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Permaculture Design

What is Permaculture?

“The use of systems thinking and design principles to provide the organizing framework for implementing sustainable culture.”
David Holmgren,

Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability – 2002

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Permaculture is based on three ethics:

  1. Care of the Earth

  2. Care of the People

  3. Fairshare


The 12 Principles
  1. Observe & interact

  2. Catch & store energy

  3. Obtain a yield

  4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback

  5. Use and value renewable resources and services

  6. Produce no waste  

  7. Design from patterns to details  

  8. Integrate rather than segregate

  9. Use small & slow solutions

  10. Use and value diversity

  11. Use edges & value the marginal

  12. Creatively use & respond to change

And now for a fun musical interlude...

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Internationally renowned tutor, Robina McCurdy teaches the Permaculture Design module of the Golden Bay Sustainable Living Course. You will learn how to design and live in a sustainable and regenerative way.    

This module of the Golden Bay Sustainable Living Course asks of us to fully engage our head, our heart and our hands. It deepens and extends the standard 2-week international Permaculture Design Certificate curriculum over an extended period.  This additional time enables us to offer a broader experience including more community building, hands-on skill-building activities, mini-design exercises, and visits to inspirational properties which demonstrate permaculture in practice.


Permaculture Module Content

Land Use Design - designing for regenerative biological and physical systems including:

  • Food forests

  • Sustainable animal systems

  • Water capture systems & usage

  • Designing for climate change

  • Property design from small urban to large rural

Other elements of landuse design normally covered in a PD course are covered in these modules: 

  • Organic gardening and soil replenishment in Organic Growing with Sol Morgan.

  • Natural building, alternate energy systems & technology in Alternative Building with Graeme Scott.

Design For Community Resilience
The following are taught in Community Resilience by Robina McCurdy and Thalea Tane

  • Social permaculture - the application of permaculture principles to the design of sustainable social systems, for the creation of a healthy, well-functioning society where all can thrive.

  • Transforming our invisible structures eg alternate economic models 
    and equal power governance systems

We teach in an interactive way which taps into all learning modalities - visual, auditory & kinaesthetic - making learning easy and fun.  The permaculture foundation of the Golden Bay Sustainable Living Course culminates in a comprehensive land-use and social design group project called the Main Design Project which is done for a real client. This provides a mentored opportunity to utilise a substantial amount of the learning gained and publicly present it back in a sequential integrated way.  Project presentations are held in the evening following the completion of the projects. Dinner is provided. 

Permaculture Design Certificate Requirements

Upon completion of all modules in the Sustainable Living Course and a Main Design project, a Permaculture Design Certificate will be awarded in addition to the Sustainable Living Certificate. 


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