August 5, 2013

Permaculture Design Course - Summer 2013

For the last two weeks Alderleaf Wilderness College ran a Permaculture Design Course.  This jam-packed, intensive course is a great way to learn some serious skills in permaculture design and sustainable living.  Students experienced a great deal in those two weeks, and earned internationally-recognized Permaculture Design Certificates upon completion.

Here just a few photographic highlights of the hands-on projects they worked on during that time.

Instructor Steve and several students work together mixing mud and straw to make cob.

Students then apply this mixture to the cob oven to help repair and complete the domed exterior.

The dome continues to grow, layer by layer.

Then, as it nears completion it is sculpted into a work of art.

On another beautiful northwest summer day, students work in the garden amending and improving the gardens.

Using rotting woody materials, sticks and other natural debris students also created Hugelkultur beds in the gardens (raised garden beds with buried woody debris).  The more steeply domed beds allow for more variable growing conditions, and utilize the nutrients and decomposition of wood and fungi to help improve the soil over time.

When used properly, manure in a garden is biological gold.  Its a great addition to beds or to compost, and can be a real nutritional boost to many plants.

Instructor Steve describes how to process compost when its ready.  Here students use a screen to sift out rocks and other large debris from the finished product.

Here one of the students uses a shaving horse during another project.  In this case, it is making replacement tool handles.

Here are examples of two completed handles.  One for a rake and the other for a shovel.  Such relatively simple skills of self-reliance are deeply satisfying to learn and to practice.

Here are two of the wild residents of the Alderleaf land also enjoying the bounties of summer.

With the Permaculture Design Course completed, students are awarded their certifications.  What an amazing two weeks of intensive learning!

Thank you to instructors Steve and Marisha, and to all of the students who joined us for the course!  

We are excited to see you take this powerful knowledge out into the world and use it to better this planet!  

The next opportunity to complete a Permaculture Design Certificate with Alderleaf Wilderness College is with our Wilderness Certification Program which begins September 10th, 2013. There's still time to apply. Learn more.

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