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Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Courses

The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course is a training utilizing the teachings of Bill Mollison’s Permaculture Design System. The goal is to achieve a working understanding in ecologically-based planning, site design and management.

Areas covered during a Permaculture course include:

  • Permaculture principles
  • Concepts and themes in design
  • The local ecosystem
  • Forms of eco-gardening and farming
  • Broad scale site design
  • The application of specific methods, laws and principles to design
  • Pattern understanding
  • Climatic factors
  • Plants and trees and their energy interactions
  • Water, soils, earth-working and earth resources
  • Zone and sector analysis
  • Food forests and small animal husbandry
  • Harvest and natural forests
  • Aquaculture
  • Planning the homestead
  • Structures
  • Craftwork and chores
  • Equipment, tools and vehicles
  • Renewable energy and energy conservation
  • Waste management and recycling
  • Permaculture strategies for different climates
  • Urban and suburban Permaculture
  • Small farm and garden management and marketing
  • Strategies of an alternative global nation
  • Practical work on design

PDC Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the PDC delivered by a certified, registered teacher, gain a basic understanding of design and development principles involved with large scale and small scale intensive Permaculture applications. These students earn a certificate that signifies they have completed the Permaculture Design Certificate course and are now authorized to use the word “Permaculture” to apply to their related work. In addition to gaining the certificate and information resources presented by the instructor, the students gain the following resources and skill sets:

  • Whole farm planning/property management planning
  • Land component identification and classification
  • Earthworks & soil renovation techniques
  • Water harvesting & drought-proofing methods and applications
  • Vegetable and fruit production
  • Farm forestry & tree crop ground preparation, management & processing techniques
  • Appropriate technology
  • Comprehensive planning and design for the built environment, the use of energy resources and control of the waste stream

We offer four different Permaculture Design Certificate trainings:

Standard PDC 12-Day Training: this is the original format designed by Bill Mollison for the 72 hour course.

Standard PDC 8-Day Training: because time constraints for many folks preclude them from taking a twelve day course that stretches out over two weeks, this training typically runs Saturday through Saturday (just one work week and the including weekends) and includes required pre-course study materials and exercises that must be completed prior to attending classes at the the educational site.

Wild Permaculture 8-Day Training: Permaculture Seen Through the Eyes of the Hunter-Gatherer: The keys to Permaculture lie mainly in our ability to observe the landscape, to identify and utilize the resources at hand, located outside the backdoor. The hunter-gatherer relies completely on his or her ability to read the lay of the land and gather what is needed for food, medicine and utility. A hunter-gatherer gardener gathers plants and animals from the wild, fibers, building materials, water, etc., and creates the practical devices needed for sustenance, warmth and pleasure. This course, “Wild Permaculture”, is a complete Permaculture Design Certificate course and takes place completely outdoors allowing the students to learn and experience Permaculture through the lifeways and folkways of the hunter-gatherer.

This course is about complete immersion in the local landscape. We cover the entire Permaculture course curriculum from this perspective: PC methodologies and principles, observation, pattern understanding, climate, soils, water, and all the rest.

Example Topics:

  • Studying local native traditions and life ways in order to become familiar with the local region
  • Observation: tracking animals and reading the landscape
  • Animals: tracking, hunting, making traps, making bow and arrows, etc.
  • Gardening: identifying, harvesting and preparing wild edible plants
  • Aquaculture: making fishing equipment (hooks, lines, etc) and fishing, gutting and preparing fish for cooking
  • Shelter: building using local materials found at the site; constructing a primitive village paying attention to orientation for passive solar, mass and insulation, etc.
  • The waste stream: where to poop and pee
  • Invisible structures: the tribe and local tribal custom
  • The origins of agriculture and pastoralism

The Three Epochs of Humanity 12-Day Permaculture Design Certificate Course

The Three Epochs of Humanity Permaculture Design Certificate Course contains the creative and experiential application of living skills passed down by our ancestors into the present time and beyond. The three areas of concentration are:

  1. The Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle
  2. Agricultural Settlement and pastoralism
  3. Appropriate Technology and the Ecological Epoch

The Three Epochs course is designed to teach students to utilize what is available in the immediate landscape in a conscious and ecologically astute manner. By learning from the ground up we immerse ourselves in living history where knowledge and hand skills come together in an integrated, healthy fashion.