The Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course at Earthaven Ecovillage incorporates the internationally recognized two-week PDC curriculum into an extended exploration of community-scale design for climate resilience. SOIL's instructors place permaculture practice in the context of the emerging global climate reality, all through the vibrant, 23-year-old living "classroom" of Earthaven.
As the world fully faces severe climate change amidst a lack of political willpower to take action, permaculture offers a people-powered approach for planting the seeds of a future cooperative culture. Climate-adaptive, community-scale permaculture design holistically integrates social needs, economics, energy infrastructure, buildings, transportation, and ecosystem management for food, medicine, and other yields.
This 21-day intensive course offers 130 hours of instruction and integrated, hands-on learning experiences. The course provides 58 more instruction hours than does the standard 72-hour PDC curriculum, which typically lasts 12–14 days. This longer immersion allows more time for hands-on projects, tours, special topics, conversations with instructors, and additional experience in the permaculture design process. In this PDC course, you will deepen your leadership skills and find your niche in addressing the complex biocultural challenges of the modern age. You'll learn permaculture design principles for any kind of system—land use, business, personal relationships, or organizational endeavors—that mimic ecosystem dynamics and generate measurable ecological regeneration while caring for people and empowering marginalized communities.
The course covers the following topics:
Permaculture history, ethics, and design principles
Observation practices and natural awareness
Ecological patterns in design
Global and local ecological issues and human responses
Hands-on projects with bioregional techniques and species
Water in the landscape: ponds, earthworks, and rainwater catchment
Soil ecology, biochar, fungi, and soil fertility
Agroforestry, forest gardening, and diverse orchards
Perennial agriculture, polyculture gardening, successional farming, and guilds
Integrated animal systems
Renewable energy and appropriate technology
Eco-building design and natural building techniques
Ecovillage systems design
Urban permaculture strategies
Social permaculture: eco-social design, cooperatives, decision making, and collaboration
Cooperative and human-scale economics, financial systems, and project budgeting