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Our purpose is to supply information that enables people everywhere to provide for their own & their communities' needs for food, energy, shelter, & a decent life without exploitation or pollution & from the smallest practical area of land.
You can learn to restore degraded landscapes; shelter & feed displaced, hungry people & wildlife; & convert energy-wasteful infrastructures to thriving ecological systems that meet your needs with excess to share... the Permaculture Design Course!

Planetary Permaculture Course Calendars

Advanced Design Course in Basalt CO, Central Rocky Mt. Permaculture Inst.
(photo Keith Johnson)

What is Permaculture?
Elements of the Curriculum
Design Course Syllabus

Read about, or post your own, Permaculture courses and events. If you use these calendars (links below) to promote your events, PLEASE give just the title, location, and primary teachers. There's plenty of room for details when you create the popup or link to your own website. Brevity allows more people to use it without it getting crowded. Thanks.

United States Canada Europe  Australia / New Zealand / Oceanea
Mexico, South & Central America   Everywhere Else
You can also post at Facebook PermaCourses

Permaculture Courses and workshops taught by Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, Rhonda Baird and associates.

Instructors: Peter Bane (Dipl. Perm. Des. & publisher Permaculture Activist), Keith Johnson (Dipl. Perm. Des. & Patterns for Abundance), Rhonda Baird, and guests. Midwestern natives, Peter, and Keith have between them facilitated over sixty permaculture courses and led groups from four to over a hundred students and between them have graduated more than 2300 design students. They have gardening, building, design, and teaching experience in all regions of the United States.

Two Convenient Summer Sessions
Community, Change & Creativity
Southeast Michigan

July 13-19 and July 27-August 1
(See the PDF ad for this event)
Help create a sustainable campus for the Motherhouse of the Adrian Dominican Sisters at this key location in Michigan’s agricultural heartland. Leaders for progressive social change, the Sisters are committed to making their 100-acre domain a demonstration of ecological health, community outreach, productivity, and best land use practices. This course will build on investments in water management and native plantings to influence students at the neighboring colleges, develop edible landscapes, and support the local, organic foods movement.
Two sessions cover the full PDC: Fundamentals (7/13) presents theory and examples of permaculture design, and is a prerequisite for the Design Practicum (7/27) where the learning is put into practice with team designs. Taken together for the international certificate, or separately to meet your schedule and learning needs. Graduates of other PDC courses can refresh their design skills in the 2nd session. Beginners can pause after the first course to “go home and garden,” letting the lessons sink in.
Air-conditioned rooms and full meal plan included.
Tuition: Fundamentals $808; Practicum $676 (only if you've completed the Fundamentals); both for $1,300 if pd by 5/1; $1,450 after.
Contact: Peter Bane, 812-335-0383,

Use the buttons below to pay for registration or a deposit to secure your place in the course (please note that all prices include a 4% fee to cover Paypal which you can avoid by writing a check).




Both before April 1

Both after April 1

Lift Your Game
Permaculture Teacher Training

Ann Arbor, Michigan • November 9-14
Learn to create the Culture in Permaculture. Engender hope, summon empowerment, heal lives. This 5-day intensive delves into the magic of group learning through the lens of the Permaculture Design Course and its universal elements. With insights to learning methods, students will present a series of lessons, receive feedback, and tackle the challenging business of organizing events and creating programs and curricula. An invaluable step on the road to professional competence, this training will enable you to transform yearnings into vocation, and to take up the mantle of change agent. Taught by master teachers Peter Bane and Sandy Cruz, who between them have trained more than 2,000 permaculture students across the Americas, this course offers a critical opportunity for community leaders. PDC is a prerequisite. Application required.
Fee: $832 by 9/1; $936 after. Pmt. plans available. Peter Bane, 812-335-0383,
Use the buttons below to pay for registration or a deposit to secure your place in the course (please note that all prices include a 4% fee to cover Paypal).

Deposit $156

$832 before Sept 1, 2014

$936 after Sept 1, 2014

The Purpose of the Course

 In a world of diminishing resources and increasing stresses on natural and social systems we must rapidly implement strategies to restore degraded landscapes, shelter and feed displaced and hungry people, and convert our energy-wasteful infrastructure to holistic and ecological systems that meet their own needs and the needs of those who manage them. This course lays the foundation for understanding the workings of natural systems and for designing human environments that produce food, shelter, and energy. It also provides participants with models of community development and extension by which they can create networks of support for themselves and empower others to do the same.

"To my mind the very act of enrolling for a permaculture design course is one of the most political acts most people ever engage in. Since I have certified over 3,000 people I feel that I have helped create a small village of active, engaged and aware folks who now have the tools to change the reality around them - and many of them are very busy doing just that.

