Permaculture Design Course and Permaculture Festival

Permaculture Design Course and Permaculture Festival
Course for July 2023
Permaculture is to live in harmony with nature providing for human needs and the needs of everything around us

The Forest Man


Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland, into a lush oasis.

Humble yet passionate and philosophical about his work. Payeng takes us on a journey into his incredible forest.

A co-production between: Polygon Window Productions:

Download the original soundtrack by Mike Ritchie:

PFD Permaculture Festival Design

( PFD )


Course by Helder Valente and
 The New School Permaculture team

28 July to 1 August 2023

Douro Valley - Portugal

Oficial website HERE

Welcome to the permaculture life changing experience

The New School Permaculture with Helder Valente and Festança Festival will be working together to present a Permaculture and traveling festival at the Douro Valley in the north of Portugal.

For 5 days before the festival starts we will learn how to design and organize a permaculture event with a special focus on the practical experience, so we are actually going to be involved on the construction of the festival.

For many people being part of the organization of an event is the most empowering and inspiring transformative process of their lives...and they carry this with them everywere they go....and thats our goal.

This experience will be guided by Helder Valente of the New School Permaculture. 

😊 Helder studied and worked with Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton, Graham Bell, Sepp Holzer, Doug Bullock, Rosemary Morrow, Darren dougherty, Ernst Gotsh and others, and has been teaching all over the world. Helder started in 2009 teaching permaculture to students at the agriculture university and since then learning and teaching on many different climates. While living in the city he dedicated 3 years on developing a urban permaculture project in the center of Lisbon.

For more than 20 years Helder traveled 50 countries learning about diferent comunities and climates and co created several Permaculture Institutes, schools and programs. During this time he spent 1 year traveling the high Amazon region and has worked and studied with indigenous people like the Shipibo, Quechua, Queru, Dakota, Yawanawa and Kamanawa..

There will also be other activities that you can chose to participate like you can be part of the PDC and also chose to be part of the local visits , practical festival design and stay until de end and celebrate at Portugal Permaculture Festival in the Douro Valley region.

See you there.


Creation of an international festival
reference in permaculture to help promote a more natural life.


Through this meeting we seek to share about self-sufficiency, natural resources, traditional and world music and travel stories.

Present workshops, lectures, meetings on the themes.
Sharing local knowledge and traditions

Give artists and artisans the opportunity to exhibit their work.
Present examples of natural construction and self-sufficiency.

Share knowledge about recycling and managing resources in a sustainable way.
Celebrating the unique identity of travelers and sharing knowledge and travel stories.

Traditional, contemporary and world music concerts.
Promoting a spirit of interaction among everyone and striving to maintain everyone's well-being throughout the

Before the starting of the festival we will have a PDC Permaculture Design Course, with this course you will get your permaculture certificate at the same time that you help design the festival. 

To know more about the Festival course click Here

À boleia do HitchFest – o festival da boleia (o projecto mãe), mas com a essência deste. O foco nas viagens e nas experiências vividas e partilhadas mantém-se!!

  • Many people look for Sustainability projects because they have a concern related with the way humans are interacting with nature and the impact they have on the planet. By being part of this movement we look to reduce our ecological footprint and develop a deeper connection with nature

  • Permaculture its a design based system that looks to create balance between man and nature by a sustainable management of resources. Permaculture its about understanding how nature works and work with nature rather than against nature. Permaculture its also a way of living based on functional design and decision making from the perspective of flow of energy.

  • By being part of the development of a permaculture project we envision to develop our capacity to become active agents of change towards a positive future. Despite all the problems in the world our choices determine our impact, by a regenerative management of our resources and materials we can create a brighter future

  • Permaculture projects have a big focus on reducing their ecological impact, the intelligent management of garbage, the production of food using organic methods and the construction of houses using local natural materials are some of the good examples that you will find, permaculture its a life changing experience and you will find many things to discover.

  • By focusing on nature we discover the importance of rhythm and seasons, often we wake up with sun rise or stop to work at sunset,we plant the seed and wait months or years to have the harvesting, understanding natural cycles its a very important part of permaculture studies and to be attuned with the energy flows of nature, deep observation its an essential part.

  • Water is the source of all life, and its availability can change dramatically from a dry climate in the desert to a wet climate in a rainforest. Proper water management becomes a priority in ecological design and to see water following a functional human designed system its a special experience.

