Permaculture Design Course (PDC) June-July 2014

Refining a swale during the 2013 PDC

Refining a swale during the 2013 PDC

sunflower-sq-leftOur 2014 PDC will take place from June 29 to July 12, 2014 with instructor Gregoire Lamoureux, one of Canada’s most experienced permaculture teachers.

The Permaculture Design Course is a two-week intensive leading to a Certificate. The course was designed by Bill Mollison and has inspired people all over the world.

Read more about Gregoire Lamoureux and meet him in video further down the page.

The course will take place at the Blockhouse School and at River Song Keep in Chester Basin, with camping accommodation at River Song Keep.

Download printable brochure (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Help a young person take the course by contributing to our PDC Scholarship Fund.

2013 PDC students working on their final project

2013 PDC students working on their final project

This will be the third PDC offered by The Blockhouse School Project. Past participants will tell you that this course will change how you look at the world.

“The Permaculture Design Course should be a prerequisite for living on this planet.”

– Past participant

What is Permaculture?

Mandala garden at Spiral Farm in the Slocan Valley of the Kootenay's

Mandala garden at Gregoire’s Spiral Farm in the Slocan Valley of the Kootenays

Permaculture or “permanent agriculture” was originally conceived over 30 years ago by Australian ecologist Bill Mollison. Observing aboriginal culture and forest ecosystems, he concluded that we could deliberately design agriculturally productive ecosystems, echoing the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.

Permaculture designs provide food, energy, and shelter for people and animal inhabitants while linking the needs and outputs of each element. The result is a dynamic yet stable system that sustains itself. Permaculture is a holistic approach to land use, which works with nature’s rhythm and patterns, weaving together the elements of microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, water and soil management, and human needs into intricately connected and productive communities.

Permaculture systems can be developed in any climate and on any scale. Designs have been developed for balconies, backyards and for entire villages and urban communities.

The Ethical Basis of Permaculture

permaculture-core-ethicsCare of the earth
Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply

Care of the people
Provision for people to access resources necessary for their existence

Care of community
Sharing surplus, whether it be ideas, skills, food or goods

Permaculture Course Description

The Permaculture Design Course is a 13 day (72 hour minimum) intensive program combining theory and practical activities. Through lectures, discussions, slide shows, field trips, and hands-on learning, participants learn the basic permaculture design principles and develop the skills to design and implement sustainable systems.

Topics include

  • Forest garden levelsEcological Landscape Design
  • Ecoforestry
  • Organic Gardening
  • Ecological Building
  • Site Observation and Analysis
  • Soil Fertility and Composting
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Fruit and Nut Production
  • Poultry Care
  • Water Harvesting and Uses
  • Appropriate Technology
  • Urban and Rural Permaculture
  • Ecovillage Design
  • Edible Forest Gardening

About the instructor, Gregoire Lamoureux

Gregoire Lamoureux

Gregoire Lamoureux

Gregoire Lamoureux is a permaculture designer, consultant and teacher with over 20 years of experience teaching and working across Canada, making him one of the country’s most experienced permaculturists.

He holds a Permaculture Diploma in Education, Permaculture Design, Site Development, and Community Service from the Permaculture Institute USA.

Gregoire has been actively working with permaculture systems teaching permaculture courses in many parts of the country since 1991. He taught the first Permaculture Design Course in French in Québec in 1995. He taught the Permaculture Design Course as a Summer Session at the University of Manitoba in 2005. He has been teaching the Permaculture Design Course in Ontario since 2001 and with Selkirk College in Nelson, BC since 2002.

He has served on the Board of Directors of Slocan River Streamkeepers and on the Board of Directors of Seeds of Diversity Canada for seven years. He is a founding member of Kootenay Organic Growers Society and was on the Certifying Committee for three years.

forest garden, Spiral Farm

Forest garden at Spiral Farm in the Kootenays

His work experience includes market gardening, greenhouse production, orcharding, ecological land restoration, small-scale nursery management, landscaping, aquaculture, forestry work & carpentry work.

He has written articles for Natural Life and Eco Farm & Garden magazines, a contributor in The Organic Companion, Gleanings from Canadian Organic Growers published in 2005.

Gregoire has studied ecological and green building, and worked on straw-bale, cob house buildings and Mandala Homes (locally built round houses).

He has been a guest lecturer at many conferences including the BC Organic Agriculture Conference and the Guelph Organic Agriculture Conference.

Meet Gregoire in this video:

Fees and Registration

271COURSE FEE: $1200 includes camping accommodation (in your own tent) and meals (more details below).

Student/Unwaged: Once we have 8 full-fee participants registered, we will accept a limited number of participants at a student/unwaged fee of $900.

A deposit of $300 holds your spot. No refunds after May 15.

Coming from the US? This is your year to save on a PDC in Canada, as the US dollar is currently worth about 10% more than the Canadian dollar (check current rates here).

Any questions? Please feel free to contact email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Payment accepted by cheque or by credit card/PayPal:


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About Accommodations at River Song Keep

Arbour by the river

Arbour by the pond

River Song Keep is a 35-acre former farm. It has varied terrain and a small, secluded
small river at its back.

The current owners have been building gardens and reviving old fruit trees. A barn loft and a large gathering lodge provide space for group activities.

There is a campsite area with sweat-lodge and fire-pit. There is no shower, but there is access to the river for swimming and washing.

There are two sets of composting toilets on the property.

Camping accommodations will be at River Song Keep. Bring your own tent and bedding.

Classes and activities will be at both River Song Keep and The Blockhouse School Project, a 20
minute drive away.

Hosts: Carla Silver and David Nodding

Address: 1260 Hwy 12, Chester Basin, Nova Scotia.

Accommodation: Bring your own tent and bedding to camp on the property.

Food: Food will be provided by SSSVC. Participants will be responsible for making their own breakfasts from food provided, and for washing up. All other meals and snacks will be prepared by SSSVC staff.

Here are some photos of River Song Keep.

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