Introduction to permaculture – 2 October 2022

Sunday 2 October from 9.30am – 4.30pm. Please contact us to book your place. FULLY BOOKED.

A 1 day introduction, with practical activities in our garden in the afternoon. We are rerunning this course after its popularity in May. We know some who were keen couldn’t make the date, hopefully this one makes it into your diary!

We are a workers co-operative growing and selling edible and useful plants, focusing on perennials. We don’t use peat and never use harmful chemicals.

We use permaculture design in our business and we think you’ll benefit from learning more.

What’s in the course?

First of all, you don’t need to know anything about permaculture or gardening to come on this course. We start at the beginning. You will learn about ethics and principles of permaculture, how to observe deeper, and be introduced to design tools. You will start to see how to apply permaculture in your life.

You’ll learn in a small group together.

Permaculture can be thought of as a holistic design toolkit. A what? Well, it brings everything together, joins the dots. And there’s a whole load of aspects to it – from ethics at the core, to different design tools you can use to help find your way.

Because of this, it’s not just helpful in the garden! It can help you create effective, efficient, healthy systems of any kind. That may be a new compost bin, sure. It might also be a more thriving way of life. What’s very likely is that what you discover on this course will open doors. We hope you’ll leave having learned lots, also leave wanting to learn more.

The afternoon of the course will be focused on practical skills – composting, starting new garden beds and planting edible and useful polycultures.

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About the teaching

The course is led by Ryan Sandford-Blackburn, who worked as Strategic Communications Coordinator for the Permaculture Association for almost 8 years. Ryan has taught several similar permaculture courses in recent years. Supported by Cynthia Troche, an experienced teacher, a gardener and parent.

Ryan has previously taught 6 such courses since 2019, as well as leading workshops on numerous other topics too. It will be quite fast-paced and information-rich, with group learning. There will be a little bit of presenting, plenty of group discussion and different styles of activities to suit different people.

In the afternoon we will work together in one of our gardens. We’ll show you around – you can meet our plants (and buy some too if you like). We’ll take on a task together as a group, with the aim of developing some practical skills that you can take straight back to your garden space.

What others say

Here’s some honest feedback from participants on previous introduction to permaculture courses with Ryan.

“I loved being on your site and channelling the info you gave us” J, 2019

“I thought the course was really well run and your icebreaker exercises at the beginning were great for making the room feel comfortable and integrate everyone. I feel I have begun to understand the permaculture ethics and principles from what we covered which is great” F, 2019

“I enjoyed the course and learnt a lot (especially practical stuff about gardening / allotments). Some of this was through observation and the Q and As with other participants, most was from your examples in terms of layout, design, composting and mulching etc.” T, 2019

“Everything! Ryan and Lamis are wonderful, knowledgeable and nurturing teachers. This course has really opened up a new world to me, one that feels like the right ‘fit’.” Anon 1, foundations of permaculture online, 2021

“I felt Ryan was such an active permaculture practitioner, and any information or thoughts he imparted came from his lived expereince of this. So I felt fortuante to have him as a teacher.” Anon 2, foundations of permaculture online, 2021

We receive plenty of constructive feedback on all our work – we really value it and invite it! We act on what the feedback is telling us, to improve.


We ask that you pay £55-£75 for the day’s course. Choose the amount that feels right for you.

If the cost of the course is a barrier to participating, please get in touch to ask about bursary places. 

Teas, water and juice are provided. Lunch is not provided, please bring your own food to be accompanied by a side salad from us.

Minimum of 4 learners in the group, up to 10.

The venue

Snowdrop Valley Garden, Crich

Snowdrop Valley Garden is new garden we have been developing in Crich. It is just off Crich Common.

The venue is not easily accessible to those in a wheelchair or with mobility issues – there are 3 steps down into the garden and the paths in the garden are uneven (thanks to badgers).

0-1.5 year olds are welcome, accompanying their parent or guardian.

How to book

Or if you’d prefer to pay by bank transfer, please contact us.

Refunds and cancellations: once paid, your place is confirmed. Should you need to cancel your place, we will issue a refund minus £10 administration charge if you let us know by email at least 10 days before the start of the course. If cancelling within 10 days of the course starting, we reserve the right to retain your payment. If we have to change the date and/or location of the course, we will let you know by email at the earliest opportunity.