South West Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)
Join us on the farm for a two week, residential, fully catered permaculture experience
Upcoming PDC Course Dates
This 72 hour course balances permaculture theory with hands-on practical activities; Using interactive workshops, field studies, presentations and field trips,
our PDC gives you a globally recognised accreditation as a certified Permaculture Designer.
Facilitated by a range of highly experienced and dedicated permaculture practitioners, you will gain knowledge, experience and relationships that will last a lifetime.
The course includes;
- Three healthy and mouth-watering meals daily
- On-site camping at our farm, (using our compost shower). We are 5km from Margaret River town (or see our accommodation)
- Internationally recognised course led by professionals
- Field trips to local permaculture initiatives
- Hands-on design experience (Read the blog about learning design on a real life project)
- Practical permaculture field work
- Access to our library of permaculture resources.
Read all about our previous PDC’s here;
Don’t just hear about it from us, here are some comments from previous course attendees, asked if they can recommend the course and why …
“Yes, Packed with Information. Teachers are Mentors. Personal Growth. On-site appreciation of growing and living off your own food. True examples of people WALKING their TALK. New friendships with like minded people. Genuine CARING ENVIRONMENT.” Anne
“You acquire knowledge that will influence all parts of your life and make lifelong connections with beautiful people. Oh, and if the food here doesn’t convince you to grow your own I don’t know what will!” Marnie
“Yes! It was an incredible experience to camp for 2 weeks and be fully immersed in the world of permaculture, all the teachers were so knowledgeable and the range of topics and teaching styles worked so well together… I would love everybody who is even considering a PDC to have the same wonderful experience I have had a Fair Harvest” – Poppy
For More Testimonials
The Teaching Team
Fair Harvest’s South West PDC includes a fantastic selection of teachers, with many of the classes held at their property or work place. You can expect to be taught by a selection of the teachers below (please note that not every teacher will be available for every course).Teachers include Jeff Nugent, Jamie McCall, Bee Winfield, PB Foreman, Jodie Lane, Jema McCabe and more…
When Jodie was 15 she discovered John Seymour’s book Self Sufficiency in the school library and spent many lunch hours poring over his drawings and ideas. A few years later she found Bill Mollison’s Permaculture One and started to work in her small backyard.
She moved to Margaret River in 1990 and completed a Horticulture Certificate and a PDC, before long her life was permaculture in the most rounded sense, growing food, fighting for the forests and living communally. As a co-founder of the infamous Carters Rd Community, her beliefs and understanding of how we can live and work together were strongly shaped during its’ twelve year life.
In 2012 Jodie and her partner Dorothee Perez started Fair Harvest Permaculture and renovated the existing farm shed as an educational centre. The first PDC was run in May 2012 with a selection of teachers from the South West, since then over 200 people have completed their PDC at Fair Harvest. Jodie coordinates the two week course as well as sharing her love of healthy home grown food by catering for the students with amazing produce from the farm and garden.
Dorothee is Jodie’s partner and co-manager of Fair Harvest. Do is usually found in the gardens, orchards, milking the goats or tending the poultry . While she refuses to take a formal role in teaching she is always happy for students to find her in action where she generously shares her wealth of knowledge. Her attention to detail, planning ahead and care of plants and animals shows in the health and abundance of the gardens.
Before arriving in Australia in 2009 Dorothee worked in London as a gardener, creating beauty in small spaces. Dorothee grew up in the south of France in a fertile farming region, she studied boring things until she had the life changing experience of permaculture, she completed her PDC in 2012 and has been growing food ever since.
Jeff completed his Permaculture Design Course led by Bill Mollison in 1983. He has over thirty five years experience in teaching Permaculture Design and a longer history as a Permaculture Designer.
He has worked on four continents and has taught courses in Australia, North America and Africa. Jeff is co-author of the book Permaculture Plants – A Selection, and author of Permaculture Plants – Agaves and Cacti.
He is currently working on other permaculture plants books and a futuristic novel. He also contributed a chapter to the recently published Permaculture Pioneers. Jeff also enjoys working with sound and apart from several Bill Mollison audio sets; he has produced two music albums.
