Oregon State University Permaculture (2022)

Oregon State University Permaculture (1)

As increasing numbers of people across the globe are realizing there must be something more, something solutions-based they can do to positively shift their relationship with others and the natural environment, permaculture is growing in reach – not just in numbers, but also in sectors of our society. As a professor, higher academia is an area of peak interest where permaculture is setting roots.

(Video) Permaculture Design Course Week 1 Overview

Andrew Millison, Senior Instructor 1, Permaculture, and I sat at a coffee shop on Oregon State University’s (OSU) campus in Corvallis discussing his journey, permaculture, and how that has taken form at the major land grant university where he works. You may assume he wound up here due to a job posting, but it was actually climate change that prompted his move from Prescott, AZ (16 inches of rain a year), to Corvallis, OR (43.7 inches of rain a year). At 9.5 inches of precipitation a year in Moab, UT, I’ve often worried about climate change and whether our water-strapped community drowning in new development pressure is right for our family. However, I’ve seen too much hope to migrate north in the form of local movements including a 100% renewable electricity commitment by local government, our health department interest in rewriting greywater policy and composting toilet code, community meetings to re-envision our recycling center and waste stream as a whole, community potlucks and more. That said, I and many others can relate to Andrew’s concern and decision, and many more will move north.

Upon arriving in Corvallis, Andrew delivered a talk on peak oil and permaculture at a local food coop. Coincidentally, a student group had just formed a permaculture club and one active student, recently having emerged from a PDC, lobbied to create a permaculture course at OSU with Andrew as the teacher. Yes, past PDC participants have many ripples. The Horticulture Department agreed to trial permaculture and funded one class as an experiment. However, despite great reviews, there was no more funding. The university wasn’t looking to hire a permaculturist, but was open to the idea if Andrew could make a go of it. To solve the financial issue, Andrew launched a summer site-based PDC. This course involved installation projects at the OSU Student Sustainability Center, which had extra funds for Andrew to provide another summer course.

(Video) The Permaculture Principles

Oregon State University Permaculture (2)It was through online courses, however, where Andrew secured his position at OSU. This catalyzed when someone within the State of Oregon: Oregon Housing and Community Services, which builds low income housing throughout the state, had heard of permaculture and Andrew was funded for a year to develop an online course and a large conference for the state agency (Jude Hobbs, Toby Hemenway, and others presented) and the group toured Portland-based permaculture housing developments. This opportunity allowed Andrew to design an online PDC through OSU’s Ecampus and generate a revenue stream. Oregon State University’s Ecampus is ranked third in the country for online education. Shortly after, he produced a PDC for non-credit through Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) and the growing enrollments began impressing administration. Where Andrew has seen the greatest impact and potential, however is through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). These are free open source courses, in which he developed Introduction to Permaculture. Students post their work publicly, get feedback from other students around the globe, and must hold themselves accountable for earning their badge of completion. Forty-five thousand people have partaken in the course, and that is just in five iterations. These large numbers helps attract students into Andrew’s online PDC, as students who complete the MOOC receive a 10 percent discount on their enrollment. Students can also enroll in his Advanced Permaculture Design for Climate Resilience online course. He is now working on a Permaculture Water Management four-week MOOC and on two paid courses: Rainwater Harvesting and Permaculture Food Forests.

Why all online? Besides the large numbers and reliant revenue stream, Andrew sees many advantages. He has received feedback from some who do not want a social experience in class, and only want to learn how to design their home site differently. Others have families and can’t dedicate two or more weeks to an in-person experience. Many people live remotely and don’t have access to a PDC anywhere near them. Many are also attracted to the legitimacy that a PDC issued from a major university carries. Thus, online has allowed him to reach a wider pool of people.

(Video) Permaculture Ethics

When describing permaculture in an elevator pitch, Andrew says “sustainable land design.” From his Introduction to Permaculture course page, the definition states “Permaculture design is a method of landscape planning that can be applied to anything, from a home garden or farm to a city block or entire village. Permaculture uses design principles from nature itself and takes into account such things as how indigenous people use the land; how water, fire and wind flow through the land; and how soil, water, vegetation, buildings and habitats can be managed in a stable and enduring way.” His goal in permaculture is “to elevate permaculture design further into mainstream knowledge and discussions so this valuable design system can be used to transition civilization to a future with clean water, safe and abundant food, renewable energy and resources, healthy watersheds, and prosperous people and ecosystems.”

