• Wayne Weiseman Permaculture

    Winter 2018

    Permaculture Design Courses and "Do It" Permaculture workshops in Shanghai and Dianshan Lake

    Eco-Village Design trip in Hunan.

    Please note the following minor schedule changes for the Fermentation workshop series:


    There have been some minor adjustments to the schedule of Fermentation workshops to allow for a wider diversity of fermentation activities and knowledge :

    Cultured Beans & Grains on the evening of Dec 10 has been replaced with 'Beverage Fermenation'. If you were interested in beans and grains workshop, you can consider taking the 'Mad for Miso' workshop on Dec 11 which covers many of the same concepts and techniques.
    Also, 'Cultured Beans and Grains' will still be taught on Sunday, Dec 2 during the full-day workshop.


    The itinerary for Permaculture Design Manual (PDM) Day 1 and Day 4 have been adjusted - Day 1 will be extended by 90 minutes while Day 4 will be a half-day session. The price has been adjusted accordingly and will be reflected in the registration invoice.

    Click the button to sign up for any or all of the events listed below. You will be contacted for arrangement of full payment shortly after submission.

    The classes described below are designed so that you can take the whole series in Shanghai and Dianshan Lake to earn a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate. Alternatively, if your time or interest is limited, you can take individual thematic "Open Session" courses to deepen existing knowledge or discover some new idea, practices, and methods from Permaculture and related fields of action, if you take courses in a later series then they can add up to fulfilling the PDC requirement.


    It is a great opportunity to ask those burning questions to an expert with 50 years of experience about:

    • Food production
    • Homesteading
    • Urban Farming
    • Natural Medicines
    • Tree and Plant Guilds
    • . . . and much more!

    It is also a chance to meet the coolest people around Shanghai!

    2018 Winter Course List

  • Friday, Nov 30th

    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

    Integrated Forest Gardening

    Location: Agora Space

    The guild concept often used is one of a “functional relationship” between plants. It is the integration of species that creates a balanced, healthy, and thriving ecosystem.


    For those who hope to complete a PDC this winter, this course is highly recommended as it will cover a lot of the fundamental plant knowledge practical design aspects of the Permaculture Design Course outline.


    The course will cover the following topics:

    • The Plant: what is a plant? Why is it so important as the basis of all life as a primary producer?

    • Definition of a Guild

    • Functions and Structure of a Plant Guild

    • Animal Interactions with Plant Guilds

    • Partitioning Resources

    • Ecological Requirements of Guilds

    • Steps to Guild Design

    • Sample Guilds

    Click here to download the outline for the standard 3-day workshop.
  • Friday, Nov 30th

    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Fermentation on Wheels

    with Tara Whitsitt

    Location: Urban Soup Kitchen Xujiahui


    Fermentation is an important part of cultural heritage, human health, and community. Cultured foods add variety, nutrition and flavor to life; preserving foods to extend their use across the colder months when we gather to share tradition, family, and hope for the warmth of spring to come.


    Fermentation is a traditional way to reduce food waste and improve food security as well as nutrition.


    With her new illustrated memoir/cookbook, Tara shares
    road stories and recipes–from the generous farmers who
    offered respite and fermentables, to young arms baptized
    elbow-deep in salty cabbage, and to fifty unique recipes.


    More about the workshop series . . .

  • Saturday, Dec 1

    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

    Whole House Farming

    Location: Agora Space

    Learn simple ways to engage with provision of food and get started on a micro-homestead journey.


    Whole House Farming (or Agriculture) is about provision for the personal or family unit. It is as much about cultivation of self as cultivation of food and necessities. Whether living in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, it is 'ground zero' - where we take the first steps to provide for our needs and those of future generations by designing our lives around ecological priorities and thus reducing our impact on the planet.


    Wayne Weiseman will tell us how he manages to acquire roughly 90% of his families nutrition from his property, home, and neighborhood and teach us how we can turn the world around us into a productive farm.


    Click here to download the outline of key themes for the standard 2-day workshop.

