Permaculture Design Course F.A.Q.s


Permaculture is a global social movement centered around the grassroots training of a system of holistic ecological design. It aims to improve the lives of all people while conserving and regenerating ecosystems everywhere. The design system makes use of locational values, ecosystem models, and patterns in nature. It draws on traditional knowledge and modern science. Permaculture is also a personal practice of applying permaculture ethics and principles to one’s life, while exploring and sharing empirical findings about the natural and human worlds.” 

~Permaculture Institute of North America, FAQ’s

Permaculture design is rooted in 3 core ethics (Care of the Earth; Care of People; and,  Fair Share), which guide the application of ~12 design principles (see permacultureprinciples.com for examples).  Permaculture ethics and principles can be used as tools for creatively thinking about any real life situation.

Permaculture practitioners observe at various levels , such as cycles in nature, cultural norms and practices, and patterns of social behavior, both personal and interpersonal. These observation skills are key in finding ways to transition toward regenerative systems.  Permaculture uses ecological principles to design sustainable human communities that are harmoniously woven into the environment, aiming to have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.  

Permaculture focuses on designing systems that can adapt and thrive in changing conditions. Permaculture design principles enable the creation of self-sustaining systems that require less input over time and are more resistant to external shocks. Permaculture emphasizes the importance of biodiversity and the interconnectedness of all living beings. It aims to teach techniques for designing productive, regenerative, and sustainable food systems. By gaining the skills to grow your own food and manage resources effectively, you can contribute to food sovereignty and reduce your reliance on industrial food production.

A Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC) is a comprehensive educational program that covers the principles and techniques of Permaculture Design. A typical PDC involves at least 72-hours of class time. Upon completing the curriculum, participants are awarded Permaculture Design Certificates. For more information on PDC’s writ large, check out Permaculture Institute of North America’s FAQs about PDCs. 

It is common for PDCs to include a combination of classroom lectures, hands-on activities, design exercises, and group discussions. The certificate obtained after completing a PDC is recognized internationally as a standard in permaculture education. It can be valuable for individuals pursuing careers or projects related to sustainable agriculture, landscape design, community development, and ecological restoration. The PDC certification represents a solid foundation of knowledge and practical skills in permaculture design, empowering individuals to apply these principles in various settings.

There are many compelling on-line and destination PDC’s offered these days. So why take the Whatcom PDC? We believe that permaculture thinking and skills are best learned in-person and in contact with the plants and landscapes participants will work with after the course. Ideally, the PDC is not a one off experience, but a foundational step in building supportive relationships with people and places.

Here’s some of what’s special about Whatcom PDC:

– place-based bioregional education

– multiple educational sites at varying scales and stages of development

– multiple instructors with unique experiences, insights and styles

– a two month time lapse for observing slight seasonal change on the sites.  

– a diversity of instructional styles for a diversity of learning styles, including sensory learning (ex. smelling healthy compost; seeing nutrient dense leaf color; hearing a functional motor; tasting successful ferments; or touching silty soil)

– hands-on skill practice

– relationships you can keep up after the course is over

The Whatcom Permaculture Design Course provides an opportunity to join a like-minded community of individuals passionate about sustainability and permaculture. You can connect with fellow participants, share knowledge, and collaborate on future projects. By taking the 2024 Whatcom PDC, participants not only learn new tools and skills; they begin building a more resilient future with their classmates in the community.

This multi-site course will take place on the ancestral lands of the Lhaq’temish and Nooksack peoples, who have lived and stewarded this land since time immemorial.

Queen Mountain Homestead is an 8-acre intergenerational family home; biodiversity bank; therapeutic space; and demonstration site nestled on the western flank of Bellingham's Queen Mountain.  Our team of family and friends has been stewarding here since 2016. Over the last 8 years, we have practiced phased implementation of gardens and fruit and nut orchards; operated a silvoculture system with American Guinea Hogs and chickens; managed beautiful native forests; and grown and expanded a strong community of family and friends.  Increasingly, we grow a significant portion of our own food (as well as for sale) and are expanding our living inventory of useful plants. Queen Mountain Homestead not only offers tangible examples for rural homesteading, but also showcases techniques appropriate for urban and suburban settings rooted in our decades of experience designing, building and maintaining landscapes.

