Learning the basics of Holzer’s Permaculture
One-year training cycle 2010/11 with Sepp Holzer
"Holzer`s permaculture is
large scale landscape healing
to correct the mistakes of the past,
to facilitate symbiosis of interaction,
to let nature do its work,
and to reestablish cycles."
The forthcoming one-year training in Holzer’s Permaculture includes both the widely-applicable basic knowledge and specific forms of its practical application adjusted to the climatic conditions of southern Europe. The course will teach and apply in practice the knowledge that results from Sepp Holzer’s experience. The training will also convey an impression of the philosophy and the basic ideas of the Peace Research Community of Tamera and give an insight into the work of the “Global Campus”.
Each situation includes the solutions to its problems
For each landscape, in every climatic zone, says Sepp Holzer, whether in a fertile river valley or in a moderate climate, whether in the Tundra or in the desert, there is always the possibility to cooperate with nature, to guide her and to cultivate something that suits the land and its inhabitants. In this context Holzer’s Permaculture is not a method which offers the same procedure for every situation. On the contrary, its core lies in the observation of nature, in putting ourselves in the place of other living beings and through this understanding from within, realizing which are the healing measures that make sense in the given situation. Sepp Holzer: “The book of nature always tells the truth; we just have to learn to read it.”
The Curriculum of Holzer‘s Permaculture will include the following themes:Landscape design: terrace building; building 'huegelbeds' and raised beds, water gardens, earth-bottom ponds, dry and wet biotopes, microclimates, etc; agro-forestry integrating trees, bushes, and shrubs into agricultural land use; building biotopes with fishes; water plant nursery; animal breeding and fruit and medicinal herb cultivation.
Holzer’s Permaculture relies on his decades-long experience and practice. Ever since he took over the former family farm, the Krameterhof in Salzburger Lungau, Austria, in 1962, Sepp Holzer has continuously been developing his own method of agriculture.
Holzer’s Permaculture shows alternative methods of land use in extreme areas (from alpine regions such as the Krameterhof in Lungau to dry, desert-like areas in Spain and Portugal) and deals with the re-cultivation of areas that are damaged by intensive agriculture; with catastrophe prevention to protect against flooding, erosion or storms. It includes planning of holistic projects as well as the creation of landscapes in which to experience nature. It also includes the study and integration of alternative energy systems. Special focus is brought to the water household of the landscape, for “Water is Life!” Another important element is the regulation of so-called “pests” – i.e. the regulation of the population of damage-causing organisms. It is about the development of self-sustainable systems, a symbiotic way of farming which can be the base for a new kind of self-sufficiency and new independence for the human being.
The goal of the courses is to learn the basic working methods and areas of application of Holzer’s Permaculture in practice, to develop the knowledge about relationships in nature and to deeply study the worldwide need for ecological healing and the actual possibility of building subsistence economies.
One training cycle will consist of five courses through the year. Each course will last six days (thirty seminar days). To deepen the knowledge and for direct practice we offer practical training periods, lasting one to three weeks after each seminar during which the knowledge learned can be translated into practice and applied in the current project. (Please contact us for the exact schedule).
The dates of the training cycle:
March 13-18, 2010 June 7-12, 2010 September 2-7, 2010 November 24-29, 2010 April 2-7, 2011
The seminars will take place predominantly in Tamera, South Portugal. We will also visit nearby projects and accompany them; we will visit other farms that are working according to the principles of permaculture or have asked for consultation for a change from another form of farming to permaculture.
Speakers and Teachers
During a large part of the training Sepp Holzer will teach and accompany you. For his qualifications and his C.V. please refer to his homepage: www.krameterhof.at
and the numerous publications of and about Sepp Holzer.
Ecology Team of Tamera
The subjects of general ecology, and the philosophy and world view of the peace community Tamera will be taught by the ecology team of Tamera. Members of the team: Bernd Müller, Silke Paulick, Silke Klüver, Thomas Preisser, Lilian von Wussow, Pancho Mockenhaupt and others, as well as guest speakers.
The fee for the training is 2800 Euro, plus 20% IVA. This results in a total annual fee of 3360 Euro. Guest speakers' presentations will not be charged extra. Food & lodging are not included in the seminar fees.
Food and Lodging
Simple lodging in Tamera (sleeping rooms with 3-5 beds each. During the summer months, sleeping in tents is possible) with vegan and vegetarian food. The fee per day and person is EUR 30. A room may be available in the Guest House or in a Guest House of a neighbouring village at an additional charge.
The course is offered in German language with translation into English and with translation into Russian, Portuguese or Spanish according to demand and availability.
Apprenticeship in Nature
The issues we will deal with in class are going to be applied in practice as much as possible! What we want is to teach a substantial practical knowledge that you can later apply and really use.
The Global Campus
Beside developing the described curriculum, Tamera is developing a “Global Campus”. Thus course participants will also get an insight into and contact with the necessity of ecological aid in the most various areas of the world. They will get to know peace initiatives that work in a similar direction, and opportunities for cooperation can develop, which will be integrated in the training.
