Permaculture Ecological Literacy Courses

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

Soils (ELPD101)

Providing vital global and local ecosystem services, such as the cycling and storage of carbon, water, and nutrients, soil is the foundation of life. At the human scale, healthy soils are essential to resilient food and medicine production. Unfortunately, globally we are losing soil along with a biodiversity of critical soil life due to erosion, industrial agricultural practices and poor soil management.

With the use of proper soil management strategies, it is possible to support the creation rich living soil in any environment and on any scale. Permaculture offers an array of tools and techniques to increase soil carbon, cycle nutrients, improve water retention and increasing soil biota. In this class, a wide range of practical organic soil management techniques are explored.

Exploring soil science, testing, soil building and how to make and use amendments, participants will enjoy a balanced blend of theory and hand on activities to solidify their learnings.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 35

Water Systems & Earthworks – Theory (ELPD102)

Water is a fundamental resource that is key to our planetary survival. Starting with understanding the hydrological cycle and the key functions of water in the ecosystem, participants will see water as a precious natural resource that is vital to all life on the planet.

Whole systems water management will be reviewed including water conservation, catchment, treatment and storage. Guiding principles behind regenerative water management are explored along with an overview of techniques. Tools for calculating potential onsite water catchment, appropriate roofing and tank materials are shared. Land surveying is taken to the next level with a focus on slowing, spreading, sinking and storing opportunities.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

Botany and Plant ID – Part I (ELPD103)

Deepening a basic understanding of the plant world and developing a stronger connection with the local environment are essential for anyone practicing Permaculture and developing regenerative systems. This course includes theory, hands on exploration, field trips, projects, and readings that will enable students to gain knowledge 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 are covered.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

Botany and Plant ID – Part II (ELPD104)

Deepening a basic understanding of the plant world and developing a stronger connection with the local environment are essential for anyone practicing Permaculture and developing regenerative systems. This course includes theory, hands on exploration, field trips, projects, and readings that will enable students to gain knowledge 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 are covered.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Plants, Animals and Mushrooms – Theory, Planning and Design – Part I (ELPD105)

Fungi were some of the first complex life forms on land, plants make up for 80% of the total biomass on the planet. Animals can be considered the moving parts of the forest making exploration of these 3 kingdoms fundamental for anyone interested in a greater understanding of the natural world and wanting to create more resilient systems.

Expand your knowledge of the natural world through an introduction to the mushroom, plant and animal kingdoms. Topics covered will include the functions of trees, vegetation, mushrooms and wildlife in the eco system. Succession and the evolution of society from foragers to horticulturists to agriculturists and how this has impacted land stewardship and management throughout time is explored.

Participants will be introduced to key Permaculture concepts including guilds, food forestry, polycultural gardening, agroforestry and Syntropic farming.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Plants, Animals and Mushrooms – Theory, Planning and Design – Part II (ELPD106)

Fungi were some of the first complex life forms on land, plants make up for 80% of the total biomass on the planet. Animals can be considered the moving parts of the forest making exploration of these 3 kingdoms fundamental for anyone interested in a greater understanding of the natural world and wanting to create more resilient systems.

Expand your knowledge of the natural world through an introduction to the mushroom, plant and animal kingdoms. Topics covered will include the functions of trees, vegetation, mushrooms and wildlife in the eco system. Succession and the evolution of society from foragers to horticulturists to agriculturists and how this has impacted land stewardship and management throughout time is explored.

Participants will be introduced to key Permaculture concepts including guilds, food forestry, polycultural gardening, agroforestry and Syntropic farming.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

Propagation, Cultivation, Harvesting & Traditional Skills – Part I – Winter (ELPD107)

Cultures from all over the world have history embedded in traditional practices including gardening, animal husbandry, homesteading, hunting and wildcrafting. Pre colonization and before the industrial revolution, living with and from the land was an inherent part of life and livelihood for many generations.

Colonization along with the hustle and bustle of modern life and advances in technology have taken western society farther away from natural living and our inherent relationship with the natural environment.

Taught through all 4 seasons, this practical course allows participants to learn the ins and outs of planning, preparing, planting and caring for annual and perennial gardens from seed to seed. Proper and efficient harvesting techniques are reviewed. Mushroom cultivation and ethical animal management will be explored.

Participants will see and experience gardens, mushroom and animal systems from small to large scale, indoors and outdoors and for personal and professional means offering opportunities to identify key principles, methods and strategies for success.

Through an exploration of traditional skill building, participants will enhance a connection with the rhythms and cycles of nature while learning practical skills that are inherent for living a life with the natural environment. Activities will include ethical wildcrafting of mushrooms, plants, fish and animals, tool making, tool use preservation and more.

Featuring a diversity of guest instructors with specialized expertise, participants are offered a taste of a variety of unique techniques and strategies to survive and thrive with the land.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 30

Propagation, Cultivation, Harvesting & Traditional Skills – Part II – Spring (ELPD108)

Cultures from all over the world have history embedded in traditional practices including gardening, animal husbandry, homesteading, hunting and wildcrafting. Pre colonization and before the industrial revolution, living with and from the land was an inherent part of life and livelihood for many generations.

