Permaculture Design Course, Carrapateira, Portugal
The site: Monte Velho Eco Retreat Centre
The dates: May 21-June 4, 2017
The teachers: George Christofis, Wallace Toughill
Cost: €600 including basic accommodation and all (vegetarian) meals.
Come join us for an amazing Permaculture Design Certificate course in the Algarve, on a stunning 34ha site committed to sustainability, featuring constructed wetlands, renewable energy, organic gardens and
an holistic riding centre. The intention is to live in balance and harmony with mother earth and each other, and be as self sufficient as we can. We wish to pass on our experience so that we can all benefit from the reconnection to nature. It's a constant learning process and the changes we make in our lifestyle come gradually. We are always open to learning from others experiences and are open to ideas for a more sustainable lifestyle. The knowledge exchange works in multiple directions.
Our project at Monte Velho started with reforestation in 1997. The land had been abandoned for more then 20 years, it was dominated by acacias and eucalyptus trees, the soil was very poor with lots of stones and little water.
A lake to collect the rainwater was our first step to revitalise the land. Without water nothing is possible. While we were digging the lake with machines, we used the clay, and argile, to build the main walls of Monte Velho. After 2 winters the lake was almost full of water and the wildlife began return to the land. We could hear the birds singing again, frogs croaking, and rabbits, foxes and wild boars and other wildlife were happy to share the land with us. Now we use the water from the lake for our gardens during the summer months, and for the horses.
Our seasonal vegetable garden is functions well, and we are also keen on further developing our forest garden in the same area. Permaculture gives us the chance to grow different vegetables all year round and supply our kitchen with delicious food.
Our 34 hectares are mostly cover with umbrella pine trees, which produce delicious pine nuts. The trees are now 15 years old, and the last years we have had a good harvests, during the winter time , collecting up to 3.000 kilos of pine cones! Pruning the trees every year gives us lots of wood to use on our boiler, to give us hot water and heating.
The main house is powered with solar energy batteries, and an eolic windmill. For the hot water system, we also use the sun, and a wood boiler, that helps to heat all the buildings. The wood used on the boiler is from our own forest, and is harvested in a sustainable way.
The 72 hour Permaculture Design Certificate course follows the curriculum as laid out in Bill Mollison's Permaculture - A Designer's Manual. It covers subjects ranging from ethics and principles of permaculture, natural systems, aquaculture, sustainable design methods, patterns in nature, land restoration, water harvesting, grey water recycling, natural building, food forests and guilds, energy conservation, appropriate technology, renewable energy, urban permaculture and invisible structures.
The course teaches how to develop sustainable human settlements, and how to extend and preserve natural systems. The content will be covered between theoretical lectures and practical applications. The courses aim to utilize the collective intelligence of the group with engaging participatory classes.
You can view a sample schedule of the course here. The schedule gives a general idea of what to expect, but a summary of the daily schedule will be given every morning of the course.
The site offers WC/shower and access to electricity. There are various sleeping options available.
What to bring?
- comfortable clothes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
- note taking (blank pages recommended) and drawing materials
- ecological body care products
- sturdy shoes
- a swimming suit
- musical instruments!
To sign-up for this course, Please fill in the registration form below and pay the small €50 deposit through paypal.
Click here for the registration form