Continuing Education

Pacific Rim College is pleased to offer some of the most unique continuing education programs in natural health available anywhere. Below is a list of multi-week courses, most of which are offered several times yearly. If you are interested in shorter duration educational opportunities and events, please visit our Workshops page.

To register for any course, please contact the Registrar at 250.483.2119 or

Multi-Week Courses – 2018

Intro to Botany and Plant ID (FMS101A)
Instructor: Kristen Miskelly
Length: 28 hours/2 credits
Dates: January 17, February 7, March 21, March 28 (all 9am-5pm)
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm)
Tuition: $450
Plant identification and botanical skills are essential for anyone interested in permaculture or ecosystem restoration. This four-day course includes lectures, workshops, field-trips, and readings, that enable students to gain a better understanding of the native plant diversity of Southern Vancouver Island. Local ecology, plant structure, vocabulary, plant identification using technical keys, and recognition of important diagnostic features of plant families common to the Victoria area are covered. This course provides a foundation for students’ future endeavors in place-based agriculture, gardening, and plant studies.



Perennial Plants (FMS101B)
Instructor: Solara Goldwynn
Length: 49 hours/3.25 credits
Dates: February 14, 28, March 14, April 11, September 12, 19, 26(all 9am-5pm)
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm) 
Tuition: $731.25
Within Permaculture design, a major expression of the discipline is growing perennial food systems for the home garden up to the broad acre. Growing food in a variety of locations is essential to creating resilient communities. Plants that return each year grow deep and wide roots allowing them to access water and minerals that annual plants cannot. Perennial edibles (such as fruits, nuts, and perennial vegetables) are higher in nutrients than annual produce. They also add aesthetic beauty to any landscape. Perennial Plant Systems is an immersive experience into the perennial food garden. In this course students work within the layers of the food forest, learning how create the the conditions for abundant perennial food production. Students gain hands-on experience setting up a greenhouse for perennial plant propagation, propagating plants from seed, division, and cuttings, grafting, selecting the right variety of edibles for which climate, creating planting micro-climates in the garden to stretch zones, fruit tree care, harvest techniques and maintenance. This is an exciting class that gets into the details of applying permaculture design to landscapes.



Annual Plants (FMS101C)
Instructor: Jesse Howardson
Length: 49 hours/3.25 credits
Dates: February 11, March 7, April 4, 18,  25, May 2, 9 (all 9am-5pm) 
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm)
Tuition: $731.25
This course explores utilizing annual plants in intensive small scale systems, bringing in to consideration pest management, soil health, harvesting logistics, yield and nutrient density. Students gain a comprehensive overview of common annual plants for both subsistence and market growing and partake in theoretical and hands-on learning of the planting and cultural requirements of a range of edible annual vegetables, herbs and ‘weeds’. The course takes a seed-to-seed approach, integrating best practices in seed saving into crop rotation and considering the role of quality 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. This course includes various site tours and farm visits.



Wild Harvesting (FMS201A)
Instructor: Hannah Roessler
Length: 49 hours/3.25 credits
Dates: March 5, 19, April 9, 23, May 16, October 2, 9 (all 9am-5pm)
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm) 
Tuition: $731.25
This course focuses on identifying local wild food and medicine plants found in the Pacific Northwest. We spend time in various landscapes (farm, forest and shoreline) and explore certain plants and aspects of their habitat, health, usage, and role. Students participate in plant walks, processing of plant materials, as well as a day of helping out on an ecological restoration project. While the goal is for students to learn how to work with native plant species, there is a focus on ethical harvesting considerations and practices. Specific harvesting practices and regulations for BC are also be covered. This course is taught in collaboration with the team from PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plants and Education Program.



Herbal Production and Processing (FMS201B)
Instructors: Lindsay Hounslow with Brandon Bauer
Length: 77 hours/5.25 credits
Dates: March 12, 26, April 16, May 30, June 11, 12, 13, October 3, 10, 17, 23 (all 9am-5pm)
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm) 
Tuition: $1,181.25
This course focuses on practical and philosophical knowledge 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. 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 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.



Natural Building (NBT101A)
Instructors: Stephanie Enevoldsen and Bryce Ehrecke
Length: 84 hours/5.5 credits
Dates: April 24, 30, May 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 28, 29, June 4, 5, 6 (all 9am-5pm)
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm) 
Tuition: $1,237.50
This course introduces students to various natural building techniques, with a focus on cob earthen structures. Topics covered include pre-colonial natural building, landscape observations, ecological and passive solar design, foundations, woodworking, cob building and sculpting, finishing plaster techniques, roofs and garden structures (such as trellises and garden beds). Students participate in developing hands-on skills in foundation building, cob construction, woodworking, and natural plastering. In this course students have hands-on exposure to various natural building techniques, learn benefits/drawbacks on the various natural building techniques, gain experience in hands-on building of small earthen structures, have the opportunity to see projects from start to finish, and learn to make basic garden structures.



Intro to Permaculture (PERM101A)
Instructors: Hannah Roessler
Length: 28 hours/2 credits
Dates: January 15, 16, 22, 23 (all 9am-5pm)
Location: Central Saanich (either Ravenhill Herb Farm or Tiny Tree Herb Farm) 
Tuition: $450 |
This 4-day, information packed workshop provides a detailed introduction to Permaculture Design. This course introduces students to the process, ethic, and principles of permaculture design. Students review key examples of various permaculture projects and practices from around the world as well as here in BC. Students  engage in classroom learning, discussions, farm and forest tours, as well as experiential exercises, to help facilitate the learning process. Upon completion of this course the student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

• Learn what permaculture is and how it can be used as a design tool in a variety of scenarios.
• Understand permaculture principles and ethics.
• Understand the importance of designing for biodiversity.