Permaculture Design Course

What is Permaculture & Whole Systems Design?

Permaculture is an ethically based whole-systems design approach that uses concepts, principles, and methods derived from ecosystems, indigenous peoples, and other time-tested systems to create human settlements and institutions. It’s also been called “saving the planet while throwing a better party.” 

Our certificate course includes the internationally recognized 72-hour curriculum, augmented by an additional 38-hours of hands on practice and field trips. Plus, folks have the option to camp on site each weekend, and build community around the fire!

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to:

  • Assess the sustainability of current design systems and practices;

  • Define permaculture ethics and the principles of sustainability;

  • Employ natural patterns as a design tool in a wide variety of contexts;

  • Understand basic soil ecology and implement composting methods;

  • Design simple water harvesting systems, from home to broadacre scale;

  • Define and design “guilds” or constructed plant communities;

  • Understand local food issues and the importance of localization;

  • Translate ecological principles to a variety of social, economic, and educational settings;

  • Employ best practices for starting and sustaining intentional communities and Ecovillages;

  • Apply permaculture methods to educational curriculum design and the creation of school garden programs.

permaculture design

Dates & Topics 2019

  • April 13 & 14 – Regenerative Design & Nature Awareness

  • May 4 & 5 – Regenerating Watersheds & Soils

  • June 8 & 9 – Personal & Economic Permaculture

  • July 13 & 14 – Home Scale Permaculture: Creating Natural Homes & Edible Landscapes

  • August 3 & 4 – Broad Scale Permaculture for Ecosystem Regeneration: Integrated Animal Husbandry & Forest Management

  • September 14 & 15 – Social Permaculture & Community Development

  • September 21 – Public Design Presentations

  • Class typically runs 9am – 5:30pm both days, with a lunch break
  • Here are the dates for our current program, and you can still sign up for an individual weekend using the PayPal link below:
    • October 6 & 7 – Regenerative Design & Nature Awareness

    • November 3 & 4 – Regenerating Watersheds & Soils

    • December 8 & 9 – Personal & Economic Permaculture

    • January 12 & 13 – Home Scale Permaculture: Creating Natural Homes & Edible Landscapes

    • February 9 & 10 – Broad Scale Permaculture for Ecosystem Regeneration: Integrated Animal Husbandry & Forest Management

    • March 2 & 3 – Social Permaculture & Community Development

    • March 9 – Public Design Presentations



  • $1,250 – Full 6-Month Tuition

  • $1,150 – Early-Bird Discount – Register Before March 1, 2019 and Save $100

  • $1,050 – Super Early-Bird Discount – Register Before February 1, 2019 and Save $200

  • $950 – Partner / Spouse Discount – When one partner registers for the full course, the second gets a discount

  • $950 – Teacher Discount – For K-12, College and University Teachers

  • $750 – Child Discount – When an adult registers for the full course, their child gets a discount

  • $300 – One Weekend Only

  • Please Inquire about Payment Plans, Low-income and Youth POC Discounts

Payment Options

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there readings, videos, and other materials to supplement our time together?

Yes. We provide a very comprehensive online course reader for free, and recommend you purchase the 2nd Edition of Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow.

What if I miss some classes? Can I make them up?

Yes. Once you enroll in our Permaculture course you are a lifetime member. You can make up material you missed during the next session, or even just come join us again for a refresher. Additionally, we often arrange with other California Permaculture teachers so that our students can make up courses with them, and vice versa. Isn’t the permaculture community great?

What time does class start and end?

Class meets Saturday and Sunday 9am-5:30pm with a lunch break. We typically have a potluck on Saturday night. On rare occasions the group may decide to begin earlier to catch a particular field trip and/or end earlier. We never end after 5:30pm.

How do I register?

Please use the PayPal link above. Registration includes access to all course sessions, online course reader and on-site camping. While a kitchen is provided, we do not provide food. There is a PayPal Handing Fee included in the price. You do not need a PayPal account to register. Clicking on the Pay Now button will take you to the PayPal site, and then once you make your payment please fill out the additional form to complete registration.

What is the refund policy?

Cancellations up to two weeks before the course begins will be refunded, excluding a $150 processing fee. No refunds are given after that date.