S39 Academy of Permaculture
29th October 2020



Welcome to the s39 Academy

Front of house - Aine (Ain-ya) is here to welcome new potential students and academy members. Message on here or using messenger and we can talk about how we might be able to support your permaculture learning journey.

We are currently trialing our first online permaculture course so do ask us about that.

Sector39 Academy links people interested in learning more about permaculture with other students, mentors, tutors, courses and internships. 

Our aim is cultivate, link and connect leading practitioners to build a case for permaculture as a design tool in development. It’s all about sharing knowledge and building a network, as we go along.

Steven Jones, Sector39 director and lead tutor

This is a new website under development, we will be tracking and recording the development of the network of permaculture trainers, trainees, training and demonstration sites over the next three years as we develop the Academy.

Firstly we have to thank our funding and coordinating partners:

  • Arkleton trust
  • Permaculture Association Britain
  • Permaculture Research Institute Uganda
  • Hub Cymru Africa
  • Wales for Africa program
  • PermoAfrica Center

and all our friends, supporters and past students

Steven Jones, Sector39 director and lead tutor

Sector39 permaculture


Training team in Maaji Settlement,Uganda


In 2011 S39 were invited by local charity Dolen Ffermio to help host a visit from 6 farming pioneers from Uganda. Friendships and connections developed and we returned to visit when invited in 2014, leading directly to our first full permaculture design course held in Kamuli, Uganda in 2016. A very interesting Wales/ Africa relationship around permaculture seems to be developing and we are supporting each other to accelerate change and make training and resources available, as well creating channels for people to relate their own permaculture stories.

Permaculture has a huge potential to take off in a very big way in East Africa where between 70% – 90% of people are subsistence farmers, working small plots of land, or maybe as employees the main retirement plan is to return to farming. The only training or alternative on offer to farmers seems to be intensification, larger farms, imported seeds and fertility financed by loans, there has to be another way..

We fully realise the potential for permaculture to transform Africa, not least because it values resonate strongly with traditional values that have been strongly eroded by globalisation. What we have experienced in East Africa, a region of small farmers and low incomes is that there is very little investment in subsistence farming. Most seem to grow the same few crops in the same few ways which exacerbates vulnerability to price fluctuations, erratic weather and climate change. Investing in resilient farming methods, expanding crop diversity, staggering seasons, adding value and building long term fertility with organic methods is all part of the permaculture approach.

Investing in people, through permaculture

Evaluation and thoughts on permaculture and refugees project.

Permaculture believes in people power, with training, support and practical examples people can quickly learn new ways or rediscover old ones. Activities that work and produce a good yield tend to have a reinforcing feedback loop built into them, hence the power of permaculture to self replicate.

fuel efficient stove


At least 3 or 4 times more fuel efficient compared to an open fire, this thermal mass rocket stove also ventilates to the outside expelling wood-smoke, the biggest avoidable cause of ill health in Africa. This can be addressed with using 100% local resources. Through permaculture design, these stoves can be linked to the production of fast growing nitrogen fixing trees, also grown as part of water catchment systems and coppiced to produce narrow diameter wood ideal to fuel such stoves.