Drylands Permaculture Design Course

This is an announcement of my intention to do a Drylands Permaculture Design Course, probably in eastern Washington State.
By : 
Michael Pilarski

Hello friends and allies,

This is an announcement of my intention to do a Drylands Permaculture Design Course, probably in eastern Washington State. This is precipitated by 1) some workshops I recently did in eastern Washington where the need to do such a course was identified; and 2) by my current trip to the Southwest in April/May of 2021.  During this trip I traveled through southwest Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. The need for drylands restoration and permaculture were glaringly evident wherever I traveled. 

A bit of background. I have lived and farmed in semi-arid eastern Washington since 1972.  During this time I have done a lot of research into dryland farming and ecosystem restoration and have accumulated a sizable library on the topics. In 1982 I took my first Permaculture Design Course. In 1986 I helped organize and took a drylands permaculture design course taught by Bill Mollison. Mollison had just finished putting together his curriculum for the drylands pdc and he did a great job of downloading his knowledge.  At the time, Mollison was one of the leading drylands experts in the world. In 1988, I published a Resource Guide to Sustainable Land Use in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. 1988 was also the year I started teaching permaculture design courses. In the ensuing two decades I taught 40 permaculture design courses in various climates.  I have not taught a pdc in some years but feel it is now time for me to download some of my dryland knowledge. My intention is to have the course filmed so that the information is accessible to the interested public. 

The exact format of the course is not clear yet. This will be an in-person course plus probably an on-line course as well.  There will be modules by guest speakers who are also dryland permaculture experts. People can take the whole course or specific parts of it.

Some topics (in no particular order) will include:

Wadi culture from the Middle East and North Africa.

Cryptobiotic crust restoration  |  Swales  |  Gabions  |  Check Dams  |  Bio-engineering  |  Vine trellises over houses and buildings  |  Erosion Control  |  Strategies and techniques for sand dunes  |  Strategies and techniques for gibber/rock deserts  |  Strategies and techniques for savannas  |  Nabatean runoff agriculture  |  Roof and water catchment  |  Strategies for rock cliffs and talus slopes  |  Shrub garlands  |  Species selection for various dryland climates  |  Zai holes  |  Sunken hugelkulturs  |  Plant establishment  |  Tanks, ponds and water storage  |  Keyline system of Soil and Water Management  |  Restoring summer monsoons  |  Fire in dryland ecosystems  |  Wild and domestic animals in drylands

...and much, much, much more.

The timing of the course (2021 or 2022) depends on the response. If you are interested in participating in such a course please join the conversation so we can help tailor the course to your needs.

Contact Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Society and Global Earth Repair Foundation.

Further details will be posted on the Friends of the Trees Society website.