NW Permaculture Institute

Earth Care, People Care, Future Care

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Permaculture Essentials for the Pacific NW, class schedule and make up opportunities

Welcome to all of our new and returning students!  We are glad to be sharing and supporting your learning journey.  Everyone currently registered gets a hard copy of the 36 hour, 12 class breakdown from their instructor, however, we post here too for those of you who need to make up a class, or who just want to repeat a class and deepen your understanding of the core concepts.  New students, if you have missed Class One, or any class session, call Instructor Diana Cason at 941-735-0452 to get details on how to attend a make up session.  (Note: the Saturday classes have been changed to independent study schedules to meet the needs of our out of town students and are no longer meeting on Saturdays in NE Salem.  We will be starting a new section of Permaculture Essentials for the Pacific NW in NE Salem in Early 2015.)


Class One

Tuesday 10/7/14 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 10/10/14 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Class business and introductions, beginning Introduction to Permaculture Chapter, Key Problems, Permaculture Ethics, Definition, Sustainability, History

Class Two

Tuesday 10/21/14 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 10/31/14 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Permanent culture, urban, repair and aid work, Permaculture in society, Permaculture as holistic design, Introduction Concepts and Themes Chapter, Hierarchy of soil creation in natural systems

Class Three

Tuesday 11/4/14 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 11/7/14 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Elements – needs & products, The sun – source of energy, Characteristics of natural ecosystems, Weeds, Pioneers, Niches, Weeds – fast tracking recovery by design techniques, Diversity leads to stability, Connections between elements, Positioning elements, Use of natural resources, Energy, Edge opportunities, Capturing energy, Extending entropy

Class Four

Friday 11/14/14 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange, and Tuesday 11/18/14 @6;30pm at Pringle Creek
Categories of resources, Dispersal of yield over time, Diversity of plants, Perennial food advantages, Diversity and security, Yield and energy inputs, Niches, Introduction to Methods Chapter, Analysis: design by listing characteristics of components, Slope, orientation, Zone analysis, Sector analysis, Designing with zones, Zonal placement, Sectors, Outside energies effect on site

Class Five

Tuesday 12/2/14 @ 6:30 at Pringle Creek, and Friday 12/5/14 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Listing possibilities, selection of random assemblies, Connecting elements, Simple efficiencies, Observation, Introduction to Pattern Chapter, Patterns in nature, Pattern forms, Fibonacci sequence, Formation of pattern, Working with nature and patterns, Scale and order of size, Order and form, Edge areas

Class Six

Tuesday 12/16/14 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 12/19/14 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Edge effect, Working with pattern design events, Looking for existing patterns, Translating pattern form, Re-patterning a river, Wind patterns, Pattern used for passing on knowledge, Pattern for productive form, The herb spiral, Traditional use of pattern, Re-patterning society, The pit garden banana circle, Edge to space relationships

Class Seven

Tuesday 1/6/15 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 1/9/15 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Introduction to Climatic Factors Chapter, Using local knowledge, Temperate climate, Orographic effect, Maritime effect, Continental effect, Rain shadow, Micro climate, Landscape effects on climate, Climate analogues, Characteristics of temperate climate zone, Orographic features, Humid landscape profile, Flatlands, Wetlands, Water – stop, spread and soak

Class Eight

Tuesday 1/20/15 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 1/23/15 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Introduction to Trees Chapter, Temperature effects, How a tree interacts with rain, Fungi Relationships, Forests, Legumes as support species

Class Nine

Tuesday 2/3/15 @ 6:30pm at Pringle Creek, and Friday 2/6/15 @ 6pm at Silverton Grange
Fruit tree care, function and interaction, Collapsing soil fertility

Class Ten

Compost, Chemical agriculture, pH, acid vs. alkaline soils, pH of soil and mineral availability to plants, Role of weeds, Ants, Soil fertilizer

Class Eleven

Perfect compost, Fixing problems with compost, Introduction to Temperate Climate Design Chapter, House design, Energy use, Garden design

Class Twelve


Zone 2 food forest, Zone 2 main crop, Zone 3 design, Zone 4 farm forestry, Terraces and raised beds



Two Tuesdays per month, Starting Oct 7th, 2014, 6:30-9:30pm, @ Pringle Creek Community, 3911Village Center Drive SE, Salem.  Instructor, Diana Cason, call 941-735-0452

Two Fridays per month, Starting Oct 10th, 2014, 6-9pm @ Silverton Grange #748, 201 Division Street, Silverton.  Instructor, Diana Cason, call 941-735-0452


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Permaculture Essentials for the Pacific NW, classes start October in Salem and Silverton

Permaculture Essentials for the Pacific NW, 36 hr. class, only $5 per hour, schedules vary by location.

