The purpose of this permaculture course in the series is to cultivate ecological literacy by looking at the complex symbiotic relationships in both natural and cultivated systems. Students will explore and apply systems thinking to their own gardens, farms, and backyards.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define permaculture and describe key elements of permaculture systems.
  • Read the patterns of natural landscapes and apply them to design. 
  • Discover living soil and how to regenerate and maintain soil health. 
  • Apply water harvesting techniques and mitigate water issues. 
  • Appreciate the role of trees and forests in productive conservation systems. 
  • Describe the important role of animals and aquatic systems in permaculture.

This course is one of three that we offer in permaculture design. (Read more about Permaculture Design: Fundamentals of Ecological Design and Permaculture Design: Design Practicum


Examine the basics of permaculture design and learn the potential for ecological design on a multitude of scales and contexts. Particpants will study the foundational ethics, principles, and planning tools to design ecological sites in the context of their local ecosystem and future climate change.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define permaculture and describe examples of permaculture sites
  • Apply permaculture ethics and principles to a variety of contexts
  • Discuss impacts of climate change and adaption strategies
  • Consider appropriate use of energy and technology in sustainable systems
  • Understand a range of multi-purpose plants and design multi-kingdom polycultures

The key objective for the 4.5-week long Practicum is to create a proposed design for your site based from goals and assessments made in previous coursework. Assessments and goals will be reviewed, refined, and amended. Design activities will spur creative solutions and direction for you proposal based on permaculture design principles. The final outcome of this class is a presentation portfolio of your proposed design. After completing all three classes, you will submit your final portfolio for your Permaculture Design Certificate.

Permaculture I: Fundamentals of Ecological Design
Permaculture Design II: Ecosystem Mimicry