2021 Permaculture Design Course

Our 2021 course is now complete

Email if you would like to be on the wait list for any future courses!

Become more resilient and Eat Better, too!

Permaculture design is a wonderful process for solving all kinds of problems. Whether you are wanting to grow more of your own food, start a farm, contribute effectively with a community project, or start a design business of your own, this course can support you.

While we love the residential and weekend formats for the permaculture design course, through circumstance, we found a great way to present the standard 72-hour curriculum in an online format that works really well (maybe better?) than the in-person formats. We also recognize that online can mean more do-able for you. The course does have three in-person days that are important for course culture and success.

About Our Team

The course is led by Rhonda Baird, William Faith, Milton Dixon, and guest instructors throughout the course. Our team represents one of the most experienced teams of teachers in the region with hundreds of students. 

Milton Dixon

Ann Arbor, MI

I’ve been practicing permaculture since 2008 in urban and suburban environments. I’m really excited about the prospects permaculture gives us to connect to a place.

Rhonda Baird

Bloomington, IN

I began working in permaculture in 2005 in rural and suburban environments. I’ve enjoyed working with people of all ages in applying permaculture to their lives. I hold diplomas in Site Design and in Education from the Permaculture Institute of North America. Graduates of the course will receive recognition of their certificate from PINA.

William Faith

Chicago, IL

I first encountered permaculture in 2005, and have been designing, teaching and spreading the word ever since. I believe permaculture offers the thinking tools and skill set needed to move us toward a brighter and more abundant future.

About Our Approach

An important part of designing successful systems is constantly adapting to needs based upon feedback. While in-person permaculture design courses may resume later this year, online is here and here to stay. We all burned out on day-long zoom calls and workshops in 2020. We need to find a balance. In order to manage our 2021 lives more easily, it makes sense to revisit and improve a format for studying permaculture common until the early 2000’s–a divided course focusing first on permaculture fundamentals and secondly on design and implementation. By using this approach, we support small groups of students in supported self-study, facilitated exploration, and mentored experiences. This approach allows you to: 

  • Join a course at a time that works for you. 

  • Access and study core material (or review it) in a way that fits your life

  • Supports healthy bodies and minds by not asking you to sit still for hours

  • Creates connection and community with other students and with your teachers by focusing on your questions and learning

  • Allows you to start viewing and implementing permaculture in a way that supports your success and confidence as your skills grow–minimizing costly mistakes and helping you to move toward your goals more effectively

  • Connects you to a community of practitioners in the region and around the globe

What are the fundamentals? Permaculture uses a variety of lenses from which to view ecological and cultural health. In the fundamentals section of the course, we lay the philosophical and theoretical foundation which can hold those multiple perspectives together and allow us to work effectively with nature. Then we use that foundation to build a framework from which to inhabit more fully the complexity of our world. Once that framework is in place, we can connect more easily to what is going on around us and understand how to make better choices. 

In the practicum section of the course, we will take all that we’ve learned about observing and understanding dynamic systems and put it into a practical design for your life. We will be working with design for the integrated ecosystem and gardens around you; your built environment; and your community. Here is where our study becomes a practical means to improve your quality of life and set you on the path to a life that is connected, nurturing, and resilient–a world where you and everything around you can thrive.  

In order to receive a permaculture design course certificate, you will need to complete both the fundamentals and practicum sections.

I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge of Permaculture, learn from a dynamic team of instructors, and connect with likeminded people in and around your local area.
Nate B.

Details about the 2021 course

Dates: April-May OR July-August rolling admission for Fundamentals; September-October- Practicum

Practicum: Whether you live near or far, this class integrates practice as we go. If you are near one of the instructors, there are in-person days for this. If you are unable to travel, we will support mentoring and engagement. 

Format: Video, reading, practice, small group work, discussion, reflection, and fun are all incorporated into this dynamic, participatory course. Each week, we will work with small groups to guide you through the material we’ve covered that week. 

Cost: Cost of the course: $750 for fundamentals; $500 for the practicum ($1,150 for both) our cost. 

You can self-scholarship/sliding scale ($650-850 for fundamentals); ($400-600 for practicum); ($1,050-1,450 for both).

Deposit policy – $150 secures your place in the fundamentals; $100 secures your place in the practicum

Registration:  Please complete the contact below. We will send you a registration form and invoice you for a deposit. Once that is paid, your registration is set and we will connect you with your cohort of learners and your schedule of classes (unless otherwise arranged).

Content: This course does cover the 72-hour content including ecological, built, and social systems. We also include additional blocks on key skills we find critical in implementing permaculture into your life.

Some of the curriculum topics: 

  • Soil building for ecological success and nutrition
  • Water management, supply, and care
  • Forest patterns, tree care, and plant communities
  • Designing for food production throughout the year
  • How to integrate animals into your system (and work with the ones already there)
  • Permaculture in different climates — and adaptation to climate changes
  • Natural patterns and emergent cultural patterns
  • Skills which connect us with nature deeply
  • Building structures and retrofits
  • Small building projects that make a difference in the system
  • Energy conservation and production systems
  • Regional and urban permaculture
  • Farm and rural permaculture
  • Home and community economics that transform lives
  • Decision-making and governance –with a special focus on sociocracy
  • Village life and how your neighborhood is a village in the making
  • Making a life with permaculture
  • Support and networks after the PDC

Ready to Register?

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