Working in higher academia, I wondered if Andrew liked the word, ‘permaculture.’ He does. “I think that the word now encompasses a powerful vision…it’s almost a gateway to a possible reality…The meaning behind permaculture and the imagery associated with that meaning is developed and just gets bigger.” When students leave any of his courses, Andrew hopes they can “put on their permaculture glasses” and see the world through a solutions-based, whole systems lens. From there, “I want them to have actual, actionable tools at their disposal”

(Video) Permaculture Zones

Despite his incredible enrollment numbers, support has not been ubiquitous. “I would say I do not have blanket administrative support. All of the administrative support I have, I’ve had to build relationships through mutual trust and prove that I can be self supportive and economically generative overtime, and then suddenly they want to support me because there is reciprocity and respect.”

Now, after eight years of incremental work, Andrew has a Fulltime Equivalent (FTE) position. The vast majority of that position is funded through his online course income, and the horticulture department covers a portion of his position. In his promotion process to Senior Instructor 1, Andrew recounts his presentation to the Horticulture Department’s faculty “‘I’m not really teaching [students] horticultural techniques. I leave the details of tree fruit breeding, vegetable production, greenhouse management, and plant pathology to you folks.’ My students are taking soil science, they are taking landscape maintenance, they are taking berry and nut crop cultivation, they are taking organic agriculture. They are taking this wide sweep…I’m teaching them a design system to help them organize and use the things they are learning in all of your classes.” I was excited to hear this framing. As a whole-systems design framework, permaculture could be housed in horticulture, in English, watershed science, business, or any major because it brings together what students are learning into a solutions-based action framework. I see potential here and am excited about where we will take permaculture in higher academia.

(Video) OSU Permaculture Course Intro - Designer as Land Physician

To discover more about Andrew and Oregon State University’s permaculture courses, visit: https://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/users/andrew-millison

Oregon State University Permaculture (3)

(Video) Intro to Permaculture - Free, Online Course from Oregon State University

FAQs

What are the 12 principles of permaculture? ›

The 12 design principles of permaculture
  • Observe and Interact with Nature. ...
  • Catch and Store Energy. ...
  • Obtain a Yield. ...
  • Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback. ...
  • Use and Value Renewable Resources. ...
  • Produce No Waste. ...
  • Design From Patterns to Details. ...
  • Integrate Rather Than Segregate.

What is a permaculture design certificate? ›

The permaculture design certificate (PDC) is a specific 72-hour course. The standardized content of a PDC teaches you how to apply the permaculture design process, ethics, principles, techniques, and strategies to any situation, climate, site, etc.

What does a permaculture consultant do? ›

Permaculture designers are trained to read the landscape and assess a property for its full, productive potential. They notice opportunities to catch and store resources on the land, such as rainwater flows or fertility. S/He can group components together to maximize their efficiency.

How do you become a permaculture designer? ›

The qualifications that you need: an APT qualification (Certificate III in Permaculture, Certificate IV in Permaculture, or Diploma of Permaculture) up to the level you are teaching. For example, you need to have qualified to at least the Certificate III in Permaculture to be able to teach Certificate III.

How many acres do you need for permaculture? ›

To establish a self-seeding, low-maintenance, backyard food forest capable of feeding you and your family, you would probably need around 1/30th of an acre per person, which is 1450 square feet or 38 by 38 feet.

Can you make a living with permaculture? ›

Once you get to a more professional level, farming in itself is a livelihood – growing crops, trees, animals, mushrooms, sustainable forestry… There are a wealth of possible paths you can take and there are many great examples of permaculture farmers out there.

How much do permaculture designers make? ›

Permaculture Designers in America make an average salary of $65,572 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $111,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $38,000 per year.

Can you make money with permaculture? ›

Permaculture is not a "turn-key" operation that will provide instant profit. It takes years of labor to develop soils, flora/fauna, and a balanced system. Each year until then will take an investment of seeds, plants, labor and etc. Money out, for a return in the future.

What are the 3 principles of permaculture? ›

Central to permaculture are the three ethics

The ethics earth care, people care and fair share form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies.

What is the difference between natural farming and permaculture? ›

A farm is an energy source. Whereas, a permaculture site creates an energy loop. The farms nutrients are shipped off to market forever and so there is constant need to regenerate the soil through good soil-building practices and importing resources.

Is a permaculture design course worth it? ›

Is taking a Permaculture Course Worth It? When I think back on my own experiences of taking a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and look at the knowledge, skills and path that I am now on as a result, I would have to say that taking a permaculture course is absolutely a worthwhile experience.

What is the difference between horticulture and permaculture? ›

Whether it's trees, shrubs, annuals or perennials. These are all sub categories of horticulture. Agriculture pertains specifically to the mass cultivation of food crops. Permaculture is the cultivation of food crops using methods that mimic nature and natural ecology of landscapes.

