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By definition, Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. All decisions are made based on three guiding principles: the care for the Earth, the people, and the future.

At the Homestead School, we have been operating as a Permaculture Homestead for decades. We are excited to offer structured Permaculture education in our curriculum, including outdoor education, sustainability, and agriculture.

Matt Powers

The Advanced Permaculture Student Teacher’s Guide

“Permaculture is the core and foundation for all ethical education; it is interacting with other people, all forms of life, and the Earth with respect and care for the future. All variation is circumscribed by these boundaries.

It is the birthright of every human being to know how to live regeneratively and ethically on Earth, so it should be the frame through which all education is viewed.

To neglect or deny anyone the knowledge of how to support themselves without depleting or destroying their natural resources and to live ethically with other people and the living world is to deny them the most fundamental right of a living being.

Our Permaculture Curriculum Includes (But Is Not Limited To) The Ability To:

  • Identify the local bioregion and watershed, local native plants, pollinators, animals, and fungi (and their relationships with each other) as well as many annual/perennial garden and food forest plants (and their uses).
  • Identify, create a detailed representation of, and teach the water cycle, mineral cycle, the carbon cycle, and the global annual seasonal cycle in relation to the sun.
  • Identify and describe the different components of soil, the soil food web, and photosynthesis in relation to the soil food web.
  • Design a basic permaculture design for a home site as well as design, setup, and manage a small garden or garden plot.
  • Problem-solve using permaculture principles.
  • Participate in design, planning, and construction through our ongoing green building learning lab
  • Grow a broad diversity of plants from seed, cutting, and tuber, harvest and preserve a diversity of seed for long-term storage, and form their own seed bank.
  • Prepare and preserve the food they have grown or helped grow in a variety of ways, forming a diversity of meals and preserves that are shared, consumed with the class, taken home, or sold.
  • Make both thermophilic (hot) compost and vermicompost (using worms) to process food waste.
  • Cultivate aquatic plants and animals in a small controlled environment and observe and assist in cultivating aquatic plants and animals in a larger context.
  • Participate in several permaculture service projects each year, pairing social principles with natural principles, as well as manage acts of service connecting natural principles to social principles.
  • Identify, define, share, plan, promote, and participate in actions of compassion, empathy, and people care.
  • Model nonviolent communication and restorative justice skills in conflict mediation settings.
  • Develop holistic life goals and gain other self-smart skills, such as meditation and self-care.

(Based on the Education Standard by Matt Powers)

Image Credit: Randy Harris.