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Permaculture Design Course – Finca Tierra

July 26, 2020 - August 9, 2020

Learn to design a sustainable lifestyle + eat healthy + immerse yourself with hands-on experience in a tropical food forest.

From $1,500

Permaculture Design Course

The Fundamentals of Ecological Design

Permaculture is a conscious, integrated design system based on ecological principles. It provides a framework for creating landscapes that mimic the patterns found in nature, which delivers diversity, stability, and resilience. Permaculture creates an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food, to address local needs in efficient, cost-effective and productive human environments; while reducing our ‘footprints’ on Earth. 

Course Description

Finca Tierra offers the international standard curriculum of 72-hour permaculture certificate course. The course covers the fundamentals of ecological design with a particular emphasis on perennial woody polyculture food systems or food forests. This course goes beyond the theoretical and focuses of real-world situations in this food forest and has a strong emphasis on hands-on application and practical skills. It offers the experience of learning in an immersive setting from mature systems with which students have daily interactions. The methods and techniques will transfer directly to any climate.  The accommodation is in natural buildings, and the food is from our farm and other local organic farmers. With the completion of the course, Finca Tierra will issue a Permaculture Design Certificate. While the information serves as a general education in permaculture, this course offers an in-depth examination of the function of the homestead and farm and is designed to inform students who will gain the skills and design thinking to implement and manage a system. This is a very hands-on course. Mornings are usually devoted to practical applications and afternoons are dedicated to course lectures.

Course Topics

  • Principles and ethics of permaculture design

  • Site analysis and design, from the tropics to temperate regions

  • Landscape master planning and microclimate design

  • Reading the landscape and pattern recognition

  • Design for climate change

  • Regenerative land management and stewardship

  • Water catchment, storage, filtration, and distribution

  • Biologically based treatment of greywater and blackwater

  • Using greywater in the landscape

  • Natural building techniques and vernacular architecture

  • Plant propagation and grafting

  • Organic horticulture

  • Medicinal plant propagation, usage, and preparations

  • Biointensive gardening and seed saving

  • Soil rehabilitation and fertility approaches

  • Orchard design and maintenance

  • Renewable energies

  • Local and regenerative economics

  • Urban and suburban permaculture tactics

  • Ecovillage design and community building procedures

  • Strategies for creating an alternative nation

Hands-on Application

Mornings are dedicated to the hands-on application of useful skills.

  • Blade and knife sharpening.

  • Land clearing with scythe or machete.

  • Plant identification.

  • Food forest fundamentals.

  • Clearing and planting new disturbance in agroforestry systems.

  • Techniques in small-scale vegetable gardening.

  • Tree planting fundamentals, support species, and broad-scale fertility management.

  • Plant propagation fundamentals, including propagation and planting of seeds, rhizomes, cuttings as well as various forms of grafting.

  • The construction of thermal compost and its use in hot water heating.

  • Nursery management including making an in-house potting soil.

  • Soil pH testing and techniques to balance pH.

  • Leveling for application of swales, hedgerows, and techniques for finding key points and key lines.

  • Food processing skills including lactoferments of vegetables, nut milk, milk kefir, and mead.

Off Site Visits

MEET DON JONI, crossing the river and into the jungle, he will teach us about Cabecar indigenous cosmovision, traditional land use management, and how he interacts with the land to produce his building material, food, and medicine.

Also, prepare for a good swim in the river!

*Because of weather conditions and other factors we can’t guarantee the off-site trips. However, nothing has stopped us yet, so be ready for it!


July 26, 2020
August 9, 2020
Event Category:


Finca Tierra
Play Colces, Puerto Viejo, Limon Costa Rica
View Venue Website

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