Southern Alberta 4 Season Permaculture Design Certification Course

“Permaculture gives people a place to be a part of the solution”
– Rosemary Morrow
We are happy to announce Giggling Chi Tree’s new Permaculture Design Certification Program taught by Kym Chi.   This low cost, ultra flexible course caters to the busyness of modern life. If you miss a class you can jump in on the the same module in a different class at no extra cost and there is no time limit to complete the certification.  Courses are offered seasonally in Calgary and there are also multiple courses being offered monthly in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.
The program has been developed to include pedagogical teachings of the Permaculture elders woven with a creative new school teaching methods.  An exciting teaching tool kit is used that transforms lectures into games and together we travel to many different permaculture farms, gardens and forest locations while sharing in a uniquely creative learning journey. The 4 season course focus project is a map and design for where you live or an area of your choice.
Join us from April 2018 to January 2019 for our next 4 Season Permaculture Design Certificate Course!
Gather together once a season with a conscious and creative ring of learners to meet with plants and animals, travel to gardens, farms and forests to learn about how nature designs itself and how we can become sustainable designers ourselves. Together we will learn how to map and design our land and our lives, plan for emergency, grow organic food in all four seasons and work to build a more regenerative future.
The certification granted upon completion of the course will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio.
Join this adventure in learning as it journeys to eco-locations like  ContainR, Community Wise, Urban Permaculture Farm, Blank Page Studio, Senses of the Soul, off grid Permaculture farms, and the properties of students who want to host.
Course Topics include:
design methods * patterns in nature * soils and composting * water * trees * animals * design for cool * tropical and arid climates * social permaculture * native food and medicine plants of the First Peoples and much much more.
There are worksheets, permaculture design gaming tools, an online social networking and educational support platform, as well as many gardens as our living classroom.
The class caters anyone who wants to learn permaculture in a creative way but cannot afford the cost or intensive time commitment of other courses including lower-income families, students, youth and people for who are called permaculture but have been struggling to find a course that fits their life.

2018 – 2019 Course Dates:
All classes run from 10:00am – 4:30pm
Spring – April 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd, 2018
Summer – June 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th , 2018
Fall – September 28th, 29th, 30th & October 1st 2018
Winter – January 18th – 20th, 2019

Investment: $777
payment plans accepted
please email to register or for more details.
All proceeds go towards basic course costs and paying for Kym’s permaculture education.
Kym Chi is a dedicated advocate of earth stewardship, people care and regenerative action for future resilience. Her main efforts are as a creative facilitator, artist, healer, medicine woman and community builder.  To date; Kym has received 3 certificates in Permaculture Design, completed multiple teacher trainings, taken a variety of advanced trainings and completed a Diploma in Permaculture Education.  With a love of learning, she continues to take courses that grow her understanding of the natural world. Through her stewardship of a deepened connection with the environment, Kym wishes to inspire creative self expression and value centred living to enrich and create healthy and abundant habitats and communities. With a focus on Social Permaculture,  Kym strives to mentor others on their life path and focusses on ways to support organizations and communities to become more resilient.  She lives on the Sunshine Coast where she teaches and mentors in Permaculture and runs a holistic healing and life design practice. She has previously acted as the Food Systems Network Coordinator for the Lower Sunshine Coast through One Straw Society.

Program Content

Session 1: Pretro

Group introductions
Course orientation & requirements
Group goals and guidelines
Communication (NVC and conflict resolution)
Learning styles & multiple intelligences

Learning Goals:
Set a course culture of safety, respect and organization
Create a positive & effective learning environment
Encourage active listening in groups
Value different ways of communicating and have confidence in utilizing tools of conflict resolution
Orient participants to course content

Session 2:  Foundations of Permaculture

History of Permaculture

Learning Goals:
Know the Permaculture ethics and the Transition ethic and how to apply them to conscious decision making
Learn the basis of how the Permaculture movement began, how it has grown, some of its progeny’s and how the lineage links to this course.
Gain a strong understanding of nature’s principles and how they are at the foundation of design decisions and application
Provide awareness of the world’s problems and the current situation
Shift from a place of problems to positive solution based thinking.
Feel confident in defining Permaculture clearly to others

Session 3:  Design Methods

Needs, Functions and Outputs

Learning Goals:
Understand how to do a needs & yields analysis
Gain a base understanding of closed loop systems
Observe a site, document and recognize available resources and design constraints based on analysis.
Identify energies or influences that effect a design site
Be able to create a base map including zones & sector analysis for a site
Know the basic elements included in mapping a site

Session 4: Pattern Literacy

Physical patterns, emergent patterns, fractal patterns
Functions of patterns
Patterns in time
Behavioural patterns
Application of patterns in design

