Australian Permaculture

The Crystal Waters Community Co-operative presents an upcoming Permaculture PDC Courses in Autumn 2023, featuring several highly experienced presenters of Permaculture in a comprehensive experience over 14-days at the Crystal Waters Permaculture Village.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of COUNTRY

With Respect, we begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and host the PDC, the Gubbi Gubbi and Jinibara peoples. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present and emerging and give thanks for their caring for country for so, so long. We are honoured to live and offer our work in these beautiful lands. Thank you.

This Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) is run by the Crystal Waters Co-operative, Hosted by Robin Clayfield on behalf of the Co-operative.

The Spring 2022 PDC was very successful with 20 Participants. Scroll Down for information and Register your position in the next Permaculture Course at Crystal Waters.

The Crystal Waters Community Cooperative is a non-profit organisation that manages the public facilities at Crystal Waters and owns the Village Green area including the Deck and Kitchen facilities and the Village Camping area and Cabin Accommodation. More...

The Crystal Waters Co-op
Permaculture Design Course

UPCOMING COURSE DATES

hosted by Robin Clayfield & CW co-op

Autumn 2023 PDC > March 19 - April 2

Australian Permaculture Courses
with Leading Permaculture Educators.

Crystal Waters Eco Village near Maleny / Conondale has established its reputation as a centre for Permaculture here in Queensland with its history going back over 34 years.

The PDC Course offering at Crystal Waters includes several Presenters with decades of experience in Permaculture, Sustainable agriculture, Soils & Seeds, Organics and Design principles. The Presenters for this PDC Course include Robin Clayfield, Annaliese Hordern & a range of other great special guest presenters.

Permaculture is a design system that attempts to emulate nature in the design and experience that we have within our living environments. Encompassing a wide range of topics on ecological living, from energy efficiency to sustainable and organic agriculture, examining our relationship with water, sun, food and soil - to living in harmony with our environment.

The idea of permaculture as ‘permanent agriculture' is evolving. In recent times there has been significant recognition of the need for more sustainable living and improving our ability to live in harmony with Nature and become more sustainable in all aspects of our lives. Many people are now seeking solutions to modern "out of balance" living and these Courses and the experience here are aimed to elevate people of any age to discover and design sustainable living strategies for their own life.

Crystal Waters has developed over 34 years ago, designed along Permaculture principles. It now houses over 250 people of all ages in 83 properties, on the 640 acres of bushland at the headwaters of the Mary River. Abounding with wildlife and birdlife, Crystal Waters is a nature sanctuary worth experiencing. The Village Green is also a place for regular social interaction with events and monthly markets.

The Ecopark camping area provides a restful place for visitors to stay during events and Permaculture courses. Students will experience Permaculture first-hand through visiting several local properties and hearing from people about their practical experiences on their land.

Permaculture class group

Permaculture Course general info

The precise details of each Course will vary depending on the Instructors and on the needs of the Participants. There is much that can be said about what is involved in a 2-week Permaculture Course, but the following is just a guideline. The intention is to take you through Theory & Practical of the body of knowledge of Permaculture as was originally developed by Bill Mollison & David Holmgren, to whom we owe gratitude to these Founders for initiating the Permaculture Principles and the many techniques that have collectively been adopted under the umbrella of Permaculture.

It will also expand the cutting edge of Permaculture to include Social Permaculture, Deep Ecology and a people-centred approach.


With thanks to David Holmgren for his development and popularisation of these revamped Principles and for incorporating the seven Domains.

image thanks to David Holmgren
image thanks to David Holmgren

Participants are required to attend all sessions during the 2-week intensive with many varied activities and you will be involved in creating example Designs based on Permaculture Principles.

Topics Covered in this Permaculture Design Course (PDC) at Crystal Waters Permaculture Ecovillage –March-April 2023 include:

1. Introduction to Crystal Waters: Place, People and PDC Program
Acknowledge Country – Gubbi Gubbi and Jinibara, Acknowledge Founders
Tour of East and West Sides of Crystal Waters
Visit to Earthcare Farm (Commercial Bamboo Forest) and other Lots and License Areas
Outline 12 ½ days of Programmed Sessions, Field Trips, Hands-On Activities and Evening Sessions
1 Day Off in the Middle to Rest, Integrate and Review
Morning Focusing and Revision to Begin Each Day