It is important for us that participants become able to start from the most varied given situations.
After successfully finishing the one-year-training in Holzer’s Permaculture, participants receive a course certificate to confirm their training in the basics of Holzer’s Permaculture in Southern Europe.
The Basic Thoughts of the Place – Tamera, Portugal
„If we wanted to survive the ecological and social crisis which we have brought about we would be required to engage ourselves in completely new and dramatic community undertakings.“
The ecological situation of planet Earth is dramatic. The destruction of rain forests, oceans and ecological systems, the expansion of deserts, the daily disappearance of animal species, hunger and the beginning of wars for water are all symptoms and direct consequences of the way we humans live and operate economically which has lost all integration within the cycles of nature.
Modern human beings treat the soil, the plants, the water and the animals in such a dissociated way and with total lack of contact, as if they have forgotten what life is and how it needs to be treated.
Nature answers – storms and floods are only the beginning of an extensive climate catastrophe, which already has become a painful reality for people in many places on the globe. Forecasts for the Iberian peninsula are clear: Spain and Portugal will become deserts if we do not act now.
The coming changes will be drastic and affect all areas of life. People are not prepared for the extent of the changes ahead of them. But does this mean that these turmoils are necessary along with panic, wars and violence? Or, will we have created special places by then where we can learn on a global scale how to handle conflicts and to solve them peacefully, how to produce energy in a decentralized way, how to treat nature and earth in a way to produce healthy food and water abundantly? This kind of knowledge already exist in many places. However, often it is still too unusual to be applied yet. The main things missing are: networks of dissemination, the inter-linking of this knowledge, its factual application in practice, at least in an exemplary way at some places in the world, as well as educational facilities to teach the youth of the next generation.
Tamera is an educational center and an experimental field for the development of Peace Research Villages and their worldwide distribution. In an exemplary approach, we research and study living possibilities for the human being to be re-integrated into the whole of Creation, where separation is overcome at all levels – separation between human beings, between generations, between fields of knowledge, separation from nature and from the spiritual source. The creation of such Peace Research Villages - or so called Healing Biotopes - develop, combine and manifest knowledge and methods for approaches in the fields of technology, ecology and energy production, for conflict resolution and community building and for spiritual life practice and ecological architecture.
Currently, about 160 people from various parts of the world are living and studying in Tamera. Among other projects, an energy-autonomous model village, the “SolarVillage” is under development: an ecologically and socially sustainable model settlement that can be copied and applied in areas of the world with intensive sun radiation.
The work and the research of the Austrian permaculture specialist Sepp Holzer, his knowledge of cooperation with nature, his intuition and experience with the production of natural foodstuffs and with the revitalization and healing of the land, we consider a promising and very central part of the research for the development of Peace Research Villages. His work in Valdepajares del Tajo in the Extremadura region in Spain in 2007 gives rise to much hope that something similar is also possible here in Portugal.
Meanwhile, hope has turned into experience. At Tamera, the water landscape as proposed by Sepp Holzer is becoming a reality, and already after two growth periods, the possibility of revitalizing desolate ground has proven successful. Wild animals are adapting to this new living environment, fruit trees flourish in the wide shore zones as well as a great variety of vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants.
Tamera is an example for Portugal and indeed for all of Southern Europe both in terms of its beauty and of the degree of ecological destruction with which it has to cope. The ecological healing and revitalization project for this place can and will set impulses for the entire region. Exemplary solutions which are functioning at this Peace Research Center will be transferred to the home countries of the Tamera students and are intended to be applied there in the development of further Peace Research Villages. How could the planet look if, to begin with, in each of its countries and in varying vegetation zones at least one site would exist where the knowledge, the seeds and the variety of nature would be tended to and cared for as a shining example which would serve whole regions as a trigger for innovation? We invite interested and committed people to use the training in Holzer's Permaculture to acquire the knowledge which is the base for this plan.
Ecological Content of the Curriculum:
Building ecosystems, micro-climate zones, cycles of matter, symbioses of interaction, reading the book of nature.
Water household (water gardens, ponds and pond culture), building water retention spaces.
“Huegelbeds” & raised beds, terraces, stone setting & positioning, dry and wet biotopes. The application of these elements based on purpose and need.
Integration of trees, bushes and shrubs into agricultural use. Forest as an ecosystem, forest development (to heal the cork oak monoculture).
Healing/medicinal plants, fruit and berry bushes, grain, forage crops, seed production, plant protection (distracting plantations, sun and winter protection, particularly winter protection for plants that need warmth).
Building open stables and fences, keeping of animals on paddocks, feeding, animals' health; building habitat for wild animals.
Renaturation and Recultivation
Water household, soil regeneration (mixed cultures, green manure, mulching), catastrophe protection.
Vertical gardens for “earth citizens without land”, urban free space design, herb cultures, irrigation and water drainage gardens (as house gardens, therapeutic gardens).
Using Machines in Permaculture
Information and registration: solarvillage(at)tamera.org