Insight Into Permaculture Communities, the ‘Permaculture Design Certificate’ (PDC) Course & Work-Exchange (WWOOF).

Insight Into Permaculture Communities, the ‘Permaculture Design Certificate’ (PDC) Course & Work-Exchange (WWOOF).

Often people ask me to visit & help set-up their permaculture community.  The following is compiled from one of these conversations.

Pers.Comm. of Chrissy-Tiina (Permaculture educator).

I suggest that you attend a “Permaculture Design Certificate” (PDC) course. During this, you will create a plan (for a property, business or lifestyle) at a mock or real-world location. 

Once you have completed the course, you will be certified to teach permaculture to others.  When you teach, your students can help develop your plan in real-life.  

You can do this by teaching practical projects.  This can include garden projects, natural building projects, water management, animal husbandry…many things!  Thus, people who attend help develop the land & grow a community. 

People can either pay in money, by donating needed items or undertake work-exchange.

To get your PDC, I suggest you attend a permaculture community which develops the land through student practicals & offers work-exchange. This will provide you the first-hand experience of how it works.  I’m involved with 2 communities.  Both offer work exchange for those who choose free living (without money).  They are ‘Noosa Forest Retreat’ & ‘Bellbunya’. 

Work exchange could be something already happening at the community, something custom designed to help you develop your skills, or something new that you can offer.

Often people who attend from other countries choose to exchange something unique to their culture. For example, a lady from Thailand held “Thai Cooking Class” at an Australian community.  What a fantastic way to learn how to cook Thai food – and delicious!

It is quite common for people to travel the world moving from one to another community, via work exchange. Some people do this for a living, sharing what they learn at each place. Sometimes they begin to have favourites where they return numerous times. They may find that their stay becomes longer & longer, until one day they become a resident. Often it is not in their original country. 

Here is the most common work-exchange organisation… https://wwoof.net/

…there are also WWOOF organisations by country.  You will see that there are two categories – volunteer & host farms.

If you decide to have a property or business, you can list it as a ‘Host Farm’.  If you decide to volunteer, consider moving to another community on your way home…one to the other until you can simply walk home! Unless you like it too much and decide to be a lifestyle WWOOFer!

Take care, my friend. Share & be free.

The work-exchange philosophy.


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About The Author

Chrissy-Tiina Laurikainen

In person + online permaculture teacher. Online permaculture consultant. Upkeep of a 30 acre rural property (using permaculture & other agroecological techniques). A communal research laboratory focusing on free innovation in the works. Doing what I can to support LIFE on planet Earth!!

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