2. Introduction to Permaculture
History
Principles and Ethics
Observing Natural Systems
Patterns in Nature
Permaculture Design - Concepts and Attitudes

3. Zone and Sector Planning
First Steps in Design
Zone One Planning
Sector Analysis

4. Climate
Climatic Conditions and Challenges
Microclimate Design

5. Topography
Contours
Slope
Aspect

6. Water in the Landscape
Basic Principles and Methods – Harvesting, Storage, Use and Conservation, Reuse and Treatment
Dam Construction and methods for Drought Proofing
Keyline
Aquaculture
Waste and Recycling Systems

7. Soils
Important Steps to Improve Soil Conditions
Nutrients and Microbes
Understanding Soil Tests
Organic Matter and Composting
Green Manures and Mulching

8. Zone One Systems
Establishing Productive Gardens
Weeds ID and Management
Toward Year-round Production
Seed Saving, Seed Raising
Integrated Pest Management – a Healthy Garden Without Poisons
Making Liquid Fertilizers
Worm Farming

9. Establishing Orchard Systems
Selection Criteria
Planning in Time and Space
Food Forests, Forest Gardens, Syntropic Farming
Maintenance of Fruit Trees
Irrigation

10. Animals in the Permaculture System
Animals – Needs and Gifts
Keeping Animals for Food or Profit
Highlight on Bees and Chickens

11. The Place of Forests
Visit Local Crystal Waters Forest Areas
Natural Succession
Establishing and Maintaining Forest systems, Tree Choices
Windbreaks and their Design
Deep Ecology

12. Village Design and Community Development
The Crystal Waters Story – Challenges and Lessons
GEN – Global Ecovillage Network
Creating Community

13. Urban Design and Issues
The Place for Permaculture in High-Density Environments
Retrofitting the Suburbs

14. Healthy Building - Design and Materials
Visit Energy-efficient Home
See Examples of Natural Buildings
Towards Energy-efficient Design
Building Materials and Recycling

15. Appropriate Technology
Crystal Waters Examples
Show and Tell

16. Bioregionalism and Community Food Systems
School Gardens
City Farms, Community Gardens
Relocalisation vs Globalisation

17. Money and Real Wealth
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Ethical Investment
Exchange Systems, Micro-finance, Evolving Strategies…
Social Enterprise Development Ideas, Discussions and Examples

18. Social Permaculture
What is Social Permaculture?
Applying Permaculture Principles and Strategies to Groups, Organisations, Businesses, Lifestyle and Communities
Group Dynamics and Dynamic Decision Making

19. Creating Good Design
Steps to Permaculture Design for a Piece of Land
Past student's Design Examples from Previous PDC Courses
Practical Experience in Permaculture Design Development
Discussion and Feedback on Design Exercises

20. Going Forth, Applying Your Skills and Future Steps
Making a Living or a Lifestyle from Permaculture
Working as a Permaculture Designer or Teacher
Demonstration Sites and Applying Principles at Home
WWOOFing and Volunteering, Gaining Experience
Tools and Resources
Courses, Books, Magazines
Permaculture Australia and APC, IPC (Convergences) and Networks
Community Organisations

21. Completion
Evaluation
Completion
Celebration

Gallery
Gallery
Gallery
Gallery

PDC Courses & Presenters

March-April 2023 PDC hosted by Robin Clayfield & CW co-op

Robin Clayfield is a Permaculture Pioneer and an acknowledged Permaculture Elder who's lived at Crystal Waters Permaculture EcoVillage since its inception in 1988.

Over 39 years of living and evolving Permaculture has seen her excel as an international educator, group facilitator and author specialising in creative, interactive facilitation, group leadership, Permaculture, Deep Ecology, Social Permaculture and social change.

Robin Clayfield

Robin will be the host, with and on behalf of the Co-op, and be a key presenter.

Robin hosted the successful August 2021, March & September 2022 PDC's with a redesigned Programme having gathered together all the Crystal Waters and Maleny Region PDC teachers who are willing and excited to be involved. The 2023 PDC will build on that experience and promises to be a fantastic Permaculture Design Certificate Course with many different skills and presentation styles offered, including Robin’s creative, interactive learning methods.

