Updated July 2nd, 2018.
Permaculture is a sustainable and self-sufficient design system, that makes every effort to work with nature, rather than against it. The movement was founded in the 1970s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and has become recognised as a viable alternative to modern farming methods. Since the first course in 1984, thousands of people have taken the official ‘Permaculture Design Course’ to learn more about this ‘revolution disguised as organic gardening’.
Why take your Permaculture Design Course at Rak Tamachat, Thailand?
Rak Tamachat Education Institute was founded by Beau Wickboldt (US) and his wife Lin (Thailand) and is located three hours northeast of Bangkok in the province of Sikhiu. Rak Tamachat, which means ‘love natural’ is a 60-acre working permaculture farm, complete with cows, chickens, dogs, ponds, a food forest, vegetable garden and transient community of students and volunteers. When they bought the land, there wasn’t even one tree growing on a landscape where the soil had been depleted by monoculture cropping (corn, tapioca). Over the years, along with the help of volunteers, they planted 10,000 trees on the land. It’s really beneficial to take your PDC
The Permaculture Design Course at Rak Tamachat closely follows Bill Mollison’s epic book: The Permaculture Designers Manual, teaching each lesson in an easy to understand and clear manner. As Permaculture is an ever-changing field of knowledge, the course will discuss issues affecting the world in the past 40 years since Bill wrote the book.
Rak Tamachat is committed to teaching you, in particular, the ‘design’ element of Permaculture Design. You will leave the course with the skills needed to create a fully integrated Permaculture Master Plan for your own piece of land, a family member or perhaps even a client.
The course at Rak Tamachat is very experiential, meaning that you will get your hands dirty!
Class sizes limited to 15 students (sign up soon as we fill up fast!).
What’s Included in the Course?
- Rak Tamachat 72 hrs Permaculture Design Course certificate of completion
- Rak Tamachat Natural Building Design Course certificate of completion
- Rak Tamachat 1 day Cultural Sites of Shikhiu Tour;
- Basic private wooden bungalow accommodation (The course cost includes first nights stay before the first-course day and the last night after the last course day)
- Three Communal meals per day, plus snacks, teas, coffees
- Access to the Rak Tamachat Reference Library included (over 60 GB of Permaculture and Natural Building)
- WIFI Internet access.
Techniques / Skills You Will Learn
Natural Building Course
- Adobe Bricks – Learn to use this ancient building method to create beautiful durable buildings. (NBC only)
- Superadobe Earthbags – Learn how to make stabilised earthbag/tube structures, particularly good for building in earthquake-prone areas. (NBC only)
- Compressed Earth Blocks – Learn how to make CEBs using a small village machinery.
- Poured in Place Earth – Learn to Make columns and walls.
- Plastering – Apply a protective coating to your adobe walls with stucco or adobe. Working with your hands is creative and meditative.
Permaculture Design Course
- Ethics and Principles of Permaculture – Discover the meaning of the three permaculture principles: earth care, people care, fair share, as well as the 12 Permaculture principles as outlined by Mollison.
- Patterns in Nature – Observing the patterns in nature and emulating them to create a sustainable system.
- Soil Food Web – Learning what nutrients should be in our soil so that we ensure they are in our food.
- Plant Propagation – Saving seeds, layering, grafting, taking cuttings, suckering – learning how to propagate our own plants saves us money and helps the earth.
- Water Harvesting – Using swales and ponds to retain water on the land for as long as possible.
- Food Forest Design – Learning how to plant a perennial food forest that will last generations.
- Companion Planting and Guilds – Learning which plants compliment each other and help each other to thrive.
- Master Planning – Work on your own Permaculture Master Plan for a piece of land that you can take away and start work on!
Bonus Training Modules
- Learn to make Homemade Tofu from soybean.
- Learn to make Mulberry Tea and other organic teas.
- Learn to make delicious Homemade Cheese.
- Learn to make Natural Soap.
What happens after you graduate?
Once you graduate, you will become a member of the Rak Tamachat Community. If you wish to do so, you will gain the right to come back and take a second Permaculture Design Course half price. You can also stay on at Rak Tamachat free of charge and if you would like, you can volunteer with us getting three meals a day as well as free accommodation in exchange for helping out with tasks at the farm and picking up more permaculture skills!
The bungalows that you will stay in during the course are basic teak bungalows, complete with balcony and mosquito net. They fit two people, so if you come as a couple, you can share (if you like!) and individuals can have their own bungalow. We do not match students together with other students. The bungalows are located in a beautiful forest garden overlooking a pond and there are communal ‘Bali Style’ open-air toilets and showers. You’ll shower under the clouds and stars surrounded by banana trees and Birds of Paradise!
Food is homecooked Thai style cooking, vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Breakfast is self-catering with fruit, oats, bread, eggs and occasional banana bread or cakes available. We have a special wood-fired pizza night on the last night of the course, as well as a Thai style barbecue. You will be asked to help out with the kitchen prep as part of the course where you can pick up a few skills in Thai cooking from Lin and Dear. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please let us know before booking the course. Fruit, snacks, coffee and tea, as well as drinking water, are available throughout the day.
What should you bring?
- Mosquito Repellant – Out here in the countryside, you will need the strong stuff!
- Old clothes – Bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty as you will get covered in mud, clay and other natural stuff!
- Gloves – They come in handy when handling things in the garden, food waste or clay.
- Your swimwear – If you want to jump in and swim in our natural pond!
- Shampoo and shower gel – Please bring your own toiletries for use in the bathrooms.