  • By being able to close cycles we see organic garbage from the kitchen become super fertile garden compost that will then produce delicious organic food. Soil creation and improvement, its the first thing we design for when we start a new project and once it starts it never finishes.From compost to natural fertilizers, to worm farming to animal feed, there are many ways to manage the organic waste but it usually stays all the project and its all converted on precious black soil.

  • One of the great experiences in permaculture projects its to be able to eat the fruits of our work, its very usual to find large abundant vegetable gardens and diverse food forests producing a large diversity of fruits and berries .Producing its a part of it but also important its the processing of such crops.To make marmalades, vinegars, sourkrauts, jams and wines its a common experience in permaculture projects. Be ready to have great meals.

  • There are many different visions towards ecological regeneration, sometimes you find regenerative agriculture that has a special focus on animals, sometimes you find agroforestry projects that have a special focus on trees and sometimes you will find organic farming that focus on all aspects of farming, permaculture also focus on building of houses, natural architecture, how to organize social networks and project management.The main line that connects all of them its to use low impact natural methods instead of intensive short term chemical options.

  • Repair, reuse, reduce,  recycle, repurpose, that is all part of closing the cycles : To be able to have a future in harmony with the planet we need to stop exponential growth and exploitation of resources. To reduce our need for new things means to reduce the need for mining and industrial contaminating factories in poor countries, closing loops its the way to avoid that.

  • By working outside in direct contact with nature you will experience what it is to feel the wind on your face and the soil under your feet, that helps with our sense of belonging to the planet and you will find that closer connection. Nature can also be devastating and with strong energy flows, we have to be able to adapt and figure out the best way to deal with it. 

  • Natural Building is a hot topic that everyone naturally gets interested in. Everyone has the dream of a beautiful natural house in Nature. It is common to find houses made of clay, of wood, of stone and even houses of straw, it always changes with climate and available resources but the focus is always bioclimatic architecture and natural bioconstruction.

  • Animals There are people good with plants, and there are people good with animals, some people are good with both, find your place and what do you especially love. Connection with farm animals is a great way to ground the stress and to take care of a very sensitive being. By doing this we have a strong help to find where we fit.

  • By being part and helping on a permaculture project will give you some more clear ideas about how we can live in harmony with nature and how to design a future that goes from competition to cooperation, from exploitation to abundance and from egocentric to ecocentric. Take a step on this brighter future and you will see the world change around you

The truth about the misterious pluots

Pluots and other hybrids list. 
Rankings and myth busters

A lot of us get passionate about growing this modern fruits, pluots, pluerries, apriums, peachcotums, apriums, and other funky names that can be a bit overwelming.
Are there other interspecific fruits out there?

To know more about the history of this fruits click HERE

But what are the best ones? Share your rankings.
What are their growing zones and what are the best polinators?

There are interesting and European varieties but are they worth it compared with regular cultivars?

Lets make a list of all of them, american and europeans and try to organize them…(help me out.).

PLUOTS 70%-30% Plum-Apricot

Amigo 1_____________700 chill hrs
Amigo 2_____________800 chill hrs
Black kat_____________1000 chill hrs
Black Satin
Biricoccolo gigante di budrio
Biricoccolo bolognese
Biricoccolo vesuviano
Candy stripe_____________800 chill hrs
Coparose_____________600 chill hrs
Cerny barchat
Crimson heart_____________700 chill hrs
Crimson rose _____________800 chill hrs
Crimson royale _____________800 chill hrs
Cierna marhula
Dapple dandy_____________500 chill hrs
Dapple fire _____________700 chill hrs
Dapple jack _____________600 chill hrs
Dapple supreme _____________300 chill hrs
Dinosaur Brand
Early Dapple _____________700 chill hrs
Ebony Rose_____________600 chill hrs
Emerald gem_____________700 chill hrs
Emerald drop
Fall fiesta _____________800 chill hrs
Festival red_____________600 chill hrs
Flavor Ann
Flavor Blast_____________700 chill hrs
Flavor Candy
Flavor Fall
Flavor Finale
Flavor fusion _____________650 chill hrs
Flavor Gem
Flavor Grenade_____________650 chill hrs
Flavor Heart_____________800 chill hrs
Flavor Jewel_____________850 chill hrs
Flavor King_____________500 chill hrs
Flavor Prince
Flavor Penguin
Flavor Queen_____________400 chill hrs
Flavor Rich
Flavor Royal _____________500 chill hrs
Flavor Rouge _____________500 chill hrs
Flavor Supreme_____________700 chill hrs
Flavorfall _____________800 chill hrs
Flavorite _____________700 chill hrs
Flavorosa____________500 chill hrs Zone 6-10
Flavorich____________800 chill hrs
Flavorela _____________600 chill hrs
Gypsee _____________900 chill hrs
Honey Rich
Honey punch _____________800 chill hrs
King kong
Leah Cot
Marcia Flavor
Mesch mesch amra
Purple candy
Pink candy
Plum parfait
Queen Elizabeth
Raspberry Jewel
Red Ray
Ruby cat _____________800 chill hrs
Spring flavor _____________500 chill hrs
Summer Delight
Sunset delight _____________800 chill hrs
Tasty Rich

