Friday, March 6, 2009

Urban Permaculture Design Course

If you're wanting to get the skills necessary to be an effective pioneer in urban agriculture and sustainable design, consider this opportunity!

From the SF Permaculture Guild website, a description of the course:

Urban centers like San Francisco need innovative solutions for the persistent problems of the built environment. We feel that Permaculture holds many of the answers needed to build a truly sustainable city and we would like to invite you to join us for a new and exciting Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with a specific focus on the urban setting.

While the general content of the PDC will be maintained to the original standards set forth in, "Permaculture: A Designers Manual" by Bill Mollison, we will be modifying and adding content to specifically address the particulars of the urban environment. All the principles still apply, but how and where and why we apply them may be different in some cases.

Many permaculture courses are very expensive and rightfully so, it does take a lot to create a meaningful and effective course. However, we have developed a few strategies to reduce our costs and so would like to extend that to you. We will be offering the course for $600 which is roughly half of some other courses. Each student will also be supplied with the Designers Manual, a $100 value. This decision does not come lightly and what we ask for in return is an additional commitment of your time and effort towards furthering the permaculture projects here in the city (or starting your own).

We would like to emphasize a very local focus for this course and place the highest priority on learners who live in San Francisco. We wish to build a strong coalition of permaculture designers here in San Francisco. We need your help, the whole world does, but we must start with where we live. To further this intention, we will offer a $100 discount for Potrero Hill residents.

We think this is very fair. If for some reason our reduced rate is more than you can afford, please apply to us explaining why you need a scholarship and what you can offer in return and we will be more than happy to consider this. Our primary goal is to get more trained designers on the ground right here in San Francisco, not to make a buck.

The standard PDC runs 72 hours, while ours comes in at 82 hours to accommodate our additional urban spin. On top of that, we request that you participate in one of the many exciting projects we already have, or start your own, for a total time commitment of 100 hours which includes the time you spend in the course and at San Francisco Permaculture Guild meetings.

Learners will be committed to presenting a final design project to receive their certification. This design requirement will be focused on actual projects here in San Francisco and learners are expected to apply professional level effort on these projects. All the essential tools and methods for design will be provided. The goal is to equip each learner with the skills they need to produce quality designs.

We will be covering a wide variety of topics in the course. While the PDC does cover a lot of material about interacting with vegetation, if what you are seeking is an in-depth gardening training, this is probably not for you. We will employ a mix of learning methods, including lecture, hands on, and multimedia/video. We will also be experimenting with various forms of project documentation: learners will be trained and expected to document their projects using video, audio, blogging, or other digital media. We feel that getting the word out about our work is one critical key to achieving success in the global digital era.

The course starts soon, so sign up now!

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