Advanced Permaculture Design students celebrate earning their certificates

Take Permaculture to an Advanced Level

What do you do after the permaculture course? How do you dig deeper and take your designs to a professional and ultra-practical level? How can become more skillful in design implementation?

Advanced Permaculture Design Course students build community and tight-knit relationships out in nature.

Permaculture Design Courses are popular worldwide for the transformative experiences they provide and the introduction to a whole way of viewing landscapes and communities that is often new and refreshing for participants. Our students go out into the world with a set of skills that helps them begin to transform their lives, homes and communities. Some go on to incorporate permaculture into their livelihoods, even providing design services professionally. Often, they yearn for more – a deeper understanding and a honing of skills and experience. That’s where our Advanced Permaculture Design Course (APDC) comes in.

APDC students create advanced permaculture design projects and hone their graphic skills.

How can I gain a more sophisticated understanding of all the elements that I might want to incorporate into my designs? How can I be more thorough in my site analysis? I need a deeper understanding of the practicalities of design installation so that I can coordinate more effectively with contractors. Can you help me hone my skills in plant propagation and crop planning? What digital tools can I use to level up my maps and designs? These are just a few of the questions our students bring to our APDC course. Last summer was our first APDC and we had loads of fun and were very impressed with the designs our students presented at the end of the course. Many life-long relationships were formed and we all sank gratefully into the warm community developed during our ten days together in nature.

Colored pencils, rulers and specialized stencils are just a few tools used to sketch advanced permaculture designs.

Woven throughout the course were many opportunities to practice pen and paper designs, with several different small challenge designs to gain experience with different types of landscapes and client needs. Our guest instructors were instrumental in helping students work on these skills. 

Additionally, students had time to collaborate with others on some of their real-world design projects and met with their design teams daily to work on their design projects, which were presented to the group on the last day.

We dove deep into exploring site surveys and work spaces – how to lay out shop spaces, boneyards, bulk materials, roads, paths and utilities – materials for road base, drainage and outdoor living. Almost every project needs these but most PDC courses don’t have time to get into the nitty-gritty. We got our hands right in there and left with specific skills to apply to variety of projects.

Our instructions shared specialized knowledge about installations such as irrigation and plumbing, earthworks, plant propagation and nurseries.

Instructors show students how to implement their designs, including fruit tree grafting and irrigation installation.
Instructors John Valenzuela and Lydia Nielsen teach advanced permaculture design students how to graft fruit trees and install plumbing and irrigation.

But more than anything, we left with our hearts full of engaging relationships and deep community.

Students celebrate earning their certification in Advanced Permaculture Design.
2021 graduates of the Santa Cruz Permaculture Advanced Permaculture Design Course

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