COVID UPDATE: Our courses, design services, mentoring programs, and hoshigaki sales are still happening. Practicing and learning permaculture is more important than ever. We hope you’ll join us! Under current regulations we’re permitted to safely do our work outdoors with a health and safety protocol. Please contact us if you have questions as the protocol changes as we receive new recommendations from public health officials. We meet online when a topic is well suited to online engagement. In the event a session is cancelled you will receive a full refund. Visit our course pages to secure your place today and any discounts that apply.

Permaculture Design Course

6-month weekend course – October 2020 to March 2021

6-month weekend course – April 2021 to September 2021

2-week intensive – June 2021  

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 Food Forests

Planning, Growing and Enjoying Year Round Abundance

An Applied Permaculture Practicum in Santa Cruz & Surrounding Region

Ongoing & Next Course Begins August 2021

  • 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 26 – July 3, 2021

  • 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.


Permaculture Institute for Educators

July 5 – 9, 2021

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 24-25, 2021

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.

Community Permaculture Calls

Tuesdays at 7:00-8:30 PM Pacific

10 week program begins every quarter – Next call series begins January 5, 2021!

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.

Winter Cohort Topics

Winter Pruning & Gathering Scion Wood: Winter pruning is an essential skill for the fruit tree grower, leading to more effective tree growth and fruit production. Plus, the pruned branches that fall to the ground are useful scion wood that can be shared and traded.

Grafting: Learn how to graft fruit tree scions onto rootstock so you can choose the varieties you want and start or expand your own food forest at home.

Observing Water: Where does water flow during rain events on your landscape? Learn about the importance of observation in permaculture design and explore methods for passive water retention in the landscape.

Greenhouses: Winter is the time to start seeds in your greenhouse for spring planting. You can also grow heat-loving plants in your greenhouse, such as tropical fruits and flowers.

Composting: We’ll explore various home composting systems (including worm composting!) so that you can turn food scraps and organic materials into black gold for your permaculture garden. If you already have a compost system in place, we can troubleshoot any issues you may be facing and identify ways to improve it.

And More! We hope you can join us!

systems change

Previous Courses

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

Our courses & services are still happening thru a mix of on-site and on-line learning.