Designer
Lodging: Private bamboo cabins or a shared bamboo bunkhouse
Sheets, pillows, blankets
Biodegradable soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent
Three organic meals daily
Internet access (see the below section INTERNET AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES for more info)
Why do your PDC at Finca Tierra
We live what we teach
Permaculture is Ian and Ana's life. Finca Tierra started as an off-grid homestead, and due to local and international interest, they created the Finca Tierra permaculture education center, to be able to share with you the knowledge of a resilient, peaceful and sustainable future that integrates human life with Earth.
Finca Tierra is a vibrant permaculture farm where you will gain hands-on practical experience, directly from mature onsite systems and immerses in a completely off the grid self-sufficient space and productive small farm. Eating delicious organic farm-to-table meals. Surrounded by food forest and jungle, close to fabulous beaches and rivers. Half of all class time is outside in systems on the farm looking at the function of mature systems to understand the strengths and weakness of systems and how they have evolved as well as seeing the strategies and techniques used in production. We are not just studying concept. We are looking at observations and interaction over the past decade.
Passion to action
We seek students that are inspired to learn about the practical application of permaculture. The course is designed to provide you with the confidence to apply permaculture from the homestead to a profitable farm scale.
Many university students have received full or partial grants, and academic credits have often been available from their university. Meet with your academic advisor or professor about receiving internship or independent study credits. Four semester credit or equivalent. (see the below section UNIVERSITY CREDIT for more info)
Words From Past Students
More testimonials can be found here https://www.facebook.com/FincaTierra/reviews/
Course Information, Fee & Enrollment
Early Bird Tuition $1,500 ($150 discount when you complete your full payment 30 days before course start date.)
Deposit $400 - Reserve a place now with a $400 deposit & pay the balance of $1,100 30 days prior to course start date. We will email you an invoice for the remainder showing the due date.
Please register early, as the course can fill quickly and space is limited, only 12 seats available. Tuition does not include airfare or travel to/from Finca Tierra. The $400 USD deposit required to reserve your space is non-refundable. Final payments are due 2 weeks before course commencement. Tuition is refundable until 30 days before the course start date. The program is taught in English.
* Private cabins are appointed to the first four students to make full payment. There is no additional fee.
Logistics and Planning info
Logistics and Planning info can be found here
If you have questions about this design course please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org