The very act of reading "Permaculture - A Design Manual" is extremely radical and political as the information and realizations sink in of the ultimate outcome of following the permaculture path. The beauty of permaculture has always meant, to me, that I can travel all over the world, in some of the most brutal dictatorships, espousing a revolutionary system of design and I am considered harmless by the powers that be. That is an incredible advantage in a world that has become increasingly polarized by the paranoia of rampant capitalism and lack of ethical guidance.

Within the ethical guideposts of permaculture are contained all the political guidance one could need."

Scott Pittman, Permaculture Institute, NM

What is Permaculture?

"Permanent agriculture" or "permanent culture," a term coined by Australians David Holmgren and Bill Mollison in the 1970s, describes a design system for creating human settlements that function in harmony with nature. Incorporating traditional knowledge, modern science, and the ecological patterns of the living world, permaculture design is applicable to farms, gardens, organizations, housing developments, towns and villages, or city neighborhoods.

Since 1978, tens of thousands of individuals on all continents have learned and taught to others the principles of energy flow and materials cycling, and the simple appropriate technologies of self-reliant living: gardening, shelter, water and waste management, aquaculture, forestry, and how to organize supportive local economies. The aim of this grassroots international movement is to liberate people everywhere to provide for their own and their communities' needs for food, energy, shelter, and a decent life without exploitation or pollution and from the smallest practical area of land.

Please read David's introductory PDF, The Essence of Permaculture.

What Kinds of People Take Permaculture Courses?
Thousands of people from all over the planet!

(Photo by Keith Johnson: Students & teachers at Permaculture Design Course, VA)

Gardeners, farmers, homeowners and prospective buyers of land  and homes will benefit from the energy-saving and productive insights of permaculture, while students and professionals in the fields of ecology, agronomy, resource management, architecture, and planning will find their work enlivened by the holistic and interdisciplinary perspective of the course. Community development and aid workers, real estate brokers, municipal officials, and religious leaders will find practical and creative applications for permaculture design in their respective fields of endeavor.

  • Renters & Homeowners: Learn simple steps to improve your home ecosystem and your immediate surroundings while saving money, resources, and building a healthy habitat for family, friends and neighbors.
  • Planners & Managers: Learn how to integrate sustainable design methodologies into the planning process using a multi-disciplinary approach for the well-being of the whole community.
  • Municipal, State & Federal Employees: Improve public service & work efficiency and community benefits via creative land, water, and air resource management techniques.
  • Building Design & Construction Professionals: Learn about current practical systems of natural building, as well as how to integrate land-use design into the built environment.
  • Landscape Architects, Designers & Gardeners: Learn principles and techniques of sustainable landscaping, with an emphasis on functional, edible,  and economic plants, the creation of microclimates for extended growing seasons, and rainwater harvesting.
  • Social Workers: Acquire tools for empowerment and new dimensions in place-based professional practice applicable to micro through macro change processes.
  • Non-profit & Community Leaders: Integrate ecological design, professional networking, and social marketing approaches to advance your mission and programs.
  • Entrepreneurs: Explore how ecological models can be used to design, develop, implement, and manage a sustainable business venture.
  • Students & Educators: Integrate ecological systems design and social/environmental change practices into your academic studies.
  • Clergy: Add a whole systems perspective to your ecological  / green ministry.

Elements of the Curriculum

  • Evidence of the Need for Change and the Ethics of Sustainability
  • Principles of Permaculture
  • Observation and Landscape Analysis
  • Pattern & Design
  • Ecosystems: the Models of Nature
  • The Gaian System: Climate and Biogeography
  • Forests, Trees & Tree Care
  • Water Harvesting, Management, and Conservation
  • Building Soil Fertility
  • Creating the Home System
  • The Third Skin: Natural Building Design
  • Waste Recycling and Treatment
  • Aquaculture and Animals
  • Agroforestry and Forest Gardening
  • Useful Plants and Planting Strategies
  • Feeding Yourself from Home
  • Garden Design & Establishment
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Tools & Appropriate Technologies
  • Patterns of Settlement
  • Cooperative Economics, Money & Financial Systems
  • Mapping and Design Exercises
  • A Home in the City
  • Villages and Neighborhoods, The Hope and the Results
  • Elements of Practical Design
  • Team Design Projects
  • Broadscale Landscape and Systems Design

Participants from over 100 countries in all regions of the world and from all walks of life have called the permaculture design course "life-changing, transformative, and enormously affirming." In the lively company of a diverse group of engaged and motivated women and men with a common interest in the future of humanity, learning is rapid, multidimensional, and long-lasting.

