Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Three new permaculture design courses will be offered this winter and spring through the Department of Horticulture’s distance learning program:

The study of permaculture helps gardeners, landowners, and farmers combine a knowledge of ecology combined with it’s application to supporting healthy soil, water conservation, and biodiversity.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health. Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest gardening, and agroforestry.

Each course is 6.5 weeks long and provides an opportunity for you to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and
activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing.

While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent interaction between facilitators and students through forums and live ideo conferences. Readings and presentations will be directly applied through hands-on activities students will engage with at home.

Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion from the Department of Horticulture and continuing education credits. Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary to apply for an internationally recognized certification in Permaculture Design though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.

Steve Gabriel

Steve Gabriel


Classes are best taken in order but each can be taken as a stand-alone course as well. Tuition for each class is $600. Sign up for all three at once and tuition is $1500. You save $300.

View the full syllabus for each course and find registration information at the Department of Horticulture’s distance learning program website.

The instructor, Steve Gabriel, is an ecologist, extension educator, and forest farmer living and working in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York. He currently spends his time working for the Department of Horticulture’s Garden-Based Learning program and coordinating the Northeast Mushroom Growers Network. He also teaches for the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and serves on the Board of Directors for the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast. He is currently co-authoring a book on forest farming with Cornell professor Ken Mudge, which is expected to be published in 2014.

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