About the RetroSuburbia-Centric Permaculture Design Course
Read on below for course details. Schedules and syllabus details are being finalized, so we expect to have the first Course date confirmed in the coming weeks.
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Come to Daruma Eco Farm and join in this comprehensive, two week course introducing the retrosuburbia-centric version of the permaculture design method (our RSC PDC Course). Permaculture is an ethical design method co-originated by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison in the 1970’s and it has spread around the world as one of the most accessible ways to create sustainable systems for living in a bioregion.
David Holmgren’s most recent contribution to the constantly evolving body of Permaculture knowledge is his book “RetroSuburbia”, a modern revisioning of permaculture showing where permaculture can be most effective in creating sustainable living systems for the 21st century and beyond.
Retro-Suburbia includes the ideas of retrofitting (the act) and suburban (the place). Many permaculture design courses have added or shifted focus to urban permaculture design. Some have even been presented as pure urban design PDCs, with urban PDC courses seemingly popping up everywhere. Retrosuburbia might address why this is not practical while also empowering the permaculture community to become much more effective in moving the world toward real sustainable solutions.
Probably nothing as powerful or of greater importance has been added to the world of Permaculture Design in the last 25 years as RetroSuburbia, the ideas and knowledge therein being a distillation of a lifetime of work by Holmgren in the field of permaculture.
The RetroSuburbia-Centric PDC will still include all of the essential elements in the original PDC material that have always been part of the permaculture design certificate course (it would be wrong to exclude this), but the RSC PDC course will frame this using the important paradigm shift as described in the retrosuburbia manifesto and book by Holmgren, in terms of the Built, Behavioural & Biological Fields.
No experience or knowledge of permaculture or RetroSuburbia are required to participate so absolutely anyone is able to join and because the discussions make use of every individual’s experience, even those with experience of permaculture & retrosuburbia are still welcome to join and enhance everyone’s learning.
What You’ll Learn
This introductory course will include both the history and theory of permaculture design & retrosuburbia, practical applications of the design methods, as well as diving into the commonalities and overlaps between the old (PDC) and the new (RSC), delivering a retrosuburbia-centric fusion of the best of both approaches.
Because there are dozens of books specifically about permaculture as well as many hundreds indirectly guiding good permaculture design leading up to the ideas in RetroSuburbia, some time will be spent to introduce these so it will be possible to continue to learn after the course.
Our library contains an extensive collection of permaculture books, David Holmgren’s RetroSuburbia, and many other volumes related to these topics that can provide you the additional guidance as mentioned above.
Because this course goes beyond theory, you will be able to immediately apply the aspects of retrosuburbia-centric permaculture you have learned and make choices that will enhance your ecological and sustainable lifestyle. Practical aspects of retrosuburbia-centric permaculture design will be learned and demonstrated onsite for a robust learning experience.
Taking a PDC Course in Thailand
Of the many places to study for your PDC in Asia, Thailand has always been a popular destination. As of the time of publishing, this is the only RSC PDC in Asia that we are aware of. We feel our all inclusive price delivers excellent value, covering all meals, accommodation, use of the extensive library & other study areas including 20 computer cubicles in the Learning Resource Centre, natural pool, sauna and FarmLab™ to name a few of the facilities at Daruma which are at your disposal during your stay.
The specifics of the RSC PDC syllabus are currently being finalized. If you would like to know more, contact us using the enquiry form below.
Meet the Instructors
Neil Willmann: Teacher
Permaculture Global Network Profile
Having more than 35 years in the world of permaculture and design teaching including lecturing undergraduate and graduate level engineering design and ecological design courses and instructing hundreds of students in permaculture design, I finally settled down to grow roots figuratively in Thailand. I started growing roots literally by regenerating a 20-year abandoned farm into a Permaculture research center.
Darren Roberts: Course Coordinator
Permaculture Global Network Profile
A desire to build an eco home using natural building materials led to my discovery of Earthship principles in early 2017.
