Like me, lots of folks sign up for a permaculture design course to improve their gardening techniques and learn about how to heal our planet.
However students quickly learn that permaculture is actually a new way of solving problems - virtually all problems - by using nature-tested methodologies.
Permaculture Magazine defines permaculture as:
In the course that I took, and recently completed, my teacher Larry Santoyo did his best to emphasize that:
Permaculture is a collection of problem-solving and decision making protocols based on the observation of nature.
That being said, you can imagine that students in a permaculture course learn a whole lot more than just how to garden.
If you're interested in: sustainable living; energy conservation; water harvesting; self-sufficiency and/or homesteading, a permaculture design course will provide useful information.
Likewise if you're into; food production and preparation; soil management; foraging and/or natural building, a permaculture design course offers valuable guidance.
But if you are distressed about the way our current systems do massive harm to humans, animals and our planet I can't think of any learning experience that will do more to raise your spirits. Permaculture offers real solutions to problems that seem hopeless. Applying the principles to our everyday lives empowers us and returns to us a feeling of alignment with natural law. But perhaps best of all, permaculture gives us a way to actually be of benefit to Mother Earth when the most we thought we could achieve was harmlessness.
If you're new to permaculture, this podcast may give you a better understanding of it. If you're familiar with these principles, perhaps you'll see elements of your own story as Marianne and I share ours.
In any case, I hope you'll share your impressions, questions or comments. By participating in the conversation we begin to spread these powerful ideas that have the potential to change our world for the better.