Robin (and Skye) hosted and facilitated over 30 PDC’s (Permaculture Design Courses) in a 16-year time span from the late ’80s and has since presented numerous guest sessions in other PDC’s and advanced courses as well as running her own Social Permaculture courses and Teacher Trainings. She was well versed to take the baton from Max Lindegger who had been the main Teacher for the Crystal Waters Cooperative’s PDC for the 8 years prior to last years Course.

Her legendary book 'You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too' has sold over 5,000 copies (a best seller in OZ) and her educational card games, teacher training Manual and resources support and inspire educators globally. Her main focus for the past three decades has been Training Permaculture Teachers, Educators, Facilitators and Group Leaders along with popularizing Social Permaculture.

Annaliese Hordern

Annaliese has been part of the Crystal Waters PDC Team for 5 years and brings an enthusiasm for Permaculture in action, with several years experience in Permaculture and Teaching in PDC's in Australia and overseas.

Annaliese Hordern is here to be part of the Regeneration - People and Planet!

Director of the Change Makers Permaculture Design Course, she holds a degree in Environmental Resource Management and a Diploma of Permaculture. Annaliese draws upon two decades of Permaculture experience, initially travelling our world volunteering at eco-communities learning about localised regenerative practices for land and people. Focusing the past 10 years in adult education, she has been working with, learning from and documenting the pioneers and elders of the Permaculture movement. This research has contributed to the ‘Permaculture Design Notes’ collaborative book project with Delvin Solkinson and team.

For the past 4 years Annaliese has worked with Green Harvest Organic Gardening as a nursery horticulturalist propagating their diverse collection of permaculture plants grown onsite and sold Australia wide. As an immense give back to the community Annaliese works in collaboration with Grounded Permaculture Action Party Inc. on the Leadership Board, hosting retreats, running community events and Permaculture Action Parties!

As a natural-born educator, Annaliese has a real passion for mentoring participants through their learning journey whether organic gardeners or nomad travellers. Evolving an inclusive, people-focused teaching style, she is known for using her voice, body language and creative learning tools to convey her message. Her current niche is supporting people to leverage and transform their personal projects and lifestyle with Permaculture, to become activated change makers. When not out changing the world, Annaliese can be found in her 1-acre Permaculture gardens, in the Sunshine Coast hinterlands where she grows over 100 culturally diverse edible plants and regularly hosts lush dinner parties.

Other Presenters are also to be announced for 2023!

Jessica

Jess in the garden Jessica Steele is an enthusiastic, spirited permaculture educator that has been developing and caretaking CAP 'Centre of Applied Permaculture' in Crystal Waters for 2 years. CAP's organic community gardens and nursery provides a space to thrive abundantly through permaculture practices, education & co-creation.

Jess enjoys delivering a practical hands-on learning approach to permaculture for all ages. As well as creating a space for workshops & food security, they also run a youth group called Perma-Scouts to connect and inspire the next generation of Permies.

They aim to expand their local network and food-growing capacity to be a resilient and adaptive island of the future.

AND Guest Presenters!

In addition, we have several Crystal Waters Residents who are involved, demonstrating Permaculture Principles on their land - or in discussing one of the related topics!

Ellenie Kirkman

Introducing our youngest Presenter - Ellenie Kirkman, here with her friend 'Velvet'. Ellenie has grown up in Crystal Waters the last several years and has developed a "menagerie" of lovely animal friends. She will demonstrate what has developed on their Property with her parents Kim and Beth.

Ellenie and Velvet

Nigel Parratt

Nigel on waste waterNigel has a mechanical engineering background and completed his first PDC in 1984, which led to him co-founding the Illawarra Permaculture Association, teaching permaculture at several TAFE Colleges, and establishing a nursery specialising in edible and useful plants and working as a permaculture consultant.

In the late 1980’s, Nigel’s passion for permaculture led to him buying property at Crystal Waters, where he built his own home and was involved in many aspects of the community. Nigel worked as a Production Manager for a company that manufactured composting toilets and wastewater treatment systems. Since 2005, Nigel has worked for several environment NGO’s analysing and providing feedback to Queensland and Australian Government water resource management policies, plans and programs.

Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas on solisAn Environmental Scientist, soil analyst & passionate home gardener, Ian has invested over 20yrs learning the art of growing high-quality food in the most ecological ways possible. Disappointed by the decline in commercial food nutrition and flavour, he’s an avid proponent for growing our own truly gourmet food using natural, organic and local inputs.

