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Tuminugan Permaculture Farm School

Join our next batch of students in this 7-day hands-on course at Tuminugan Farm. 

Scroll down for the curriculum.

Next available course dates: June 24-30 & July 11-17

Permaculture for the Philippine Tropics


This permaculture course for the Philippine tropics is an immersive and transformative experience designed to connect participants with the principles of sustainable living and deepen their appreciation for Mother Earth


 Throughout this course we will explore various activities and engage with nature daily to develop a profound understanding of permaculture practices specifically tailored to tropical regions


The following is a breakdown of each day's activities what we will learn and how we will engage with nature

Morning sessions will be for fieldwork and the afternoon sessions for presentations and discussions

Day 1: 

Introduction to Permaculture and Site Familiarization

(ETA at the Farm no later than noon)

Participant registration then a healthy farm to table lunch will be served. 

Morning Session

The only way to know the land, is to know it’s people, their history, culture, beliefs and traditions.  Permaculture is all about giving permanence to the distinct culture of the region.  We invite elders from the tribal communities to share their insights to create a deep appreciation of who we really are as Filipinos.  A familiarization of the farm is done with a medicinal walk and talk session with the Datu.

Afternoon Session

After dinner, we will have an exercise introducing each member around the bonfire- who you are, where you are from, why are you here, what you are passionate about and what do you want to get out of the course?

Evening Session

Day 1: 

Permaculture Ethics and Principles
Understanding Natural Patterns 

Methods of Design and Importance of Zoning


Starting to see the world with a mindset that “The Problem is the Solution”.   We begin with the Ethics and Principles of Permaculture then delve straight into Permaculture as an ethical design science that umbrellas over all sustainable practices such as organic farming, syntropic farming, regenerative farming, natural farming and conservation agriculture.  Following with the discussion of the ecological challenges in the Philippines, the importance of the forest and the natural based solutions offered through Permaculture Design.

Observe and examine the patterns found in nature, specifically focusing on the patterns found in trees. Explore how these patterns apply to the larger ecological design of the Philippines, as we circle around the Mother Tree of the site as a prime example.  Getting the hang of zoning your space to conserve energy.

Morning Session

Dive into the art of mapping. Learn how to create topo & boundary maps, how to create a sector analysis as well as zoning your site to use the pattern of the flow and energy of people through the space. These mapping techniques are essential for effective Permaculture design.  The output is presenting the sector analysis and the zones of your site.

Afternoon Session

 Dusk forest grounding & Movie Night.

Evening Session

Day 3:

Healthy Soil and Wildlife / Animal Integration

We head straight to the main crop area of the site, first moving the pigs to their next cell grazed areas experiencing animal integration within the farm.  Inside the bamboo classroom we learn about the importance of a healthy soil food web and to explore soil building techniques suitable for the Philippine tropics. Then we will learn about the role of microorganisms in soil fertility. Discovering the art of vermicomposting, chicken coop stack design &  the black soldier fly - focusing on techniques for effectively utilizing organic waste in a tropical setting.  

We will take a peak and look at the soil under a microscope with Soil Food Web consultant, Gerry Burdas.  Here we view and identify the indigenous micro- organisms in the soil food web.  Remember- SOIL IS GOLD in the tropics!

Morning Session

We engage in a practical activity of compost pile creation inside the chicken coop and biochar making.


You will learn about starting your plant list and how to manage a nursery. This session will cover essential information on selecting and organizing plants for your farm, as well as the techniques involved in successfully managing a kitchen garden or main crop. 


Afternoon Session

Discussion of herb spirals and companion planting as a stacked system embraces all the elements of permaculture design.  Your output is a design of your kitchen garden.

Evening Session

Day 4:

From Cogonal to Forest

Transformative Business Partnership Models with the Indigenous People

Morning Session: Enjoy a sunrise breakfast picnic at the canyon's edge while observing the industrial design of large-scale agriculture.

We head from one ridge to another to observe and experience a reforested area in the mountain range of Kitanglad by Hineleban Foundation.  Here we will talk about successes and failures of our reforestation efforts throughout the years.  Cross your fingers that we see a Philippine Eagle.

Morning Session

For lunch, we drive to nearby Kumaykay River Farm for a sumptuous meal prepared by renowned Chef JJ Javier.

After the scrumptious meal, we head back to Tuminugan to check out all the facilities that add value to the Indigenous People’s crops.

Afternoon Session

Then head off to a site in Buntong Bukid to learn some earthmoving, swale making for capturing water and as a tree design growing system.

Evening Session

Day 5:

Regenerative Talks 

Zone Designs and Aquaculture

Morning Session:  After our talk with speakers for either carbon farming or regenerative economies we take in their experiences to hopefully apply for future projects.

Morning Session

We then proceed and start designing and placing what goes into the zones in your site.  We dissect each zone to come up with a logical design to present at the end of the project.

Afternoon Session 

A short night safari in search for bioluminescent mushrooms or roaming wild Philippine barking deer in the forest.

Evening Session

Day 6:

Philippine Tropical Homes

Right after breakfast, we turn our compost we did 4 days ago then head off to the farmer’s market to support our local farmers.  This will give you a great understanding of how to start livelihoods from the grass roots level.

Morning Session

Here we speak on how to design homes for the Philippine tropics and how to create a more productive community. This session aims to really understand why the indigenous people, through observation, changed their design through time with their tribal housing. 

Afternoon Session

Then we explore innovative approaches to closed loop economies that prioritize sustainability, inclusivity, and the circular economy. Topics such as regenerative agriculture, farmer’s associations, community-based initiatives, farmer’s market and eco-friendly practices will be discussed to inspire new perspectives on community-building.

Evening Session

Day 7:

Graduation Day

After breakfast, we head on to the community church to attend service, praise, worship, give thanks, support and observe. Witnessing the voluntary feeding program established for the people in and around our farm.

Morning Session

Brunch: Fiesta-style chill picnic lunch while the group  presents their site designs to showcase your understanding of the course.

Afternoon Session

Certificate handing!  At the end, the students will receive a certificate of taking a Permacukture for the Philippine Tropics and a T-Shirt to wear boldly in the outside world that says “Ask me about Permaculture!”.

Evening Session

Farm to Table Food by Sabrina's Kitchen

All throughout the 7 days, we will be spoiled heavily by the super healthy local meals prepared by our kitchen team & homestead Chef Sabrina Artadi: Embracing the theme "Let food be thy medicine,".  Cooking demos for lazy style, healthy meal preparations you can take with you back home.

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