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Advanced Permaculture 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Advanced Permaculture
Advanced Permaculture course online. Learn to design naturally inspired living systems. For people with prior experience in permaculture, this course is a more in depth and academically advanced study of various aspects of permaculture. It covers sustainable systems, how to determine planning strategies for a site, seasonal patterns, water management, earthworks, considering different climates, and comprehansive planning including preparing costings. This will give you a sound background in all aspects of developing and running a permaculture system.
Lesson Structure: Advanced Permaculture BHT301
There are 10 lessons:
1 Evaluating Design Strategies
- The need for sustainability
- Low input farming
- Regenerative farming
- Biodynamic systems
- Organic systems
- Conservation farming
- Matching enterprise with land capability
- Integrated management
- Permaculture planning
- Reading patterns
- Mapping overlays
- Design strategies and techniques
- Undulating edge
- Spirals and circles
- Zig zag trellis
- Temporary shelter
- Small scale sun trap
- Small scale sun shading
- Keyhole beds
2 Understanding Patterns
- Understanding patterns
- Know your land: evaluate a site
- Weather patterns, soil pH, EC,temperature, water etc
- Electromagnetic considerations
- Herbicide or pesticide consideration
- Land carrying capacity
- Assessing land capability
- Checklist of sustainability elements
- Indication of sustainability
- Log books
- Water supply
- Water saving measures
- Dam and pond building
- Construction; concrete, brick, stone,
- liners, earth construction
- Collecting rainwater
- Recycling waste water
- Using farm waste water
- Town water supply
- Well drilling
- Pumping subterranean ground water
- Pumping from natural supplies (eg. lakes, rivers)
- Pumps and plumbing supplies
- Water use: power generatyion, deisel generators
- Fish culture: land and water, dams
- Water plant cultureWater plants to know and grow
- Seasonal changes in a pond
- Sweage treatment: reed beds
- Problems with water
- Wating water and conservation
- Swales and keylines
- Keyline design
- Site clearing
- Solving drainage problems
- Surveying techniques: triangulation, direct contouring, grid system etc
- Levelling terms
- Levelling procedure
- Levelling a sloping site
- Loss of soil fertility
- Soil compaction
- Soil acidification
- Build up of dangerous chemicals
- Improving soils
- Using lime, gypsum or acidic materials
5 Humid Tropics
- Climatic systems
- The wet tropics
- Sources of humus
- Soil life in the tropics
- Barrier plants
- Animal barriers
- Permaculture systems for the wet tropics
- Garden beds
- Tropical fruits to grow
6 Dry Climates
- Water storage and conservation
- Dryland gardens
- Dryland orchards
- Planting on hills
- Corridor planting
- Overcoming dry soils
- Drought tolerant plants
7 Temperate to Cold Climates
- Characteristics of a temperate biozone
- Cool temperate garden design
- Useful crops for this zone
- Crop protection
- Soils in a cool temperate area
- Growing berries
- Soil life
8 Planning Work
- Alternative planning procedures
- The planning process
- What goes where
- Equipping the environmentally friendly garden
- Barriers, walls and fencin
- Rubble, brick and concrete walls
- Retaining walls
- Changing an existing farm to be more sustainable
- Monitoring and reviewing
- Contingencies and seasonal variations
- Planning for drought
- Excessive water
- Property costs
- Making cost cutting choices
- Planning for the cost conscious
- Likely costs to establish a garden
- Socio economic considerations in farming
- Production planning
- Economies of scale
- Value adding
10 Sustainable Systems
- Other sustainable systems
- Working with nature rather than against it
- Minimising machinery use
- Only use what is necessary
- Different ways to garden naturally
- Organic gardening
- No Dig techniques
- Biodynamic preparations
- Crop rotation
- Bush gardens
- Succession planting
- Seed saving
- Environmental horticulture
- Sustainable agriculture around the world
- Integrated pest management
- Cultural controls
- Biological controls
- Physical controls
- Chemicals Quarantine
- Controlling weeds without chemicals
- Animals in sustainable systems
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Learning Goals: Advanced Permaculture BHT301
- Evaluate appropriate design strategies for a specific development site.
- Explain the relationship between a Permaculture system and natural patterns occurring in your local area.
- Develop strategies for the management of water in a Permaculture design.
- Determine earthworks for the development of a Permaculture system.
- Design a Permaculture system for the humid tropics.
- Design a Permaculture system for a dry climate.
- Design a Permaculture system for a temperate to cold climate.
- Determine planning strategies for the development of a Permaculture system.
- Prepare cost estimates for a Permaculture development plan.
- Explain alternative sustainable systems practiced in various places around the world.
Practical (Set Tasks)
- Explain the evolution of a Permaculture system which is at least five years old.
- Compare the suitability of three different planning procedures, for development of a Permaculture system on a specified site.
- Develop a permaculture plan on a specified site, by using flow diagrams.
- Illustrate the progressive development of one view of a Permaculture system, over three years, with a series of four overlay drawings.
- Explain the relevance of patterns which occur in nature, to Permaculture design.
- Explain the importance of observation skills in Permaculture planning.
- Analyse the weather patterns of a site in your locality as a basis for planning a Permaculture system.
- Compare different methods of water provision, including collection and storage for a specified Permaculture system.
- Analyse the adequacy of two different specific Permaculture system designs, in terms of: water requirements, water provision, water storage, and water usage.
