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PDC @ Suparna Kshetra, Jaggiahpet, A.P., India July 2015

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Gardens of Abundance is super excited to announce 'PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE COURSE' (PDC) happening this July on a farm!

Permaculture (permanent Agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, Stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permaculture there is no possibility of a stable social order. - Bill Mollison.

Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms.

Course Dates :
11th July (Saturday) - 25th July 2015 (Saturday).

Main Course Instructor :
Dwarakanath Jnaneswar Ekkirala

Other Course Instructors:
Sai Prasanna Kumar G
Upendra Sri Sainath

Guest Lecture:
G Venkatappa Rao

This course is a 72+ hours INTENSIVE Permaculture Design course, which includes class-room sessions as well as hands on practicums. The curriculum is based on the 'Permaculture Design Manual' by Bill Mollison, the founder of the Permaculture Movement.

The modules which will be covered, are as follows:
1. Introduction to Permaculture - Ethics and Principles
2. Concepts and Themes
3. Methods of Design (Design Practicum starts)
4. Patterns and Pattern application
5. Climate Analysis and Landscape Profiles
6. Trees and their Energy Transactions
7. Water
8. Soils and soil building mechanisms (practicum)
9. Earthworks and Earth Resources (practicum)
10. Climatic factors and Design
11. Aquaculture, Gardening strategies (practicum)
12. Restituting Damaged landscapes, Broad Acre regeneration
13. Ecological House and Habitat design
(Design Exercise starts)
14. Alternative Technologies
15. Permaculture in the Indian Scenario - Challenges and solutions
16. Urban Permaculture Strategies
17. People Systems and Permaculture Nation
18. Design Exercise Submission and Review
19. Affirmations and Next Steps for students

It draws from the vast amounts of knowledge from various classic books and upon traditional knowledge and is designed to give you a broad understanding of the Permaculture Design Methodology.

Course includes at least one design project exercise that the participants must fulfill and upon submission and evaluation (and if needed further corrections) of which they will be awarded 'Permaculture Design Certificate' from the Instructor(s) by the end of the course.

**The venue is Dwarakanath Jnaneswar's farm (Suparna Kshetram) in Jaggiahpet (Jagayyapet), Andhra Pradesh, which showcases a lot of farming techniques, compost toilets, eco-housing, food forests, swales, ponds, farm-track design, etc.**

Sliding Scale Course fees

More than 10 students: INR 8,000
More than 6 but less than 10 students : INR 10,000
Less than or equal to 6 : INR 12,000
(Including Accommodation and Food)

Past PDC Grads: INR 6,000
(Including Accommodation and Food)

