Terra Preta – Fertile Soil

09.12.2017 - 10.12.2017

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Terra Preta – Fertile Soil

with Edouard van Diem December 9th-10th 2017 at the Practical Permaculture Institute Zanzibar (in Kiswahili and English)

International PK 72 h Bild 10

Terra Preta (port. “black soil”), is the most fertile, nutritious and most alive earth we know. It has a high storage capacity for water and nutrients, especially carbon. Terra Preta is of human origin and can be made of organic waste and charcoal wherever people live and plants grow.

Through Terra Preta we are offered a practical and realistic possibility to create permanently fertile soil, while at the same time binding carbon from the atmosphere and storing it into the soil.

Terra Preta stably binds nutrients and protects them against leaching. The nutrients are provided via biochemical mechanisms according to plant requirements, so that the plants are always optimally supplied. On the one hand, this is due to Terra Preta’s very good soil-physical properties and, on the other hand, through a particularly balanced population of microorganisms and soil fungi, which complement each other in their interaction.

The origin of Terra Preta is in the Amazon, where Indios from the Amazon basin have produced this soil type over millennia. Through the deliberate use of all organic waste and the use of charcoal, the early forest gardeners succeeded in returning all the substances to the soil which were removed from it from cultivation. Contrary to the production of compost, Terra Preta reduces outgassing, and thus greenhouse gas emissons.


Course content

All teaching will be in Kiswahili and English!

Each participant receives:

– different methods of how to produce Terra Preta

– a culture strain of permanently self-reproducible microorganisms

– all necessary information to successful start Terra Preta yourself

– Step by step introduction to the practicalities

This seminar offers the opportunity to become a pioneer for treating the earth sustainably. We will make a Terra Preta culture for PPIZ and thus give the coral rag soil an excellent start-up aid! From there, participants are encouraged to take this knowledge to their farms and communities.

International PK 72h Wolke 2

The teacher

Edouard van Diem has been on the Permaculture journey for 12 years, starting his own Permaculture education center, the Permakultur Campus in Hamburg, Germany, four years ago. The Permakultur Campus offers Permaculture related workshops and courses, and also the certification of the Permaculture Diploma, a 1-2 year training in Permaculture design. Edouard has also been very active in working with projects abroad and giving consultation to businesses and NGOs in Haiti, Palestine, and the DR Congo. www.permakultur-campus.de


The venue – PPIZ

You will be accommodated in the school dormitory building within the beautiful gardens of the Practical Permaculture Institute, 15min from the historical city of Stone Town. Accommodation is simple but traditional, with rooms shared amongst two people each and communal shower and compost toilets. Fees include full board of a tropical breakfast, and Zanzibari spice cuisine for lunch and dinner each day, starting with dinner on arrival night December 8th 2017 and ending with lunch on the last day, December 10th 2017. Please let us know about any dietary preferences/restrictions in advance!

We kindly ask all participants for personal use to bring organic/natural shower gel/shampoo in order to keep our grey water systems chemical free. We kindly request all on-organic trash to be taken back home, so please reconsider all items you want to bring along. Ladies, please consider getting a Menstrual Cup as alternative to one time use Pads/Tampons, if you are not on that track already 🙂





Full course fees are US $ 80

Fees include:

–              Full board and accommodation throughout the course (three meals per day)

–              Certificate from PK Campus Germany and PPIZ

The course is limited to 18 participants to ensure proper personal guidance and an intensive learning atmosphere. All payments to PPIZ:

International PK 72 h Bild10


December 9th-10th 2017

Arrival Details

Participants are expected to arrive the day prior the course start, on December 8th (dinner included) to register themselves and settle in. The course ends after the graduation on Sunday afternoon, December 10th. Last included meal will be the lunch that day. Additional meals and nights at PPIZ post/prior the PDC can be arranged for an additional fee.



Book your spot now by contacting Laura: tanzania@permaculture-eastafrica.com

International PK 72h Wolke 2

Courses with Edouard van Diem:

  • November 25-26: ENGLISH/KISWAHILI Introduction to Permaculture, $80
  • November 27-30: ENGLISH/KISWAHILI Permaculture Multiplication Training, $180
  • December 2-3: ENGLISH/KISWAHILI Plants to start a Tropical Food Forest, $80
  • December 9-10: ENGLISH/KISWAHILI Terra Preta – Fertile Soil, $80
  • January 8-19: ENGLISH/KISWAHILI 72-hour International Permaculture Design Course, $680 (incl. guest lecturers, field trips; practical planning and implementation food forest aspect at PPIZ)