SP0142: Permaculture Design Certificate

Status: COMPLETED Summer 2015 - Fall 2015

The Permaculture Design Certificate Project will provide discounts for 10 McGill students to obtain their Permaculture Design Certificate and to create a Permaculture Demonstration Garden at Macdonald Campus.

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Permaculture is the design and implementation of sustainable and ecological habitats. The word “permaculture”- literally “permanent agriculture” - was created 30 years ago by two Australians, who compiled together models of resilient systems that they observed worldwide in traditional practices. The goal of permaculture applied in farming is to create agricultural systems that are permanent, self-sustained, and require no input such as fertilizers and pesticides by mimicking natural ecosystem patterns. For the past years, the permaculture movement has been subject to a growing interest around the world in a wide range of domains such as home gardening, eco-building, commercial farming, aquaculture, and many more. In Montreal especially, projects, community actions and organizations are blooming, such as Les Fermes Lufa, Garden without Boarders, Radical Montreal, or Le Milieu. At McGill, those concepts are covered through different courses (AGRI350-Principle of Ecological Agriculture, ECON326-Ecological Economics, ARCH515-Sustainable Design etc.).

The goal of this project is to offer a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) at McGill during the winter 2015 semester and to provide discounts for 10 McGill students to obtain their certification. The second part of the project is to get funding to create a Permaculture Demonstration Garden at Macdonald Campus.

This project is a continuation of the Permaculture Classes project which was facilitated thanks to the Sustainable Project Funds in winter 2014. Considering the success of those prededing events, the Permaculture Guild of Mac Campus decided to organize a Permaculture Design Certificate within McGill University, in partnership with a Montreal-based organization called P3 Permaculture. The classes will be facilitated at McGill by the Mac Permaculture Guild and taught by the team of P3 Permaculture professionals.

Permaculture is broadly spread through a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), which is a 72-hour course following a standard worldwide format, and covering all the basics and principles of permaculture, as well as practical applications. This course is the first step to completing a diploma for professional practice of permaculture. The last part of the class includes a concrete design realized in teams, which provides direct hands-on experience to newly certified students. The classes are usually given by teams of permaculture teachers from a wide range of backgrounds.

The project group plans on using the final design provided by the course to design a Permaculture Garden on one of the plot of the Macdonald Student-Run Ecological Garden (a student-run farm at Mac Campus). MSEG was created 5 years ago and gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in organic agriculture through the production of vegetables. MSEG has been involved with several classes, research programs, and supplies the Out of the Garden Project (OGP), a student-run cafeteria providing lunches for students, thus playing a crucial role in facilitating a sustainable transition at McGill.

Resources from the SPF will be used to: provide discounts for 10 McGill students to obtain their Permaculture Design Certificate and purchase supplies for construction of a physical permaculture demonstration garden space at Macdonald Campus and plants to fill in the area.

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McGill School of the Environment


mark.lefsrud [at] mcgill.ca (L)lorine.dargazanli [at] mail.mcgill.ca (orine Dargazanli)

Related Projects

Macdonald Student-Run Ecological Gardens

Permaculture Classes










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