An Introduction to Permaculture Course in the Lockyer Valley

The Citizens of the Lockyer (a community group in the Valley) is planning to run an Introduction to Permaculture course over two consecutive Sundays in October.  The teacher will be Tom Kendall, who taught the Permaculture Design Certificate course that I did in June-July this year.

Tom grew up on an 11,000 acre wheat and sheep farm at Grasspatch, north of Esperance in Western Australia, which he took over after his father retired.  In 2000 he sold the farm and moved to the Sunshine Coast, where in 2005 he bought the property that is now Maungaraeeda and developed it as a permaculture-based operation.

I posted earlier about my impressions of Tom’s PDC course in July.  You can see some photos of Tom’s farm in that post.  In my overview I said:

Did the course change my life?  Yes, and a lot more than I had expected – not in the sense of an epiphany or even a change of direction, but in giving me more confidence that I now have a good theoretical and practical grounding for achieving the goals we have set for our property; and the knowledge that I have someone I can turn to for advice in the future.

This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about permaculture from an experienced practitioner, without having to travel far. Participants will become more aware of methods to become resilient and efficient in their farming/vege gardening operations and will be inspired to become more self reliant.

Francine Chanovre (another of Tom’s PDC graduates who lives at Ingoldsby) and I have been talking for a while about setting up  Lockyer Permaculture Group where people can share ideas and experiences relating to permaculture.  Perhaps the Citizens of the Lockyer’s Introduction to Permaculture course will be a springboard for setting up such a group.

The course will be held at the Stockyard Creek Community Hall.

Proposed dates: Sunday 13 and Sunday 20 October 2013, 6 hours per day plus breaks.

Proposed program:

Day 1:

9.00 – 10.30 am – Introduction to the ethics and philosophy behind Permaculture and definitions for terms commonly used in Permaculture.

11.00 – 12.30 pm – Relative location – How each element performs many functions and each important function is supported by many elements.

1.30 – 3.00 pm – Efficient energy planning and how to effectively use biological resources in a Permaculture system.

3.30 – 5.00 pm – Question time.

Day 2

9.00 – 10.30 am – Energy cycling to achieve closed cycle systems; small scale intensive systems for urban and suburban Permaculture applications.

11.00 – 12.30 pm – Accelerating succession and evolution; diversity, edge effect and attitudinal principles in Permaculture.

1.30 – 2.30 pm – Resources and yield; composting and effective soil management.

3.30 – 5.00 pm – Question time.

Slides and photos will highlight practical applications. Discussion of subjects is encouraged at any time during the day.

Tom Kendall is an inspiring teacher.  In addition to his farming background he has qualifications as well as experience in applying permaculture.

In 2008 he completed a Permaculture Design Certificate with Bill Mollison (one of the founders of permaculture) and Geoff Lawton. He followed that up early 2010 with a Teacher Training Course with Geoff Lawton.

Tom is a very practical person with an wealth of knowledge about shaping landscapes and creating tools and infrastructure. Having spent all his life working the land he has an astute awareness about today’s environmental issues and aims to minimise his footprint as much as possible. His courses are unique in that he shows a lot of practical applications on his property, a Permaculture Demonstration Site, to complement the theory taught. He combines Bill Mollison’s and Geoff Lawton’s teachings with his own agricultural and self reliance experience without any spiritual connotations.

His aim is to bring Permaculture to as many people as possible, and to empower people to be self reliant.

You can visit his web site at www.permaculturesunshinecoast.org

Cost: the Citizens of the Lockyer will subsidise approximately 40% of the cost of the course. If 15 or more people sign up, it will cost participants only $100 for the two day course. This is exceptional value for a course of this scope.

To book your place, email cp.stephens@skymesh.com.au as soon as possible (but before 27 September), indicating your wish to attend.

Remember – the final date for bookings will be Friday 27 September.

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