    • Lecture and presentation of case studies
    • Sprouting
    • Herb gardens
    • Optimization
    • Preservation and extraction
    • Mushroom cultivation background knowledge
  • Saturday, Dec 1

    4:00 - 8:00 PM

    (dinner break 5-6PM)

    Indoor Mushroom Cultivation Hands-On Workshop

    Location: Agora Space


    High-quality, common gourmet mushrooms are a source of protein and good medicine. While they are a key component of all healthy ecosystems and found in as many as 95% of healthy plants, the life-cycle and function of the magnificent fungi remains a mystery to most. In this workshop:


    • Mushroom cultivation background knowledge 
    • Dinner
    • Make spawn from spores
    • Spawn a growing medium.
    • Learn to initiate and care for fruiting mushrooms 
    Take this workshop as an extension of whole house farming, or as a standalone workshop to learn a new skill.
    A simple dinner will be provided at 5PM
  • Sunday, Dec 2

    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


    Urban Farming Hands-On Workshop

    Location: Agora Space

    The workshop will use the Agora Space and its associated facilities as an example to explore the possiblities of Urban Farming in Shanghai.


    For the purpose of this workshop we distinguish gardening from farming as a matter of objective - to create a surplus that can be distributed to a wider community of buyers rather than for personal or internal consumption. Thus it becomes necessary to work directly with buyers, sources of fertility, and property stakeholders. Permaculture design is all about creating functional relationships between different organisms (or organisations).


    The workshop will start with case studies, discussion, and videos about urban farming.


    Attendees will get an overview of Urban Farming strategies and techniques useful where space and resources are limited.


    Discussion of Social Permaculture needed to realize Urban Farming dreams in dense urban areas with many stakeholders.


    Technical details of compost needed, etc. metrics for feasibility study and planning.


    Best strategies for rooftops.
    Bees and flowers? Good sources of mulch / high lignin and carbonaceous material for mulching and composting.


    2-4:00 PM Practice transplanting seedlings to grow, processes of scaling, rotating, adding compost and remineralizing to keep production up.


    4-5:00 PM Discussion and comparison of hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. Take a closer look at aquaponics, it's mechanisms and cycles at work.

  • Sunday, Dec 2

    9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

    Fermentation Intensive: Food Processes for a Food-Sustainable Future

    Daylong Workshop Series

    with Tara Whitsitt

    Location:Agora Space

    Fermentation is a testament to the deep intelligence of age-old processes, the wonders of collaboration with nature, and the eagerness of microorganisms to thrive. Discover traditions of preservation through bacterial collaboration in a course with Tara Whitsitt of Fermentation on Wheels.

    In this workshop, we will cover basic concepts such as how to ferment vegetables, beverages, grains & beans, and dairy. Students will gain an understanding of starter cultures and botanicals in fermentation--how to start fermentation with an inoculant as well as varieties of fermentation that start in the wild. We will explore culturally diverse ferments with hands-on demonstrations of amazake, kimchi, kombucha and yogurt as well as discuss the importance of fermentation to promote sustainability and diversity in our food system.


    Session 1 - Dairy Fermentation - 1 hour

    Session 2 - Wild Fermentation - 2 hours

    Session 3 - Cultured Beans and Grains - 2 hours

    Session 4 - Beverage Fermentation - 2 hours


    These workshops can be taken as a package or joined separately


    More about the workshop series . . .

  • Sunday, Dec 2

    4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    (Dinner 5-6PM)

    Aquaponics Hands-On Workshop

    Location:Agora Space

    Aquaponics mimics the natural cycles of water and nutrients to raise aquatic life-forms in symbiosis with fruits and vegetables that are raised for human consumption. Fish and other lifeforms provide nutrients for the plants while the plants clean the water for the aquatic life to thrive.


    We will build a small aquaponic system from materials provided at the workshop.


    Each person will build a small bell siphon from simple (reclaimed) materials.


    A larger system we build together will be an installation at the space.


    A simple dinner will be provided at around 5 PM

  • Note for Winter 2018 Permaculture Workshop Series


    We will do our best to highlight and discuss Permaculture principles and knowledge as we work through the various hands-on workshops listed on this schedule.


    Moving through the Permaculture design manual during these workshops we will gloss over those subjects and details which are covered in the hands-on workshops – going into just enough detail to understand the web of connections between them. We will also attempt to bring the Permaculture Ecovillage Dingjiaping project context into the discussion in order to provide real-world examples for examination, as well as pushing the ecovillage design forward.


