What do I need to do in order to get my Permaculture Design Certificate?
First of all, you will need to attend all of the classes to the best of your ability. Homework can be assigned to make up for missed classes, but we do not recommend that you miss more than 2. Second of all, you must participate in classes actively and respectfully for the duration of the course. Finally, you will be asked to complete a permaculture design project for the site of your choice and present it on the last day of class (15 min presentation). You will work on the project throughout the course duration, with regular check ins and support.
What is a “permaculture design project” exactly?
There are many ways to approach a permaculture design project. For the purposes of this course, your project is proof that you have followed the steps of the design system that we will be teaching you in class. It will show that you are able to produce a well-researched and thoughtful design that incorporates both the land-based and social aspects of permaculture. A good design project may include some or all of the following: maps, write ups, mind maps, species lists, drawings, graphics. It may be presented in paper or digital format, whatever you feel most comfortable with. If this feels a bit vague and hazy, don’t worry, we will dive into exactly what will be required at the beginning of the course!
It might be good for you to research permaculture designs on the internet to get a feel for what they look like. Be mindful though, that beyond the maps and drawings, there will also written components, lists, social dimensions etc. - these are essentially the “backstage” elements of the design and are very important!
Are there any code of conduct rules that I should be aware of?
Yes, the course is designed to create a safe space where people should feel welcome to learn and explore permaculture without judgement. Permaculture education can be a cathartic experience for some, and if personal/sensitive details or stories are shared in class, we expect that everyone abides by common sense confidentiality and does not share these details outside of the classroom. We will not tolerate harassment or discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, appearance, class, education level, physical ability, mental health or any other categories.
This is a “community PDC” because community is what we are trying to cultivate. We therefore expect everyone to practice empathy and understanding, and to pitch in with clean up and maintenance of the teaching spaces as needed. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you are always welcome to speak to facilitators and we will work with you without judgement to address the issue.
How much time will I need to dedicate to the course outside of class time?
Expect to work on the course 1-2 hours outside of class every week. On some class days we may assign homework activities to help you process and digest some of the information presented in class. Other than that, the bulk of your design project will be completed outside of class, although you will have some in-class time throughout the course and a several hours closer to the end of the course to work on it.
Do I need to have my design site picked out before the start of the course?
No. However, is recommended that you settle on a design site 1-3 weeks into the course. Remember, you first design is mainly for learning purposes, so even if there is a slim chance your design will be implemented, completing the design process will still teach you valuable skills that you can put to use in future design work. If you are unable to find a suitable site for your design project, we can help match you to a site in the community.
Do I need a car to participate in the course?
As long as you can get to the teaching location, it is not necessary to have a car. We will have helpers willing to give people a ride to the field day locations if needed.
Is this course wheelchair accessible?
We have not yet designated a teaching space for our upcoming KPDC. We will do our best to ensure that as many aspects of the course as possible are wheelchair accessible. If you have other barriers and are wondering if the course can accommodate your needs, do not hesitate to contact us!
How many “field days” will the course have?
At the moment, we are counting on at least two full field days visiting local demonstration projects or helping design or implement a community space. Beyond these field days, we will also have several classes where part of the day will be spent outside.
What materials will I need to participate in the course?
It is recommended to have a journal and a notebook (can be one and the same) with you every day. Other than that, you may need to purchase large sheets of paper and coloured pens or markers to do your design work; however, some people may prefer to do their designs digitally which is Ok too. We will be discussing different ways to approach your designs at the start of the course, so don’t fret. You will also need comfortable outdoor clothes (including a sun hat), and may wish to bring an organic insect repellant for the field days.
Are there any books or reading materials that you suggest I get to prepare for the course?
If you would like to deepen your knowledge of Permaculture before or during the course, there are several resources that our teaching guild recommends. These include:
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway (a personal favourite; excellent for suburban permaculture)
Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow (great intro book; lots of pictures and graphics)
Change Here Now by Adam Brock (social permaculture)
Permaculture in a Nutshell (tiny book, lots of great info)
The Permaculture Book of DIY (for small-scale hands-on DIY projects)
Any articles in Permaculture Women Magazine on Medium.com
Any articles in Permaculture Magazine or Permaculture Magazine North America
What is the teaching style that I will encounter in the course?
Ask any good teacher and they will tell you that teaching is the best form of learning. We recognize that students will be coming into the course with a lifetime of valuable experiences that they will be sharing with instructors and other students alike. Furthermore, thorough teaching this course, the instructors will be increasing their own depth of understanding of permaculture. Essentially, we are treating this course like a two-way exchange in which we are all learning together.
In this course you can expect a good balance between presentation-style lessons, group work/discussions, and hands-on activities. We recognize that the 72-hr PDC curriculum is dense and that there is a need for students to work with the information they are given in order for things to sink in and make sense. In this course, we value logic, subconscious learning, and experiential learning equally and this will be reflected in the way we approach the course.
I have a question that is not answered here.
Please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can!