Is permaculture a pseudoscience? ›

In effect, permaculture has largely been an independent grassroots movement, isolated from academic and scientific entities. Though permaculture claims to be a design science, many have labeled permaculture as a pseudoscience (Ferguson, 2014a).

Is permaculture actually sustainable? ›

Permaculture is a sustainable practice that creates beneficial relationships between human and living systems. Permaculture is about care for people, care for the planet, and return of surplus.

Can you do permaculture without animals? ›

Conclusion. Permaculture systems can be designed and implemented successfully without the use of animals. The design principles of permaculture can be applied in any physical context, regardless of whether there are animals present or not.

Can you be self-sufficient on 1 acre? ›

The truth is you can be self-sustaining on a 1-acre property but it takes work, education, dedication, and time. So, if you have an oversized lot or small acreage and want to be as sustainable as possible, here are some ideas and suggestions on how to get started creating a self-sufficient homestead.

How many trees can you plant on 5 acres? ›

On average you can expect to plant anywhere from 300-800 trees per acre. Now, this number can be increased or decreased depending on conditions being provided in the area. Some of these include access to water, nutrients, sunlight, and species you are planting.

Can you be self-sufficient on 5 acres? ›

The General Consensus is 5-10 acres to be self-sufficient

Even though a lot of those sources put the number at a lot less, the general consensus is that you really need at least 5 acres of land per person to be self-sufficient. And that's assuming you have quality land, adequate rainfall, and a long growing season.

What should I study for permaculture? ›

Some of the topics / themes to be covered are :
  • Evidence for change & the ethics of sustainability.
  • Principles of Permaculture.
  • Observation & landscape analysis.
  • Ecological planning & design methods.
  • Organic food production and food security.
  • Climatic factors in design.
  • Soils: natural soil improvement.

How do I start a small permaculture farm? ›

How to Start a Permaculture Garden in 8 Steps
  1. Acquaint yourself with your surroundings. ...
  2. Choose plants based on your environment. ...
  3. Design your garden layout. ...
  4. Build your garden beds. ...
  5. Plant your permaculture garden. ...
  6. Add a layer of organic mulch to the topsoil. ...
  7. Add compost without disturbing the soil.
7 Jun 2021

What jobs can you get with permaculture? ›

Sustainability, Organic, Permaculture jobs
  • Truck and Water Cart Operators. ...
  • Tutors Required for Local and/or Online Lessons. ...
  • Casual Fruit and Vegetable Assistant - Organic Grocery. ...
  • Social Media Account Manager. ...
  • Sustainability Analyst. ...
  • Pick Packer. ...
  • Sustainability Programs Officer.

How much does it cost to start a permaculture farm? ›

You can spend $100,000 building a house or you can build one for $5,000, or, even better, live in a teepee or camper. There is a 20-fold saving factor right there. You can choose to spend a little or a lot, it's all about your preferred style.

Why permaculture is the future? ›

– Permaculture brings our carbon footprint within sustainable levels by minimizing and eventually eliminating the need for carbon based fossil fuels and by growing renewable resources and by capturing and storing carbon in the soil. Permaculture enables us to turn our ecological impact from negative into a positive.

What is the most profitable vegetable to farm? ›

Most Profitable Crops
  • Saffron. ...
  • Cherry Tomatoes. ...
  • Goji Berries. ...
  • Hostas. ...
  • Arborvitae. ...
  • Shiitake Mushrooms. ...
  • Flowers. ...
  • Bonsai Plants. Bonsai trees are usually sold as small, potted plants.
28 Mar 2019

Can a hobby farm be profitable? ›

One of the most significant benefits to hobby farming is you do not need a massive customer base. You can be profitable with just a handful of families.

What is the best farm to make money? ›

Here are 20 of the most profitable small farm ideas to consider in 2019:
  • Mushroom Farming. ...
  • Organic Farming. ...
  • Poultry Farming. ...
  • Agritourism Profitable Small Farm Ideas. ...
  • Flower Farm. ...
  • Fish Farming. ...
  • Animal Petting Farm. ...
  • Fruit Picking Farms.
1 Aug 2019

What is an example of permaculture? ›

Examples include buildings that support outside plant life, backyard and balcony gardens, and energy-saving green initiatives such as the installation of gray water reclamation systems. The permaculture movement has its critics.

What are 9/11 zones? ›

Where are Zones 9-11? The USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 comprise the hottest and most tropical regions of the United States, including Hawaii. Zone 9 includes central Florida, southern Louisiana and Texas and stretches up the west coast in a narrow band on the western coast of California.

How many permaculture principles are there? ›

The 12 permaculture principles can give us pointers towards living a slower and more sustainable life, in and beyond the garden. Each principle can be interpreted broadly, here are just a few examples of how you might apply them to your backyard or to your life.