Permaculture Design Work and Certification

Upon completing this course participants will receive a Certificate of Apprenticeship in Permaculture Design from the College of Graduates of Permaculture and will be entitled to use the term Permaculture in their professional work. Generally, students are encouraged to apprentice with other designers for two years. Prospective teachers should aim to gain experience  through a permaculture teacher training course and practice teaching with others for a comparable period. This course presents 72 hours of the standard certificate curriculum.
The Instructors: Midwestern natives Peter Bane, Dipl. Perm. Des., and Keith Johnson have between them facilitated over 50 permaculture courses and led groups from four to over a hundred students. They have gardening, building, design, and teaching experience in all regions of the Americas. Both instructors live in Bloomington, Indiana.

Cost of thePermaculture Course averages about $800 to $1400 with some charging more for extended duration. The weekend series format usually costs less because food and lodging needs are greatly reduced.

Permaculture Design Course Syllabus

Fundamentals (Section One)

Ethics, Principles, and Design, The Key Permaculture Overview (1 day):

Evidence of systemic ecological and cultural crisis; derivation and evolution of ethics; spirals of degradation and the etiology of health; energy and entropy; the Permaculture innovation and synthesis; roots of permaculture knowledge; principles of energy efficient design, language and terms; exercise in observation of landscape; the nature of pattern in form, orders in natural phenomena; application of pattern to design; design process, purpose and methods.

Natural Systems (2 days):

Principles of ecology; energy flux and materials cycling; conservation and diversity; guilds; cooperation; niches; forests as organism; climate, global weather patterns, and biogeography; forest impact on climate and the hydrologic cycle; functions of the tree; landscape analysis; the nature, sources, and value of freshwater; water's duties in the landscape; water movement, storage, and purification; water in the domestic system. The soil community; oxygen/ethylene cycling and nutrient availability; soil biota regimes, mycorrhizal associations; carbon/nitrogen and other nutrient relationships; tropical and temperate soil conditions; building soil; physical properties of soils and soil testing; climate near the ground; factors in microclimatic design; windbreaks; moisture and humidity effects; modifying sunlight and capturing solar gain; thermal zones and frost pockets; limiting factors in living systems; exercise building swales, ponds, trellises, and/or brush fences; use of leveling devices.

The Domestic System (1/2 day):

Design of the home system; zone and sector analysis; placement of elements for beneficial function; the domestic economy; staging of development in small permaculture systems; building design, materials, methods, and examples; conservation of energy; building as organism; nutrient cycling in the domestic system; biological treatment methods for human and animal waste: compost, constructed wetlands, biogas; urine as fertilizer.

Elements of Cultivated Ecologies (2 days):

Energy advantages of aquaculture; designing aquatic systems; water quality and species composition; animals as energy translators; their utility and efficient management; self-forage systems; intensive grazing; silvopasture; agroforestry systems; forest gardening and farming; alley cropping, coppice-with-standards; ; orchards as floristic communities; principles of pruning and tree health; useful plants and planting strategies; guild assemblies; plant identification, plant families, nomenclature; wildcrafting; establishment of nurseries and intensive small systems; economics and rolling permaculture. Self reliance and food security; the year-round harvest; methods of food storage and adaptation to climate; garden design, establishment, and methods; exercise in sheet mulch bed preparation; short design exercise in creativity; tools and their energy implications; choosing appropriate technologies; favorite tools.

Community Design, Common Resources, and Larger Human Systems (1-1/2 days):

Patterns of human settlement; city and regional design; orders of magnitude; the village as building block of human community; building cooperative networks, organizations, and communities; resource inventories; business incubators; principles of economic design; how money works; the problems with present financial systems: interest, corporations, taxes, planning; community-based financial systems; the use of maps; simple methods of mapping; the integral urban house; resources in cities; appropriate scale for conviviality, economy, and security; components of village life; new village development; designing for human cooperation and interaction. Resources for further work; the permaculture movement; continuing education; how to organize locally; making a living; future visions and participant evaluations.

Design Practicum (Section Two)

The Elements of Practical Design - 2 days

Review of Ethics and Principles; pattern languages; site analysis exercise; mapping & field surveying exercise; introduction to client interview, cost & budgeting, earning a living.

Team Design Projects - 3 1/2 days

Small group projects for real clients son or near the course venue; mentored, hands-on design work involving application of all presented skills; site observation and analysis, mapping, client interview, conceptual design, mind mapping, and presentation.

Presentation - 1/2 day

Introduction of presentation skills; several opportunities for planned and impromptu presentation to the whole class; formal presentation in group of the team design with sketches, maps, speech, and other modes of work.

Broadscale Landscape and Systems Design - 2 days

Urban and Village systems; farm landscapes; design for wildlife; restoration and earthworks; economic design including financial systems; land access, regional strategies.

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