This initiative aims to promote and raise awareness among the population of Loulé on the possibilities that permaculture design can bring in improving the quality of life of the population, creating gardens, orchards, waste management, energy, and much more. The limit is our imagination!

  • What: Permaculture Design Course;
  • Who: Sílvia Floresta, Orlando Pereira and Tiago Silva;
  • Where: Inuaf, Loulé;
  • When: May 15 to 27, 2017;
  • How much: Free (with the support of the Municipality of Loulé);
  • For whom: Residents of the Municipality of Loulé, promoters of local agricultural/forestry projects, ecological entrepreneurs, members of local associations, and public employees of Loulé, unemployed individuals.

Registration is open via email, or by phone 910748670 (from 10 am to 5 pm).

What is Permaculture Design? Permaculture was born in the 70s from the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. The word permaculture is a combination of the terms “permanent culture” and “permanent agriculture”.

We ask ourselves every day: how can we meet our needs? Permaculture poses a broader question: How can we meet our needs as individuals, families, and communities while taking care of the health of Nature, its ecosystems, and the different species that compose them?

Permaculture is for everyone. We are part of the solution. In permaculture, we take a close look at how Nature works, study the different interconnections and interdependencies between plants, trees, insects, birds, people, soils, etc.

Understanding these connections allows us to make decisions that improve our quality of life and that of the Nature around us.

We cannot live on this planet without causing some type of impact. We consume resources and products that come from far away, generate immense waste, and degrade the health of Nature. The health of rivers and streams, the health of soils, plants, animals, and of course, our own health as well.

With permaculture, we can optimize our impact and align our creativity with our actions and regenerate Nature and our lives.

A new way of looking at the world: Recent studies indicate that our negative thoughts influence the functioning of our brain and “put to sleep” the parts of our brain that invent, design, and solve problems. If our minds are overflowing with sad and negative ideas, it becomes very difficult to find solutions to the social, ecological, and economic challenges we face today. In permaculture, we closely observe Nature and how it works. In Nature, any disturbance or “crisis” brings with it new cycles, niches, and opportunities for species of plants and animals to develop.

Permaculture helps us do the same with our challenges. To understand the problem and immediately see the possibilities to solve it. With practice, it becomes much easier to deal with problems and solve them.

Permaculture is multi-disciplinary: Permaculture is design, engineering, physics, biology, anthropology, and architecture combined into one. Obviously, we don’t become “experts” in all these fields just by studying permaculture, but it is possible to acquire solid foundations in these disciplines while gaining perspectives on how we humans fit into this planet. With these comprehensive foundations, it is possible to start designing around the needs of our lives while creating positive change.

“The best way to predict the future is to design it.” – Buckminster Fuller, American visionary, designer, architect, inventor, and writer.

Permaculture Design Course: The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is an intensive immersion into the universe of Permaculture. This course aims to support students in developing an understanding of the basic principles of ecological and regenerative design and, with the application of this knowledge, be able to redesign communities and human settlements according to the rules of nature. The main objective of this design course is the development of effective design skills through practical application of knowledge and tools. This is an opportunity to learn by participating in a real community design process. The course follows the traditional 2-week (intensive) format with 1 day off (over 90 hours) created by Bill Mollison, combining practical (40%), theoretical classes, field trips, interactive games, dynamic activities, sharing experiences, community living, and much more. This format allows for a deep dive into the principles of Permaculture design, which will be applied and presented by students in their final design work. Participants must attend 80% of the course to receive a certificate.

This course is based on the 14 chapters of the book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual” by Bill Mollison. Some of the topics covered in this course include:

  • Principles and ethics of Permaculture;
  • Reading the landscape. Observing patterns and cycles of nature;
  • Ecosystem principles, climate, and biogeography applied in Permaculture;
  • Design principles: Analysis process, zones, efficient energy plan, etc.;
  • Resource identification. Water in the surrounding environment, water collection and conservation, solar energy, etc.;
  • Building healthy soil: soil structure base, texture, etc. Strategies for soil improvement using green manure, compost, mulch, erosion control;
  • Establishing a Permaculture garden, food forests – how to select and maintain these systems. “How to produce more food in a small space” (bio-intensive method);
  • Seed collection and conservation;
  • Design of wind/fire barriers;
  • Healthy housing/shelters: selecting a location for the house. Non-toxic materials. Natural construction systems;
  • Appropriate technologies: Dry toilets, solar dehydrators, ovens and clay stoves (Cob), alternative energies, recycling materials;
  • Introduction to sustainable community and eco-village design. Group organization systems. Alternative economy, strategies for a global nation.

This course is free, but requires pre-registration. Registration is open through email at, or by phone at 910748670 (from 10 am to 5 pm).