    Some of the hands-on workshops mostly focus on those skills and concepts that are most relevant for the urban and suburban context, we will attempt to bring these to bare on the study site where urban farming activities are of interest for the program’s host, Agora Space.

    Thursday, Dec 6

    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    Permaculture Design Course

    Day One

    Location:Agora Space

    Chapter 1 - Introduction

    • Reading the design manual
    • Definition, history and philosophy of Permaculture
    • Ethics and Principles
    • General background and need for Permaculture

    Chapter 2

    • Concepts of design
    • Themes in design
    • Methods of design

    Chapter 5 - Climatic Factors

    • The humid, temperate, cold, arid, continental climates plus variations.
    • Global weather patterns, the engines of atmosphere.
    • Humid, arid and minor landscape profiles and orthographic affects.
    • Latitude and altitude.
    • Precipitation, radiation and wind.

    Chapter 6 - Trees and their Energy Transactions

    • Meteorology and microclimate
    • Soil
    • Water
    • Wildlife
      Click Here to download the PDM Course Outline used to organize this series.
    • Thursday, Dec 6

      7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

      Wild Fermentation

      with Tara Whitsitt

      Location: Agora Space


      Discover the simple tradition of preservation through bacterial collaboration in one of its most simple forms: via the local micro-flora of vegetables! Fermented foods heal our bodies, celebrate age-old traditions, and promote healthy eco-systems. Learn about cost effective & simple tools that will help you get started at home.


      More about the workshop series . . .

    • Friday, Dec 7

      10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

      Compost . . . and 'mulch' more

      Location: Cenbu Village, Xingeng 昕耕工坊

      Venue Directions - - -

      Soils are essential to human health and the existence of all land-based life. It seems logical that we should learn to return fertility to the soil using materials we find around us.


      In this workshop we will focus on the restoration and maintenance of soil quality through composting, mulching, sprays and amendments. An understanding of the soil food web, basic parameters of soil quality and decomposition will empower you to restore the environment wherever you are.


      We will discuss and various techniques and methods that are ideal in specific scenarios

      • Zones of use and available time resources
      • Different localities: rural, suburban and urban
      • Different climates: cold, temperate, dry, and humid

      We will practice (according to time and local resources available)

      • Multi-bay  compost piles
      • Sheet mulching techniques and variations
      • The ideal hot compost pile
      • Building smaller compost bins from on-site materials
      • Hugelkulture
      • Plant ferment fertilizers
      Workshop fee includes lunch and dinner.
    • Saturday, Dec 8

      9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

      Natural Farming Workshop

      Location: Cenbu Village, Xingeng 昕耕工坊

      Venue Directions - - -

      Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming, also called, 'no-work' or 'do-nothing' farming was influential to Bill Mollison and the principles put forth in Permaculture. Natural farming uses observation and a preference for minimalism to create healthy, well-balanced farm ecology.


      At the core of Fukuoka's message was one of hope; that is, by cultivating ourselves and going along with nature instead of against it, we can both improve productivity and increase leisure time.


      We will take a day to channel Masanobu Fukuoka and his workshop participants in Japan by replicating some of the natural farming workshops he once held on his farm in Japan.

      1. (9:00-10:30) Morning lecture about Natural farming, Fukuoka’s philosophy on life and gardening; learn about the natural cycles he mimicked on his farm through dry rice and winter grains, with cover crop and plant succession to slowly open and fertilize the soil.
      2. (10:30-11:30) Later in the morning we will make clay pellets to broadcast on the field using the appropriate crop for the season.
      3. (11:30-12:30)We will prepare a small plot for seeding and then broadcast/scatter the seeds.
      4. In the spring we will organize a free (or very low-cost) follow-up weekend on the farm to harvest anything that has grown and observe how things have turned out in general. Updates will be sent to participants as we observe growth and change in the field.
      Workshop fee includes lunch.
    • Saturday, Dec 8

      1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

      Cob Oven Workshop

      Location: Cenbu Village, Xingeng 昕耕工坊

      Venue Directions - - -

      Cob is a monolithic (continuous single mass) construction using small loafs (cobs) of such a material that results in a comfortable, breathable, well-insulated structure that is noise proof and fire-resistant.


