Year Long Permaculture Design Course at Western Michigan UniversityPierce Cedar Creek Institute is excited to offer a year long Permaculture Design Course in 2017. The course will be taught by Western Michigan University Office for Sustainability Permaculture Coordinator Josh Shultz. Permaculture is a method of providing food and building cultures based on ecological principles. It applies a set of core environmental and social principles to the design of human systems. These principles are to care for the earth, care for the people, and the return of surplus. Shultz was first introduced to permaculture in 2007 during an internship at the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas. Through his work, Shultz began to realize the intensity of energy use and environmental damage associated with industrial agriculture. He felt a responsibility to help others learn to provide needs that do not foster environmental degradation. Shultz has worked with students on several research projects aimed at testing integrated methods of resource management. The projects include: the use of black soldier fly larvae to consume waste food, the implementation of a water heater powered by a woodshop compost pile to produce heat, and an indoor aquaponics system that tests various lettuce growing techniques while raising ornamental fish for the pet trade. The year long permaculture design course is offered as a number of one- or two-day workshops held on weekends throughout the year. The Institute is offering ten core and two supplemental workshops throughout 2017. Individuals who participate in all the core workshops are eligible for a Permaculture Design Certificate. All full-day programs include lunch. Overnight accommodations are available for $75 a night. Workshop topics include Principles of Natural Systems and Design, Aquatic Systems for Homes and Farmsteads, Soils and Plant Propagation, Urban Permaculture and Gardening Strategies, Large Scale Permaculture and Managing Water in the Landscape, Food Forests, and many more. To sign up for the workshops, go to cedarcreekinstitute.org.