Colonization along with the hustle and bustle of modern life and advances in technology have taken western society farther away from natural living and our inherent relationship with the natural environment.

Taught through all 4 seasons, this practical course allows participants to learn the ins and outs of planning, preparing, planting and caring for annual and perennial gardens from seed to seed. Proper and efficient harvesting techniques are reviewed. Mushroom cultivation and ethical animal management will be explored.

Participants will see and experience gardens, mushroom and animal systems from small to large scale, indoors and outdoors and for personal and professional means offering opportunities to identify key principles, methods and strategies for success.

Through an exploration of traditional skill building, participants will enhance a connection with the rhythms and cycles of nature while learning practical skills that are inherent for living a life with the natural environment. Activities will include ethical wildcrafting of mushrooms, plants, fish and animals, tool making, tool use preservation and more.

Featuring a diversity of guest instructors with specialized expertise, participants are offered a taste of a variety of unique techniques and strategies to survive and thrive with the land.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 3    Hours: 45

Propagation, Cultivation, Harvesting & Traditional Skills – Part III – Autumn (ELPD109)

Cultures from all over the world have history embedded in traditional practices including gardening, animal husbandry, homesteading, hunting and wildcrafting. Pre colonization and before the industrial revolution, living with and from the land was an inherent part of life and livelihood for many generations.

Colonization along with the hustle and bustle of modern life and advances in technology have taken western society farther away from natural living and our inherent relationship with the natural environment.

Taught through all 4 seasons, this practical course allows participants to learn the ins and outs of planning, preparing, planting and caring for annual and perennial gardens from seed to seed. Proper and efficient harvesting techniques are reviewed. Mushroom cultivation and ethical animal management will be explored.

Participants will see and experience gardens, mushroom and animal systems from small to large scale, indoors and outdoors and for personal and professional means offering opportunities to identify key principles, methods and strategies for success.

Through an exploration of traditional skill building, participants will enhance a connection with the rhythms and cycles of nature while learning practical skills that are inherent for living a life with the natural environment. Activities will include ethical wildcrafting of mushrooms, plants, fish and animals, tool making, tool use preservation and more.

Featuring a diversity of guest instructors with specialized expertise, participants are offered a taste of a variety of unique techniques and strategies to survive and thrive with the land.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 3    Hours: 35

Water Systems & Earthworks – Practice (ELPD201)

Work with water in a practical way in your life, home and land in this hands on course. A variety of different ways to capture water including roof water, dew, fog and earthworks are covered in detail. Grey and black water treatment on various scales is discussed and aquaculture is explored.

Participants will see different functioning water systems in action, learn how to install a basic water catchment system and integrate their learnings through the creation of a water systems design for a site of their choice.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Herbalism for Everyday Health and Wellbeing – Part I (ELPD202)

This course offers a balance of theory and practice that focusses on health and herbalism, including the processing of medicinal plants and foods.

A diversity of food and medicine plants are covered including their ecological role, harvesting considerations, preparation of plant materials for processing, appropriate and effective medicinal preparations, and their applications to human health conditions.

Participants form of a deeper relationship with plants as allies and a thorough understanding of how humans and plants relate in everyday health and wellbeing. The healing process of acute and chronic imbalances with plants is discussed.

An introduction to primary herbal concepts, including how medicinal plants work via actions and constituents will be explored.

Participants will consciously connect with and harvest various medicinal species and make various types of medicinal preparations.

Conversations about considerations for at-risk species, regulatory issues for the Canadian marketplace, herbal first aid, and safety considerations for using herbal medicines will be shared.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Herbalism for Everyday Health and Wellbeing – Part II (ELPD203)

This course offers a balance of theory and practice that focusses on health and herbalism, including the processing of medicinal plants and foods.

A diversity of food and medicine plants are covered including their ecological role, harvesting considerations, preparation of plant materials for processing, appropriate and effective medicinal preparations, and their applications to human health conditions.

Participants form of a deeper relationship with plants as allies and a thorough understanding of how humans and plants relate in everyday health and wellbeing. The healing process of acute and chronic imbalances with plants is discussed.

An introduction to primary herbal concepts, including how medicinal plants work via actions and constituents will be explored.

Participants will consciously connect with and harvest various medicinal species and make various types of medicinal preparations.

Conversations about considerations for at-risk species, regulatory issues for the Canadian marketplace, herbal first aid, and safety considerations for using herbal medicines will be shared.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 30

Ecological Restoration (ELPD204)

Explore Ecological Restoration with discussions about 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 a bioregion including how Indigenous Peoples have and continue to shape the ecology of the Victoria area. Dive into the invasive species debate within permaculture while performing hands-on restoration activities in the local community.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

Bioremediation (ELPD205)

Participants learn about Bioremediation and review the differences between it and ecological restoration. Different contaminants and their ecological effects are covered along with microbial, phyto and myco remediation techniques.

An exploration of bioremediation applications and self care tips for people working in the field of bioremediation are reviewed.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

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