Permaculture Course 2009 in Enschede, the Netherlands

Groen:    Gemak:

Permaculture -- a method of design that helps you build your surroundings sustainably, thanks to examples from nature. *This is a Dutch course, but similar courses in English are possible.*

Keywords: permaculture habitat energy waste garden

Course description

Permaculture is a design approach for designing a sustainable environment around you or your family. The great example is set by nature itself, but modern technology also serves as a source of ideas. This course does not only practice making designs, but it also presents a lot of practical techniques.

Instead of instructing us not to do things because they are bad for the environment, Permaculture provides an astounding array of possibilities to live in a pleasant yet responsible manner. A must for people who are willing to rethink their lives in search of more sustainable habits.


The course comprises of three parts:

  • Tutorial and design sessions: Paradise, 5 Tuesday evenings
  • Building up a Permaculture: Backyard of Paradise, 1 Saturday
  • Optional tour: Permaculture at the Haarlebrink, date TBD

The tutorial and design sessions comprise of a series of Sunday mornings in which we present a lot of knowledge and techniques, ready to apply them in practice during the same session. These take place in Paradise, and are about:

During the course, we will work on a Permaculture design for the backyard of Paradise, from which the best elements will be combined, and built up by course students. In addition to those students, there may also be room for other volunteers on this last day.

The tour shows how public green space with a total lack of imagination at the Haarlebrink in southern Enschede, NL were turnt into a Permaculture. The aim of the design was to make something that was at the same time pretty and edible. The tour is guided by the designers of this Permaculture, who will also be the tutors for the remainder of the course.

  1. Self-managing nature is about the disadvantages of the common technical design process, the way that nature grows its own solutions automagically, how this involves cyclical and symbiotic processes and how all this works much more smoothly than what technology provides us.
  2. Garbage without a smell explains that mankind is the first to create unusable garbage, how this can be avoided and what natural principles can make this possible in the home place in a pleasant manner. It is about understanding natural cycles, and about thinking ahead and overviewing a design; it touches upon Cradle to Cradle principles.
  3. Plants may be useful finishes off with the idea that a garden is either pretty or a food production site. It also gives other plant purposes, such as paint and construction wood. It is about a garden that takes less work than a paved area.
  4. Energy like water is about our addiction to energy; it starts from CO2 problems and Peak Oil, and derives the need for local production and consumption. It is about optimal use of solar energy, utilisation of water and heat/light. Some of these mindful uses of resources are based on remarkably simple techniques.
  5. Special places is about harvesting from ponds and tropical indoor gardens; about growing food in deserts as well as on rooftops and balconies. It shows Permaculture techniques for maximum utilisation of available space.


Rick van Rein of GroenGemak is an experienced designer from a technical background. Permaculture is in many ways related to technical design, but it tries to avoid the weaknesses and pitfalls of engineering design.

Rick cooperated with Robin Boers to apply Permaculture in practice, with 600 square meters of public green at the Haarlebrink as a cheerful example, which was turnt into a sort of park with plants that are not just beautiful, but in which there is a remarkable array of edible plants.

Practical details

The 5 tutorial and design sessions together cost € TBD. The sessions take place on Tuesday evenings March 10, 17, 24 and 31 and April 7, 2009 from 19:30 to no later than 21:30 in Paradise. Registrations welcomed until 2009-03-10.

The tour on the Permaculture at the Haarlebrink is free and without obligation; it serves as a quick introduction to Permaculture. It will be scheduled during the course, if people are interested.

The buildup of the backyard of Paradise takes place on Saturday 18th of April 2009. This event is in principle open to anyone, as long as space permits. Tutorial students have highest access priority, prior registration can help to avoid disappointment.

For questions , please contact us via our contact form or call GroenGemak on +31.53.7113421. For registration, please contact VU Enschede.