Inspiration Farm is located 6 miles North of Bellingham in Whatcom County. It has been a prime showcase of permaculture in action for over 20 years. The 9 acre farm was founded by Brian and Alexandra in 1994 when they started raising their two daughters and stewarded the land. They host tours and workshops in hope to Inspire others. Inspiration Farm highlights the roles of animals in the landscape, Water integrated earthworks, perennial food forest guilds, seed saving and appropriate technology. More information can be found on Inspiration Farm's website

These sites will be the primary hosts throughout the course. Visits to additional local sites may be woven into the developing schedule.

Everyone! Permaculture provides tools and skills for whole system thinking applicable to a diversity of lifestyles and professions. Past students have included:

  • Homesteaders
  • Architects
  • City planners
  • Software engineers
  • Regenerative landscapers
  • Earth repair enthusiasts
  • School teachers
  • Community organizers
  • Gardeners!
  • And, more! All are welcome! 

Design professionals can add new qualifications to their resumes and offer improved services to their clients. Homeowners, gardeners, and farmers learn to increase the value and productivity of their property and to create home and land environments that better support their own needs as well as nature’s. Real estate, construction, and development professionals are able to better address the public’s growing concern for the environment and to reduce resource use and impacts.  Educators learn to integrate permaculture design into their curriculum in ways that have been proven to raise student performance.  Planners and public officials find holistic solutions to land-use and resource issues, and will identify and solve bottlenecks and impediments to implementing their programs. Energy, water, and waste-systems workers will learn holistic management strategies for integrating their projects into the larger community.

Certification is an important step for the following:

  • teach classes on permaculture be they short workshops, presentations or permaculture design courses
  • running a business that uses Permaculture as a stated guiding force, or,
  • working as a Permaculture consultant or designer 

While a PDC certificate is a necessary step for those hoping to use Permaculture design professionally, there are many other values for PDC students.  These include the shifts in thoughts and feelings that occur through engaging  with whole systems design thinking,  the sense of camaraderie that the PDC learning community imbues and many fun and practical tricks for integrating your values with your lifestyle.

There will be some homework, reading, video viewing and other exercises suggested to be completed  between class times. These will augment the course material. As the saying goes you are likely to get out of the course what you put into it. So it goes for these assignments. They are optional but highly recommended. The amount of time may vary between 1-5 hours per week.

Throughout the course we will be offering foundational online presentations covering additional concepts and content. These will be hosted on Zoom and offer more depth for those who are interested. They will be recorded to provide an asynchronous option for those who can’t make the timing work with their schedules. The goal of this format is to prioritize our in-person time for hands-on and interactive learning.

Students who miss a day(s), are encouraged to read available handouts and catch up with other students to learn what they learned. At times there will be midweek opportunities to do hands-on activities related to the course work which may supplement missed class time. There is no penalty for missing day(s). We do appreciate knowing in advance when participants have scheduled absent days. This helps us plan our hands on projects in particular.

At selected times, both Queen Mountain Homestead and Inspiration Farm will be open for bonus hands-on learning in between the scheduled course weekends. In other words, we will be maintaining our sites between class times and would love to continue building community with participants while taking care of real homestead business! Stay tuned.

Scholarships are a way for us to ensure that this course is available to all who want to learn Permaculture skills with us, especially those who bear the brunt of systemic forms of disenfranchisement and marginalization.

If you need financial help let us know and we will send you an application. Applications are due April 1st, Don't delay, no kidding

If you are able to pay more, it goes to support those who need it.

Work trading is another way in which we try to make this course possible for those in need of a cost reduction. “Work traders” work alongside facilitators before, during, and after class time in exchange for reduced tuition; they help operate the course through tasks like, set-up and clean-up of the classroom, facilities and preparing for hands-on projects. Let us know if you are interested in learning more.

One of the tried and true takeaways for PDC participants is the impression left by living, albeit temporarily, in a permaculture community and interacting with landscape at the edges of the day.  Camping maximizes your time in good conversation and experience with your inspired cohort. If you want to camp, but camping gear is a barrier to participation, please let us know so we can troubleshoot with you.

What to bring on the course days: 

  • A Backpack, or day bag 
  • Clothing you can work in, ie.get dirty, such as work pants, gloves, crusty outdoor jacket, etc. Avoid wearing clothes you don’t want to get dirty.
  • Sun protection, ie. sunscreen, sun hat and/or sunglasses; and/or, rain gear, i.e. boots, jacket
  • A notebook and/or camera for taking notes.
  • A small sitting pad and/or blanket for keeping warm.
  • Favorite handy tool, ie. pocket knife, multi-tool, pruners, Hori Hori, Kama, or serrated sickle
  • Your own cup, plate/bowl and utensils
  • Please feel free to bring your favorite tea or other treats to share.

