Learn practical life skills for self-reliance and earthfriendly living through our community education program of short courses and workshops.

Short Courses for self-reliance and sustainable living

Download your Short Course Enrolment Form and REGISTER NOW

Enrol for more than one of the short courses and in-depth workshops listed below and receive a 10% discount   (NB this offer does not apply to the complete Growing Abundance short course series fee which has already discounted the component modules by 15%)



Semester 1 Program 2014

Feb 22-23: Four Seasons PDC  starts
then 1 weekend/month until Oct (except for July).Design your own property as you do this course.  Sat 9-5, Sun 9.30-3.30 $975/$780 Four-Seasons PDC Dates and Further information

Feb 25: Intro to Water Systems and Earthworks in Permaculture
Learn to read and interpret contour maps, water movement and management in the landscape, collection and storage, swales, dams and basic earthworks. Tutors Janelle Schafer & Robyn Francis  9am-5pm   $65/$50

Mar 3 & 5:  Introduction to Soil Care in Permaculture
First day learn the basics of soil science and organisms, how to test soil, pH, soil health card, compost systems & teas, worm farms. Then Wed practical workshop making compost, liquid fertilisers and ‘teas,’ garden bed preparation and soil conditioning & mulching. Angela Skehan, Robyn Francis & Melian Fertl. $95/$75

Mar 24: Intro to Cultivated Ecology for Food Production
Design for annual garden production, main crops, food forests and orchards. Tutors Angela Skehan, Melian Fertl, Janelle Schafer  $65/$50

pigs-feedingMar 25: Intro to Animal Systems in Permaculture
Permaculture ethics for animal systems, domestic livestock & poultry, pigs and sustainable grazing systems, aquaculture and beekeeping.  Melian Fertl and Robyn Francis. $$65/$50
Mar 17-20:  Appropriate Technology and Natural Building Course
Learn passive solar house design,  built environment in permaculture, appropriate technology and energy systems, natural building  materials and techniques and how to do an energy audit for your home or business.  plus excursions to Jarlanbah & Rainbow Power. Tutors: Guy Stewart, Robyn Francis & guests $195/$155

amazondrumlooMar 17-20  
Appropriate Technology & Natural Building

An introduction to a range of appropriate technologies, passive solar natural buidling systems, renewable energy systems and composting toilets. Includes one day of practical and   hands-on  experience. Includes a diverse range of appropriate resource saving technologies. Learn aboutsetting up renewable energy systems and practical ways to save energy and resourcesin the homw.It includes important considerations for selecting a house site, basic principles of passive solar and bioclimatic design and natural building techniques. Design for integrated edible landscapes for microclimate, outdoor living and to support solar efficiency in the home. Course conducted by Robyn Francis and Guy Stewart.



Growing Abundance Series

May 5-6:  Botany Basics & Planning for Year-round food supply
learn basic botany, plant identification, major vegetable families, and how to develop planting & harvest schedules for year food production. Tutor: R Francis $115/90

May 12-14: Small Crop Production Systems
In-depth growing vegetables, herbs and tubers, Crop nutrition & rotation,  domestic & commercial production tips, organic certification requirements, and practical gardening techniques. Tutors: Robyn Francis & Angela Skehan $145/$115


 preserves-herbalsrfwrMay 13-15: Harvest, Storage & PreservationHow products decay and techniques to increase ‘shelf-life’ through harvest and post-harvest handling,storage systems and traditional methods of crop preservation and fermentation. Lots of fun hands-on practical.

Tutors: Robyn Francis, Melian Fertl & Lynne Oldfield. $145/$115

May 19-21: Food Forests & Orchards in Permaculture
In-depth exploration of temperate and tropical fruit and nut trees, botany, care and maintenance,advanced food forest & orchard design, pruning workshop and practical planting and tree care. Tutor: Janelle Schafer $145/$115

 May 26-27:  Native Plants & Bushfoods in Permaculture  
Learn about major families and communities of native plants, how to include natives and bushfoods in permaculture design, and basic bush regeneration in Zone V systems. Tutor: Janelle Schafer & guests $115/$90