Permaculture is “Earth Care, People Care, and Return of Surplus,” combining traditional and innovative methods that are sustainable and energy saving, enriching to the soil and all life. Design a system to feed your family, or complete additional short classes to earn your certificate and work as a consultant.

Permaculture Essentials for the Pacific NW covers permaculture history and ethics and goes into depth on the core concepts for creating sustainable systems by observing connections and capturing energy. Explore the energy transactions of trees, the roles of fungi, and the many functions of living soil. Learn pH, mineral availability, and enriching your soil with worm beds, weeds as repair tools, and compost fixing strategies. Study landscape effects on climate and temperate climate design for your home and landscape from balcony or kitchen gardens to main crops and food forests. This course prepares you to design a sustainable system for your yard or small farm in the Pacific NW.

Let’s build resilience, save money and energy, save water, and feed our communities now. Come join one of our latest classes!

Saturdays, starting Oct 4th, 2014, 10am to 2pm, @ Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, 5090 Center St NE, Salem.  Instructor, L. June, call 503-449-8077 for questions or registration

Two Tuesdays per month, Starting Oct 7th, 2014, 6:30-9:30pm, @ Pringle Creek Community, 3911Village Center Drive SE, Salem.  Instructor, Diana Cason, call 941-735-0452

Two Fridays per month, Starting Oct 10th, 2014, 6-9pm @ Silverton Grange #748, 201 DivisionStreet, Silverton.  Instructor, Diana Cason, call 941-735-0452

For more information call, 503-449-8077, or visit nwpermacultureinstitute.org

Presented by the NW Permaculture Institute. Our instructors and staff studied permaculture with world renowned permaculture designer & instructor, Geoff Lawton, of PRI, Australia, and his students. We present classes at low rates, as well as free film and lecture series to further educate our students and the community.



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Free Film Event, Growing Cities: A Film About Urban Farming In America, August 28th


A documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat.  In their search for answers, filmmakers Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette take a road trip and meet the men and women who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time.  Join them as they discover that good food isn’t the only crop these urban visionaries are harvesting. They’re producing stronger and more vibrant communities, too.

Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share: Free Film and Lecture Series, presented by the Northwest Permaculture Institute.  Every 4th Thursday @ 6:30 pm.  Bring Item for finger food potluck, enjoy event and discussion, at UU Congregation of Salem, 5090 Center Street NE, Salem.  For more info, 503-449-8077, nwpermacultureinstitute.org, or nwpermacultureinstitute on facebook.

Made possible in part with support from Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, and Life Source Natural Foods.


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Free Film Event, The Agro Rebel: Permaculture in the Salzburg Alps, June 26th!

seppJoin us on June 26th for a finger food potluck and an extraordinary film.  How can Sepp Holzer farm fish, livestock, vegetables and herbs, a wide variety of fruits including lemons high in the Alps?  No weeding, no watering, no annual plowing.  The Agro Rebel explores the unusual, sustainable, energy and time saving, farming methods developed by Austrian farmer, Sepp Holzer.  Come join us for food, film and discussion. Questions? Call 503-449-8077

Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share: Free Film and Lecture Series, presents, The Agro Rebel: Permaculture in the Salzburg Alps, film 45 mins.  Finger food potluck and discussion.  Thursday, June 26th @ 6:30pm.  Showing at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, 5090 Center Street NE, Salem, 97317

Special Thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem for the use of the beautiful space, and to Life Source Natural Foods for the potluck beverages.  Additional thanks to Marion Polk Food Share and the Straub Environmental Learning Center for helping to promote our events.

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Low cost Permaculture Design Course starts in Salem, June 14th!


A new PDC starts this Saturday.  Below is a list of class subjects by date.  You can pick to attend individual classes that match your interests, or take the full course and become a Permaculture Designer.  Call if you have questions: 503-449-8077


Permaculture Design Certificate Course Syllabus, Summer 2014
Saturdays 10am – 2pm, bring brown bag lunch. In the event of class cancellation, all class dates will move forward one date.