Is permaculture a farming? ›

Read this article in Italian HERE. Permaculture is an innovative ethics and design based process used to make agriculture more sustainable, restore soil, conserve water, and redirect waste streams. The process is inspired by the everyday relationships found in nature.

What is a holistic permaculture farm? ›

It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” In other words, permaculture is a holistic, living-in-harmony-with-nature worldview, as well as technical approach for how to do so.

Does permaculture use pesticides? ›

[i] Instead, permaculture uses the solutions already available in nature. For example, they use chickens instead of machinery or pesticides to clear an area of pests and weeds.

Is regenerative farming the same as permaculture? ›

Regenerative agriculture is different from permaculture as it consists of a much more comprehensive process of integrating all human activities (including agriculture) into the environment; by doing so through sustainable development and alongside the rules of natural ecosystems.

Is permaculture a lifestyle? ›

While growing food is certainly part of what permaculturalists do, it hardly encapsulates what permaculture is. For those who are deeply involved, permaculture is a way of life, one that involves careful consideration and design to coexist harmoniously with the planet and the other people on it.

What are principles of permaculture? ›

Central to permaculture are the ethics of people care, earth care and fair share. This means that along with taking care of the earth, we need to equally take care of people. Founded by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture has been around since the 1970s.

What are the 3 core ethics of permaculture? ›

Central to permaculture are the three ethics

The ethics earth care, people care and fair share form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies.

Can you make a living with permaculture? ›

Once you get to a more professional level, farming in itself is a livelihood – growing crops, trees, animals, mushrooms, sustainable forestry… There are a wealth of possible paths you can take and there are many great examples of permaculture farmers out there.

Can you make money with permaculture? ›

Permaculture is not a "turn-key" operation that will provide instant profit. It takes years of labor to develop soils, flora/fauna, and a balanced system. Each year until then will take an investment of seeds, plants, labor and etc. Money out, for a return in the future.

What is the difference between natural farming and permaculture? ›

A farm is an energy source. Whereas, a permaculture site creates an energy loop. The farms nutrients are shipped off to market forever and so there is constant need to regenerate the soil through good soil-building practices and importing resources.

How big of a garden do I need to feed a family of 5? ›

In general, you'll need 150 to 200 square feet of garden space per person in order to feed everyone in your family year-round.

How do I start a permaculture garden? ›

How to Start a Permaculture Garden in 8 Steps
  1. Acquaint yourself with your surroundings. ...
  2. Choose plants based on your environment. ...
  3. Design your garden layout. ...
  4. Build your garden beds. ...
  5. Plant your permaculture garden. ...
  6. Add a layer of organic mulch to the topsoil. ...
  7. Add compost without disturbing the soil.
7 Jun 2021

What should be included in a permaculture design? ›

Permaculture Design in 5 Steps
  1. Mainframe Design.
  2. Sector Analysis.
  3. Zone Planning.
  4. Workflows.
  5. Analysing & Connecting Components.
5 Sept 2017

Is permaculture a pseudoscience? ›

In effect, permaculture has largely been an independent grassroots movement, isolated from academic and scientific entities. Though permaculture claims to be a design science, many have labeled permaculture as a pseudoscience (Ferguson, 2014a).

Is permaculture actually sustainable? ›

Permaculture is a sustainable practice that creates beneficial relationships between human and living systems. Permaculture is about care for people, care for the planet, and return of surplus.

What are the 4 legal ethical grid? ›

This framework approaches ethical issues in the context of four moral principles: respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice (see table 1). This framework has been influential because the values it espouses seem to align with our moral norms.

How much does it cost to start a permaculture farm? ›

You can spend $100,000 building a house or you can build one for $5,000, or, even better, live in a teepee or camper. There is a 20-fold saving factor right there. You can choose to spend a little or a lot, it's all about your preferred style.

How long does it take to create a permaculture garden? ›

For a food forest to reach full maturity at every layer it can take several years. However, the lower 3 layers of the system referred to as the Ground Cover Layer, Root Layer, and the Vine Layer can reach full maturity in a few weeks to months and provide an abundant yield.

Videos

1. Intro to Permaculture - Free, Online Course from Oregon State University
(OSU Professional and Continuing Education)
2. Permaculture Soils Perspective
(Oregon State University Ecampus)
3. The Foundations of Permaculture Design
(Oregon State University Ecampus)
4. OSU PDC Trailer
(Oregon State University Ecampus)
5. Trees in the Permaculture Landscape
(Oregon State University Ecampus)
6. Permaculture Design by Sectors
(Oregon State University Ecampus)

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