A more complete list will be sent out once you are confirmed for the course.

Due to the presence of livestock and other farm animal dynamics, we ask that you make arrangements to leave your pets behind. 

A refund will be issued, minus a $100 administrative fee, up to 60 days before the course start date.

After 60 days, a full refund will be given if you fill your spot.

If you do not fill your spot, a 50% refund will be given up to 30 days prior to the course start date.

No refunds will be granted after 30 days prior to the course start date.

Personal hardships, like family emergencies, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to cancel class with full refund given minus transaction fees. 

Refunds will also be granted in the event of canceled class time due to extreme weather, such as unsafe smoke particle levels.

For additional questions, please contact us.

Scythes the Cutting Edge!

April 28 @ 10:00 am 3:00 pm

Sell the Weed Eater and use a Scythe!

Maintain your body, not your machines. Learn the sharper points of this elegant tool. Thought to be old school, but better blades and an ergonomic set up makes them one of the most efficient tools out there. Learn what makes a good scythe, how to select a scythe for your needs and how to properly maintain it for years of efficient use. Participants will be able to try out a number of different blades and snaths (handles) to learn the benefits of each.

Discounts available for couples.

Make sure to reserve your space by Registering Here.

Make sure to reserve your space by Registering Here

Topics to be covered

  • Scythe – parts, styles, blades, snathes
  • Scythe setup and adjustments.
  • Mowing technique stance, angle, swing.
  • Mowing pattern strategies, fences, trees, working as a team.
  • Sharpening, Peening the blade
  • Fixing nicks and cracks
  • Sharpening with a stone

April 28 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

“As the grass is starting to grow, we are getting ready to mow! Now is the time to look at your tools and see if they need any maintenance, sharpening, oiling or adjusting.“

This took me 5 minutes and I did not break a sweat!

“Best Tool for the Job” presentation for the PNW Permaculture Convergence 2020

If you are considering getting a new Scythe setup you can contact Alexander at Scythe Works and see if he has what you are looking for. 

Other Scythe resources

Co-sponsored by Transition Whatcom

$50

Brian Kerkvliet

+1 (360) 319-2029

View Organizer Website

Inspiration Farm

617 E Laurel Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226 United States
+ Google Map
360-319-2029
View Venue Website

Practical Permaculture Intensive

April 22, 2023 @ 10:00 am April 23, 2023 @ 5:00 pm

A fun filled Practical Permaculture Immersion Weekend. We will illustrate practical ways to design an integrated thriving living system that that partners with nature. Designed to be self regulating, diverse, abundant and resilient. Whether you are on an urban lot or a farm homestead, energy, water, soil building, animal systems, food production and preservation systems, with diverse income streams. Join us if these are important to you.

An extended site tour of the established systems at Inspiration Farm will augment this experiential weekend. A detailed presentation over viewing Permaculture ethics, principals and strategies will be covered on the first day. On the second day an in depth dive into systems relationships and design mapping process and strategies will be covered.

Class format includes lectures, discussions, extensive tours of an established site and hands-on activities.

Presentations and discussion in the AM, site tour, hands on projects with plant guilds, soil creation, Nursery establishment and other integrated systems in the PM.

Discounts for couples, Pot luck lunch for both days. Camping is available. Limited to 15 Participants. Feel free to call if you have any questions. 360-319-2029

Grow Abundance

Put together a design

Make it so, let it GROW!
Meet others who share your passion!
To Pay BY Check: Please make it payable to Inspiration Farm and mail, or drop it by 619 E Laurel Rd Bellingham Wa. 98226. This saves us from having to pay the transaction fee, thank you!

$200.00

Tickets

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$200.00

Brian Kerkvliet

360-319-2029

View Organizer Website

Inspiration Farm

617 E Laurel Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226 United States
+ Google Map
360-319-2029
View Venue Website

Upcoming events for 2023

EVENTS AT INSPIRATION FARM 2023

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to take a moment to let you all know some of what we have planned for this year. Other events may pop up to fill in some gaps but here are the events we have on the books at this point.