      Learn the basics of working with this material so that you can build environmentally friendly, low-cost structures for life, leisure, and community.


      As the day begins to get cooler we will want to keep active and have an oven ready to keep warm. The earthen oven is a surprisingly simple technology and the skill is transferable to constructing of rocket stoves, fixed furniture and even whole buildings. This workshop begins after a late lunch.

      1. 1:30-4:00 we will get started with hands on activity, learning as we go before we lose too much daylight and warmth. The oven base will be pre-made but exposed for explanation.
      2. 4:00-5:30 Lecture about cob and earth construction, rocket stoves, explanation of work that was done to prepare things for the cob construction. We will examine the test-bricks made to fine-tune the earth mix and if time allows we will replicate the process.
      3. After the hands-on portion of the workshop is complete – we will learn more about natural building and cob construction in a lecture delivered by Wayne Weiseman.
      4. In the spring we will hold an event that is free for participants of this workshop, to use the oven for a culinary experience after enjoying a day of spring on the farm.
      Workshop fee includes dinner.
    • Sunday, Dec 9

      10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

      Biodynamic Agriculture and Gardening

      Location: Cenbu Village, Xingeng 昕耕工坊

      Venue Directions - - -

      Click here to download the course outline.

      We will explore Man’s relationship to Nature through history and the realm of agriculture. We gain an understanding of how our current agricultural practices based on chemical farming were developed from a materialistic viewpoint of the world, where the whole is divided into its separate parts.We explore the need for a new outlook in agriculture, one which encompasses the totality of Nature and identify how Biodynamic agriculture can solve many of the problems associated with conventional agriculture through a science that is in harmony with the very essence of Nature. We explore current “organic” systems of gardening and agriculture (bio-intensive, Masanobu Fukuoka, organic, Permaculture) in comparison to Biodynamics.


      “Let us then work together in this way; it will be a genuinely conservative, yet at the same time a most radical and progressive beginning. And it will always be a beautiful memory to me if this course becomes the starting point for carrying some of the real and genuine ‘peasant wit’ into the methods of science.” (Rudolf Steiner ‘Agriculture’)


      How is biodynamic agriculture situated in the world now?

      Where are there biodynamic farms and what do they produce?

      Where did biodynamic agriculture come from, what does it mean and how is it placed in the history and wider context of agriculture?

      How do you know something is biodynamic?


      We will be introduced to Biodynamic preparations BD 500-508, prepare ourselves and the materials for appropriate application to the field.


      Workshop fee includes lunch and dinner.

    • Monday, Dec 10

      9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

      Permaculture Design Course

      Day Two

      Location:Agora Space

      During Day Two we cover some of the more technical but highly practical knowledge that is essential to restoring or improving the biological productivity of the land on which we all depend. We will use the Permaculture Ecovillage design landform as an example to work through the designer's checklists and discuss opportunities.


        Chapter 7 - Water

        • Regional interventions
        • Harvesting and biological treatment of water
        • Irrigation, gravity designs
        • Drought-proofing
        • Sewage systems

        Chapter 8 - Soils

        • Link to human health
        • Investigating soil
        • Soil erosion and rehabilitation
        • Soils in China
        Chapter 9 - Earthworks and earth resources
        • Technique of building dams, swales, earth banks, terraces, roads and drains
        • Using machines
        Click Here to download the PDM Course Outline used to organize this series.
      • Monday, Dec 10

        7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

        Beverage Fermentation

        Location: Agora Space


        Learn how to make an array of fizzy beverages in this short course. Discover the continuum of fermentation processes when we encourage microbial growth with the simple addition of sugars and starter cultures. Learn about unique yeasts and bacteria and their roles in creating nutritious and delicious beverages.


        This course will cover vinegar, kombucha, ginger beer, mead, and water kefir.


        More about the workshop series . . .

      • Tuesday, Dec 11

        9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

        Permaculture Design Course

        Day Three

        Location: Agora Space

        In day three we cover the essential points to be aware of for different climates, relating to: soil, water, ecosystems, the home and settlement environment. We will focus our attention a bit more towards Humid cool to cold climates (most applicable to Shanghai and Hunan).


