Building a Permaculture Garden

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Will Hooker, Permaculture Designer and Teacher, Registered Landscape Architect, and Emeritus Professor, Department of Horticulture Science, NC State University

Tuesdays, March 1, 2016, through April 19, 2016 – 6:30 pm–8:30 pm
Optional Tours on Saturday, March 5, 2016, and Saturday, April 16, 2016

There is a growing concern about leading our lives in a more environmentally friendly manner, one in which our daily decisions contribute both to our personal health as well as to the health of the natural world around us. Permaculture is a sustainable living methodology based on ethics and principles which allow us to meet many of our needs for food, water, shelter, and energy, all within the context of our home gardens. In this course, we'll cover the basics of starting a permaculture garden, and emerge with the confidence to begin transforming your own home environment into a useful sustainable habitat.

permaculture garden


March 1: Introduction and Overview

We will introduce ourselves, then learn about the ethics and principles of permaculture. The basics of ecology and a PPT of the demonstration permaculture garden of the instructor will be shown.

March 5: Optional Tour

Tour of instructor's garden on Kirby Street in Raleigh starting at 10:00 am.

March 8: Design Principles

We will cover the basics of analyzing a site, go over a process for evolving a design from that analysis, and cover designing from patterns to specifics. A course-long assignment will come out of this lecture.

March 15: Soils and Food Production

We will go over the basics of soil ecology and organic soil fertility, including utilizing vermicomposting. We will also cover the basics of how to start a permaculture garden.

March 22: Water

We will overview the importance of water and learn techniques for catchment, managing water flows, rain gardens, and ponds.

March 29: Shelter and Resource Management

We will look at home systems, alternative and green building strategies, small houses, and patterns of settlements.

April 5: Alternative Energy

We will look at home-scale alternatives to fossil fuel energy, including solar, wind, and potential breakthroughs in the near future.

April 12: Design Charrette

We will work on our home design assignment, evolving the designs to the point where they can be drawn up to be presented in poster form the following week.

April 16: Optional Tour

Tour of Brie Arthur's edible garden in Fuquay-Varina at 10:30 am.

April 19: Wrap-up

We will hold a poster session where all of the students' permaculture designs will be hung up to be seen and discussed. We will follow with a short wrap-up lecture, and will then have a concluding potluck reception.

Continuing Education

The North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects has approved this seminar for 10 hours of continuing education credit. The course number is 11416.

$200.00 for members, $250.00 for nonmembers. Note to nonmembers: instead of paying $50.00 more for the program, become a member for $50.00 instead.
Advance registration is required. Please register online using our registration e-store. Registration is limited to 24 people and is considered complete when payment is received.
Program cancellations can be made up to two weeks prior to the program's start date. No refunds will be made after this time. A 15% cancellation fee applies.
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this program.