The TOPS Program
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Tools & Manuals
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The permagarden method combines components of permaculture, an agricultural approach using design principles to utilize natural systems for production, and bio-intensive agriculture, an agricultural approach to maximize production on a small amount of land through sustainable practices that increase biodiversity, to create a highly productive garden using a small amount of land.

The Permagarden Technical Manual serves a key resource for development practitioners working with farmers to help them incorporate permagardens into their farming systems. The manual explains key concepts in creating a permagarden and matches them with appropriate practices, such as double digging, making botanical fertilizers, bio-intensive seed spacing, multicropping, and succession planting. It is intended to be paired with The TOPS Program training materials to enable project staff, together with farmers, to successfully implement a thoughtful, strategic approach to home gardens.

Permagarden Trainings

The 3-day permagarden training materials are intended for trainers who have completed the 5-day permagarden training (previously under TOPS) 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 include the TOPS Permagarden 3-Day Training Guidelines and TOPS Adult Education Training Resources.

The Food for Peace-funded SCALE Award is now carrying forward the permagardens work started under TOPS. If you are interested in hosting a permagarden ToT or would like more information, please contact the SCALE team at  

Checklists and Monitoring Guidance