Permaculture Design Syllabus

Permaculture Design

Class syllabus for 2017

HORT 176-98725
Instructor: Ken Foster
Office hours: Saturdays 3:30 – 4:00 pm
9/2/17 through 12/16/17


Important dates:

      1st Census add by     09/09/17

       Drop with refund     09/09/17

       “W” Grade              09/11/17

       Last Withdraw         11/18/17


Permaculture Design class outline is posted below

Class Description:

Introduces principles and practices of
permaculture design though collaboration on real-world projects with a focus towards repairing, restoring and regenerating human and the planets ecosystems


Student Learning Outcomes:
1. Critically assess an urban site for appropriate methods of retaining as much incoming energy as possible.
2. Apply permaculture principles and ethics in their design.

Objectives :
1. Interpret a landscape and its ecological implications.
2. Describe the key ecological design strategies for home-scale systems.
3. Describe various design methods and techniques, observation, pattern recognition, and systems.

Room: HORT room 5010

Class Organization:

Meets 16 weeks 9/2 through 12/16

Morning class 9:30AM- 11:35AM  – ( 2 hours 5 minutes)

Pot-Luck Lunch - 11:35AM – 12:45PM (1hour 10 minutes)

Lab 12:45PM- - 3:50PM (3 hours 5 minutes)

= total 5 hours 10 minutes


Proposed schedule change.

Morning class 9:30 AM – 12:00 (2.5 hours)

Pot luck Lunch- 12:00 – 12:50 (50 minutes)

Lab 12:50PM- - 3:30PM (2 hours 40 minutes)

= total 5 hours 10 minutes

Please bring food to share

Pot-Luck Lunch

Units 3.00

Toby Hemenway Gaia
ʼs Garden -A Guide to Home-scale
Permaculture second edition

Mollison, Bill (1997). Permaculture A Designer
ʼs Manual (reprint/e). Tyalgum Tagari Publication. ISBN: 9780908228010

Recommended Websites:
The Permaculture Activist

David Holmgren
ʼs website

Recommended reading:
Permaculture Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability
David Holmgren
Requisites: None
Recommended Preparation: Eligibility for ENGL 100 and READ 100
Eligibility for MATH 154

Out-of-class Assignments. Students will complete a
permaculture design as a final project. In-class Assignments and weekly evaluations of lab exercises.
Lectures: lectures will be both inside and in the field discussing the topics listed in the outline.
Labs: The labs are opportunities to gain some experience the application of Permaculture and to better understand the concepts discussed in lecture. Lab assignments will be available online only.
You will need to download, read and answer the questions indicated and turn them in at the end of lab. Much if not all of the required
information on the lab assignments can only be attained during your lab, so if you miss lab you will not be able to turn in the lab assignment.

Weekly Themes, Readings, and Activities
Readings are to be read for the following week
ʼs class.

Grading: Cabrillo College uses whole grades, A, B, C, D, F and W. A Pass/No
Pass option is also available. If you have issues that cause you to miss too many classes or require you to stop coming to class it is your responsibility to officially withdraw. There are specific dates that you need to be aware of. They are listed below.

Your grade for this class will come from:
Exams 300 points
Lab and homework Reports 200 points
Design Project 500 points
Total 1000 points
Students with a total which is 90% of the highest student grade total or higher will receive an A, 80% or higher a B, 70% or higher a C, 60% or higher a D, and less than 60% is an F.

Study together!!!! - Cooperation beats competition every time. Students ALWAYS do better if they meet with each other AT LEAST once a week on a regular basis, to go over the course material.
ʼs work in teams, and that is a large component of this class. If you aren't happy with the team you started working with switch right away.

The Cabrillo Student Handbook recommends:
3 hours of study for every hour of class time. This class runs for 5 hours a week so that means 15 hours of study a week.

