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We live in a world where every day we hear about the impending catastrophes that threaten our very civilization. Unfortunately, the majority of us choose to simply stick our heads farther into the sand and naively trust that somehow we´ll figure a way out of the mess we´re in. The unsustainability of our current society is so overwhelming that many people simply can´t imagine other lifestyles and livelihoods that are allow us to live in harmony with the natural world and in right relation to our neighbors.
Buckminster Fuller once said that “in order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.” This online course introduces the concept of permaculture which we define as “the practice of designing sustainable human habitats by following nature’s patterns and respecting natures limits.”
If you are tired of simply lamenting the mess our world is in and want to engage in the very real work of building a sustainable alternative, permaculture will allow you to discover very genuine and tangible ways to create alternative paradigms that will make our currently unsustainable civilization “obsolete.”
Permaculture offers clues and guidance on how to make your life fit to the place where you live. In that sense, permaculture isn´t a new idea. Traditional, indigenous cultures have been living sustainably in their ancestral territories for thousands of years. Permaculture then, is a way of offering to those of us not fortunate enough to have been born into a sustainable civilization a model for how to live sustainably in place.
This introductory course to permaculture will be broken into 10 modules that follow from the permaculture design curriculum originally designed by Bill Mollison, one of the “founders” of modern day permaculture. Each module will begin with a short discussion on how modern society is in essence the antithesis of what permaculture tries to implement. We will end each module with a discussion of how indigenous and peasant cultures around the world have been living out permaculture´s ethics, principles and practices for thousands of years. We do so to remind ourselves of the need for humility and as a recognition that sustainable lifestyles aren´t simply the privilege of the select few who have the money to buy their way into a permaculture design course, but rather the legacy of anyone who sincerely desires to live sustainably.
Module 1 will look at the ethics and principles behind permaculture while module 2 explore the process of design that sets permaculture apart from other “back to the land” movements. Module 3 will explain the importance of soil and how to conserve soil as the basis of any sustainable livelihood. In module 4 we look at how to capture rainwater and store it for your own use.
Module 5 offers a brief look at different methods and ways to plant your own food crops while module 6 explores how raising animals is a fundamental part of a sustainable piece of land. In chapter 7 we look at how we can build our own houses and have them be a part of the overall sustainable system we are creating. Chapter 8 looks at how permaculture isn´t reserved only for those with large acreages, but can also be adapted to an urban setting. Chapter 9 explores different sustainable technologies that can be implemented on your permaculture site while chapter 10 concludes with a glimpse into how invisible structures are a vital and important part to beginning and maintaining a permaculture lifestyle.
By the end of this online permaculture design course, you will have the conceptual framework to help you take the necessary steps to separate your livelihood from the damaging and unsustainable systems governing modern, industrial society. Additionally, you will have developed practical skills that you can take with you to your site as you begin to construct an alternative, more sustainable livelihood.
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