PDC Exchange

I’m excited to be a teacher member of the PDC Exchange that offers a collaborative Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC).  This is a modular, multi-location, internship-based PDC program, so as a student you’ll be able to complete a full PDC at your choice of various participating locations throughout Australia.  It’s a flexible program and you’ll experience diverse teaching approaches, expertise, permaculture systems, property sizes, climates and bio-regions. 

You can undertake your PDC in your own timeframe by completing modules at various locations of your choice.  So, your internship can be tailored to your specific needs and might be live-in, day-work, part-time, or a combination of these.  Each teacher will sign off on specific modules which can be completed via one-on-one mentoring, practical experiences, workshops, class work, or any combination.

For more details, have a look at the PDC Exchange website.  The scenarios page probably explains the concept best.

The Story Behind our Garden-Farm

My husband Brodie and I live on a peaceful 5 acres at Postmans Ridge in the Lockyer Valley (about 10 minutes from Toowoomba), that experiences extremes in weather conditions including very dry, frosty winters, and very hot summers.  We’ve been here for 17 years; however, most of the external infrastructure and the productive food plantings have been re-established in the last few years.  The destructive January 2011 flood swept through our property, so almost everything has been repaired and replanted and the garden is immature and evolving.

What You’ll See

You’ll have the opportunity to see various vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, pots and wicking beds.  There’s an integrated poultry and small orchard system (with heritage chickens, Muscovy ducks, geese, guinea fowl and a peacock), native beehives, a small propagation area, worm farm, and abundant birds and native wildlife along our seasonal creek. 

We’re slowly retrofitting our house and living spaces.  The house has grid-connected solar power and is independent of other external connections with a bio-septic system that recycles all waste, solar hot-water and 80,000 litres of rainwater storage (no town water).  There’s also a bespoke, home-made, rocket-powered oven in the outside entertainment area.

I work from home as a specialist literacy teacher, so many students visit for one-on-one sessions each week.  On some weekends we present or host practical workshops to empower individual and community resilience.  We enjoy rich connections within our local community and I’m actively involved with Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. as their founding president. 

Please have a look around this website to read more about Optimise Learning and my Nurtured Life blog.

Knowledge Exchange Internship

Consistent with the Fair Share Ethic, the PDC Exchange will be a non-monetary exchange (no fee charged).  This concept of knowledge-labour exchange has traditions in indigenous cultures where elders were valued by the tribe for their wisdom, and younger people were valued for their fitness and enthusiasm.

Accommodation, meals and mentoring can be offered in exchange for work on our property.  There’s plenty of space for your independent camping set-up, or a bedroom in our home may be available.  Alternatively, you might prefer to live locally off-site and commute for day-work and learning.

This makes the PDC accessible to anyone who has the time and energy to volunteer your assistance and skills.  So, instead of charging a fee, learning is exchanged for labour.  This could include physical work on our 5-acre property, and other skills or professional services you’re able to offer. 

In addition to general work in our garden and with our animals, some of the other professional skills that would be useful to us in exchange are:

    • paving
    • painting
    • plastering
    • fencing
    • building
    • butchering
    • pruning and grafting
    • preserving
    • fermenting
    • brewing

Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss all options and possibilities.