- Explain, using labelled illustrations, the use of different survey equipment.
- Survey a site, between one and four thousand square metre in size, that has been selected for a proposed Permaculture system, recording details, including: topography, dimensions, and location of features.
- Prepare a site plan, to scale, of the site surveyed, including contour lines and the location of all existing features.
- Distinguish between, using labelled drawings, different types of earthworks, including: banks, benching, terracing, and mounds.
- Compare different methods for the provision of drainage on a site proposed as, or being developed as a Permaculture system.
- Determine the factors unique to the design of Permaculture systems in humid tropical climates, dry climates, and cold climates.
- Determine fifty plant species suited for inclusion in a Permaculture system in each of the climates above.
- Determine ten animal species suitable for inclusion in a Permaculture system in each of the climates above.
- Prepare a Permaculture design for each of the climates above.
- Calculate the quantities of materials, showing necessary calculations, required in a specified permaculture plan.
- Estimate the work-hours required, showing any necessary calculations, to complete each section of work.
- Estimate the equipment required, showing any necessary calculations, to complete each section of work.
- Determine suppliers for all materials, for a specified Permaculture development, in accordance with specific plans supplied to you.
- Determine the costs of five types of different materials, for a specified Permaculture development, from different suppliers.
- Determine the essential costs for services to establish a specified Permaculture system, such as: labour costs, sub contracting fees, equipment hire, permits and planning applications, technical reports, legal fees.
- Compare the costs of establishing two different Permaculture systems, which you visit and investigate.
- Explain three sustainable agricultural or horticultural systems, other than permaculture.
- Differentiate Permaculture from other sustainable systems, including: Biodynamics, Organic farming.
- Compare specified sustainable agricultural or horticultural practices from different countries.
Your learning experience with ADLwill not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Susan Stephenson and Andy Patterson . Your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout from one of these excellent teachers. Here are their credentials:
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction.
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
Excerpt from the Course
SOLVING DRAINAGE PROBLEMS
There are six ways to solve drainage problems:
1. Reshape the surface of the land so water flows somewhere else
Warning: don't divert water to create a concentrated flow onto your neighbours' property. You are legally responsible for problems you cause on your neighbours' property.
2. Improve the soil structure so it will drain more freely
Soil is made up of a mixture of organic matter (eg. compost or mulch) mixed with clay, loam and sand. If there is a high proportion of clay, drainage is likely to be a problem. Mixing organic matter, sand or loam will begin a slow but effective process of soil improvement. As micro-organisms move deeper into the soil, drainage and fertility will gradually improve.
3. Add soil ameliorants (e.g. lime)
Soil ameliorants are chemicals which cause clay particles to repel each other, thus opening up the soil and letting water in. They normally take months to show any effect, and they only work if the soil is kept wet. Lime and gypsum are other alternatives, but these can have side effects (both increase calcium levels and lime changes soil pH).
4. Install drainage pits in low areas
A drainage pit is a large hole filled with sand or rubble. Water collects in the pit and gradually seeps away into the lower layers of the soil. The hole is best to be long and deep, not square or circular if possible, and at least 12cu. metres.
5. Install surface drains
Commonly called spoon drains, these are normally half pipes (or concreted depressions set along at the bottom of a slope, or at the edge of a paved area). Water runs into the spoon drain and is carried to a collection point (an underground pipe in the stormwater system or a drainage pit).
6. Install sub surface drains
These are pipes below the surface, which carry water to a collection point (e.g. agricultural drainage pipes buried below the surface and covered with a freely draining soil).
The first step in preparing a plan is measuring the site.
A simple, yet accurate, way to map is by triangulation, described below:
- First, establish an initial base line. It might be the distance between two survey pegs marking one of the boundaries, or between two trees. The only requirements are that the base line be long, and marked at the ends by permanent fixtures.
- To fix the position of a feature near the base line (such as a tree) measure from two points on the base line to the tree. The two dimension lines to the tree should meet an approximate right angle (excessively acute or obtuse intersections mean loss of accuracy. Besides accurately fixing the position of the tree, you now have a new base line from which to plot other features.
- Finally, to plot the positions of the features on the base plan, use a sharp pencil compass to draw arcs from the two ends of the base lines, with radii corresponding to the measured distances. For small sites, a scale of 10 mm to 1 m is appropriate.
Before you design your garden in detail, you should know the various levels and slopes with which you are dealing. The most useful way of showing levels on a plan is by contours. A contour is a line comparable with the edge of a pond, because it follows a truly horizontal course. If you picture your land with successive tidemarks each 30 cm higher than the last, you have a contour map with a vertical interval of 30 cm between contours.
Direct contouring is accomplished by sighting through a hand level (which will give an accurate, horizontal lineofsight) and moving a boning rod about the site to find places (at various distances from the hand level) where the top of the boning rod corresponds with the line of sight. These positions are pegged. A line joining the pegs is then a truly level line a contour. The operation requires two people, one sighting through the hand level and the other holding the boning rod in various positions.
The Grid System
In the grid system, the ground is pegged out at regular intervals. No two points marked are necessarily level but this does not matter. A calibrated rod is used instead of a boning rod, and the distance from the horizontal sight line to the top of each peg is recorded. These distances are then used to calculate the relative level of each peg. When the peg heights are marked on a plan, contour lines can be inferred from them and drawn in on a grid.