Permaculture Design Certificate
The online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) programme provides a comprehensive analysis of regenerative design and its application to creating a foodscape that provides an abundance of organic and nutrient dense food.
The course is broken into 6 core topics (follow the links below for further information on each) that explore the foundation and application of permaculture design. These topics are explored within an interactive online learning platform - where you will have the opportunity to collaborate with other learners to extend and deepen your learning. Each of these topics have associated assessment tasks to support your learning.
- Regenerative Design
- Healthy Ecosystems
- Topography & Water
- Creating Micro Climates
- Building Soil
- Social Permaculture
These topics are applied to creating a design portfolio for how to transform your property into a regenerative foodscape (follow link below for further details). Completion of the design portfolio and assessment tasks within the core topics is required to complete the PDC and obtain your certificate.
Additional topics are provided for reference - to provide resources to support you in achieving the best outcomes in your design portfolio (see details in links below). These topics are optional - but are presented within an interactive online platform to support your learning and collaborate with others. These topics explore the details of permaculture design within different landscape systems and how to harness strategy, mindset, technology, financial management and more - to achieve your best results.
The goal of the PDC programme is to develop a new way of seeing the world - often called the 'permaculture lens'. This new perspective brings to life the productive possibilities of a landscape and how the patterns seen in nature can be harnessed to create regenerative outcomes within diverse and inter-connected foodscapes.
You explore this within the context of developing a detailed site design and implementation strategy for creating a regenerative foodscape on your property (or one you are familiar with).
History of Permaculture
The original focus of permaculture was developing a beneficial assembly of plants and animals in relation to human settlements, mostly aimed towards household and community self reliance, and perhaps as a "commercial endeavor" only arising from a surplus from the system.
This original focus has broadened to encompass more aspects of social permaculture, business structures, strategies to acquire land and as a systems thinking tool that can applied to strengthen a wide variety of endeavors.
"Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems which have the diversity, stability & resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape, people & appropriate technologies, providing good, shelter, energy & other needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture is a philosophy and an approach to land use which works with natural rhythms & patterns, weaving together the elements of micro climate, annual & perennial plants, animals, water & soil management, & human needs into intricately connected & productive communities" - Bill Mollison
Permaculture is a design system that encompasses both "permanent agriculture" and "permanent culture." It recognizes, first, that all living systems are organized around energy flows. It teaches people to analyze existing energy flows (sun, rain, money, human energy) through such a system (a garden, a household, a business). Then it teaches them to position and interconnect all the elements in the system (whether existing or desired) in beneficial relationship to each other and to those energy flows. When correctly designed such a system will, like a natural ecosystem, become increasingly diverse and self-sustaining.
All permaculture design is based on three ethics: Care of the earth (because all living things have intrinsic worth); care of the people; and reinvest all surplus, whether it be information, money, or labor, to support the first two ethics.
A distinctive feature of permaculture designs is that each element included in a system has multiple benefits, that each resource is supplied in multiple ways for resiliency and that each element is inter-connected with other elements. In this way a permaculture design imitates some of the functional complexity found within an ecosystem and by so doing becomes more stables, requires less input and has a more diverse output that conventional agricultural systems.
Benefits of a PDC
Practical Knowledge: Within the PDC we cover a wide range of techniques used for growing nutrient-dense food, including: aquaponics, biodynamics, biointensive, natural farming, organics, grazing systems, plant propagation (and more). You can directly apply the knowledge from the course to the develop of a wide array of food producing systems for creating a year around abundance of nutrient dense and organic food.
Systems-thinking and regenerative design: Within the course we guide you through a process of identifying all the variables that will impact your decision-making process for the design of a regenerative system. We provide the background philosophy and guidance for developing principles to achieve regenerative outcomes within that system and how to select suitable plants and animals for your site and arrange those elements in time and space in ways that replicate their function within natural systems and achieve regenerative outcomes for improving soil health and nutrient density of food.
Detailed design report: The whole course is integrated into the various stages of creating a comprehensive design report for your site. This insures the content covered in the course is directly applicable ti the design of your site and on completion of the course you have explored and developed a detailed strategy to achieve the outcomes you desire.
Community: Enthronement into the course gives you lifetime access to our Facebook Mastermind Group for building connection with other permaculture practitioners from around the country. Part of the advantage of completing a long-form course like this is the opportunity to learn from each other. From this collaboration many useful techniques can be shared in applying permaculture design and it also provides a platform to explore topics and share knowledge.
David Holmgren was born in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1955. He joined the Environmental Design School in Hobart, Tasmania in 1973, where he met Bill Mollison, who was then a lecturer at the University of Tasmania. Holmgren started writing a thesis on sustainable agriculture and, with additions from Mollison, this text became the legendary book Permaculture One, published in 1978. Holmgren has gone on to establish his own permaculture settlement at Melliodora and the larger eco-village of Fryers Forest. He works as a permaculture consultant, author and trainer.
The publication in December 2002 of the book, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability saw deeper and more accessible structures insight into the formative ideas behind permaculture design.
Principles and Pathways offers twelve key permaculture design principles, each explained in separate chapters. It is regarded as a major landmark in permaculture literature, especially as the seminal work, Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual (1988) was published fifteen years previously and has never been revised.
These principles of permaculture now provide a way to navigate permaculture designs and a checklist to refer to in our efforts to improve our thinking around what it means to create permaculture designs.
Bruce Charles "Bill" Mollison (1928 – 24 September, 2016)
Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison was born in 1928 in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia. He claims to have spent his life up to the age of 28 as “living in the bush or on the sea”, hunting or fishing. He became a scientist with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Tasmanian Inland Fisheries Department. He began teaching at the University of Tasmania in 1968 where he met David Holmgren. He started lecturing on Permaculture in 1976 and, following Permaculture One’s publication, he resigned his position in 1979 to develop and teach practical permaculture courses full time. He received the Right Livelihood Award in 1981.
Mollison founded The Permaculture Institute in Tasmania, and created the education system to train others under the umbrella of permaculture. This education system of "train the trainer", utilized through a formal Permaculture Design Course and Certification (PDC), has taught thousands of people throughout the world how to grow food and be sustainable using permaculture design principles.
Today a permaculture design certificate is seen as the formative grounding in permaculture thinking to help develop a lens to see creative solutions to the worlds problems.
This approach guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature and can be applied to all aspects of human habitation, from agriculture to ecological building, from appropriate technology to education and even economics.
By adopting the ethics and applying these principles in our daily life we can make the transition from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible producers. This journey builds skills and resilience at home and in our local communities that will help us prepare for an uncertain future with less available energy.
The techniques and strategies used to apply these principles vary widely depending on the location, climatic conditions and resources that are available. The methods may differ, but the foundations to this wholistic approach remain constant. By learning these principles you can acquire valuable thinking tools that help you become more resilient in an era of change." - David Holmgren.