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Learning Calendar: Costa Rica
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Permaculture Internship, Finca Tierra
January 23, 2017 - February 18, 2017
Permaculture Design Course & Internship
Fundamentals of Ecological Design & Practical Permaculture Experience
Course Dates (6-weeks):
Spring Monday, January 23, 2016 – Saturday, February 18, 2016
72-hour Permaculture Design Course & Certificate
Three daily meals
At Finca Tierra, we are designing sustainable living though the application of ecological principals to our everyday life. Get up to speed with our Fundamental of ecological design intensive 72 hour permaculture design certificate course, studying design strategies and techniques that provide a permanence on the earth for people and all living things, including organic farming, renewable energy, sensible architecture, beneficial waste systems and local economics (2 weeks)
Gain hands on practical permaculture experience in our internship program working and exploring a project of your choice guided by an experienced instructor in systems that yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food in designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature that provide productive diversity, stability, and resilience. Become engaged in Learning something meaningful that you can actually use. (4 weeks)
Finally cement you learning by being part of a volunteer grassroots movement. Working along side a local applicant/landowner we will design and implement a low maintenance tropical foodand sustainable infrastructure system that supplies much of complete diet. Students well leave with the confidence and experience of implementing their first real world consultation and application. (2 weeks)
Permaculture is a conscious integrated design system based on ecology and sustainability principles to create resource efficient and productive human environments and reduce our footprint on the earth. Permaculture provides a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature that provide diversity, stability, and resilience. These systems yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food for the provision of local needs. Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest gardening, and agroforestry.
Our course offers the standard 72-hour permaculture curriculum for certification recognized internationally by the permaculture movement with a special emphasis on forest gardening in the tropics. Although we will be in a tropical setting, many of the techniques will transfer directly to any climate.
Finca Tierra is a 9-acre permaculture site and has become an important center for education and community development. Infrastructural systems contain: natural buildings built with local materials ( bamboo, leaf thatch and onsite timber), terraced & medicinal plant gardens, a nursery, seed bank, developing fruit and nut orchards, food forests, native timber forestry, timber bamboo plantings, water-catchment, renewable energy systems, and composting and biological flush toilets.
IN ADDITION, YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT:
- 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 strategies
- Orchard design and maintenance
- Renewable energies
- Local and Regenerative economics
- Urban and suburban permaculture strategies
- Ecovillage design and community building strategies
- Networking within the permaculture community and beyond
- strategies to create an alternative nation
Courses are held Monday through Saturday. Breakfast is at 7, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6. We cover 12 chapters, approximately one chapter a day, of the standard permaculture curriculum for certification. Mornings are usually filled with practical applications and afternoons dedicated with course slide lectures. Sunday is free for rest or exploring the area. We promote visiting our paradise beaches, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling and diving, waterfalls, hiking, bird and animal watching, bicycling the area etc.
The beginning of the second week includes a field trip to visit local highlights. First to the jungle, were the indigenous steward will teach us about natural medicine and traditional sustainable living*. There we overnight in hand built wooden cabins on the edge of a river. A campfire, swimming and indigenous wisdom and stories are usual activities. We also stop by a mature food forest and taste an amazing variety of unusual fruits and spices, and get a great view of Panama. To round it out we also tour a 300-acre eco-village using animal integration, with chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, horses and sheep; natural building and community scale organic agriculture.
*We can’t guarantee the trip to the indigenous land because of weather and other variables (rivers at high water stage, horrendous road conditions) but its never stopped us so far so be prepared for it!
– Please register early as the course can and does fill quickly – Course price does not include airfare – $400 USD non-refundable deposit required, Course fees are refundable up until one month before the course – Meals will include traditional cuisine and farm foods – Academic credits / partial or full grants are often available to undergraduate and graduate students (inquire with us for more information) – Program is taught in English.
$2,695 (Late registration fee (10% extra) for bookings made less than three weeks before course start date)
We recommend you bring
- Tall Socks (above half calf, like futbol/soccer socks)
- Lightweight working pants and shirts
- Bathing suit
- Flashlight or headlamp (for off farm uses)
- Notebook and pen
- Gardening work gloves
- Medical Supplies
- Beach Towel (you are supplied with towels for showering on farm)
- A device to read PDF files (we have a large digital library)
This is a tropical humid forest and it can rain at any time. Temperatures range from 32° to 24° (C) 90° to 75° (F)
Be prepared for the following conditions hot, humid, rainy and muddy. Bring plenty of socks .
Solar lamps are provided for on farm use.
Umbrellas are essential, rain jackets in tropical weather can become hot and humid and are not recommend for on farm use.
During times of extreme rain things can mold, especially leather, but potentially anything so don’t bring anything that you cant live without.
Optional items to consider
- Rain coat (for travel)
- Snorkel mask and fins
- Water bottles
- Musical Instruments
- iPod, Mp3 players, speakers
Or buy from available supplies at Finca Tierra
- Rubber boots $14
- Biodegradable sunscreen
- Natural bug repellent
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