Learning Goals:
Pattern recognition in nature and technology
Learn the functions of patterns in nature and how to apply that knowledge to effective design
Gain Pattern literacy and understand how to replace dysfunctional patterns with functional ones.
Know the functions of and feel confident designing guilds
Recognize that pattern literacy is fundamental in becoming good designers

Session 5: Soil

Soil biology
Soil classification and testing
Soil remediation
Soil indicators

Learning Goals:
Have a base understanding of the components of healthy soil and know the value of building soil.
Know different ways to test soil
Recognize different plant indicators and what they tell about soil health.
Understand a multitude of different ways to remediate and build soil.
Apply different composting techniques in appropriate situations.
Identify key plants that bring nutrient to the soil.

Session 6:  Trees

Ecological function of trees in relation to earth, water, air and energy
Forest gardens and food forests
Plant and tree identification
Plants as soil indicators
Design for trees

Learning Goals:
Understand the ecological functions of trees and recognize them as a keystone species in the ecosystem.
Learn the stages of succession and how to intervene at appropriate times.
Know the layers in a forest garden and different plants for each layer that grow locally
Identify local plants and trees and see the difference in characteristics between species.
Be able to integrate trees adequately and appropriately in design.

Session 7: Animals
Design for wild and domestic animals
Animal care
Integrated pest management

Learning Goals:
Recognize the intrinsic characteristics, functions and outputs of animals
How to meet the needs of animals on site
Learn techniques for integrating animal systems
Understand effective and healthy ways to handle pests
Know how to safely and ethically live with wildlife

Session 8: Water, Aquaculture & Earthworks

Water facts
Water conservation
Water strategies & techniques
Waste water treatment
Water harvesting & storage

Learning Goals:
Understand how global water issues can affect us on a local level.
Learn how to do a water audit.
Recognize multiple ways in which to conserve water.
Feel confident in applying strategies and techniques to capture, store, treat and release water safely and appropriately.
Know how to calculate roof water catchment amounts.

Session 9:  Climate

Climatic factors
Climate design strategies
World climate

Learning Goals:
Understand climate on a global scale
Learn how to design in order to moderate and utilize climatic factors
Be able to identify, create and design microclimates

Session 10:  Cool Climate

Cool climate characteristics
Cool climate design challenges and strategies
Cool climate design elements, techniques and technologies

Learning Goals:
Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the Cool Climate.

Session 11: Tropics

Tropical climate characteristics
Tropical climate design challenges and strategies
Tropical climate design elements, techniques and technologies

Learning Goals:
Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics

Session 12: Drylands

Dryland climate characteristics
Dryland climate design challenges and strategies
Dryland climate design elements, techniques and technologies

Learning Goals:
Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the drylands

Session 13:  Social Permaculture

Client interview & designer checklist
Community building including group processes
Land access
Right livelihood
Legal structures

Learning Goals:   
Gain confidence in the consultation and design process for clients.
Be able to map assets and resources and identify community needs.
Understand different models of decision making and how to apply them.
Learn tools to provide for healthy group dynamics and efficient process.
Recognize opportunities for land access locally.
Become aware of ethical and effective business models and legal structures that support the local economy
Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.

Session 14:  OS Permaculture

Permaculture economics
Urban renewal strategies and design

Learning Goals:
Be able to identify risks and mitigate disaster using Permaculture design tools and techniques
Know the steps in building an emergency preparedness plan and engaging local community in the process
Learn a variety of different economic strategies and the value of utilizing multiple currencies and tools
Feel confident in utilizing place-making tools, techniques and Permaculture strategies in urban environments

Session 15:  Graduation

Next steps (setting up a permaculture practice, further education, community involvement, goal sharing)
Education (accessibility, open source, alternative education)
Mapping and design presentations
Talent show

Learning Goals:
Think about niches in permaculture and practice effective goal setting
Gain experience presenting to groups and receiving feedback
Understand how to help others share their gifts

Optional hands on activities throughout the course:
Design Charrettes
Earthworks demonstration
Integrative games
Compost building
Soil analysis
Plant & tree identification
Medicine Making

Additional Topics:
Medicinal plants & preparations
Plant Identification
Non-violent communication

Completion Requirements
We don’t require those taking the course to participate in the certification requirements.
Those wanting the certification will complete:
Individual map and design
Questions/ Written work
Course Journal
100% attendance  (students can arrange to make up missed classes with the
instructors, at no extra cost)
Graduating and Jobs
Having a Permaculture Design Certificate from a recognized training institute will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. You will have a green edge when applying for jobs, grants or school programs