Pachamama launches its first Permaculture Design Course with the highly experienced lead facilitation team of Casparo Brownbeard and Alex Kruger. We also will have guest facilitators Kate Curtis, Christopher Nash and Layla Staegemann. joining us in the forest ecovillage. The complete international standard PDC curriculum will be covered in a tranquil setting.
Post-pandemic, many of us will be seriously looking for other frameworks for living that make more sense, and are practical and just.
By the end of this fully immersive course you will have the skills to do a thorough site assessment; understand your context; have the tools for creating a workable vision document; and be able to produce a Permaculture Design of good quality. We will of course do practical work on the course so that you also get a realistic experience of the different systems you could work with in a Permaculture Design context. And you will have a number of opportunities to stretch your design muscles, culminating in a site-specific group design.
So whether you are a homesteader, into urban self-sufficiency, working with groups, a change-agent, a farmer on any scale, passionate about people and the environment, or a designer, this course will empower you.
Topics of the course will include:
History and Definition of Permaculture
Ethics and Principles of Permaculture
Patterns in Nature, Culture and Society
Reading the Land – Observation
Land Restoration & Regeneration Techniques
Creating Water Resilience
Natural Building Strategies
Cultivated & Productive Ecological Gardens
Food Forests, Forest Gardening, Agroforestry and Plant Guilds
Energy Conservation Technologies & Appropriate Technologies
Integrated Pest Management
Soils and Compost
Forests and Forest Restoration
Animal Management in Permaculture
And much more…
The course is adapted to a wide variety of learning styles and is presented via lecture, images, video, group discussion, individual and group exercises and design projects.
Elements we will interact with on site, and on excursions:
Chickens and chicken composting yard
Hot water Compost
Compost toilet systems
The Pachamama Forest Restoration Project
Agroforestry site prep
Invasive vegetation management
Sawmill and woodchipping systems
Carpentry and instrument building workshop
Pasture raised chicken tractor systems
Community upliftment allotment gardens
The pristine indigenous Knysna forests
About the Host Site:
Pachamama Forest Retreat is situated on the edge of the Garden Route National Park, bordering the indigenous Knysna Forests. You can interact with a thriving model of how forest ecosystems function, and it's a great opportunity for deep nature immersions in personal time. The Homtini River is a short hike through the forest, offering beautiful hiking, swimming and kloofing experiences.
Pachamama Projects NPC is a non-profit company, working on landscape restoration, agroecology, and ecovillage design and development. Its mission is to restore the relationship between people and planet, seeding resilient communities and a regenerative culture, and offers an interesting model and reference on collective property ownership structures. The Pachamama Forest Restoration Project, in partnership with Greenpop, has restored 0.6 hectares, which was severely degraded post the 2018 Knysna wildfires, clearing dense invasive vegetation, and planting 2000 indigenous trees over 2020.
About the Facilitators:
Alex has been involved with Permaculture since 1993, when she completed her PDC at Fambidzanai Training Centre near Harare, Zimbabwe. She has worked in a huge range of contexts including South Africa, Malawi, Namibia and Spain. She has worked with private clients, collectives, urban and rural contexts and has many happy students after facilitating over 40 PDCS and other short courses.
For her, Permaculture design is a key tool for bringing transformation to, and addressing the pressing needs of environmental and social justice.
She has a good set of regenerative living skills covering seed banking; food production and preserving; participatory facilitation; materials writing; green technology and natural building; project management and mentoring facilitators. She currently lives in the Berg en Dal Ecovillage, which has been her home with her natural builder partner for 15 years.
Some of the people she has facilitated with: John Nzira, Robina McCurdy, Kent Cooper, Karen De Vries and Ryan Botha, Mzu Zele, Imraan Samuels, Sandra Daniels, Starhawk and Alfred Decker..
Organisations she has worked with include: Southern Cape Land Committee; SEED; La Loma Viva in Spain, Nature’s Gift Permaculture (now Kusamala), World Futures Council in Namibia; Guerilla House in Cape Town; Camphill Hermanus and the Nsasani Trust in Skukuza; the Department of Agriculture, EDEN District Municipality and Collis/Cowan architects.
Casparo is the living example of a modern day wild thriver. He has been deeply connected to Permaculture since taking his first PDC in 2000 in South Africa.
Ever since, he has been teaching in PDC’s in the Mediterranean & East Africa and also facilitated a TOT teacher training in Kenya in 2018.
Casparo has learned from international Permaculturists such as Rod Everett and Milichap (Regreen) in Greece, and has co-facilitated with Alfred Dekker (Eco Dharma) in Spain. He trained with Rosemary Morrow, Permaculture original from the first generation, who has a long standing Africa connection and is currently focusing her work on the context of using Permaculture with refugees. He did his permaculture consultancy training with Warren Brush in 2016 .
In 2017 he started consulting for Stanford Hall in Leicester UK and helped to set up a thriving Community Supported Agriculture scheme .
He has had close working relations with REGreen (Greece) , Ecodharma (Spain) , Laikipia Permculture Centre (Kenya) and the Practical Permaculture Institute (PPIZ) in Zanzibar ,Tanzania .
Casparo’s vision is to to create a Regenerative agriculture farm/training centre to show and share techniques and strategies that are both beneficial for the soil and the small holder farmer.
Kate Curtis (greenhearted.net)
Kate is passionate about nature, education, Permaculture, food gardens and forests! After some years volunteering and “living Permaculture”, she co- founded Soil*Sun*Soul in 2013- an educational organisation that runs international agro-ecological trainings. She had the privilege to work with Larry Korn (One Straw Revolutionary), Govinda Sharma (Hasera Organics, Nepal), Rico Zook (Itinerant Permaculture), Ernst Goetsch (Syntropic Agriculture) and other teachers. She has co-facilitated numerous Permaculture Design Courses, as well as International Youth Programs and Sustainable Food Production workshops and Soil Management trainings with International Voluntary Service for Climate Justice and Soil4Life. She is currently coordinating the writing of the Soil4Life Manifesto to be delivered to Unesco in 2021. She has designed and implemented practical land regeneration projects in Spain with Boodaville Permaculture Education Project and was a long-term volunteer/resident at Gaia Ashram, Thailand, where she still participates and facilitates in Ecovillage Design Education (Gaia Education). Kate feels strongly that all restoration is reciprocal- as we start to heal ourselves, we will naturally wish to act in a healing way towards the Earth, and as we work in restoring ecological ecosystems, we come to a restorative relationship with ourselves and others. She works with Deep Ecology and The Work that Reconnects to facilitate these restorative process´.
She recently returned to South Africa to collaborate at a community in the Garden Route. She believes a new, beautiful story is possible, if we actively engage in creating it!
Founder of Bio-Harmonic Permaculture, and managing Director of Pachamama Project NPC, Christopher’s deep connection to nature has inspired a quest to design and create regenerative circular systems and spaces, that support the holistic well-being of all beings, for 7 generations. He has studied permaculture design and facilitation, project management, ecovillage design, sustainable development, and social entrepreneurship, and has 7 years full time, hands on experience serving as an earth custodian, implementing systems that he has designed. His approach is centered in nurturing personal relationships with all 6 biological kingdoms, and is passionate about heart centered collaboration and co-creation.