Ongoing- Permaculture Meet-ups will continue to happen the last Friday of each month. Stay tuned for locations and details at www.whatcompermaculture.com

Salish Seed Swap Saturday Feb. 18th, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm At the – Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Downstairs, 12 noon to 3pm – Masks Requested

$10 suggested donation, at the door. No one turned away for lack of funds
Early entrance (11:30 am) for members of the Salish Seed Guild and people bringing seeds to share
Find out more.

Please Bring your own Envelops to package bulk seeds being offered.

Hope you can make it to the Salish Seed Swap happening in person for the first time in three years!

A Past Seed Swap Gathering

March 2023

Great Grafting / Plant Propagation

Sat. March 11 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Create your own Fruit Nursery Stock. Fruit Tree Grafting and Propagation from Cuttings. Pruning season is upon us! Remember to save scion wood for the Grafting Gathering! You can learn how to collect scion wood here. Bring Apple, Pear, Plum…
Read more

Get Tickets $30.00 

Create your own nursery plants

April 2023

Practical Permaculture Intensive

April 22 @ 10:00 am – April 23 @ 4:00 pm

A fun filled Practical Permaculture Immersion Weekend. We will illustrate practical ways to design an integrated thriving living system that that partners with nature. Designed to be self regulating, diverse, abundant and resilient. Whether you are on an urban lot…
Read more

Get Tickets $200.00 

Meet others and learn about Practical Permaculture applications

Scythes the Cutting Edge!

April 29 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Sell the weed eater and use a scythe! Maintain your body, not your machines. Learn the sharper points of this elegant tool. Thought to be old school, but better blades and an ergonomic set up makes them one of the most efficient tools out there. Find out more

Get Tickets $50.00 

Different blades and set ups for different tasks

May 2023

INTERNATIONAL PERMACULTURE DAY TOUR & PLANT SALE / SWAP

May 7 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Free event!

We will celebrate International Permaculture Day May 7th 2023! A day to showcase permaculture around the world.  An opportunity to experience permaculture and meet its practitioners. Visitors can see first hand an established permaculture system and ask questions. See how… Read more

Be part of the movement!

Food Forest & Permaculture Guild Plants

May 13 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Plant a garden, eat for a year, plant a Food Forest Guild, eat for decades! This hands on workshop shares design elements necessary for a perennial food forest. Learn about fruit and nut trees as well as supper food berries…
Read more

Get Tickets $24.00 – $40.00 

Learn about a Plant Guild and how to install one.

August 2023

Earthworks for a Water Resilient Landscape 2023

August 19  – August 20 … Exact details are still being worked out.

This workshop will cover reading the landscape for water retention and management. Diving into, Mapping, ponds, swales, reed-beds, terraces, key line design, implementation cover cropping and guild planting. This will be a hands-on workshop/installation, with earth moving equipment and lasers! Read more!

Get Tickets $450.00 

Observe, Plan, map, install systems for a water resilient landscape.

Social Relations and Practical Tools

July 9, 2022 @ 8:00 am July 10, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

Permaculture course weekends you can attend separately!

We will be offering certain modules of the course as a stand-alone workshops for people who are interested in specific topics but may not be able to commit to an entire course. 

Weekend #4  July 9th and 10th $200

This Fourth weekend will focus on  Social Relations and Practical Tools. On Saturday we will explore awesome Community Projects happening within the scope of Permaculture Design.  We will also investigate social relationships between ourselves, each other and our larger consumer culture as well as how to design in the Human Landscape.

On Sunday, we will learn How to Use and Care for Tools.  Both hand tools and power tools are an essential part of any land-based work.  We will cover the basic tool kit, trade-specific kits, power tools, safety and maintenance.

Tickets

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$200.00 weekend price

Brian Kerkvliet

360-319-2029

View Organizer Website

Inspiration Farm

617 E Laurel Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226 United States
+ Google Map
360-319-2029
View Venue Website

Designing within a Pattern Literacy Context

June 4, 2022 @ 8:00 am June 5, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

Weekend #2  June 4th and 5th $200

The second weekend we will look at Designing within a Pattern Literacy Context. We will also be joined by the renowned permaculture designer and practitioner Doug Bullock. As we look at topography, geology, climate and microclimates Designing from patterns to details using natural patterns as a design tool. Looking at the overview of the permaculture design process and methods of design using the Zone and Sector System.

