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Three Week PDC at Terra Alta, Coastal Portugal in the spring 2015

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Looking forward to our tenth PDC with the same folks in Sintra and this time in an extended course format.

April 27th- May 17th: 3-Week PDC at Terra Alta, Almocageme, Sintra, Portugal with focus on social permaculture, organic gardening, and our unique design project

THE COURSE: Format and Content
The course will be an 72 PLUS Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course spread out over 21 days. The extra week will allow to us to develop a furthered rhythm of increased hands on including almost daily organic gardening and associated lessons, exploring the inner and outer social landscape, and seeing the stunning local beaches and mountain forest of Sintra. It’s a great format for allowing students to digest the material fully with the hands on learnings integrating the knowledge through the body, and work thoroughly on our unique final design project and presentation at Terra Alta. The course will be certified through TreeYo Permaculture as we are guided by Bill Mollison’s curriculum that comprises the 14 chapters of his book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual”. It also guides our TreeYo EDU project which is an Online handbook for the PDC which reflects these chapters plus the other material covered in the course like natural building and fermentation. This online resource is an invaluable tool to reference after our courses and helps with joining in on our extended mentoring process and the TreeYo network itself.

Another integral part of the course is the hands-on segment because it integrates the techniques directly to your body. Proposed hands-on segments for the course are:
Hot Compost Pile Making and turning throughout the course to address fertility maintenance
Organic gardening and other food production techniques through integrated systems
Small-scale Earthworks to address rainwater runoff issues and feed associated plantings
Natural Building Project on a small scale
Appropriate technology to move us further off the grid
Plant Propagation as a way to learn different techniques to quickly fill up a site with useful plants at a low cost
Food Fermentation as a way to connect food production with culture with health and season extension (and we get to eat and drink them!!!)
Final Design Project for immediate application and direct practice of learned skills

Terra Alta, the host site, is the next evolution and extension of the Escola da Terra project. It’s located in between Almoçageme and Ulgeria, two quaint villages
just above the sea and situated for easy access to the amazing beaches called Praia da Adraga and Ursa. The on-site Terra Alta team is a great addition to this course by ensuring unmatched hospitality and stellar curriculum support. Terra Alta offers a wonderful example of small-scale intensive systems. Because the site has had several years of Permaculture management, it is easy for students to immerse themselves in the principles of design and how sites evolve. The following Permaculture elements and functions are on display amongst others:
Numerous Earthworks to capitalize on impervious surface runoff
Extensive Food Forest of subtropical, temperate, and Mediterranean webpage
A summer 2013 Harvest
species corresponding with the earthworks
Hot & Cold Composting (Vermiculture) systems for boosting soil life, picking up on waste streams, and cycling nutrients
Food Preservation and supporting local economy of food production
Small Intentional Community focused on adult education through Permaculture courses but more importantly holistic, Waldorf and Permaculture inspired education for the children of the local area
Natural Building techniques utilized for dwellings and other infrastructure including the cob oven
Appropriate technology measures to get us off the grid in terms of electricity including a large solar array
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