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TOPS Permagarden Toolkit

Organizational Authors: 
Mercy Corps
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TOPS Permagarden Technical Manual

The permagarden method creates a highly productive garden by teaching good agriculture principles and practices. It is designed to work in both the rainy and dry seasons and is an approach to home gardens that improves soil fertility and water management to produce nutritious crops year-round. The method shows how farmers around the world with only a small amount of land can produce food throughout the year by learning the natural principles behind good gardening and matching those principles to basic practices. The method is intended to empower gardeners to use local resources to overcome challenges in the garden; it is a simple solution that can help bring resilience to each household, one small adjustment at a time.

The Permagarden Technical Manual serves as a key resource for development practitioners working with farmers to help them incorporate permgardens into their farming systems.

TOPS 6-Day Training of Trainers in Permagarden 

The TOPS Program offers a 6-day Training and Trainers (ToT) in the permagarden method. This training provides an opportunity for food security practitioners and project staff to learn technical aspects of the permagarden method, and to roll this method out to other practitioners and farmers. Participants in the ToT will construct a permagarden step-by-step as well as spend days learning adult education methods.  A draft agenda can be found here. The 6-day Permagarden ToT will enable staff to deliver a 3-day permagarden training for farmers. If you are interested in hosting a permagarden ToT, please contact Andrea Mottram at or Eric Carlberg at or read more about TOPS Small Grants as a funding opportunity.

TOPS 3-Day Training in Permagarden

The 3-Day permagarden training materials are intended for trainers who have completed the TOPS 6-Day permagarden training and plan to train farmers in this method. The aim of the training is to enable farmers to adopt key principles and create a permagarden within their homestead. Training materials includes the TOPS Permagarden 3-Day Training Guidelines, TOPS Adult Education Training Resources, instructional pictorial sheets which can be translated into local languages, a productive behavior checklist, and a “walk and talk” reference sheet.

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