Missed Exams and Homework Dates:

You will be allowed to make-up a lecture quiz only under the following conditions. 1) You notify me by the day of the quiz that you will not be attending. You may email me or use the phone. 2) You must take the quiz before I turn it back to the class. Failure to do either will forfeit your opportunity to take the quiz. You cannot make up a missed lab.

Outline for the Permaculture Design class
This outline is subject to change up to October 31, 2017


September 2nd  -

Introduction to Permaculture

Introductions all the way around

Personal needs and resource assessment homework assignment.

1. Aligning with global map with directions drawn on the ground.

Question – Where are your ancestors from? Stand there.

2. Interactive exercise - Draw Permaculture flower on the ground with herbs each student giving personal input.

Question – Where does your passion fit in the realms of the Permaculture flower?


September 9th –

Best of last week

Design methodologies, P.A.T.O., sit spot, patterns in nature,

Personal needs and resource assessment homework due.


Zone homework assignment

3. Input / output exercise

Question – What are your 3 needs and 3 yields?

4. Hands on lab - Building a compost pile at Cabrillo

Question - Name the primary compost ingredience.

5. Sit Spot exercise

Question – What Permaculture principle does a Sit Spot utilize?


September 16th  -

Best of last week

Trees and life –

Sectors analyses

Sector analyses homework assignment

6. Turn compost pile

Question – What is required for a ‘certified organic ‘ compost pile?


September 23rd  -

Best of last week

Form Design Teams,

Soils - Are we treating our soil like dirt?

8. Build ‘A’ frames with wood

Question – What is an ‘A’ frame used for?

9. Dig swales at Cabrillo

Questions – What is the definition of a ‘swale’?

10. Base map information gathering and transferring to paper

Question – What is ‘triangulation?


September 30th - 

Best of last week

Water, Watershed issues,

Field Trip: Exploration Center and Main Beach for Sand demonstration of Watershed Keyline Design.

11. Watershed modeling exercise at the beach

Field Trip Questions -

Question – What are the seven orders of drainage?


October 7th

Best of last week

Drought proofing

Graywater powerpoint

Soil cation exchange capcity

Field Trip : Tatyana’s?  Dave and Marium Brodkey’s – Roland Street

Field Trip Questions

What Permaculture principles at play at Tatyana’s / Brodkey’s?


October 14th  -

Best of last week

Rainwater catchment

Field trip to see Joe Nedney’s Community garden in S.V.

Field Trip :  Graywater System installation at 7th Ave.

Field Trip Questions

12. Hands on exercise – Graywater system (GWS) installation 7th ave.?

Question – What is the diverter valve for in a GWS?

October – 21st


Best of last week

Midterm exam

Field Trip to Habitat for Humanity’s new home.


October 28th

Best of last week

Farming and Gardening,

Field Trip: UCSC Farm and Garden with David Shaw

Field Trip Questions

What is a pedestrian orchard?


November 4th

Best of last week

Building Bonds With Allies

Guest speaker – Project Pollinate - Emily


November 11th

Best of last week

Design for Catastrophe, Permaculture as First Responder,

Transition Culture,

Guest Speaker Cosmic Joe / Guest Speaker Jamie Snyder?


November 18th  -

Best of last week

Guest Speaker – David Theodoropolis,

Natural Building Power Point

Field Trip: 120 Miles Street  David Foster guest speaker

Field Trip Questions

What are the components of a zero net energy home?


Nov. 25th

Permaculture Economy, Gift economy, Barter, trade, currency,

Seventh generation, Business as if the Earth Mattered.


Question – How can you bring your brilliance into the world?

December 2nd

Best of last week

Eco-Villages, Co-housing, Village Homes, ‘N’ Street Co-op,

14. Joanna Macy’s - The Work that reconnects

Question – How will you make your vision real?

Field Trip to Walnut Street Commons or Coyote Crossing

Field Trip Questions

What problems does co-housing solve?


December 9th

Best of last week

Design Presentations!


December 16th

Best of last week

Final Exam

Talent Show

Where to go from here