PLUMCOT - 50%-50% Plum-Apricot

Bella Sun _____________700 chill hrs
Emerald Beauty
Flavor Delight
Geo pride
Spring Satin_____________Zone 6 300 chill hrs
Plum parfait

Candy heart_____________250 chill hrs
Fruit Punch
Flavor Punch_____________300 chill hrs
Purple Sprite
Sweet heart_____________250 chill hrs
Sweet treat
Sugar twist
White sprite
Brave Heart

Autumn sprite_____________800 chill hrs
Black velvet
Black Pirate
Bella Jewell
Bella Zee
Bella Sweet
Bella Rose_____________750 chill hrs
Betty Cot_____________750 chill hrs
Cot n candy_____________300 chill hrs
Coral Cot_____________600 chill hrsCountrycot
Countrycot _____________350 chill hrsEscort
Escort _____________800 chill hrs
Flavor Delight_____________300 chill hrs
Hermosa_____________800 chill hrs
Honey Rich_____________400 chill hrs
Huntington_____________750 chill hrs
Kylese-Cot_____________450 chill hrs
Late Brittney_____________900 chill hrs
Leah Cot_____________800 chill hrs
Macy Cot_____________150 chill hrs
Purple Rose
Ruby Velvet
Tasty Rich_____________700 chill hrs
Trinidad_____________300 chill hrs
Summer delight
Wescot_____________650 chill hrs
Weston_____________900 chill hrs


Tri lite_____________300 chill hrs Zone 6


Spice zee_____________300 chill hrs Zone 6

Dapple Fire

Bella Royale
Bella Gold____________500 chill hrs Zone 5-9
Bella Cerise



Burgundy, Santa Rosa, Satsuma

Help me add the ones that are missing on the list
Share your thoughts what is the top 10 of the ones you tried?

Are interspecific hybrids a big marketing plan or are they the real deal?Pluots and other hybrids list. Rankings and myth busters

To know more about the history of this fruits click HERE 

BNC - Back to Nature Course

Back to Nature Course

Course taught by Helder Valente and
the New School Permaculture  Team

This course was made to help people create a deeper connection with nature a use that to impulse positive change in the world.

The BNC is a revolutionary course with the objective of helping people understand how nature works and by that find support for their personal projects and visions.

Our goal is to provide tools so that people can be able to learn from nature and with that expand as a creative community

Content of the course.

The ethics and principles of Permaculture
History of permaculture
Patterns in sustainable design
Natures energy flows

Learning strategies
Agile learning
Collective awareness
Self organization

Reading the landscape
How does nature works
Human positive interactions
From erosion to abundancy

Animals on the land
Nature connection
From erosion to abundancy

Water and soil Systems
Secrets of soil and water
From agressive to passive
Water as source of all life

Forests, gardens and trees
Food systems
Climax forests
Forests as teachers

Alternative economies
Economies inspired on natural systems 
Resources management
Projects for the future

Design for a new planet
Possible futures
Living in balance
Next steps towards a new world

Have you ever asked yourself one of these questions?

Managing people is so much harder than developing the land.

How can I do it better?
Where do I start when trying to create and organize my dream project?

I want to keep inspired and manifest my vision for the future. 

How do I to find answers in nature that support me in my project, to be able to move happy and inspired?
When challenges appear, how do I keep moving forward?
How can i transport my visions and ideas to reality.
How can I get support and help others realise their own visions? 

We look at what makes us move in this world of alternative thinking that permaculture provides.
How to bring our dreams, visions and ideas to reality, this course is used for people to dedicate time and space to really think about would it be like?
We also put a focus on project development and management and how to deal with difference of opinions or conflict resolution.
We talk about positive and clear communication and decision tools like sociocracy. 
How can we live in community, have our own space and time and still be part of this social collective consciousness.