With an intimate understanding of soils, landscape ecology, plant nutrition and through years of research and experience he’s a passionate educator.

With a natural flair for simplifying complex topics, his personal mission is to improve both broader ecosystem and personal health by sharing the skills for growing better quality food, for less work, with less pests, through his organisation, The Gourmet Garden School. https://www.thegourmetgarden.school


Course Support

Bruce Gibson. PDC Organiser & Website Webmaster. Bruce will assist you to Register and help with any questions you have. Bruce has been a Crystal Waters Resident for 14 years and has organised the last 9 years of the Permaculture PDC.

Dawn Smith. Dawn is our friendly helpful support for Participants during the Course and helper for the Presenters, making sure that our PDC runs smoothly each day.

There are many people within Crystal Waters who contribute their energy and time to make these Courses available.

EcoPark staff; Emma is also valuable for assisting with Accommodation needs.

Sabine is the overall Events & Venue manager, including the EcoCentre and Kitchen.

Co-op Staff & Directors. The Crystal Waters Community Co-operative is a not-for-profit Organisation with a Team of Locals working within our Community to ensure that the facilities, venues and events are able to function well. We are grateful to the more than 10 people who put energy into Crystal Waters every week.

AND Other Residents of the Community!


Course Location & Venue

The Permaculture Course is held at the beautiful Crystal Waters Permaculture Village, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia.


Eco Centre

Eco Centre

Sessions are held in and around the purpose-built Eco Centre above the Village Green, and at permaculture properties within Crystal Waters.

* we are only able to accept 20 Participants in this group.

The EcoCentre Learning space has several areas; indoor, outdoor on the verandah and breakout spaces outside. This Venue lends itself perfectly to the learning experience for Participants to get the most from the PDC. The EcoCentre has a Kitchenette for refreshments and filtered water supply. The wide north-facing Verandah overlooks the Village Centre, the main Kitchen & The Deck with the Blackall Range to the East.

Crystal Waters eco-centre
Image
Permaculture contours class

Food and Catering

village green

All Meals are provided during the Course and are served from the licensed commercial kitchen on the Deck on the Village Green, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Eco Centre.

The Food prepared in the Crystal Waters commercial kitchen uses locally sourced and organic ingredients where possible, with minimal processed foods. The Menu is based on healthy foods with vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. Prepared with love and provides a variety for your enjoyment. Hygiene is of utmost importance for us and all participants, so we take great care and follow best practices for catering.

The Meals are provided Smorgasbord style, with an enjoyable eating & sharing atmosphere created on the Crystal Waters "Deck".

catering

The Catering Team including Yoav, Bec and Donna are very experienced and have a wonderful range of cuisine, catering to both Veg and non-vegetarian preferences & tastes, providing a delicious range of healthy foods. We also provide refreshments, fruit and beverages (teas & coffee) throughout each day. Special needs and allergies can be catered to if we know in advance.

Yoav cook

The 'Flowerpot Coffee Shop' located adjacent to The Kitchen is run by Ally & team, where you can get extras like great cappuccinos, lattes, shakes, cakes and savoury food if required.

Course Accommodation

Note: Accommodation and Camping is an additional cost.

Camping is available at Crystal Waters Visitors Camping Area, only 7 minutes walk to The Village Green & Eco Centre. Or you can upgrade Accommodation to one of the Bunkrooms.

The Ecopark has a good Amenities block with hot showers and laundry facilities. There is a covered Camp Kitchen setup with hotplates, sink and Fridges with a large open fire pit close by. It is set in a lovely bush setting with wildlife (mainly Kangaroos & Wallabies) and bird-life in abundance.

If Camping, you will need to bring your own tent & bedding and all your personal needs.

Accommodation is available within the Crystal Waters Visitors Camping Area "EcoPark" –  or with Residents in the Village by prior arrangement for an extra fee for the 14 nights: (subject to availability – book early).

  • You will need to bring your own Linen, Blankets & Pillows, Towel etc.

Accommodation is an additional cost to the PDC fees.

Places are available in our Ecopark in the Village, Please Book Online. A 10% discount is provided compared to our normal fees. A Course Discount Coupon will be provided on Registration.

