The Importance of Getting a Permaculture Education
Nothing really substitutes for a personal understanding of permaculture as a whole systems design approach. You can pay a professional designer to produce a plan for you though, without a real understanding of the ecological thinking that underpins it, it will be a challenge to implement properly and difficult for the result to have real integrity and long-lasting effectiveness.
People who have an ongoing relationship to the landscape, community or organisation can provide lengthy, thoughtful and sensitive observation and interaction that will give rise to a genuinely living design process.
That is why having a well-developed and reliable permaculture education pathway is so critical. Watching videos, reading books and sharing ideas with people, even doing an "Introduction to Permaculture" course is a great start though, it is very easy to miss important elements of permaculture thinking without the comprehensive treatment that comes from doing the basic permaculture qualification – the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). To complement and enhance (but not replace) a PDC, there are numerous short courses, workshops, and demonstrations covering specific aspects of permaculture.
Many permaculturalists also offer opportunities for informal one-to-one learning ranging from short-term WWOOFing through to internships.
Currently, the final educational step is the Permaculture Diploma is a 2-year journey into applying permaculture design to a specific project. This is arranged through the Permaculture Educators Guild.
For more information on the 3 tiers of education options, follow the links below.
PEG is a group of permaculture educators set up by PiNZ for the furtherance of permaculture education in the bioregions of Aotearoa/New Zealand. They provide teacher affiliation & diploma applications and offer peer support.
PiNZ affiliated teachers go through a process to demonstrate that their course covers the core curriculum (recognising that each course also has its own particular strengths and emphasis).