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Based in Cloughjordan at the Ecovillage, our Permaculture offerings include:

Over the years, Cultivate have run numerous gardening and permaculture courses, from short talks and workshops in our roof-top garden at the old location in Temple Bar to fully-fledged and accredited 72 hour Permaculture Design courses in Cloughjordan.

Cultivate is also part of the Horizon 2020 project GROW. GROW is a European-wide project engaging thousands of growers, scientists and others passionate about the land. We will discover together, using simple tools to better manage soil and grow food, while contributing to vital scientific environmental monitoring.



Photo at right by Goska Smierzchalska at the August 2012 PDC in Cloughjordan

QQI (FETAC) L5 Permaculture Design Course

Learn Permaculture design, how we can live more sustainably, grow food intensively and create livelihoods within our own communities

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Three Weekends: 7-8 and 21-22 October and 4-5 November | Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co Tipperary | €350 (Secure place with €75 deposit)

Payment Options

Contact us with this form or at 0505 56060 | POSTER

This QQI L5 Permaculture Design Course* provides participants with a balanced combination of theory and outdoor practical place-based learning. The course emphasises both ecological and social permaculture covering topics such as perennial plants, agro-forestry, soil health and new ways of thinking about land management. A lively, participatory and thought-provoking experience is guaranteed.

 *This course can be taken alone or when taken with Applied Permaculture Design QQI L5, can lead to a full UK Permaculture Design Certificate.  The Weekend Permaculture and Applied Permaculture Courses are delivered by NICER Training, the QQI registered provider, in partnership with Cultivate.

What is permaculture?

The word 'permaculture' comes from 'permanent agriculture' and 'permanent culture'. Permaculture applied to farming and gardening promotes organic methods of managing land in such a way as to increase soil carbon, protect and enrich the soil and boost biodiversity. Applied to society and 'culture' it supports communities in becoming more resilient.  The essence of permaculture is the design of an ecologically sound way of living - in our households, gardens, communities and businesses - and cooperating with nature and caring for the earth and its people.

Rather than a discipline, Permaculture presents us with a set of design principles derived from the observation of natural ecosystems. These principles are then used to develop integrated systems that provide for our needs of food, shelter, energy and community in ways that are healthy and efficient. We can use permaculture design methods to improve the quality and productivity of our individual lives, our society and our environment.

Read more: QQI (FETAC) L5 Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Certificate 2017, Cloughjordan Ecovillage


PDC 2017

Learn how we can live more sustainably using ecological design
Practical skills for horticulture, farming, enterprise, green building, perma-facture, collaboration, social innovation and community resilience.

11-20 August 2017 | Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co Tipperary, Ireland |Contact Us | Fees €550 / €495 Members | some concessions are available, €100 deposit secures your place (how to apply - PDF). Course Poster PDF

This 10-day Permaculture Design Certificate Course is organised by Cultivate and hosted in association with Cloughjordan Community Farm and the Ecovillage Education Group and is accredited by the Permaculture Association

Each year we invite special guest tutors to share their expertise, and 2017 sees the return of Albert Bates, the founder of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee, past president of Global Ecovillage Network and author of 16 books on ecology and the future and Aranya, leading UK Permaculture teacher and designer and author of Permaculture Design: A Step-by-Step Guide. Aranya will be coming to us online; he hosted one of last years most popular, inspiring and interactive sessions on design.

Read more: Permaculture Design Certificate 2017, Cloughjordan Ecovillage

GROW Observatory

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A citizens' observatory for growers, researchers and decision makers.

Do you grow your own food? Have an allotment? Own a small farm? Are you involved in a community or school garden?

Are you taking practical steps to regenerate the soil for future generations? GROW provides an opportunity to develop and share your knowledge and skills.

Join us in the GROW Observatory, a European-wide project engaging thousands of growers as citizen scientists. We will learn together, using simple tools to better manage soil, while contributing to vital global environmental monitoring.

Our coordinated experiments will help with forecasting and preparing for climate events, such as heat waves and floods, by validating the detection of soil moisture from satellites.

Visit GROW at to get involved in the project.

Vegetable Gardening Tips

altMonth-by-month vegetable gardening tips from Kathleen!

Scroll down to discover tips for the entire year!

LEARN about applying Permaculture Design Principles in your garden. Join us for our 2017 Permaculture Design Certificate Course!

December / January Vegetable Garden

Things to do:

1. Get organised for the spring and start collecting plastic bottles for cloches.

2. Build a compost bin at the bottom of your garden.

Read more: Vegetable Gardening Tips

Become a Woodland Guardian

  • The perfect green gift
  • Nurture the natural world for our children & grandchildren
  • Foster a small parcel of wildlife in Tipperary
  • ‘One generation plants the trees, another gets the shade’

Cloughjordan Ecovillage - Our Community Woodlands

In 2011, we planted more than 17,000 native trees – alder, ash, oak, sweet chestnut, birch, wild cherry and rowan.  Our aim in planting the woodland was to provide a wilderness area to nurture biodiversity.  

In the permaculture design process, we also focused on providing paths for walking, a site for woodland skills workshops, a small Celtic 8-circle stone labyrinth, fruits from fruit bearing trees and from the sub-layers of the forest and, in time, wood for fuel and crafts.

This new woodland will provide much-needed habitats for invertebrates, animals, birds, fungi, mosses and other flora.  It’s our gift to the natural world and a legacy for future generations.

Read more: Become a Woodland Guardian

Permaculture Design – the fusion of old skills and new technology

First published by the European Youth Portal 28/02/2014

What is permaculture design and what does it bring? Do we need to save the planet? Philippa Robinson from Cultivate tells us what we can learn from the nature and how.


How do we maintain our health, happiness and collective well-being when the world seems to be unravelling?  Permaculture is an approach that takes us beyond sustainability to a truly restorative design. Underpinning this is the simple idea of working with, rather than against, nature. ...

What do billions of years of resilience have to teach us?

Read more: Permaculture Design – the fusion of old skills and new technology

Herb Gardening Tips

Scroll down to discover herb gardening tips from Kathleen for the entire year!

December / January Herb Schedule

Things to do:

  • Protect planters, especially terracotta planters with bubble-wrap or hessian or even old jumpers. The cold temperatures and frost can easily penetrate containers, freezing the soil and plant roots and killing all but the most robust plants.

Read more: Herb Gardening Tips

Fruit Gardening Tips


Month-by-month fruit gardening tips from Kathleen!

December / January Fruit Garden

Things to do:

1. Complete picking very late-maturing apples, before the hard frosts come

2. Inspect your stored fruits, and remove any rotten ones.

Read more: Fruit Gardening Tips

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