Permaculture Design Courses in Costa Rica at Punta Mona

If you want to take your farming and food knowledge to the next level, a permaculture design course is perhaps the best way to do it. And I can’t think of a more exciting place to learn about permaculture than in Costa Rica at Punta Mona Educational Center with a permaculture expert and practicing herbalist.

Punta Mona is run by Stephen Brooks and Sarah Wu. I got to meet these lovely humans when I attended the Envision Festival last year, and have had interviews with each of them since. They are both passionate about plant magic, building community, and committed to teaching others about how a different path is possible.

Permaculture (permanent + agriculture) is a practice that uses natural systems to create thriving growing environments and allows you to explore all aspects of sustainable practices by learning from those in the field. To add to that: “Permaculture is a multidisciplinary study, set of principles and ethics that offer a guideline and methodology to conserve and regenerate natural systems, intentionally design human settlements and maximize efficiency and while using less energy,” according to their site.

You can learn about the very basics of permaculture here:

Introduction to permaculture, Part 1
Introduction to Permaculture, Part 2

But if you want to put your permaculture passion into action, there is a very cool permaculture design course (PDC) happening 1- 15 November 2017 at Punta Mona. If you can’t make this event, they have a host of 2018 permaculture workshops too.

The tuition for the two-week courses is $1500; the cost includes the full PDC program, all (vegetarian and vegan) meals, lodging, activities, and daily yoga. If you want to travel as a pair, you can register with a friend and save 10% each, and they offer local (Costa Rica) tuition rates. If you are a student, you can also inquire with your university/professor about receiving internship or independent study credits!

To register for this coming event, you can find them on Facebook or on their site.

Permaculture Design Courses in Costa Rica at Punta Mona

Each PDC course will get include 72+ hour Permaculture Design Course & Certificate of completion. But you will learn about more than just food and farming. The course will also cover land ethics, disaster mitigation, herbal health and healing, triple bottom line business, fair trade practices, ecovillage living, economics, and the Slow Food Movement. More generally, you will learn about Regenerative Lifestyle, Integrating Health, Practical Design, and Community and Social Awareness.

 

But if that’s not enough to fill your brain, their wide-ranging and intellectually stimulating wider topic list is below:

  • Permaculture Ethics, Principles & Characteristics
  • Ecological System Basics & Bioregions
  • Design Methods & Map Reading
  • Climates, Elements & Microclimates
  • Soil Science
  • Earthworks
  • Water Management
  • Plants to Trees & Trees to Forests
  • Windbreaks and Wind Corridors
  • Patterns in Nature; Context (culture, climate, etc.)
  • Zone 0: Bio-Architecture
  • Zone 1: Home Garden
  • Zone 2: Fruit Tree Forest; Animals & Orchards
  • Zone 3: Field Crops & Large Animals
  • Zone 4: Harvest Forests
  • Zone 5: Forests
  • Wildlife Management & Integrated Pest Management
  • Ethical Investment, Land Ethics and Access, Incomes from Acres
  • Suburban & Urban Permaculture
  • Invisible Structure Models
  • Compost Making, Biofermentation & Micro Organisms
  • Water Management Exercise
  • Soil Exercise
  • Bio-Char
  • Chinampas
  • … and more

Punta Mona is also home to Medicines from the Edge, a tropical herbal convergence happening 19-22 October 2017. This event is also a way to connect with the spiritual traditions that many Americans have been distanced from through generations. While it’s more common to find ‘grandmother knowledge’ in Costa Rica, still many traditions have been lost. But younger generations of Costa Ricans – and the large expatriate community – are tuning into these traditions and reconnecting with this knowledge. As Wu explained, humans have coevolved with plant medicine, and it’s becoming more clear that people are craving this knowledge.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend either of these events this year, but it’s on my 2018 bucket list for sure. And, of course, I will see you at Envision 2018 in February!


About the Author

A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in San Francisco, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, Green Living Ideas and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram

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