Tag Archives: featured

Climate Resilience PDC Internship

Immerse yourself in eco-design for climate resilience on a thriving permaculture farm outside of Whanganui. We take a systems approach to managing the farm holistically to maximise carbon sequestration and minimise carbon emissions.

This PDC focuses on ecological land management, regenerative agriculture, water management, eco-housing, appropriate technology, human-scale approaches and transport along with the full PDC curriculum.


From a recent intern: “I’ve just completed my 2 month PDC at the Eco School and have had an absolutely sensational time. If you want to learn how to become a permaculture home-steader FOR REAL, skip the two weeks of PowerPoint presentations offered elsewhere, and come get fully immersed in the lifestyle. Dani and Nelson have got the art of sustainable living down pat, and both are an absolute gold-mine of knowledge to be tapped. I left knowing how to do everything from preparing and planting garden beds; to raising livestock; milking and cheese-making; harvesting and preserving; butchering, baking (no candle-stick making…); DIY and carpentry. Essentially, we covered in incredible depth the art and science of ecology and land regeneration, as well as all the principles of design and analysis vital to making permaculture work properly. It was like being back at uni, except this time I was learning something useful (and deeply fascinating).”  – Harry

David Holmgren’s Retrosuburbia

RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future

NZ $89 + $9.60 parcel post tracked.

Orders: theecoschool@gmail.com

* Pick-up and purchase available at the PINZ Whanganui Permaculture Hui 10th-13th September

This 592 page manual shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future. It promises a challenging but exciting mix of satisfying work, a more meaningful way of living and hope for the next generation.

RetroSuburbia is divided into three main sections: the Built, the Biological and the Behavioural along with the introductory section ‘Setting the scene’.

RetroSuburbia Case Study: Eco Thrifty Retrofit

A presentation at the PINZ Whanganui Permaculture Hui 10th-13th September.

Peace, Estwing

Lucky Seven (Years)

We have reached another anniversary on this piece of land, which is always a good time to reflect on our progress. Samuel Goldwyn once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” We have been very lucky on this patch, but at the same time unlucky – facing a flood, a fire, and land slips. Our primary goal on the farm has been climate resilience so I suppose there is nothing like being put to the test.

Despite the challenges the farm is thriving, although we’ve cut back on growing kai a bit lately due to other commitments. Here are the market gardens at about half of their usual capacity.

Market gardens in mid-winter.

There are only ripe guavas and citrus this time of year, but we had a great plum, peach, feijoa and apple harvest earlier this year.

An orchard in mid-winter.

The valley is looking great, with about 2,000 trees planted on the slopes and along the stream, along with the avocado orchard.

Plantings in the valley.

At the moment we’re busy with the goats kidding and starting the milking season.

Alfie with her twins

Looking forward to more luck tomorrow.

Peace, Estwing

Festival of Adult Learning 6th – 12th September

The Festival of Adult Learning Ahurei Ākonga 2021

For the seventh year the ECO School has partnered with Adult & Community Education Aotearoa to bring a series of free workshops to Whanganui.


Monday, 6th September. Location: Springvale Bike Park

3:30 – 5:00. Hot Composting for Serious Gardeners

This workshop explains how to build and manage a hot compost pile. Other compost methods will also be addressed.

Bagged sheep manure available for sale. Bagged compost for sale.

Wednesday, 8th September. Location: Whanganui Learning Centre, 232 Wicksteed Street

12:30 – 1:30. Backyard Gardening

This workshop explains some tips for success for vegetable gardening.

1:30 – 2:30. Fruit Tree Care

This workshop covers the basics of fruit tree pruning.

Thursday, 9th September. Location: Whanganui Learning Centre, 232 Wicksteed Street

12 – 1. Healthy Homes Brown Bag Lunch Session.

This workshop addresses the most cost effective ways to improve the health and comfort of existing homes. It covers some Dos and some Don’ts of where to spend your money.

Come on your lunch break.

1 – 2:30 Bicycle Maintenance and Repair

9th Annual Permaculture Weekend: 11th-12th Sept.

Once again we are running the Whanganui Permaculture Weekend alongside The Festival of Adult Learning Ahurei Ākonga in cooperation with Adult and Community Education Aotearoa. A draft schedule is below.


Workshops & Farm Tours

Saturday, 11th. 3:00 – 5:30

Getting the most from your Renovation

This workshop covers all aspects of healthy home performance including windows, doors, ceiling, subfloor, bathrooms, ventilation, high performance curtains & blinds, heating & cooling, and hot water.

$60 Spaces strictly limited.

Overnight Accommodation Available. Please Inquire.

Sunday, 12th. 10:00 – 12:00

Growing Great Garlic, Terrific Tomatoes and Perfect Pumpkins

This workshop covers innovative ways to grow these staple crops with less effort and better results!


Sunday, 12th. 1:00 – 5:00

Permaculture ‘Show & Tell’

We’ve put together a list of some of the core components of a permaculture property and arranged a ‘Show & Tell’ walking tour. Topics include: no-dig gardening; potting bench and plant nursery; vertical growing & small spaces; preventing pests and diseases in fruit trees; best tools and how to use them; hot composting; compost toilets; tree lucerne (Tagasaste); chicken tractors; browsing goats; creative reuse in building; outdoor kitchen including solar cooking, rocket stoves, and solar dehydrator. There will also be a discussion of our diverse income streams.

$55 or couples for $90. Includes afternoon tea.

Minimum numbers required for workshops to run.

Registration and non-refundable deposit essential. theecoschool@gmail.com

RetroSuburbia: A Whanganui Case Study

What are the best strategies to renovate an old home and an old section? This workshop covers the do’s and don’ts for home renovations as well as edible ‘foodscaping’ on suburban sections.

$40 or couples for $70

Minimum numbers required for workshops to run.

Registration and non-refundable deposit essential. theecoschool@gmail.com

Kaitiaki Farm Work Study PDC Internship


Earn your Permaculture Design Certificate while working on a premier permaculture demonstration farm in New Zealand.


Our work study internship programme is unique in the world of permaculture education in that it combines best practice teaching and learning with best practice regenerative land management.


The programme balances content, process and reflection, while nurturing systems thinking skills. It’s about developing a way of thinking that recognizes the connections between diverse elements on the farm and how they interact in four dimensions (over time), along with the hands-on skills required to work effectively with cultivated ecologies.


Kaitiaki Farm is an exemplar permaculture property that is blessed with a diverse array of microclimates and growing conditions. The 5.1 hectare (13 acre) property is located 4 km outside of Whanganui with a population of 43,000.

Along with holistic land management we also embrace appropriate technology, renewable energy and human-scale solutions.


Many of our interns come with low or no rural skills. Motivation, a love of learning, and a strong work ethic are the most important elements for success at Kaitiaki.


We spend a lot of time teaching and talking. This slows down our work but makes the internship what it is – an endless series of ‘teachable moments’. It is also the best way to earn a PDC. This type of learning experience is extremely rare anywhere in the world and would not come from a book or standard PDC course. That said, we have a huge library of great books and lots of connections locally and nationwide of practicing permaculturists.

Interns work three-ish full-ish days and two half days per week, with two days off.


More details here: http://www.theecoschool.net/workstudy-permaculture-design-certificate.html

The ECO School

Whanganui, New Zealand


Inquiries: theecoschool at gmail dot com