Episode  59

Oregon State University

Oregon State University is offering the Free Introduction to Permaculture Course again. What a gift to the world! The 4 week course will be offered for the third time running from May 1 to 28. The best time to sign up is now. Sign up page.

Over 26,000 students participated in the first two courses and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Don’t miss this opportunity!

The University is taking part in a world wide movement to bring high-level education to the general public who might not be able to attend or afford a school as a regular student. These courses are called MOOC – Massive Open Online Course. When I first heard about them several years ago, they were introduced as a philanthropic gesture of institutes of higher learning to promote and enable a better-educated population. It could be that Oregon State University (and probably other Universities as well) partly offer MOOC to showcase their institution and impress potential full-time students. Whatever the reason, I am glad that these courses exist and I have learned about subjects as diverse as raising chickens, writing children books and of course, Permaculture.

a screen shot from Facebookscreen-shot-2016-09-30-at-9-54-06-am

The Interview

In this interview, Andrew Millison, the creator of this free Permaculture course, shares what he and his team have learned from the first round back in May of 2016. Almost 16000 people from over 100 countries signed up and about 10 000 actually took the course. Andrew and I recorded a podcast prior to the first course. We discussed in detail what to expect from this course. Have a listen here.

Some of the highlights of this interview:

  • Expect to spend 12 to 16 hours to go through the material, but there are many links included in the course material. If you want a deeper education and follow them all, you can spend as much time studying as you wish.
  • Creating a local study group makes the course even more fun. You might want to post to meetup.com, or utilize one of the neighborhood connect sites. Another idea is to check with your local library to see if they want to host a study group.
  • Having over 10,000 people with different levels of computer literacy and different technologies log on to a course is quite a challenge. Andrew shared that in the beginning of the course just about every department of the University was contacted with tech help requests. This time around, the tech part should run smoother.screen shot of project
  • In this Intro, the design system is distilled into a compact curriculum.  A local or other full-length PDC will go into more details and applications for each subject. Often, hands on experiences are also included.
  • Expect an overview of Permaculture practices in different climates for
    • water
    • soil
    • natural building
    • energy systems
    • community and village design
  • At least 20 people worked on the development of the course. Four, including Andrew, were busy during the duration to help with tech questions and to participate in the forums.
  • Oregon State University invested quite a bit of money into this course and a private entrepreneur would have to charge a pretty penny – Free is a great price!

The 10/10/100 Challenge

The 10/10/100 challenge was issued by Javan Kerby Bernakevitch, one of the course instructors, toward the end of the course via Facebook.

a permaculture teacher

“Participants are challenged to bring their course experience into the world with something of value within 10 days of the course, 10 hours of work and no more than $100 of the participants currency (or relative value).”

The pictures in this post are some examples of the results of the challenge, and if you visit the Facebook group, you will see many more entries. Also, you can read detailed descriptions on how much money and time people were investing into their projects.

pallet gardenSecond Free Permaculture Course


Permaculture is the Medicine

If you are wondering if you should invest the time to take this course, ponder these words by Andrew Millison and then say yes.

“Permaculture Design System is the medicine that we need to transition our culture and our civilization to one that works harmoniously with the earth.”

This course is for everyone. Tell your grandma, all your friends, share on social media and more importantly: Sign up and take the course yourself!


To listen to our previous podcast, click here

To read more about the course, click here

Some Other News

Some other news. We were recently asked to join The Better World Podcast Collective and are happy to be featured among fellow podcasters with the mission of creating a better world. Do check it out.

And last, but not least.

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2 comments on “Second Free Permaculture Course

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