Sustainable Growing

Karen and Annie from Abundant Borders with trainer Graham Bell and some of the 15 people who received their PFC certificates in Hawick Community Food Garden.

Permaculture Foundation Course

The Permaculture Foundation Course (PFC) consists of modules, ideally completed one per week. Participants learn the principles of permaculture,  with an emphasis on creating food forests. The PFC  gives a level of understanding that can be built on by trainees who then want to go on and complete a Permaculture Design Certificate.

The course is predominantly field based, with an emphasis on learning while doing. Some learning will take place in an informal workshop style setting while the majority will take place (weather permitting) on established sites or sites under construction. To gain the certificate trainees will need to complete all modules.

While the backbone of the course is in place, each course is co-created with the community creating the garden and with the community of learners to ensure that learning is community led and appropriate to local needs.

Throughout the course and woven into each module, trainees will learn the importance of fresh food and healthy eating.  As part of this commitment to locally grown, seasonal food, all modules include a shared lunch.

Module 1
What is permaculture?
The three pillars of permaculture: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Shares.

What is a Food Forest Garden?
Why layers from canopy to ground level are important in creating abundance.

How to use tools well and safely.


Module 2
Soil and soil types
The importance of good soil, how to maintain fertility.  Composting.  Ways of working less hard to produce more output.

The environment
Looking at our place in the natural world. 


Module 3

How to choose the right plants.  Thinking about the different uses of plants: food, herbs and spices, natural remedies.  How to harvest and grow from seeds.  How to take cuttings
Site design
How to plan a site for maximum food yield.


Module 4
How to make use of trees: for food, for fuel, for shelter, for compost.  How to grow trees and bushes from seed and cuttings.  Pruning.

Food for free.

Which plants growing in the wild can be eaten. How to forage safely.


Module 5
How we manage resources and create abundance.  How to grow food indoors or in a small space.  Harvesting and storing food.


Module 6

Review, discussions and feedback.  Planning individual next steps
A shared meal to celebrate the completion of the course and to demonstrate the importance of food in social relationships.

Module 7
Garden Visit

A visit to an established Community Garden / Food Forest Garden to learn from others practicing sustainable growing.




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