Day two we will go into the Roles of Trees and Plants. How do these elements relate to developing a stable system. Polyculture plants and their many functions. Methods for propagation, care and the yields they offer back to the system.  Strategic design of plant communities for the orchard food forest system including; hedgerows, windbreaks, shelter belts and the home garden.

Tickets

The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available


Brian Kerkvliet

360-319-2029

View Organizer Website

Inspiration Farm

617 E Laurel Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226 United States
+ Google Map
360-319-2029
View Venue Website

Permaculture Course Update

As we move closer to the start of our Whatcom Hands On Permaculture Design Course, We wanted to share an update of how things are progressing. At this point the course is half full, with a half a dozen or so interested and thinking about it.

We would like to offer an incentive for people to sign up.

  • We are extending the early bird price of $1600 till May 1st, $200 off the regular price
  • Sign up a friend and get $100 off of your tuition.
  • Sign up as a couple and get a $200 discount

We are really looking forward to getting into the nuts and bolts of the class schedule. If we have not reached minimum enrollment by May 5th, we will strategically pivot to a slightly different format.  We would still continue to offer some of the course content, but as stand-alone workshops conducted throughout the Spring and Summer. 

Upcoming Events

Here are a few upcoming events if you are interested in meeting us or visiting a site prior to the course.  These are also great opportunities to meet other people in our area interested in Permaculture.  They are also a great chance to invite your friends who may be exploring some of these ideas ; )

Saturday, April 23rd-  9 – 2pm Whatcom Farm Expo Exhibition Free! Put on by the Whatcom Conservation District. Come visit us at this trade convention for our local Agricultural Community.  More information at their Website, Eventbrite, and Facebook event, pages.

Friday, April 29 –  4 – 6pm Permaculture Meet-up at Inspiration Farm: Free! Come meet and chat with our local Permaculture Community.  We can share ideas, plants, books or tools. 

Sunday, May 1st – 2 – 5pm  International Permaculture DayFree! We are hosting a Plant sale/swap as well as a site tour.  Bring plants to share or a little bit of cash for purchasing and join us.

Saturday, May 14 – 10 – 4pm Food Forest & Permaculture Guild Plants $40 Workshop at Inspiration Farm.

Permaculture course weekends you can attend separately!

We will be offering certain modules of the course as a stand-alone workshops for people who are interested in specific topics but may not be able to commit to an entire course.  The cost will be $200 per weekend.  Please share these opportunities with anybody you know who may be interested.  Thanks. 

Weekend #1  May 21st and 22nd $200

The first weekend will cover the Foundations of Permaculture overview and logistics of the whole course. This will be an introduction to the foundations of permaculture. If you decide you are interested in taking the whole course you may roll this fee into the total cost of the course.

The first two information packed days we will cover permaculture defined; observation skills; ethics and the basis of ecological design; permaculture principles. We will include a comprehensive site tour with observation skill exercises while looking at indicators of sustainability, and how to use them. We will address whole systems thinking and how to look at fast track succession as it applies to design strategies.


Weekend #2  June 4th and 5th $200

The second weekend we will look at Designing within a Pattern Literacy Context. We will also be joined by the renowned permaculture designer and practitioner Doug Bullock. As we look at topography, geology, climate and microclimates Designing from patterns to details using natural patterns as a design tool. Looking at the overview of the permaculture design process and methods of design using the Zone and Sector System.

Day two we will go into the Roles of Trees and Plants. How do these elements relate to developing a stable system. Polyculture plants and their many functions. Methods for propagation, care and the yields they offer back to the system.  Strategic design of plant communities for the orchard food forest system including; hedgerows, windbreaks, shelter belts and the home garden.


Weekend #3  June 18th and 19th $200

This third weekend will focus on  Soil and Water. On Saturday, we will explore the complex, living, breathing edge between the earth and the sky.  By exploring the dynamic Soil Food Web, we will learn about both the geological and ecological relationships which best facilitate plant growth.  Sunday will explore Water Systems and provide a practical and accessible approach to this most critical infrastructure.  We will look at Residential Irrigation systems that connect the garden to the home.  We will also explore Domestic Plumbing systems such as the kitchen sink, toilet and grey water irrigation.  We’ll learn how to troubleshoot simple problems that homeowners and renters may encounter in everyday life.


