Apr – Jun 2013

Permaculture Design for Cities, Towns and Villages 

Permaculture is a holistic design science rooted in observing the way nature works and applying the same patterns and principles in designing sustainable, resilient, human habitats.

An art of working with nature rather than against it, permaculture provides a framework for cultivating land, plants, people, animals & places by fostering mutually beneficial relationships that last for future generations.

Join Sabina Arokiam (Malaysia) & Juergen Soecknick (Austria) from Eats, Shoots & Roots, for 13 days (spread over 3 months) of permaculture theory, practical workshops, field observations, and design exercises based on real sites and real situations.

The course will be held in the middle of the suburban setting of Petaling Jaya; surrounded by a community garden in the making, and a stone’s throw away from the Bukit Gasing Centre for Forest Education. We will draw inspiration from nature’s classroom, developing an understanding on how to work with the wisdom of nature to create simple systems that build soil fertility, produce healthy organic food, conserve water and energy, maximise space and reduce waste, as well as regenerate our ecological and social landscape. In this Part-Time PDC, participants will have an opportunity to go through a step by step process in creating a detailed permaculture design for their respective homes, or chosen site. They will also go through a group design project, which will involve a larger scale permaculture project in an urban setting.
With a 60% theory and 40% practical emphasis, combining both indoor and outdoor classroom experience, our PDC graduates will leave the course ready to design and implement permaculture principles into a wide range of scale and scenarios; from urban permaculture systems, to small farms, schools and communities, and sustainable aid work. The class size for this course is limited to 25 participants to ensure quality learning outcomes for everyone, and upon full attendance and completion of the course, graduates will receive a certificate and will be able to use the word ‘permaculture’ on a professional basis – as a practitioner, teacher or consultant in permaculture. Limited in its application only by imagination, Permaculture can also be applied to our lives; be it in our homes, families, community or work.
Course ContentFacilitatorsDuring the CourseVenueFeesWhat Others Say

Course Content

  • What is permaculture?
  • How permaculture design works and how to apply it to different properties and situations
  • Basic ecology, and how it relates to designing productive gardens and properties
  • Recognising and utilising patterns in nature
  • Water capture, control, use & re-use in permaculture systems
  • Understanding and improving our soil
  • Nursery basics and plant propagation
  • Seed saving
  • Creating and maintaining productive edible gardens
  • Regenerative farming strategies
  • Small scale permaculture animal systems
  • Trees in permaculture design
  • Sustainable house design & appropriate technology
  • Strategies for building healthy, resilient communities in cities, towns and villages
  • Community and school gardens
  • Designing for catastrophes
  • Personal site design & consultation

Practical Workshops (not limited to, but may* include):

  • Site asessment, analysis and design
  • Surveying and mapping the landscape
  • Soil assessment
  • Composting
  • Building a worm farm
  • Sheet mulching
  • Establishing raised garden beds
  • Nursery basics and plant propagation
  • Container Gardening
  • Making models for bamboo structures
  • Rice Growing according to SRI (System of Rice Intensification) Method
*While we aim to run all workshops, it is subject to weather conditions and time management

Main Facilitators

Sabina Arokiam

With a background in fine arts and community development, Sabina holds a certificate in Permaculture and Ecovillage Design from Lost Valley in Oregon, USA and has worked and studied with several community and permaculture initiatives in SE-Asia, Australia, Europe and the USA. She is the founder of Embun Pagi, Malaysia’s first Permaculture Education & Demonstration site, and has organised and taught in several Permaculture Design Courses and workshops.

Juergen Soecknick

Juergen is a certified Permaculture Designer and has travelled extensively through SE-Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, where he studied and worked at several Permaculture projects & organic farms. Together with Sabina he has led the set-up of Embun Pagi and has organised and taught in several Permaculture Design Courses and workshops. He has a background in biology and is passionate about the workings of soils and plants as well as sharing practical solutions for a regenerative and resilient future.

Guest Teachers

To be announced

During the course


Every Saturday April – June 2012


Classes run in a rough 9am – 5pm format, and is followed by an evening presentation or movie screening session. Outside class hours, students are welcome to interact with the garden, or make use of our library of Permaculture and sustainability texts.

Please bring along

  • Notebook/sketchbook and drawing stationery
  • Working gloves (you can get them at gardening/hardware stores)
  • A hat & appropriate clothing and footwear for working outdoors, keep it simple. Work is not too strenuous, and practicals will not be held under the midday heat of the sun.
  • Optional: You can bring along pictures, maps, layout, details of a property (e.g balcony, rooftop, home garden/yard, vacant plot) that you intend to transform using permaculture design.


The course will be held at our main project site in Bukit Gasing. Situated a stone’s throw from the famous Raju’s Corner (Indian Restaurant), our newly acquired space is a situated within the residential area of Section 5, where we run classes indoors as well as outdoors. It is within walking distance from the sprawling 44 hectare Bukit Gasing forest reserve, Petaling Jaya’s green lung, much frequented by nature lovers, and joggers. View Larger Map


Accommodation is available upon request.


Your course fee includes take-home digital resources on all subjects covered in this course, including teacher’s presentations. We also provide ongoing advice and assistance in questions that might arise beyond the course completion. During the course, we also make available our extensive library of Permaculture and associated texts for your reference, including the course texts: “Introduction to Permaculture” and “Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual”.

Food Arrangements

Your course fee includes beverages + fruit during tea breaks. For lunches, you are free to bring your own, or eat out nearby; there are are a couple of restaurants, halal options too, within walking distance.

Course Fees

RM 2500 Pay a non-refundable deposit of RM 300 now and pay the remaining RM 2200 of the full course fee by the 26th August. Discounts are available, see below:

EARLY BIRD Register by paying a non-refundable deposit of RM 300 by the 17th of February, and get an Early Bird discount of 10% off the full fee.

MATES RATES We know that you’re more likely to succeed in changing the world with a like-minded crew. We offer a 10% discount off full price for group bookings of 2 or more. Get in touch for details.

For all bookings, please ensure you read our refund policy. Places are limited to 16 pax, so register early to secure a spot on the course. Click here to register now

What Others Say (Actual excerpts from past participants)

About the course

“Very empowering and inspirational” “Learning how to twist problems into solutions…” “It’s a great start to follow a new path. Inspiring and informative. No regrets!” “It is probably the most informative and educational compared to other courses I have attended.”

About the location

“Overall, the site was great – the location is practical & the grounds beautiful, with plenty of space to work & enjoy” “It was great! The place was just perfect, I felt we made the best out of the time given but still were able to chill & relax :)” “Nice place. Very accessible. Love the garden & the huge open area with the shady trees.”

About the practicals

“…container gardening, soil/dirt, composting and other urban topics were great because I can start putting that to practice right away.” “The practical part was the most useful, because they are the very basis of the course. Without actually getting dirty with working in the garden, all the theory would be useless.”

About the learning experience

“…the course was taught in a way that was not too technical for people who don’t come from related backgrounds.” “Learning from teachers and participants alike. The interactive nature of the course allowed for exchange of ideas and experience.” “It was efficient, rich with information. I liked that the course was delivered by more than one teacher according to their specialty / field of interest.”