        Chapter 3

        • Pattern Understanding

        Chapter 10 - The Humid Tropics

        • Tropical soils
        • House design and home garden
        • Integrated land management
        • Elements of a village complex in the tropics
        • Pioneering, animal tractor systems

        Chapter 11 - Dryland strategies

        • Landscape features
        • The desert house and garden
        • Desert settlement and broad strategies
        • Plant themes for drylands, desertification and the salting of soils
        Chapter 12 - Humid cool to cold climates
        • Settlement and house design, the home garden, berry fruits, glasshouses
        • Orchards, farm forestry, free range forage systems, the lawn
        • Grasslands, rangelands, cold climates, wildfire
        • Bees
        Click Here to download the PDM Course Outline used to organize this series.
      • Tuesday, Dec 11

        5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

        Mad for Miso

        with Tara Whitsitt

        Location: Agora Space


        Learn how to make miso, a fermented bean paste that hails from Japan and is well-loved for its decadent umami flavor. This cultured condiment can be made using a variety of different grains and legumes as well as be used to flavor everything from soups to marinades and salad dressings. This workshop is hands-on, taste bud-interactive, and take home.


        More about the workshops . . .

      • Wednesday, Dec 12

        9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

        Permaculture Design Course

        Day Four

        Location:Agora Space

        Aquaculture will be covered as extensively as time allows, as it is also relevant to the Permaculture Ecovillage project in Hunan.


        Chapter 13 - Aquaculture

        • The case for aquaculture
        • History and cultural variations
        • Appropriate techniques, channel, canal and chinampa
        • Polyculture traditional and new
        Chapter 14 - The strategies of an alternative global nation; including:
        • Invisible structures
        • Right livelihood
        • Setting up the community
        • Bioregional organization
        • Village development
        Click Here to download the PDM Course Outline used to organize this series.
      • Thursday, Dec 13


        Tuesday, Dec 18

        Permaculture Ecovillage Design Trip

        Location: Dingjiaping, Huaihua, Hunan

        Venue Directions - - -

        In this design trip we will walk the site and learn to identify resources, micro-climates, key components, challenges and opportunities. We will engage local stakeholders to determine the main objectives, requirements and expectations of the local land owners. We will also visit villages and farms in the area to gain an understanding of the local context.


        Permaculture principles, concepts, and techniques will be illuminated within the context of this exploratory planning activity.


        • Visit 400-year-old village
        • Examine Rainbow of Hope veggie fields
        • Tour a local aquaculture operation
        • Explore local food preservation traditions
        • Study a traditional wood house
        • Hike Goose Mountain

        The course will lead us through some of the following topics, and more:

        • Stakeholder engagement and discovery

        • Main components of a permaculture village

        • Zone and Sector Analysis

        • Water Management and Keyline Design

        • Aquaculture

        • Rice culture and dry cultivation techniques

        • Integrated Forest Gardening

        • Plant identification

        • The uses and placement of trees, forests, and ground cover

        • How to optimally locate buildings within the landscape

        • Understanding hydrology and topographical maps

        • Livestock management and integration

        • Wildlife refuge

        • Bioregional Organization

        • Land Trusts

      • Course Fees

        Course fees will vary depending on the venue, materials needed for hands-on activity, travel requirements and the number of students. Additional fees for travel, lodging, resource kits, etc. can be paid separately on the day of the workshops.


        Earlybird Price Deadlines

        Register & down-payment by November 23


        Contact if in need of special payment timeline

        Hands-On Workshops


        day-long workshops - 1400元

        half-day workshops - 700元


        In classroom or in the field

        1-day course - 1200元 per day

        Shorter workshops - 200元 per hour

        the following discounts can be applied

        let us know if you are currently a student on a tight budget to get 20% student discount

        Early Bird

        100元 discount for each full day


        Register before November 11 and make a non-refundable down payment by November 14.

        Certificate Holders

        100元 discount for each full day


        Send us a photo of your previously earned PDC Certificate along with contact info for the instructor or organization that issued it

        Previous Students

        200元 discount for each full day


        We know who you are!


        You get a discount.

        Weekend Eco-Warrior

        600元 discount


        Register and pay for at least 18 hours of courses before November 14

        Weekly Eco-Warrior

        1600元 discount


        Register and pay for at least 36 hours of courses before November 14

        PDC Student

        2600 元 discount


        Register and pay for at least 72 hours of courses before November 14

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