Permaculture Design Course

6-month weekend course – Ongoing & Next Course runs April to September 2023

Individual Weekend Attendance Available

2-week intensive course – June 9-22, 2023

Includes 110 hours of hands on activities, field trips and presentations

Enroll in the 6 month course, or choose specific weekends

  • Permaculture Design & Nature Awareness

  • Restoring Watersheds & Soils

  • Personal & Social Permaculture

  • Home Scale Permaculture: Creating Natural Homes and Edible Landscapes

  • Broad Scale Permaculture: Integrated Animal Husbandry and Forest Management

  • Community Development, Ecovillages, and Design for Mitigating Disaster

Permaculture Skills Course

6-month weekend course – Next Course runs April to September 2023

Individual Weekend Attendance Available

Join expert instructors to develop practical skills for building and maintaining the most common permaculture projects

Enroll in the 6 month course, or choose specific weekends

  • Construction & Carpentry

  • Energy: electrical, solar, biogas, bicycles

  • Forestry & Wood heat: rocket stoves, ovens, harvesting timber and non-timber forest products

  • Agriculture: composting, orchards and animals, no-till techniques, brush clearing, gopher trapping

  • Water: plumbing (especially for greywater systems), drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting

  • Landscape Construction: stonework, masonry, fencing

Permaculture Food Forests

Planning, Growing and Enjoying Year Round Abundance

An Applied Permaculture Practicum in Santa Cruz & Surrounding Region

Ongoing & Next Course Begins August 2024

Individual Weekend Attendance Available

  • Design and plant productive, resilient, and site/climate appropriate orchards.

  • Engage in seasonal care of fruit trees and perennial vegetables, including summer and winter pruning, fertility management, and irrigation.

  • Propagate fruit trees via grafting and budding.

  • Identify dozens of unique varieties of new and heirloom fruits and vegetables, and assess which ones perform well in your climate.

  • Preserve the harvest through a wide variety of canning, drying, pickling, and fermentation techniques.

  • Create a customized vegetable crop plan for your home or farm so that you meet your production goals, whether they are to realistically produce your own food or have an economically viable farm.

  • Identify organizations and events in your area so that you may plug into active learning communities, exchange free plants, and participate in annual fruit tastings.

Advanced Permaculture Design Course

June 24 – July 1, 2023

  • Gain fluency with the design process and be able to hit the ground running for any permaculture design project.

  • Understand how context drives decision-making in permaculture design.

  • Hone a variety of skills useful for improving permaculture designs you’re doing for yourself, family and friends, or in a professional setting.

  • Produce a design for a real world client that can provide a start or a boost for your design portfolio.

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the details required for some of the most frequently encountered design scenarios.

Herbalism & Medicine-Making

6-month weekend course – Ongoing & Next Course runs April to September 2023

Individual Weekend Attendance Available

All sessions include plant walks, plant sits and lots of hands-on making & crafting.

  • Learn how to source, make, and use a wide range of herbal medicines

  • Build your home apothecary by making tinctures, syrups, oils, salves, lotions, pastilles and much more

  • Learn herbal actions such as Adaptogens, Calmatives/Sedatives, Immunostimulants, Qi tonics and Harmonizers that can be grown in our gardens or sourced locally

  • Discuss the crucial role diet and nutrition play in promoting our vitality, immunity, and resilience to stress

  • Learn natural ways to support your energy and nervous system, relax more, and sleep better, all within a supportive community of practice


Permaculture Institute for Educators

2023, to be announced

A five-day workshop/retreat focused on deepening your knowledge, practice and personal growth in research, education and mobilization for permaculture.

You Will Experience:

  • Lectures and webinars on the science of permaculture

  • Deep self-reflection, conversations and collaborative strategy sessions to apply this science to education

  • Sharing with colleagues about what we are already doing and how to get more of that

  • A thriving and growing support network

Ultimately you will leave with greater knowledge of the science-based strategies behind permaculture, and tools for adapting them to share with students and adults in schools.

The Work That Reconnects

April, 2023

Join us for a transformational group process that builds motivation, connection, solidarity and vision, renewing the courage to act for the healing of our world. In these times of climate chaos, rampant inequality, systemic racism, and other daily catastrophes, there is a tension between our desire to take urgent action and our need to process reality on a deeper level.

The Work that Reconnects is both a process for transforming our despair into purposeful action, as well as a deep well of nourishment to continue. Through a series of creative and experiential exercises, The Work that Reconnects opens space for radical truth-speaking and personal and collective empowerment.

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Permaculture Community Campouts

Spring Campout – May 19-21, 2023

Part permaculture convergence, part primitive skills gathering, part family vacation. Join us for a weekend of community and deep nature connection.

  • Cultivate wholeness, community and nature connection

  • Learn new nature-connected and primitive skills from a variety of instructors and alumni.

  • Enjoy a nature-immersive camping experience, skill development, and delicious organic food within a supportive community.

Community Permaculture Calls

Tuesdays at 7:00-8:30 PM Pacific

10 week program begins every quarter – Next call series to be announced!

Practice permaculture each week at our ‘village campfire’ of ongoing interactive group calls.

Hosted by experienced permaculture mentors including Santa Cruz Permaculture founder David Shaw.

Spring Cohort Topics

  • Garden Bed Preparation

  • Setting Up Drip Irrigation

  • Greenhouses

  • Laundry to Landscape (Greywater)

  • Digging Swales

  • Spring Orchard & Food Forest Care

  • Composting

  • Compost Toilets

  • Semi-Hardwood Cuttings

And More! We hope you can join us!

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Previous Courses

View previous courses offered by Santa Cruz Permaculture. You are encouraged to sign up for our newsletter to learn about future offerings.

Next Permaculture Design Course Begins April 1st - Register Soon!