June 2-3: Integrated Animal Systems
Animal welfare, permaculture strategies for integrating animals into healthy production systems,in-depth sessions on keeping specific livestock and excursions to local farms. Tutor: Robyn Francis & guests. $115/90

June 16-18: Integrated Pest and Weed Management Pt 1
Three-day intensive on organic strategies for managing pests and weeds, including weed identification, good and bad bugs in the garden, attracting beneficial insects, organic sprays and controls. Tutor: Janelle Schafer $145/$115


Semester 2 Program 2014

Aug 11 & 12

Seed Saving and Managing a Permaculture Seed Bank

savinseedLearn about seed saving, from how plants polinate, managing and selecting the best plants for seed, collecting, cleaning, treating and storing seeds.Course also covers tips for setting up and managing a seed bank, heritage and open pollinating plants and goes into the issues of seed sovereignty and difference between open pollinated, hybrid and GM seeds.

With Janelle Schafer and guest speakers





Water Systems, Treatment & Composting Toilets

August 25-27 Mon, Tues, Wed 9-5  

Hands-on irrigation system installation, water testing and bug counts with Janelle Schafer. How to set up and design domestic rainwater systems with Paul Boulter.

Grey and black-water systems, wetland treatment and composting toilets, including owner builder composting toilets. Includes an excursion to Dharmananda.


Biochar Workshop   with Peter Gibson

Wednseday Aug :

Lean how to make biochar at our Annual Geoff Moxham memorial biochar workshop – turn woody weeds, prunings and waste wood into biochar to improve your soil and use as charcoal for smithing. TBC smithing demonstration. Includes lunch, morning & afternoon tea


Making Soap, natural cleaning & personal hygiene products

with Robyn Francis & Melian Fertl

Aug 24, Saturday 10am-4pm $70/$50

Learn to make your own soaps, detergent, shampoo, general cleaners, tooth powders, face scrubs, hair conditioners using simple natural ingredients – healthy for you and the planet and save loads of money. Robyn Francis has been making her own soaps, cleaners and skin care products for over 40 years – lots of tips, fun and practical ideas. Includes lunch & refreshments.


Cheese making

cheesetastingWith Jenny Creasy

Monday Sep 15: 9am-5pm $70/55

Jenny Creasy is passionate about fermented foods and cheese making with goat and cow milk. This workshop Jenny will teach the step-by-step process of making several different types of cheese.






Integrated Pest and Weed Management Part 2

Tuesday Aug 18-19: 9am-5pm

Permaculture approach to organic integrated pest and weed management through design and specific control strategies includes weeds as soil indicators and nutrient accumulators. Productive ways to use weeds. Seasonal management.

Tutor: Janelle Schafer


Natural Dyeing & Garden Crafts WorkshopSept 22-23 Mon-Tues 9am-5pm

 2 days of natural Garden crafts: Dyeing, weaving, Gourd crafting

Janelle Schafer will share her expertise on dyeing natural fibres with plant-based dyes. Learn the joys of producing vibrant colours from a

range of natural materials. Bring along wools, cottons and other natural fabrics and try your hand at this age-old craft Kim Tait local basket weaver and Robyn Francis, Gourd Crafting.

 Course costs for 2 full days $125/ $95 conc


Sep 17-19  2014

Bamboo Workshop 2014

2 days  of Hands-on Learning Wed/Thur 9-5, Oct 16-17

Practical  Bamboo Clump Management;  Harvest, Treating & Curing;  Splitting & Weaving: Lashing & Joinery Techniques;  Bamboo Brush Screens; Bamboo crafting; Bamboo Construction; Tips and tools


Please bring what you have of the following:   Work gloves,  Pruning saw,   Hacksaw,  Tape measure,   Stanley knife,  Cordless drill & bits, machete

Fee includes all tuition, materials and lunches . Camping and accommodation extra – please enquire

Tutor:  Robyn Francis has had a love affair with bamboo for nearly 30 years and has worked with many skilled bamboo enthusiasts gleaning tips & skills in bamboo growing, management, crafting and construction. Djanbung Gardens has a great collection of useful clumping bamboos and examples of building and crafting.