NGO, Aid Workers, Students: INR 5,000
(Including Accommodation and Food)
Dwarakanath Ekkirala
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Important info folks!
If you want to get a head start, please watch Bill Mollison's Global Gardener series, Bill Mollison's 'In grave danger of falling food', Paul Wheaton Permaculture Podcasts, and Permaculture Research Institute, Australia website and all the free videos on . You can find them all online, and you might need to register for free at a couple of them.
Firstly, the course is based on Permaculture Design Manual by Bill Mollison and follows the course structure approved across the world. Secondly, I will be certifying you and I am qualified to do that and that certificate will be recognized by any other PRI based permaculturist in the whole world. Thirdly, there are a lot of PDCs out there that are about team building games, ice-breaking games, etc., which I think is cool and fine, but thats not how my PDC is. My PDCs are majorly chalk and talk, talk and more talk.. Serious stuff. Because my PDC is not just about inspiration but also about information, and I usually find myself not having enough time in the end even after a 100 hrs of teaching. So, its a lot of talk, almost relentless. Material from about a hundred books, classics at that, and countless videos and chats and talks with farmers, economists, scientists, etc., is what I wish to pour out in the PDC. So, please kinda prepare yourself for that.
Next thing is, I have to reiterate this, PDC or permaculture is not about farming. It is about everything we do, and farming/gardening seems to be one very important issue among many (food cloth and fuel production, and regenating the whole world seems to include food production in a major way). That said, farming/gardening/food production is one of the major themes in a PDC as it is so useful in enlightening ways of thinking since it is just one step away from what Nature actually is.. kind of a harmony point between humans and nature.
Next thing : Mosquitos, some snake sightings and scorpions are quite common in the rural areas, particularly where my farm is. They are not harmful in most cases (only 4 real poisonous snakes exist in this part of the planet.. smile emoticon ) and we have been staying there without incident (one of our guys got a kiss from a scorpion though (Ramakrishna Peddinti), but is doing fine. Caution is however advised and students are expected to be careful and vigilant, and it is not the farm's responsibility if you happen to kiss a snake or the other way round. If you enroll to this PDC you accept that this risk is there.
Next thing : No alcohol, no drugs ofcourse. Vegetarian food.
Next thing : Bring in a bit of money with you since there is a chance of visiting a couple of farms being set up with permaculture by us which are around 50 to 100 kms from where the PDC happens. Kindly understand that any such visit, transportation needs to be paid for by the students themselves as we cannot plan it early nor are we charging for it or promising it. But I can tell you its an opportunity you would not want to miss.
Next thing : Torch light, bed sheets, water bottles, etc. (list will be updated) are advised. Mosquito nets would be provided as well as beds. Please bring your own soaps and shampoos (as natural as possible), although we might be able to provide natural alternatives ourselves there, but really cannot say since the time is so limited.
Next thing : Compost toilets.. you guys are kinda the among the first people to use them, so you are kinda the lab rats that help us make the design better and better. Please prepare for that, but I can assure you that it is completely sanitarily excellent and quite respectful to use as it stands today itself.
Next thing : Please post confirmation messages, and dates of arrivals. you are expected to arrive at either Hyderabad or Vijayawada and pick up a bus to Jaggiahpet where you will be picked up by us and brought on to the farm in a car or auto rickshaws or bikes.
Next thing : Please keep as much of an open mind as possible, because this course busts a lot of myths and gives you a lot of information that compels you to change the way you look at the world around. No holy cows here. I am a strict vegetarian and it does make me squeamish talking about it, but we will be talking briefly about animal systems, aquatic systems, etc. as part of design. This course is not about furthering any agenda, whether religious or cultural, but its about an objective look at the world and to be able to select the right solutions for the cultural context of design (yes you can design vegetarian and vegan systems after this course and a bit more study). That said, this course opens you up to so much information, that it is only fair to say that you will be needing to do a lot of study after the course. But this course gives you the right direction of reading. You will be studying climates across the globe, not just A.P. or telangana or India. It is to give you the holistic understanding of design since many aspects of work are better done in one part of the world than others. We are going to learn from the entirety of human knowledge, not just limit it to a few 'experienced' locals or to any particular techniques. Infact, this course only mentions cursorily to techniques, but focuses more on design. You will be introduced to the existence of a lot of techniques, but you are supposed to study up on them later on as the need arises in design (no need to study rice farming in kerala back waters if you are designing a rooftop container garden system for veggies, for instance.)
So, for those who are pro palekar, pro agni worship cow dung ash amendments, pro biodynamics, we will unabashedly tell you where and why they work and if they work and if they do not work. As I said, no holy cows.
Last thing : Come to work your butts off.. This is not easy stuff. 6 to 10 hours of teaching a day.. almost relentlessly every day. It is as taxing on the teacher as it is on the students. One thing my past students keep saying is that they so much as blinked they would miss something. That is how intense it will be, particularly when I am teaching Dwarakanath Jnaneswar Ekkirala, that is (my other co-teachers might be more student friendly, I dont know.. grin emoticon ). Add to that three meals a day and some herbal tea a couple of times a day, for 12 days. Consider the work required to cook all that meal while students and teachers are going at it in full heat in the class room. The labor, the materials. We are doing this because we love the subject and we feel that every one should know this stuff. Our attempt is to make teachers and designers. We respect you, and the whole of humanity. And that is the point of this. Too bad not enough people are showing interest in this, and that is partly because there are not a lot of teachers going around talking about this. So, we expect three things from you. Serious learning and respect for the subject being taught. Work to spread the word (you can be teachers like us, doing your own PDCs if you feel capable enough to teach and to design). And letting us know honestly what you think of our course at the end of it so that we can improve.
IMPORTANT NOTE : By joining this course, you agree to be shown in our videos and photos that we might capture during the course. This course will be video recorded and photographed extensively.

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