ARUNACHALA – PDC December 2017

Arunachala 1989                      –                  now and on….



December 4 – 20, 2017

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman

Permaculture Design Course (internationally recognised curriculum)

This course, offers practical solutions to many of the issues facing the world. Above all, it is an inspiring response to taking steps necessary to change the world from its current trajectory towards increasingly disastrous environmental and social problems. Become an architect and activist for positive change, rather than a passive victim of what may seem to be an inevitable downward spiral. It is NOT.

Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. While Permaculture deals with plants, animals, buildings and infrastructure (water, energy and communications), it is not about these elements themselves, but the relationships we can create between them by the way we place them in the landscape.

With Permaculture, we harmonise the characteristics of a landscape with the characteristics and needs of the people using the land. This harmony will invariably have its own beauty, yet we can enhance the aesthetics by careful and imaginative selection of species. Beauty that not only nurtures the soul, but supports the bank balance by having low maintenance costs.

Following the internationally recognised curriculum plus current innovation both technical and social, we treat both physical and human landscapes to evolve empowering responses to current challenges.

The course is dynamic, challenging, instructive, and fun. It will most likely change the way you see the world around you, and your role in it, forever. The course is active and highly participatory.

“The aim is to create systems that are ecologically sound, and economically viable, which provide for their own needs, do not pollute, and are therefore sustainable in the long term.”                               Bill Mollison

The Venue.

Will be divided between our land bordering on the Samudram Ery (large monsoon lake) immediately south of Arunachala, 5 km from town, and the nearby Annamalai Reforestation Society Permaculture Demonstration Farm, which I designed and helped to establish 25 years ago. There will also be field visits during the course.

The Facilitators:

John Button and Francesca Simonetti


John(Australian): I’ve been working and playing with Permaculture for 35 years, designing, teaching and implementing in many parts of the world, in extremely diverse climatic, topographic and cultural situations. I’m passionate about my work-play, and absolutely believe in our collective capacity to create a wonderful, abundant and just world. I am determined to play an active part to achieve that dream.

From 1989 to 1997 I co-ordinated the Annamalai Reforestation Society greening of Arunachala, the first successful reforestation action on the mountain, as well as wasteland regeneration sites,  the Permaculture Demonstration Farm, educational programs, a huge nursery in the main temple.

Francesca (Italian): I’m an agronomist and counsellor, with more than 15 years of professional experience. I have worked for public administrations, public and private clients, in various sectors, such as: landscape design, phytopathology and valuation of existing trees (VTA Visual Trees Assessment), environmental assessment, montoring of forest and agricultural plants, environmental education and creative workshops for children.

Together we create a rich team, integrated and stimulating, that unites professionalism, passion and broad experience, to serve for a present and future more conscious and sensitive.

Our method of design is based on the principles of Permaculture, adapted specifically for each situation, including climate and culture. The specific quality of each landscape and the people associated with it, necessitate individual consideration and response.

We welcome the opportunity to work with anybody who shares our confidence and dreams for a better, juster, healthier world, characterised by inpiration, support, self-empowerment and love for each other and the glorious world which we share.

Contact information: