What is permaculture? Well, it is a green movement that is quietly taking hold in different parts of the world. Its earliest roots may be traced to the 1970s when 2 Australians published papers that elaborated on how present day agricultural and ecological designs were creating dangerous ecosystems. In order to create low energy, sustainable, stable ecosystems, they advocated practices that were nicknamed ‘permanent agriculture’ or permaculture.
In a nutshell, the aim of permaculture is to build ecosystems that have the energy and the resources to sustain themselves and grow naturally. In this way, artificially sustained, carbon-heavy resources would die a natural death over a long period of time. Thus, the permaculture movement was born. The movement quickly grew and expanded and spread to creating agriculture ideas for communities, individual houses and other social habitats.
Permaculture teaches people much more than different ways to farm. In fact, it is a way of life that includes nurturing people, placing limits on consumption and learning to respect the Earth. It also teaches a number of leadership principles that are of great use to societies. Permaculture aims to teach people how to reconnect with nature and with the best in themselves and thus provide meaningful leadership.
A number of permaculture schools have come up in and around the country. Different schools have different kinds of courses, ranging from short term to long term courses. So, how do you choose the right school?
The best way to identify good permaculture schools is word of mouth. If previous students have only good things to speak about a school, it follows naturally that the school is good and that the teachers are competent.
Do not be fooled by shiny brochures. It’s a fact that great teachers may not always be the best when it comes to marketing their skills. So, it is up to you to check out the quality of teachers before you choose one permaculture school over the other. It is great if your teachers have any international experience in permaculture. Such a teacher can provide an enriching experience to students.
Just as you need to know whether the teachers are competent, you must also find out whether the teachers have sufficient experience. How long have they been teaching? Also, find out if the teacher who has been featured in the brochure will be conducting the course. In some permaculture schools, teaching assistants are employed and the teachers featured on the brochure hardly come into the classroom.
As with any learning experience, the greater the breadth of knowledge offered, the better the value of the course. So, find out whether the training course will feature guest lecturers and experts from the field.
Finally, it is important to talk to the educator personally and collect references of pupils. A good school will be highly recommended by students. If you find that previous students recommend the school, you need not think further. You can enroll yourself for the course straight away!