June 14th – Class 1
Introduction to permaculture. Human past-present-future. Permaculture design philosophy. Holistic thinking. Key problems: soil erosion-deforestation-pollution. Ethics of permaculture: Earth care, People care, Return of surplus. Definitions of permaculture. Sustainability outcomes. History of permaculture. Permanent culture. Urban permaculture. Permaculture repair. Permaculture aid work. Permaculture in society. Permaculture as an holistic design. Introduction to Concepts and Themes. Sustainable systems. Hierarchy of soil creation in natural systems.

June 21st – Class 2
Concepts and Themes cont. Elements. Needs and products. The sun – the source of energy. Characteristics of natural ecosystems. Weeds-pioneers-niches. Weeds-fast tracking recovery by design techniques. Diversity leads to stability. Connections between elements. Positioning of elements. Use of natural resources. Energy, Edge opportunities. Capturing energy and extending entropy. Categories of resources. Dispersal of yield over time. Diversity of plants. Perennial food advantages. Diversity and security. Yield and energy inputs. Niches. Mollisonian permaculture principals.

June 28th – Class 3
Introduction to Methods. Analysis: design by listing characteristics of components. Slope. Orientation. Zone analysis. Sector analysis. Designing with zones. Zonal placement. Sectors. Outside energies effect on site. Listing possibilities. Selection of random assemblies.

July 5th – Class 4
Methods cont. Connecting elements. Simple efficiencies. Observation. Introduction to Pattern. Patterns in nature. Pattern forms. Fibonacci sequence. Formation of pattern. Working with nature and patterns. Scale and order of size. Order and form. Edge areas. Edge effect. Working with pattern design events.

July 12th – Class 5
Pattern cont. Looking for existing patterns. Translating pattern form. Re-patterning a river. Wind patterns. Pattern used for passing on knowledge. Pattern for productive form – the herbal spiral. Traditional use of pattern. Re-patterning society. The pit garden – banana circle. Edge to space relationships. Introduction to Climatic Factors. Using local knowledge. Broad climate zones: temperate, tropical, drylands. Orographic effect. Maritime effect. Continental effect. Rain shadow. Micro climate.

July 19th – Class 6
Climatic Factors cont. Landscape effects on climate. Climate analogues. Characteristics of major climate zones. Orographic features. Major landscape profiles: humid and arid. Minor landscape profiles: volcanic, high island, low island, flatlands, wetlands, coasts and estuaries. Fungal relationships.

July 26th – Class 7
Introduction to Trees. Temperature effects. How a tree interacts with rain. Fungi. Forests. Legumes as support species. Introduction to Water. Water storage on earth. Recharging landscape with water. Building a dam/pond. Valley dams. Building a keyway. Putting a pipe in a dam wall. Spillways. Calculating catchment. Types of dams/ponds. Position of dams in landscape. Duties of water. Sealing a dam. Approach to water.

August 2nd – Class 8
Introduction to soils. Collapsing soil fertility. Compost. Chemical agriculture. pH testing – acid vs. alkaline soils. pH of soil and availability of minerals to plants. Role of weeds. Ants. Soil fertilizer. Berkley method of 18 day compost. Fixing problems with compost.

August 9th – Class 9
Soils cont. Compost tea. Bio fertilizer. Mineralizing soils by feeding livestock. Worm farms. Introduction to earthworks. Water: stop-spread-and soak. Planning. Measuring. Timing. Terraces. Conture banks. Measuring with an A Frame. Surveying. Water pressure on soil particles. Cover crops. Transit level. Machines used in earthworks.

August 16th – Class 10
Earthworks examples. Introduction to climate design. Climate comparisons. House design: humid tropics. cool to cold humid climates, drylands. Energy use in the different climates. Garden design in the different climates.

August 23rd – Class 11
Climate design cont. Zone 2 food forest comparisons across climates. Comparing zone 2 main crop gardens. Comparisons of zone 3 across climates, Zone 4 comparisons in design over climates in farm forestry. Aquaculture example.

August 30th – Class 12
Introduction to Aquaculture. Productive elements. Chain of life in water design. Pond design. Shallow aquaculture. Food for fish. Aquaponics.

September 6th – Class 13
Introduction to Strategies of an Alternate Global Nation. Invisible structures. Ethical basis. Establishing community structures. Establishing a permaculture community group. Bioregional resilience. Definition of culture from the environment we live in. Community land development. Money economy. Money and finance. Setting up not for profit permaculture institutes.

September 13th – Class 14

The Agro Rebel, Free Film June 26th, Salem, Oregon

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