Allyn River Permaculture

Permaculture demonstration farm in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

Permaculture is a design system and philosophy that emulates the patterns in nature to holistically and sustainably integrate the physical and social needs of people and the ecosystem.


This year we are pleased to introduce our new modular-formatted PDC Course.

Allyn River Permaculture (Permculture Hunter Institute), Permaculture Sydney and Wollongong  Institutes have joined together to offer people this new service. This co-operative PDC in different regions of Sydney offers you a unique PDC Course experience. It is especially important for those that really find it difficult to do the two-week format or who like to take it at a slower pace and want more individualised tutoring.

Modules 1 to 3 need to be completed first but then you can complete the others when you can. If you miss one weekend you can pick it up next time. The modular PDC format offers you more choice, more flexibility and more course content. It is slightly longer than the two-week course, running over 80 hours. Offered at different venues with different trainers provides students with a wide range of learning from different sites, experiences and styles of training. There are 14 modules all up that need to be completed to obtain your PDC Certificate. Three modules are covered through a series of 5 weekends. These are repeated throughout the year in case you can’t attend a date so you can pick them up later.

You can take up to three years to complete your PDC and obtain your certificate. We will still be co teaching  the two-week intensive PDC Course twice a year January and July and you can jump into these to complete some of your modules in these courses as well.

Please contact us for further information, note all bookings must be made through Permaculture Sydney Institute web site.

Modular PDC Chart

Workshop details

The Vegetable Garden

Tired of hearing people talk about the wonders of growing your own food, but never feeling strong enough to start your own garden then this is the workshop for you.

The workshop how to construct your vegetable garden including ‘no-dig’ techniques, we will discuss intensive growing systems and companion planting and mulching.

We will discuss seasonal planting and time line planning for intensive growing.

It is important to understand your areas, climatic factors so we will look at the factors such as frosts that affect your plant selection and how to recognise and create micro climates to a wider range of plant varieties

To keep your crops healthy we will discuss organic pest management and beneficial plants & insects.

We will provide resource material for your garden supplies including seed saving from you own produce incl. harvest, cleaning & storage.

Healthy Soils & Composting

All good gardeners have a passion for soil, it is the basic component of all gardens and farms.

A healthy soil is our partner, it breaths, recycles waste, stores nutrients and cleans water good soil provides an environment for a huge number and variety of living organisms.

Although important, soil is not the primary selection factor in selecting land, as there are proven techniques to repair and build highly productive soils quickly. So it important to understand what constitutes your soil.

This workshop will allow you to understand your soils, the difference between sand, silt and clay. We will get our hand dirty with soil testing, for composition, texture, pH, water holding and cation exchange.

We will discuss how to create healthy soil for your growing requirements.

This workshop will also show you various Composting techniques, including how to make fabulous compost in 21 days, together with an introduction into making ‘Biochar’ and Compost teas.

Small Animal in a Permaculture garden

Sustainable gardening include being energy efficient with your workload one way to achieve this is by using animals, whether you breed for food or just have small animals as pets, they can earn their keep and assist you in the garden, such as insect and weed control, naturally fertilise, recycle waste

We all also discuss animal natural health management.

Planting for your livestock’s feed and health incl. Medicinal plants

We will also discuss the benefits and difficulties for free range management and feeding from the garden

Gardening Sustainably with Permaculture

This workshop will suit experienced gardeners and new starters it will introduce participants to permaculture principles and techniques in developing an organic sustainable garden for food production.

This workshop is an extension to our vegetable growing workshop, while we might overlap in some areas, it concentrates on the permacultural aspects.

This will Include the permacultural way of assessing the natural virtues and ?? of your property and design layout and construction, using “no dig” techniques, compost making and how to improve you soils, water management, using animals in the system and natural pest control.

The course is suitable for new or established properties of any size including rural, urban, courtyard through to unit balconies.

If this workshop manages to intrigue you our weekend “Introduction to Permaculture” should be your next choice.

Permaculture Design your own, homestead or backyard

This 1day workshop will assist you in preparing a design for your garden, homestead or farm.

An “Introduction to Permaculture” course is a pre-requisite for this session.

You should come equipped with a site plan showing contours and aerial photograph of their property, together with reference material on vegetation, soils, climate and site photographs. (we can assist with sources to obtain this data)

The day will commence with a refresher of Permaculture design principles then design and drawing techniques, each student can then prepare a design for their own property and other permaculture designers. Interaction between students will be encouraged.

The design technique will generally be manual drawing and overlay method of presentation, as this does not require previous knowledge or special equipment, such as would be required for computer drafting or graphics programs

The level of design detail will depend on each student; those with residential block may complete a detail design layout, while others with rural properties may only complete a masterplan illustrating, access and water management..

To make the weekend more productive, we may be available for a brief site visit to your property prior to the design weekend. ( a separate charge may be asked for his time).

At the end of the workshop each student will be encouraged to make a short presentation of their project to the group.

Garden to Market Workshop

Wanting to make pocket money from your garden, this workshop will help you with the in’s & out’s of preparing to sell your surplus produce at your local market.

We will discuss possible market requirements and licence agreements together with local council regulations for setting up your own farm gate outlet.

Learn how to store and prepare your produce for sale, how to set up and get the best out of your stall. We will look into potential sites for advertising and other techniques to promote and maximize your produce return.


Introduction to Permaculture Workshop (2 days)

Are you interested in learning more about Permaculture but not ready to dive in, then this weekend ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ workshop is designed for you.. This two day adventure will equip you to apply this “solutions-oriented approach   of sustainable permaculture design principles and techniques to your property, home, kitchen garden or apartment balcony & will inspire you to create your own sustainable space.

The course is taught using Bill Mollison’s book ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ & highlights how to design, construct and manage a permaculture rural or urban property that is productive, ‘eco-friendly’, organic, healthy and low maintenance. Learn about the systems, techniques and strategies and everything you need to know to create and enjoy your own permaculture home garden.

The course also outlines Permaculture ethics & provides a basic understanding of the environment around us and designing systems for food, animals, structures and community. We balance practical application (getting your hands dirty) with theory elements allowing the ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ workshop to provide you with the confidence to get started on your own journey to sustainable living and community.

The Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) 72 Hours

Permaculture is a subject called design science.  The pragmatic approach of this work largely omits reference to those visions or beliefs classified as spiritual or mystical; not because these are not part of human experience, but because they are arrived at as a result of long contemplation or intense involvement with mysteries that eternally surround us.  We may dream understanding but it is something we cannot demand, define or teach to others;  it is for each of us to develop. If we try to educate on the subject of design for nearly every conceivable situation, producing a predictable result, because of this, in theory and practice, it has universality.  Like accounting, Permaculture design utilises foundation rules, principles strategies, education and terminology which are studied and applied worldwide.

Many courses are offered in Permaculture, but only one of them is eligible for a certificate in Permaculture Design.  The certificate course is a standardised curriculum which includes all topics found in PERMACULTURE: A Designers’ Manual, Mollison, Bill 1988.  This book is the foundation text and the curriculum for the certificate course as well as the definition of the socpe of Permaculture.  A teacher must give the entire curriculum, during the course.  Material may not be omitted, however, teachers are encouraged to add relevant material from their own and local knowledge, and to utilise and teacher’s aides they choose.  Students need to ensure teachers are giving the full curriculum prior to enrolling with a teacher.  As Permaculture laps the globe, many teachers are springing up and the best teachers produce the best teachers.  Also, many people claim to have taught with Bill Mollison, or claim to have endorsement from Mollison. Students please note that such claims may be false.  You are encouraged to ensure the validity of the claim by contacting or