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Permacoach Permaculture Fundamentals: Mon/Tues January 2024

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Event description

Learn the fundamentals of the permaculture design model for free over two consecutive Mondays and Tuesdays with highly qualified and experienced teachers on an established permaculture property in exchange for your practical support.

Monday 8 January
Tuesday 9 January
Monday 15 January
Tuesday 16 January

Is this course for you? Here is a quick check list:

I live in the Central Coast region
I am available for all of the course dates
I keen to work in the garden (or please see below regarding a payment alternative)
I am interested in learning more about permaculture design
I like cats (we have two mostly-inside rescue cats)

We're passionate about spreading permaculture as part of the solution to many of humanity's problems. We noticed that an introduction to permaculture course can cost between $300 and $500. While we think that's money well spent (because permaculture is awesome) we also know that many people can't afford it, so we offer an alternative.

Would you like to spend four days learning permaculture design for free in exchange for helping us around our garden? You'll develop practical skills on a property that has been under permaculture for over 28 years, and we'll get valued help with the mulching, weeding, tidying and pruning. 

Our highly interactive and practical course is a fun way to learn about the permaculture design model. It's suitable for those just starting out, and for people interested in expanding their understanding of permaculture or teaching it to others. Our course is run from our home, "Adagio" in Matcham and is designed to be friendly and relaxed. There are no tests or exams. 

If you would prefer to do so you can pay for your course rather than working in the garden and leave at lunch time. We cost the course at $30 per teaching hour with three hours teaching on each day (so $90 a day or $360 for the whole course). Contact us if a mix of part-payment and part-work is the best choice for you. 

We have a deep commitment to being accessible and equitable and we know that everyone has different levels of strength and ability. If you have concerns about physical or psychological limitations please contact us. We will work with you to support your learning.

PLEASE NOTE: Since COVID we have seen an increasing number of people enrolling for our courses and then failing to turn up, with no apology or explanation. This is disappointing and frustrating. We want to avoid having to ask people for a refundable security deposit because that feels like punishing the many for the actions of the few. We simply ask that if you enrol and change your mind you let us know as soon as possible. Our learning groups are kept small and our courses are very popular. If you let us know with enough lead time we can usually find someone else to join the course. If you enrol and then fail to show up without explanation and we will be declining future enrolment. This seems to be our best option. 


Our course includes an overview of the entire permaculture model. We'll give you the big picture, from the goals, ethics and principles through to the design process, and all the way up to the strategies, tools and techniques that we use in permaculture to work with nature rather than against it. Please note that this is a design course, and while you can certainly apply permaculture design to growing food (and you'll get to see first hand how we do that) this is not an introduction to growing vegetables.

  • Learn why permaculture is so much more than just organic gardening and how you can apply this amazing design system to everything, from your wardrobe to your suburb
  • Get hands-on experience while you learn to build top soil, grow healthy food, cycle nutrients, design out the need for irrigation, draw down carbon and create habitat for wildlife all without using synthetic chemicals or lots of expensive trips to the hardware store
  • Reconnect to the natural world and remember your part in it
  • Join the generous and supportive local permaculture community that is expanding across the Central Coast 


All days start at 8.45am and finish at 5.00pm. As a courtesy to those that arrive on time, we always start on time.

Mornings are class time and afternoons are practical gardening time. 

There are two half hour breaks for morning and afternoon tea and a one hour break for lunch. You'll bring your own vegetarian meal (because it's better for the planet) and avoid bringing any single use plastic (because it's no good for the planet).

We will provide fruit, tea, herbal tea and coffee for breaks. 

This course is stand alone, and can also be used as the foundation for progressing to our part time permaculture design course (PDC). Our PDC is only offered to those that have completed our introductory course or an equivalent. 

We look forward to welcoming you to our home in the beautiful Matcham valley. 


Meg McGowan is one half of the Permacoach Team. With over 30 years of permaculture design experience and a merit based diploma for her innovative approach to permaculture teaching and practice, Meg is well known to Central Coast people for her generosity and commitment to getting more permaculture happening on the ground. Meg is a passionate gardener, writer, designer and permaculture advocate. Meg is lead trainer on this course.

Graham King is a permaculture designer, facilitator and practitioner. He is other half of the Permacoach team. Graham seeks to create an adult learning environment that is cooperative, kind, interactive and fun. He obtained his Permaculture Design Certificate with permaculture founder, David Holmgren, and completed his teacher training with permaculture legend, Rowe Morrow. 

Meg and Graham's property, "Adagio" is on three and a half acres at Matcham on the NSW Central Coast. The property has been designed and managed using permaculture for over 28 years and includes food production areas, a forest garden and over an acre of regenerated bushland. Meg and Graham consider the garden to be their greatest teacher, and recognise the benefits to students of learning within this environment. 


At checkout you will be offered to opportunity to make a donation to Bush Heritage Australia. We love what they do and support them whenever we can. Donations are optional, but please consider supporting their work if you are fortunate enough to be in a position to do so. 


"Thank you both for being so generous with our knowledge and beautiful Adagio. Being here is always very healing and your place gives those of us starting out the inspiration to get going. I like the good mix of practical and discussion - space to work together as a group and really think things through....."

"Fantastic mix of academic learning, visual aids and practical work in the garden. Created a great culture amongst the students. Learning about permaculture in situation is a great way to really bed down the permaculture information you shared...."

"Loved the overviews and how the essence of permaculture is taught through exposure to the two of you. Learning and deepening and understanding of what permaculture means emotionally, spiritually and as a community venture..."

"Different ways of learning. I struggle with classroom settings for too long (so) I was grateful fo see the practical exercises/ hands on work/ videos/ open discussions...."

"I came here thinking I was going to learn how to grow vegetables sustainably and make compost but instead found "my people", a way of living and renewed hope for my kids and their future generations..."

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Refunds are available up to 7 days prior to the event