Food and Medicine Systems Courses

Below is a list of Permaculture Design courses offered at Pacific Rim College.

Foraging in the Pacific Northwest (FMS102)

This course focuses on identifying local food, medicine, and material plants found in the Pacific Northwest. We spend time in various landscapes (farm, forest and shoreline) and explore plants of interest and aspects of their habitat, health, usage, and role. Students participate in plant walks and process plant materials. While the goal is for students to learn about various plant species that grow well in the Pacific Northwest, there is also concentrated focus on ethical harvesting considerations and practices, including specific harvesting practices and regulations in force in BC.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 3    Hours: 40

Perennial and Annual Food Systems: Theory (FMS103 )

This course covers an introduction to common perennial and annual plants that can be used in a permaculture garden setting. The focus is on edible and medicinal species and their cultural requirements, with a specific focus on permaculture food forests and general theory. Topics include an  introduction to plant physiology, anatomy, and morphology, as well as pruning considerations. This course includes site specific planning, propagation, maintenance, and harvesting techniques, with a particular focus on the early-year and spring months.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 35

Botany and Plant ID (FMS104 )

Plant identification, botanical skills, and a basic understanding of local ecology are essential for anyone interested in practicing permaculture and ecosystem restoration. This course includes lectures, workshops, field-trips, projects, and readings that will enable students to gain a better understanding of the native plant diversity of Southern Vancouver Island. Local ecology, plant structure, botanical vocabulary, plant identification, and recognition of important diagnostic features of plant families common to the Victoria area are covered.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 35

Perennial and Annual Food Systems: Planning and Harvest (FMS105 )

This course covers an introduction to common perennial and annual plants that can be used in a permaculture garden setting. This portion of the course focuses on planning and harvest considerations for perennial and annual plants that can be used in a permaculture garden setting. We also incorporate local wild food and medicine plants found in the Pacific Northwest, with a particular focus on the summer months. Fruit and nut tree care, cultivation, and pest management are also covered.

 

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 4    Hours: 60

Herbal Production and Processing (FMS201 )

This course focuses on practical and philosophical knowledge of plant based medicines. We discuss the role of herbs in natural and cultivated ecological systems and understand how medicines originating from an ecological approach improve human health. Student experience the formation of a deeper relationship with plants as allies and a thorough understanding of how humans and plants relate in the healing process. We begin with basic herbal concepts including how medicinal plants work and go on to hands-on learning of medicinal plant cultivation, harvesting, and medicine making. Hands-on class time includes tending to and harvesting various medicinal species, making various types of medicinal preparations, and experiencing many plants within organoleptic observation of herbal medicines.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 35

Herbal Production and Processing: Cultivation (FMS202 )

This course focuses on the cultivation and processing of medicinal herbs and plants. We discuss the role of herbs in natural and cultivated ecological systems and understand how medicines originating from an ecological approach improve human health. Specific medicinal plants are covered including their ecological role, cultivation and harvesting considerations, preparing plant materials for processing, appropriate and effective medicinal preparations, and applications of each medicine to human health conditions. Other topics covered include considerations for at-risk species, regulatory issues for the Canadian market place, herbal first aid, and safety considerations for using herbal medicines.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 35

Ecological Restoration (FMS203 )

Students explore the relationship between permaculture and ecosystem restoration and how these practices are best informed by local ecology. There is a strong emphasis on Victoria as an eco-cultural landscape including how Indigenous Peoples have and continue to shape the ecology of the Victoria area. We explore the contours of the invasive species debate within permaculture, and perform hands-on restoration activities in local communities.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Perennial and Annual Food Systems: Winter Gardening (FMS204 )

This course explores utilizing perennial and annual plants in intensive small scale systems, bringing in to consideration pest management, soil health, harvesting logistics, yield and nutrient density, with a particular focus on considerations for winter gardening. Students gain a comprehensive overview of common plants for both home-scale and market growing and are provided theoretical and hands-on learning of the cultural requirements of a range of edible annual vegetables and herbs. The course takes a seed-to-seed approach, integrating best practices in seed saving into crop rotation and considering the role of quality regional seed in annual vegetable production for both self sufficiency and climate change adaptation. Throughout the course, students have opportunities to develop hands-on skills in site-specific crop planning, succession and rotation, propagation, maintenance, and harvesting techniques, with an emphasis on planning for yield and quality. Field trips to local farms allow for observing the course learning objectives in various systems.

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Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 35

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