Date Submitted: Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:31:26 GMT

Viewing: HS 432 / HS 532 : Introduction to Permaculture

Last approved: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:05:02 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:04:54 GMT

Changes proposed by: htkraus
Change Type
HS (Horticulture Science)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Introduction to Permaculture
Intro to Permaculture
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Horticultural Science (11HS)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
Offered Every Year
Spring 2015
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Delivery
Distance Education (DELTA)
Online (Internet)

Grading Method
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
Anne Spafford
Associate Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Delivery FormatPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
11HORTBS-11HORTTHLHorticultural Science: Technology, Landscape DesignElective
11HORTBS-11HORTTHGHorticultural Science: Technology, General HorticultureElective
11HSMHorticultural Science MinorElective
Permaculture means "permanent culture," and ..."is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of a natural ecosystem." (Bill Mollison) This course will explore a design/thinking methodology that seeks to provide our essential physical needs, food, water, shelter, energy, etc., while doing so in an environmentally friendly, sustainable manner. The three weekend field trips are required. This course is restricted to upper level undergraduate, graduate, or matriculated continuing education students. STUDENTS MAY NOT RECEIVE CREDIT FOR BOTH HS 432 AND HS 532.

This course was taught by an instructor that has retired. The new instructor for this course wants students to be able to take the course for a grade instead of just for an S/U. The course grading has been adjusted.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

No new resources are required for this course. This course has been added to Anne Spafford's current teaching load.

Student Learning Outcomes

The overall goal of this course is to provide students with positive examples and methodologies to take action toward regenerating the health of the natural environment while meeting their physical needs. 

By the completion of this course, students will be able to:


  1. Explain the ethics, principles, and methodology of Permaculture;

  1. Better observe and analyze their surroundings; make connections between pieces of information; and continue to develop their critical thinking skills;

  1. Define the elements that make up sustainability, and articulate practices that are truly sustainable;

  1. Demonstrate the practice of thinking in terms of multi-functioning systems, or stacking functions;

  1. Apply the design process used in permaculture to develop a productive and attractive landscape

  1. Demonstrate, through confidence developed in hands-on projects, their knowledge and understanding of Permaculture in an active, tangible way.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails

Each student will be expected to successfully complete five projects:

Project 1 is a 'facilitating change' project. This is a practical project experience where you take part in a grassroots organization, observe a city council meeting, join a campus group that focuses on sustainability (e.g. the SOUL Garden), volunteer a few hours at the Raleigh City Farm or the like, or make a lifestyle change and track your progress all semester (e.g. biking more, tracking your recycling habits, etc.). By the end of the semester (but at any point up until then), submit a 1 page (min.) report on your experience on the Moodle site (a place to submit them will be in the block for the last week of class). Assigned: Week 2; Due: Week 15.

Project 2 is a permaculture-based landscape design, using principles discussed in class to date. Assigned: Week 3, Due: Week 5.

Project 3 is a garden from seed. Each student will grow something edible from seed starting the last week of September. The garden must be documented from inception and presented in a power point presentation, with at least one image taken each week, and notes. (You'll most likely want to take more images--especially at the beginning as seeds germinate--It's exciting!) Assigned: Week 6, Due: Week 15.

Project 4 is a design for a tiny dwelling (no more than 600 sf for a couple). Assigned: Week 7; Due: Week 9.

Project 5 is a building project. It can be the design and actual construction of some component of a permaculture system; the complete analysis and design of some project or site using permaculture principles; or any other major work that you can propose. Ideally, this should be a group project--again, to embrace the idea of community, but also to demonstrate that 'many hands make for light work.' These projects will also be presented using a power point format, and the presentation of these will be made during the second to last week of class. Assigned: Week 10; Due: Week 14.

Grading of Assignments:

Exercises and projects will be based on the following criteria:
100-90% (A): outstanding academic performance, only minor mistakes that would not critically affect the overall solutions; all technical data is complete and accurate; documentation quality is excellent; high level of critical thought and design process apparent, all work is submitted on time, all project requirements followed. A+ 98-100, A 94-97, A- 90-93

89-80% (B): very good to good academic performance, minor mistakes are not critical, but overall solution is affected; good level of critical thought and design process apparent, technical data is complete and accurate; documentation quality is good but could use improvement; work submitted on time. B+ 88-89, B 84-87, B- 80-83

79-70% (C): average academic performance, mistakes are apparent that seriously affect the solution, technical data is incomplete or contain inaccuracies; documentation quality is average and needs improvement. C+ 78-79, C 74-77, C- 70-73

69-60% (D): poor academic performance, solution not workable, major errors in technical data and accuracy; documentation quality poor. Work does not reflect lessons/course material. D+ 68-69, D 64-67, D- 60-63

59-50% (F): failing, work incomplete, no evidence of comprehension of material, work not submitted. 59 points or less.
Other20%Field Trips:

Up to eight weekend field trips will be available for students. It is required that each student must attend at least 3. These field trips are typically on Saturday, and only take a portion of the day (e.g. the morning or afternoon--not both). A one-page, typed, write-up of lessons learned will be due within one week after each field trip.
Attendance20%Attendance will be recorded every class session.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introductions1 week"Introductions, Aims, Expectations"

"Introduction to Permaculture: What and Why? Ethics and Principles"
Observe & Recognize Natural Patterns1 week"Concepts and Themes in Design"

"Garden Ecology and Development"

Assign Project #1: Facilitating Change (can be done at any point, or throughout the semester, depending on the subject)
Observe & Recognize Natural Patterns1 week"Site Analysis"

"Design Patterns"

Assign Project #2: Permaculture Garden Design
Plants in Permaculture1 week"Low Maintenance Edibles and Medicinals for the Landscape"

"Companion Planting: Plant Guilds and Dynamic Nutrient Accumulators"
Soils1 week"Vermicomposting"

"Garden Soil Overview"

Project #2: Permaculture Garden Design Due
Water1 week"Water Overview and Water Catchment"

"Rain Gardening in the Home Landscape"

Assign Project #3: Garden From Seed
Dwellings1 week"Building with Salvaged and Recycled Materials"

"Living Small"

"Architectural Graphics and How-to"

Assign Project #4: Tiny Dwelling Design
Construction1 week"Intentionally Small"

"Alternative Construction"
Construction/Dwellings1 week"Passivhaus Architecture"

Project #4: Tiny Dwellings Due

Critique Tiny Dwellings in class
Energy Cycling1 week"Alternative Transportation and Alternative Fuels"

Watch Big Ideas: BioBling

"Residential Solar Retrofit"

Assign Project #5: Building Project
Urban Farming1 week"Bee Keeping in the Home Landscape"

"Chicken Keeping 101"
Communities1 week"Community Engagement on NC State's Campus: Getting Involved and Making a Difference"

Watch "Ground Operations" (organic gardening programs for veterans video)
Research Presentations1 weekGraduate/honor student research presentations
Build Project Presentations1 weekProject #5: Building Project Due

Build project presentations
Course Wrap-Up and Reflection1 weekCelebratory meal

"Course Wrap-up and Reflection"

Project #1: Facilitating Change Project Due

Project #2: Garden From Seed Due (final compilation of garden project)

Key: 3782