Bee was kicked out of the family home in Melbourne’s suburbia at 16 for making too many compost heaps in the backyard. Earlier, her Dad had taken her to a psychiatrist in an attempt to rid her of what he thought was a rare personality disorder, but the composting habit proved incurable, and thus a life time’s passion for good soil, and the food it can grow, began. Bee always aspired to be an organic farmer, and her love for animals and plants was evident early on . In her late teens Bee was introduced to Bill Mollison and Permaculture by friend and neighbour, the inimitable Jeff Nugent. To these fellow Nannupians, it all made perfect sense and was incredibly exciting. It still is!
Merri Bee Organic Farmacy is 27 acres of mainly steep marginal land, and has been slowly evolving since 1985, and is today a mature food forest and pasture which earns Bee and her partner Stewart a year round living selling unique organic produce at Margaret River and City Farm markets. The more Bee learns about mainstream food production and how it affects us and the planet, the more committed to permaculture she becomes . In August 2019 David Holmgren recognised Bee as a Permaculture Pioneer. She taught a PDC in Egypt in 2017 with Olly Watkins, and was recognised as an Environmental Champion by the Conservation Council of W.A. in 2019.
Stew and Bee continue to regenerate rich living soil where once there was non- wetting sand, using swales and hundreds of pioneer, herb, tree, and perennial pasture species. Recent projects include bamboo chook caravans, and a weekly commitment to make a couple of tons of compost from green waste collected from the Nannup tip, which would otherwise be burnt. This has become a commercial enterprise in worm castings. They have a small thriving nursery using castings and maintain a herd of 10 Jersey cows. These, and the Alpaca, sheep, pigs and 4 species of poultry, all donate their special biology to the compost.
Having completed an in depth soil fertility course with Dr Elaine Ingham in 2014, Bee has an appreciation of how soil functions at a microbial level. Bee retreated for 3 Winter months in 2020 to become a qualified health professional, a GAPS ( Gut and Psychology Syndrome) health coach. Fascinated by the parallels between soil health and gut health, she recognizes that the smallest things on Earth may well be the most powerful, and we ignore the microbial world at our peril. Meat stocks and probiotic fermented dairy, fruit and vegetables are the mainstay of the healing GAPS diet.
Bee is grateful to her many mentors and thrilled she has the opportunity at Fair Harvest to pass on eco literacy skills and any technique that gets carbon out of the air and into the soil as fast as possible. She could not agree more with Joel Salatin who says “We can save the world one bite (of organic meat ) at a time”
Jamie, 52, worked as a mining field assistant, carpenter, sailor, journalist and furniture maker before moving to Margaret River in 1998 to develop a farming and permaculture property with his wife, Lara, and three children Max, Ned and Dan. He has a BA in English and Journalism, a Master Class 5, and completed a PDC with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton.
Jamie’s 37 acre property, Burnside Organic Farm, commercially produces avocados, wine, honey and capers. It also provides their family with all their vegetables, meat and fruit. Cows, pigs, sheep, geese, bees and chickens are used on the farm as an integral part of the farming systems.
Part of the property is share farmed with Jema McCabe who runs a market garden.
Jamie’s property is certified biodynamic with ACO and has utilised permaculture principles for water harvesting, soil building and nutrient cycling. New work on the farm is approached through permaculture principles with a view towards a future of energy descent.
As a result of their self-sufficient lifestyle Jamie has developed a keen interest in nutrition, food preservation and storage, home butchery and meat curing, winemaking and Mediterranean climate appropriate gardening and foods.
Jema spends most days thinking about, planting, tending, harvesting or selling vegetables, a vocation that extends across her work and personal passions. She grew up on 5 acres on the east coast of Australia and learned a simple version of permaculture at her small primary school, where all the kids could have a garden of their own. Her early professional life turned out to be a self guided tour on organic farming, biodynamics, compost making, soil building, garden planning, seed saving and assorted outdoorsy-practical things. Completing a PDC at Fair Harvest Permaculture, teaching workshops herself and running her own micro-farm business have all been more recent explorations.