Weekend #4  July 9th and 10th $200

This Fourth weekend will focus on  Social Relations and Practical Tools. We will also be joined by the renowned permaculture designer Penny Livingston.  On Saturday we will explore awesome Community Projects happening within the scope of Permaculture Design.  We will also investigate social relationships between ourselves, each other and our larger consumer culture as well as how to design in the Human Landscape.  On Sunday, we will learn How to Use and Care for Tools.  Both hand tools and power tools are an essential part of any land-based work.  We will cover the basic tool kit, trade-specific kits, power tools, safety and maintenance.

Upcoming Permaculture Events 2022

As we enter the new year, we are excited to offer paths towards abundant solutions.

We have been quietly hibernating during the past few years of Covid but feel it is time to reboot and get this information out to people who need it. With all the issues facing us at this time we feel we compelled to share solutions that help people learn positive ways to move forward in their own life.

Collectively we are facing so many challenges; from supply chain issues, drought, flood, fires, inflation, healthcare crisis, to ecosystem degradation and social collapse. There are tools in the Permaculture tool box that can solve all these issues.

We would like to invite you to take check out the offerings for this year, and look forward to sharing solutions to the problems of our time.


“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex,

the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”

― Bill Mollison founder of Permaculture


Hands on Permaculture Design Certificate Course Event! May through July, Learn the skills to work with nature to create integrated Permaculture systems of abundance and productivity! Early bird price ends soon. Find out more »

Permaculture Tour and Meet-Up Feb 25 Inspiration farm, Free!

A Free gathering time for People interested in Permaculture from Whatcom county to come together and discuss ideas. Agenda– Tour, talk, swap plants seeds, books. After the tour we invite you to stay for an informal discussion. How can we move…
Find out more »

Circle of Permes

Great Grafting / Propagation Gathering March 12th, $20

Create your own Fruit Nursery Stock. Fruit Tree Grafting and Propagation from Cuttings. Pruning season is upon us! Remember to save scion wood for the Grafting Gathering! You can learn how to collect scion wood here. Bring Apple, Pear, Plum…
Find out more »


Practical Permaculture Immersion Weekend March 19th & 20th, $150

A fun filled Permaculture Immersion Weekend. We will illustrate practical ways to design an integrated living system that that partners with nature and is self regulating, abundant and resilient. Whether you are on an urban lot or a farm homestead,… Find out more »


Scythes the Cutting Edge! April  9th, $40

Sell the weed eater and use a scythe! Maintain your body, not your machines. Learn the sharper points of this elegant tool. Thought to be old school, but better blades and an ergonomic set up makes them one of the most efficient tools out there. Find out more »


PERMACULTURE DAY TOUR & PLANT SALE / SWAP May 1st, Free!

We will celebrate International Permaculture Day May 1st 2022!

A day to showcase permaculture around the world.  An opportunity to experience permaculture and meet its practitioners. Visitors can see first hand an established permaculture system and ask questions. See how…
Find out more »


Food Forest & Permaculture Guild Plants May 14, $40

Plant a garden, eat for a year, plant a Food Forest Guild, eat for decades! This hands on workshop shares design elements necessary for a perennial food forest. Learn about fruit and nut trees as well as supper food berries… Find out more »


Permaculture Design Certificate Course, May through July, $1500

Hands on Event! Learn the skills to work with nature to create integrated Permaculture systems of abundance and productivity! Find out more »

4 weekends and a five day camp out.

  • Weekends May 21,22, June 4,5 & 18,19, July 9,10
  • Camp out design session July 18,19,20,21,22 –
  • 13 days total, Daily Time: 9am – 6pm