Diana Arhire
     My review of New School Permaculture Internship

September- October, 2020

One thing was clear for me from the beginning- if among all this world pandemic chaos, all these people are still coming for the internship, across the middle of the Atlantic- it’s going to be a special one! I felt inspired, supported, understood, challenged, encouraged. As they say, every conflict is an opportunity, and if we see this pandemic as a global conflict, then it could indeed be a great opportunity- for change, for slowing down, for going deeper not further, for (inner) gardening, for Permaculture!

I’m grateful for all the amazing people I met during the courses, so many laughs, hugs, spontaneous dancing, building and burning our first fireplace. Our Perma-tribe was led by our eco-shaman Helder, the most unusual, non-conformist teacher I ever had, with his great sense of humor & observation skills, he knows how to bring out the best in people. Lots of cool (horror) stories from his many experiences around the world. Bring popcorn.

And so, brave people from 10 different countries, so different from each other, yet we got together for the same reason or cause- we want to shift from an outdated broken society model to a conscious, harmonious co-existing with Nature, where we can all be involved, from growing a pepper on your urban balcony (and maybe some guerrilla planting shhh) to regenerating soils, forest, and rivers. It’s a change of mindset where you realize (or more like you are being reminded) that ANYONE can make a change. Anyone can grow food, in any conditions. Each of us plays an important role, wherever we are, and whoever we are- a farmer with many lands, or the weirdo of the family, backpacking around the world- we are all connected in this web of transformation and we are the influence in our community or family, and nowadays, influence is power. So this Permaculture internship was for me, among other things, about Empowerment.

Empowerment and understanding the Essence- whatever the question is, the answer can be found in Nature, by observing, interacting and experimenting. We humans, as Observers, can change the world around us, thus we are creators of our own worlds (inspiration from quantum physics). When we slow down and observe Nature, we see problems as solutions, we understand the natural succession of things, where each part plays a role in the cycle of life, where there are no invasive species, just pioneer soldiers doing their job to balance something our or to regenerate damaged soils or ecosystems. By understanding the Patterns in Nature, we understand ourselves, and by understanding ourselves we move upward in the spiral of Life.

I’ve learned that Permaculture is about compassion, for all life forms- it’s empathizing with the Earth, with Nature, with the plants, with the animals, the insects, the rivers, the soils, but also with ourselves and the other humans beings across the globe. It’s a holistic approach on Life.

I’ve learned that techniques and recipes are useful but once you understand The Essence of a process, you don’t need the recipe anymore. You can make your own fertilizer, you can make your own vinegar!

I’ve learned that when working with Nature, as with people, being gentle is more important than having a lot of knowledge and experience. Mindset and attitude are more important than any material resources.

With every course of the internship it felt like I’m putting a puzzle together to finally see “the bigger picture”:

Social course: challenging for me personally, as it requires A LOT of extroversion and getting out of comfort zones, but I survived apparently! 

Playing games (the games saved me) as a way of learning and rediscovering the inner child, the true source of creativity. We learned each other’s gifts, talents, fears and dreams.

We talked about eco-villages and community projects, their challenges and perspectives, and how decisive communication methods are. Alternative economies were also touched, as well as event design & celebration in the context of a successful Project Management.

The World Café” method of group work really inspired me, to see my colleagues brain-storming on world problems and their solutions, like how to introduce Permaculture in poor areas, in refugee camps, to the elderly and to the children, and how we could get everyone involved in making this world a better place.

Another cool moment I’d like to mention is learning about the role of a Teacher (Permaculture teaching or other)- we tried different approaches and methods of teaching, and my personal discovery was that as long as you teach about something you’re passionate about, about something you personally enjoy, teaching becomes fun, a game of “take and give”, where the “master” becomes the “student” and the other way around.

Again, we had inspiring interviews with Permaculture friends, like Silvia Floresta and her Food Forest ; or Pedro Teixera with his Urban Permacultue project “Espaço Compasso” in Porto in the north of Portugal,  talking to us about Sociocracy as the alternative healthy “politics” of the future.

The subjects covered during the BNC include:

Positive communication
Intentional communities
Social organisation
Conflict resolution
Project management
Decision making
Power of celebration
Alternative economies
New School Education

We are planning some more BNCs for the next months
if you want more information contact:   


We are planning some more BNCs 
for the next months
 if you want more information contact:   

Courses we provide - What we share

PDC-Permaculture Design Course
PPC-Permaculture Practical course
PVC-Permaculture Worms Course
PMC-Permaculture Mushroom Course
PIC-Permaculture Introduction course
UPC-Unconventional Plants Course
RNC-Reading Nature Course

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Permaculture is to create paradise on earth starting at the kitchen garden

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