PB trained and qualified in Horticulture at Adelaide Botanic Gardens in 1977.He has been actively involved with horticulture ever since. He has run his own landscaping and garden maintenance business as well as commercial pruning and chipping, setting up a permaculture nursery and consultation service. He has always worked with an enthusiasm in organic methods of horticulture and embraced Permaculture in 1988 when he undertook a consultant design course. For the next 10 years he ran many Permaculture Design Courses in and around the Fremantle area including Murdoch Uni, Bentley TAFE, Apace and North Fremantle Permaculture Centre.
Since moving to Margaret River in 1997 he has extended his interests widely to include Bio Dynamic agriculture and practices. For 16 years he worked at Cape Mentelle Vineyard taking care of the grounds and biological waste water treatment which he instigated and set up. In 2015 he and his partner Swabodhi designed and completed their owner builder straw bale home which gained a 8.5 NATERS energy rating. They are now well on the way to food self sufficiency. In late 2015 he joined the team at Witchcliffe Eco Village as Permaculture Design Advisor. In 2018, PB was made a Permaculture Elder in recognition of his years of dedication and passion of permaculture.
Heather is deeply concerned with the
development of ecosystem consciousness in the westernised world. She is a radical homemaker, a philosopher, a mother and an advocate for re-villaging. She completed her PDC in 2014 with Jeff Nugent and Claire Coleman and her Permaculture teacher training in 2019 with Hannah Maloney and Brenna Quinlan. She works for Milkwood, as the community manager for their online courses, as well as running her own permaculture consultancy business (and teaching PDCs at Fair Harvest).
“Growing up in Perth, Western Australia, working for his father’s landscaping and irrigation company, Byron’s love for plants became clear early in the piece, leading him to study Horticulture and Botany, refining his knowledge, skill and appreciation for the human/plant relationship, all the while working in a number of positions at numerous retail and propagation plant nurseries and re-vegetation, tree planting and land care services. Discovering Permaculture in the early 2000s Byron devoured all the information he could find and set to work connecting with like minds and putting ideas to practice, taking his first Permaculture Design Course in 2004 and second in 2009.
Byron has studied and integrated design and implementation techniques from numerous related systems including Holistic Management, Natural Sequence Farming, Bio-dynamics, Natural Farming, the Regrarian’s Platform, Restoration Agriculture and more.
Byron has worked internationally as both educator and consultant and has an ongoing working relationship with numerous projects in Morocco.“
Ian, born in Perth Western Australia, grew up both in the city and on the family farm north of Perth developing a deep love for natural environments and landscapes as a child roaming 500 acres of uncleared bush on the block.
In the 1980s and 1990s Ian worked on WA wheatbelt properties, completed a Certificate in Agriculture before working on some of Australia’s first chemical free environmental weed management programs on Kimberley river systems. In 1994 Ian did his PDC and Wwoofing with Bill Mollison at Tagari, Tyalgum NSW, going on to design and implemented permaculture projects in Northern NSW. Ian also studied and worked in bushland regeneration in Queensland and NSW on Environmental training and employment programs.
In 1998 Ian moved home to WA establishing a wholesale organic vegetable seedling nursery, cropping, and permaculture farm near Donnybrook. He has a Diploma in conservation and land management specialising in bushland regeneration studies in Denmark. He has designed and managed various private landcare and bush regeneration projects in the Southwest.
Ian also has 14 years’ formal training in mindfulness and meditative practices which he weaves into his teaching approach which fully complement the PDC experience. Ian runs Ecodharma and Nature retreats here at Fair Harvest.
Pippa Buchanan (MSc SA) is an Australian resilience and sustainability educator, facilitator and urban permaculturist currently based in Linz, Austria. Pippa draws on permaculture design, systems thinking, informal education approaches, future scenario development and facilitation approaches such as Art of Hosting in her work.
Pippa’s background is in adult education, language teaching, web and games development and in addition to completing two PDCs she studied Permaculture Teaching Matters with Rosemary Morrow. In 2017 she completed an MSc in Sustainability and Adaptation with the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Machynlleth, Wales. Her research project explored how permaculture teachers and practitioners consider hazards such as floods and bushfires in their design work.