The Taichung World Flora Expo 2018 presented an opportunity to work on the ‘4 Person Eco Home’ in Taiwan. During the course of this project, I met many people who introduced me to the concept of Permaculture.
I began learning about Permaculture, studying what I could find online, in books, and through projects such as the 4 Person Eco Home and Datong Community Garden in Taichung.
In February 2019 I flew out to Thailand to study for my Permaculture Design Certificate at Daruma Eco Farm with Neil Willman.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are all included in the price of this course and are served in the Cafeteria which has capacity for around 80 people.
We have a full time Chef, kitchen & domestic staff that prepare and serve dishes that are typical of local, regional & national Thai cuisine, prepared with fresh, local produce, including salad, vegetables & fruits from our own farm at Daruma.
Omnivorous (non-vegan, non-vegetarian) options are served as standard. Please do notify us when enrolling if you require vegetarian or vegan options and for any other special requirements, as our Chef will have to plan meals accordingly & order produce etc. It is important to note that the Chef needs to plan & budget for meals and has responsibility for creating dishes for approximately 80 children, all the teachers & staff at Mosaic school, as well as students attending Permaculture Courses. With that being said, the kitchen is ‘off-limits’ to all course participants. It has caused headaches in the past if students wander in to the kitchen & ask for ‘vegetarian’ today, because they just fancy vegetarian today. It also causes problems if those who indicated they are vegetarian, decide that today they will be meat-eaters, as the Chef is calculating portions & purchasing according to the information he has at the start of the course.
So, we ask that you please respect the boundaries with regards to the kitchen, and any dietary requests should go through your Course Coordinator, advising us before your arrival if you require vegetarian or vegan options, and this will ensure things run smoothly throughout the course.
We also barbecue occasionally, using some of the bamboo charcoal grown & processed at Daruma.
Further information is available on our About pages.
Yes. Dormitory rooms which sleep up to 4 people are included in the course fee. There is also space for tents if you prefer the camping experience.
Typically we limit class sizes to a maximum of 12. This affords more time to fully explain anything we need to during class & address any questions you may have throughout your course.
Laundry service is available at Daruma. Laundry bags for visitors are kept near the reception area at the foot of the main building stairwell. You can drop your filled laundry bag at the bottom of the stairs in the morning, and it will magically reappear the next day, laundered, dried & folded in a basket in the reception area. There is a 50 Baht fee for 1 laundry bag. Pressing / ironing is also available, please see the announcement board at the main building stairwell area.
Internet & WiFi access is included & available to all students participating in a course at Daruma. As an education facility, Daruma has a very high speed connection (approximately 500Mbps download speed, 100Mbps upload speed).
Wifi works well from the entrance gate, around the main buildings, and down to around the FarmLabs™ area.
If you do not have your own mobile device or laptop, you are welcome to use one of the 20 or so internet-connected computer cubicles in Daruma’s LRC / library on the 1st floor, and open class area on the 2nd floor in the main building.
Bicycles are available if you wish to use them to ride to the local night market or explore the local area. They are not suitable for off-road riding. We use an honour system, with an honesty box in place in the cafeteria area for use of the bikes. Prices are 20 Baht for single use, 50 Baht for a half day, and 100 Baht for a full day.
Discounts are available for large group bookings, and for individuals booking 2 or more courses.
If you are an individual booking a 2-week course such as the PDC or similar, and a 2-day course such as the PRPT, a discount of 10% will be applied to the course of lower monetary value.
Discounts are not available when booking e.g. 2 x 2-day courses.
For Group Bookings, contact us using the booking form below & let us know how many are in your Group, and the course(s) you wish to enroll in.
If you are looking to book a permaculture design course for large groups, drop us a message and let us know what you need. We can accommodate groups of up to 100 visitors for single day tours, or for weeks at a time if studying one of our courses.
No. At least, not yet. This is a humorous reference to the problems encountered when one of the founders of permaculture had issues with copyright & trademarks.
FarmLab T-shirts will be available when we become cool & hip, with a Youtube channel, thousands of subs, and a ‘merch’ store….