Fourth Annual Permaculture Design Course Online 8

Permacltur at Permacltur at
Sat Jul 17 10:51:39 EDT 1999

In a message dated 7/17/99 2:33:46 AM, NEllisLeav at writes:

<<Hello, I am interested in the online permaculture course. Could you send me 
information about it. Also I'm interested in designing my own site (in a few 
years when I can buy some land) and not in becoming a consultant. Is there 
some way of auditing the course or something like that.
Neila Ellis Leavitt>>

Hi Neila:  
	No problem.  There are two options, neither mutually exclusive.  The 
first option is, as you guessed, auditing.  We call this monitor status, and 
it costs $100 for the 5-6 months that the course runs.  You get all 
content-related course posts.  If you want to follow with the reading, you 
can buy the reading package with the same discount as a full student.  That 
is entirely your call of course.  You do not get to ask questions or to 
discuss anything with the calss as a class, though there is no reason not to 
have private email with students or other monitors so-willing.  You do have 
to introduce yourself to the class--I am not a believer in null status for 
people we want to know you a bit, anyway.  And I may (or may not) ask your 
opinion about something or other as the course progresses.  So far, I've 
invited monitors in at one point or another in all of the classes.  Kind of 
like a second string Greek Chorus.  :-)

Well, there are three options.  The one I forgot is next.  You can also take 
the course without the design practicum, which you don't need yet.  This cost 
$500, less than $100/month, and you do get to ask questions.  Most courses 
have at least one student in this category.  At a later date, you can do the 
design practicum and get thereby very inexpensive help with your design.  
Depending on how long it has been and your own assessment of where you are in 
learning this stuff, you may need to take one or more sections over at that 

The third option is to attend our 10 day workshop which was designed 
especially to help people who want to design their own places.  It has turned 
out to be great for people in several other situations, but no matter, it 
fits your conditions well.  The only one scheduled at the moment is next 
month--a bit short notice for you--but then you get to walk land with us and 
see slides and ask questions till you drop.  Both Cynthia and I will be 
there--it is in N. Calif.--so we have a rich teacher/student ratio.  She is 
technically on hand in the online course, but mainly she follows it in case I 
drop dead and she has to take over.  (My heart complains about my lifestyle, 
sometimes.)   :-)  

The ideal would be to combine the design intensive with one of the online 
options.  If you have time to keep up with the reading, then taking the 
course without the practicum would be best preparation.  For one thing, then 
you get to askas many questions as you can think of about chosing land and 
siting and so forth and I'll gleefully enlist the whole class in helping you 
think up questions to ask.  There is the whole buy or build issue we can 
discuss.  All valid fodder for the Online animal.  (The CA workshop focuses 
obsessively on the workshop at hand, except that on the final day we do a 
free-for-all clinic discussion of problems students want us to think about 
from their home decisions.   We can't design without being on the place, but 
we can make very useful suggestions about things to think about.  Questions 
about citing, buy or build, etc., fit right in there but it is a very small 

If you have to pick just one, I'd suggest the CA workshop (and this is not 
the one that would return the most money to our work.)   First, you get to go 
through the entire design process, which is better than book learning and you 
can read books on your own.  You'll understand them better, from a 
permaculture perspective, by having done the design process.  Second, this is 
exactly what I would recommend that  you do on your own place when you get 
it.  Host one of these workshops.   It is really great--you don't even have 
to pick the brains of everyone who attends.  They self-havest and prepare 
themselves in a banquet we call the Permaculture Design, and then you can 
adopt and adapt as you see fit.  If you haven't bought your land, I suggest a 
weekend workshop for that.  We can suggest a few criteria by private email 
when you know where you are looking and what you want to do (it helps not to 
be too locked into what you are looking for as it may cost more to do what 
you want to do than somethng you haven't considered yet.)  So we will give a 
few guidelines (got to write up a paper on that someday) and you will pick 
out some candidates and we have a workshop where we go around on a weekend 
and look at 3 or 4.  (You have maybe 5 or 6 and I go around with you before 
the workshop and narrow it down.) We discuss what the options are on each, in 
broad terms, and the class makes a prioritized set of recommendations.  We 
have done this when just one parcel of land was in question, near Great Bend 
Kansas.  Some Dominican sisters wanted to set up a demonstration permaculture 
farm (one was a graduate from a Certificate coruse I gave in New Jersey), and 
they wanted input on whether or not to buy a particular farm.  In this case 
we put the whole class to work designing the place as though they had it, 
which meant that a lot of people (they overbooked and we had about 60 
participants) were looking real hard for every particle of potential. After 
the workshop I went around and looked at a few other parcels.  But Betty Jean 
(my former student) was dead on and had identified the best.  I said, buy it, 
they did, and they are happlily permaculturing on it to this day, so far as I 
know.  Even the problems on the land are assets, as I told them, because 
their particular problems were either resources for permaculture or, in the 
case of erosion gullies, something we know how to repair at least to the 
point of stability.  

Permaculture can really help you see the potential in less expensive land and 
to participate in that potential in ways that solve big bucks over 
conventional approaches.  So I applaud your intent to learn permaculture 
early in the process.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses, 
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and annual correspondence 
courses via email.  Copyright, 1998, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 52, 
Sparr FL 32192 USA  Internships. YankeePerm at  

We don't have time to rush.

A list by topic of all Yankee Permaculture titles may be found at
Elfin Permaculture programs are listed at the Eastern Permaculture Teachers 
assn home page:

I'll send the workshop info, or the course protocol and reading list, on 

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