Terraforming Earthworks for a Water Retention Landscape

August 13, 2021 @ 5:00 am August 16, 2021 @ 10:00 am

Join us for a unique permaculture design earthworks experience! This workshop will give you firsthand insights into design considerations and principles based on clients objectives. We will explain stages of the design process, from observation, working with the client, through to the final design and real live implementation on the property over the weekend.  This workshop will cover reading the landscape for water retention and management. Diving into, Mapping, ponds, swales, reed-beds, terraces, key line design, implementation cover cropping and guild planting. This will be a hands-on workshop/installation, with earth moving equipment and lasers! OUTLINE:
  • Day one will be introductions and an overview of the design considerations and the scope of the project. A site tour assessing information on, water, soils, access, structural positions, slope, orientation, zoning and sectors. 
  • Day two, we will demonstrate how to work with earthworks machine operators to achieve desired permaculture design goals.  Exercises in designing watersheds and a variety of strategies used.
  • Day three we will fine tune aspects of the project and install cover crop and some of the food forest guilds. This workshop is intended to help you to become a more confident earthwork installer. You will get familiar with the equipment and strategies used to efficiently get the job done.
  • WHAT YOU CAN LEARN: Site Observation Skills, Site Assessment Process, Design Evolution Process, Earthworks Process, Design and Work Methodology, Site Restoration with Cover Crops and Guild Planting considerations.
  PROJECT BRIEF: This workshop will implement a permaculture master plan by converting old pasture with invasive grasses into a diversified food forest. The project will encompass 5 of 20 acres. Over time the property will be used to host an educational center for nature based early childhood education and multi-generational skill building workshops focused on sustainable methods of food production and preservation. The long-term goal is to provide opportunities for the local community and visitors to reconnect with each other and nature while cultivating more harmonious and resilient relationships. Lead Instruction by Brian Kerkvliet co-steward of Inspiration Farm and a 15 year Permaculture practitioner, designer, consultant. A Student of Geoff Lawton in design methodologies and earthworks for Permaculture projects. Brian has designed and installed numerous projects around the county. When: August Friday 13th 12pm through Sunday 15th 4pm Where:  Facilitated on location at the client’s property, between Sumas and Kendall Wa. — Saar Creek Farms—  Camping available and Meals provided Cost: $450 |  Register before July 1st for the Early bird discount $375 Space is limited. Payment due upon registration. Limited Work trade and discounts available.

Click Here To Register

For information on the course please contact Brian at Inspiration Farm or call 360-319-2029 For information on camping, food, the project site please contact Connor or call 360-489-8098

Details

Start:
August 13, 2021 @ 5:00 am
End:
August 16, 2021 @ 10:00 am
Event Categories:
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Event Tags:
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Website:
www.inspirationfarm.com

Organizers

Brian Kerkvliet
Connor Harron

Inspiration Farm

617 E Laurel Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226 United States
+ Google Map
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PDC Schedule

Stay Tuned for the updated 2024 Whatcom PDC Schedule!

While you wait, here is an example schedule from past courses showing the scope of topics covered. Our schedule will be posted closer to the start of the course, once we have firmed up guest presenters, ect. Thank you for your patience.


Here is the schedule from the 2022 Whatcom Permaculture Design course:

Day 1: Foundations of Permaculture Course overview and logistics; permaculture defined; observation skills; ethics and the basis of ecological design; permaculture principles, indicators of sustainability, and how to use them.

Day 2: Design for Pattern Literacy Designing from patterns to details; natural patterns as a design tool; the permaculture design process; methods of design; the Zone and Sector System.

Day 3: Thinking Like a Watershed The water cycle; Catching and storage water; designing tanks, cisterns, and other water storages. Roof-top water catchments

Day 4: The Path to Water Wisdom Ponds, swales, and key line design; water in the permaculture landscape; grey water and blackwater system design; aquaculture.

Day 5: Soil: The Living Skin of the Earth Soil structure and composition; soil ecology and nutrient flow; creating healthy soil; analyzing your soil; compost, nutrient teas, and mulches; cover crops and green manures; strategies for your own soil conditions.

Images From past courses

Day 6: A Revolution Disguised as Gardening How ecosystems work; the home garden; plants of many functions; polycultures; integrating animals and insects into the garden; pest management; wildlife habitat

Day 7: Food Forests, Guilds, and Ecosystems Trees and their many roles; designing plant communities; the orchard; food forest design; hedgerows, windbreaks, and shelter belts; Biomimicry. Design Teams.

Day 8: The Built Environment The functions of shelter; methods of green and natural building; designing shelter for climate and culture; living roofs; site selection; designing for disaster.

Day 9: Energy and Tools for Working Wisely Population, energy use, and Peak Oil; renewable energy strategies; appropriate technologies for heating and cooling, transportation, cooking, and construction.

Day 10: Thinking Globally: Permaculture for Different Climates and Densities Tropical, Dry land, and Temperate strategy review. Designing for urban, suburban, or rural situations.

Day 11: Green Economics, Right Livelihood and Community Building Money, finance, and local currency networks; permaculture in education; green business guilds and networks; building social capital. Community dynamics; intentional communities, eco-villages, and group decision-making processes.

Day 12: Putting it Together: The Design Project Presentations Group design project presentations; Where to from here? Finding your ecological niche.