Prices include GST. Special rates for PDC Participants. (Prices may vary)

    • Camping is available at $250 for 2 weeks/14 nights (bring Tent or Van), if Van aircon used cost total is $320.
    • Bunk bed in one of the 2 shared rooms (a male & a female room) at EcoPark Bunkhouse is $420. (Bed linen supplied).
      The special rate for the PDC is 10% Off the normal Booking price for the 14 nights of the Course.
    • Private Room or Family room at Bunk House (1 or 2 available rooms - please check on current availability in our Booking System).
  • Or, subject to availability there are some other accommodation options such as Airbnb at Crystal Waters.
 
 
Bunkhouse and Family Rooms
ecopark-amenities
ecopark-garden-1

Bookings

Autumn 2023 PDC > March 19 - April 2

Conducted by Crystal Waters Community Co-operative, Hosted by Robin Clayfield

Permaculture Course Fees is $2200 "Early-bird". $2350 normal price
(includes All Meals)

TO REGISTER FOR THE Crystal Waters Community Co-operative AUTUMN 2023 COURSE - CLICK BELOW

Register for PDC

About Crystal Waters Permaculture Village

GATHERING OF CRYSTAL WATERS FOLK

Crystal Waters Permaculture Village was established at the headwaters of the Mary River in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in 1988. Around 250 people live on 84 residential lots within the 640 acre property.

We are a multi-cultural community and there is no set belief system except for the common agreements of respect for the land, wildlife and for each other.

The residents living at Crystal Waters are people of all ages, nationalities and a wide variety of beliefs - just like in other parts of Australia. We are multi-cultural, multi-talented, and diverse in our interests and activities. Although some people choose a more secluded life, most who live here find enjoyment in interacting during either Events, at the Coffee Shop or Bakery, or at some of the Groups activities organised for anyone to participate in. Some are Permaculture related, but other groups are for music, yoga, classes, martial arts, weeding & bush regeneration, painting & crafts and more.

On the First Saturday each month, the Crystal Waters Monthly Market welcomes you to enjoy the relaxed and creative ecovillage ambience on the Village Green. FOOD is available.

Purchase local organic fresh produce, freshly baked sourdough organic bread, veggie seedlings, herbs, raw honey, gourmet foods, handmade soaps, and a range of other products. Yoga, acupuncture and massage may also be available to help you unwind. Enjoy food and drinks from the cafes and food stalls and take in the morning program of live music and other activities offered on the green.

Crystal Waters also provides a unique alternative Venue for all types of Events such as music gigs, festivals, weddings, conferences and workshops.

* EARLY-BIRD Course Fee for March 2023 is $2200
includes GST

* For next AUTUMN 2023 PDC. Payment after December 30 is $2250. Payment in Feb/March is $2350

A Deposit of $250 will hold your position at Registration.

Looking at SPRING 2023? Yes, you can already Apply, JUST use the same Registration Form, but check the Spring 2023 PDC box.
'Early-bird' Fees for NEXT March/April are available at $2200 and can begin with a $250 deposit.

The Course Fee includes all learning sessions, activities, meals, field trip and your certificate. 

Note: Accommodation is an additional cost. Places are available in our Ecopark in the Village, Please Book Online. A Course Discount Coupon will be provided on Registration.

Registrations are OPEN for the 2023 Permaculture Course at Crystal Waters

Register Early as places fill quickly.

Course fees include:

  • All Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning teas & all-day Cuppas.
  • 14 full Days - 12.5 days of thorough content including hands-on gardening & Practical Design exercises - over 80 hours teaching time plus a day off
  • Comprehensive course notes are provided in handouts and a Google Drive
  • PDC Certificate as a “Permaculture Designer”
  • Eco Village living experience in the award-winning Crystal Waters Permaculture Village
  • Visits to eco-homes and gardens to experience, learn & share Permaculture practices with community members
  • Social & local sightseeing events, delight in our wildlife and the experience of being in an Eco Village!

 

Enquiries

All Enquiries & Bookings can be directed to Bruce Gibson, The PDC organiser on behalf of the Crystal Waters Community Co-op:

    • Email: permaculture@crystalwaters.org.au (Bruce Gibson).  CC: robin@earthcare.com.au (Robin Clayfield)
  • Phone or SMS: 0429 455 200 (Bruce),

    or 5494 4620 (Co-Op Office) (within Australia),

  • Mail address: 1/65 Kilcoy Lane, Conondale, Qld 4552, Australia

Updates

Please add yourself to our News Updates for this PDC Course.

Stay in Touch

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