Pippa is fascinated by transformational processes, whether they be the evolution of new social forms, fermented foods or the transformation of yarn into knitted items. She shares her projects and ideas at makingspecial.org.
Jeff is a first-generation farmer near Balingup and the co-founder of Western Australia’s only vertically integrated, beyond organic, pasture-raised chicken and duck operation. Since 2006, he has restored the historic Southampton Homestead property to perennial pasture twice – once from a pine plantation and again in 2013 following a devastating bushfire. Jeff and his wife Michelle grew 10,000 meat chickens and ducks a year, and manage all aspects of the supply chain on-farm – from hatching, growing and harvesting birds through to marketing and selling direct at farmers markets, retailers and restaurants. Southampton Homestead was recently a State Winner in the 2016 Delicious Produce Awards and a finalist in the National Landcare Awards for Innovation in Sustainable Farming Practices. Southampton Homestead is a member of an international communities of practice, the Regrarians, and is known for their pioneering work in using regenerative agriculture practices to restore eco-system services in farming. Our story: https://vimeo.com/136416154
Recent TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4wGIQ2Z7-E
Rod has worked nearly three decades in environmental management, especially in river and catchment management. This included more than 10 years running the state government agency, the Swan River Trust.
Rod completed a life changing PDC at Fair Harvest, Margaret River… which genuinely did sow the seeds of a change in life.Rod followed up with an advanced permie design certificate, quit his job, completed a Diploma in Permaculture at Candlelight Farm and set up his permaculture design and teaching consultancy, Leafcutter Permaculture.
Rod now lives on 136-acres of a mostly bush Land for Wildlife property in the Chittering Valley, north-east of Perth and is involved in the Bullsbrook Community Garden.
Since mid-2018, he has been Farm Manager at Perth City Farm where he grows some fruit and veg, looks after a few chooks and ducks and talks lots about compost.
Ellen has studied the soil food web and soil microscopy with Dr Elaine Ingham and Dr Mary Cole (pioneers in this field) and completed a PDC at Fair Harvest. Ellen is keen to share this information and teach practices that will assist in developing and nurturing healthy, nutrient rich soil. The EarthWhile Australia team works with home gardeners, orchardists, growers and farmers to develop knowledge of healthy soils to affordably grow high quality food in sustainable ways that assist in regenerating our environment. It is no surprise that Ellen has been actively involved in supporting local community groups and organisations such as the Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Alliance and the Byford Glades Community Garden. Ellen is a founding partner of EarthWhile Australia.
Guest teachers (when available)
Since 1995, Claire Coleman has been based on a permaculture property in Denmark on the south coast of WA. Living and working in the region, she has helped develop the property into an eco village, and inevitably permaculture has been a dominant part of her life since then.
Claire’s background is as an organic gardener and photographer, and teaching has enabled her to combine the two skills for educational purposes. As well as running regular permaculture courses and other workshops from our home, Claire taught organic production horticulture for over 10 years at the Denmark TAFE.
Claire has also spent several years developing and running the Certificate III Permaculture and she is involved at a national level with the implementation of Accredited Permaculture Training.
Since 2004 Claire has also worked carrying out audits for the organic industry which involves travelling around the state meeting lots of interesting people who are doing lots of interesting things!
A descendant of two pioneering farming families, Lucinda Giblett is a passionate steward of the land, speaker, writer and community volunteer
After university studies in communications, Lucinda travelled for several years before returning home to Manjimup. Her farther Harvey was embracing organic apple farming and this drew forth Lucinda’s desire to farm and her commitment to land stewardship.
As an answer to the question “how can we truly live well?” Lucinda founded the charity “Stella Violets”. Named for her grandmothers, Stella Violets seeks to enrich local life, land and tradition.
Projects include converting a farm ute to fully electric power, making compost and biochar, nutrient cycling, preserving the harvest, recording local life stories, sharing wisdom ad growing beauty – both in our gardens and our lives.
Like to know more about Stellar, Violets Life Library, Living Museum and Gallery? stellarviolets.org/connect