7/9 – SESSION 14

Project presentations
& Celebrate!


3/12 SESSION 9

Mushroom Production 

Mushrooms in the environment

Forest Crops, ephemerals, shade guilds

Native endangered medicinal herbs

Perennial Growing – purpose and use of perennials in the landscape, perennials for different micro-climates/conditions, edible perennials

Note - This was last year's outline - Content and order of sessions is subject to change for the 2016/2017 course

Participating in a PDC is to make a big step toward changing your life - moving toward abundance and self-sufficiency....

10/3 SESSION 1
What is Sustainability? Self-Sufficiency?
Restoring and building resilience. 
Pristine Naturalness  - how do we work with the wild - what were the Native Americans actually doing? New history of pre-European Americas.
Short History of Permaculture
3 Core Tenets – Earth Care, People Care, Return of the Surplus
Tour of the Farm & Design Introduction: Developing Observation Skills, Measuring Strengths & Weaknesses, Charting Needs vs. Yields, Pattern-Awareness, Shadow Mapping, Spirals and Edges. 

1/23 SESSION 6

Seed Starting and Propagation Techniques

Plant Nursery – Steps and tools for setting up a nursery for plants on any scale (the sharing of plant divisions, seeds, etc. is an essential element for anyone wanting to practice sustainable and restorative agriculture.) Shade houses, greenhouses, seed-starting set-ups, propagation of seeds, cuttings, divisions, grafting, etc…

Water - Keyline planning, capturing and storing water in the landscape, earthworks, dowsing, irrigation systems - drip vs. overhead, mulching, timing, water flow forms and water movement, riparian work, pond and swale construction, pond and stream management, rainwater catchment, heat sink usages, rain gardens, increasing organic matter in the landscape, amphibian preservation…

Food Preservation

4/9  SESSION 11

Natural Building – energy efficiency


Building using straw-bales, passive solar heating, greenhouses, cooling  and efficient heating methods, sun positioning…

Types of Production Structures - Edible landscaping , xeric gardening, multi-layer gardening (forest farming, intercropping, greenhouse growing, vertical spaces, aqua-culture, riparian production, etc.)…

10/24 SESSION 2
Continuing with developing the Designing Process 
The Permaculture Principles
The Permaculture Zones 
What makes an Ecosystem? Organism?
Culture of a Tree 
Wind, Water, Soil Types
Mapping and Map Reading 

Designing and Planning the Large Hardscape - Positioning, micro-climates, house-placement, roads and driveways, landscaping with outdoor  ‘rooms,’ equipment, outbuildings, windbreaks, riparian buffers, filtering borders…

Contour Drawings - Swales and Berms – Keyline Water Saving Approach
Milpa, Companion Planting, Inter-planting – Bio-Intensive Growing

Timing – biodynamic calendar, rhythms of nature, a new look at the seasons, daylight hours through out the year on the 41st parallel…

Designing the Intimate Hardscape - Creating and designing for structures like raised beds, retaining walls, root cellars, sheet mulching and hugelkultur, animal structures (barns, coops, etc.), fencing, low tunnels and cold frames, outdoor kitchens, bread ovens, pathways, work stations, leisure, dooryard gardens…


12/12 SESSION 4

Sustainable Growing Practices – Organic growing, intercropping, mulching, rotation, companion planting, variety choosing (heirlooms, open-pollinated, hybrids, etc.), timing, seed starting (direct seeding and indoor sowing), weed and insect management, disease management, seed saving, creating simple and quick reports for tracking garden production, nitrogen-fixing species, fertility and fertilizers, amendments and soil testing, compost teas… 

Building a Sustainable Business or Enterprise - Business or enterprise plan development, certifications (Organic Certification Process, Biodynamic (Demeter) Certification, Animal Welfare Approved,  Certified Naturally Grown, etc. ), grants, business structures, applying permaculture principles to money, triple bottom line accounting, B-Corps and LLC and non-profit structures, producing money and food, micro-farming movement, design and consultation work, business plan, insurance, keeping track and record keeping…

Intro to Holistic Management - Land restoration, business organization, household scheduling, time management

11/14 SESSION 3
Working with the small fauna - micro-herds – bacteria, fungi, insects, worms, bees and pollinators, predators, amphibians, birds

Grai St. Clair Rice from Honeybee Lives will talk on Honeybees

Insects are a good example of how to address a problem from a Permaculture Standpoint – balance rather than elimination. 
– What is IPM?
Balancing insects; new view on insects; supporting beneficial insects; insect management as an approach to problem solving; 

Supporting native pollinator populations, Managing 'bad' bugs, supporting 'good' bugs, insectaries (annual and perennial), the needs of beneficial insects, breeding ladybugs and lacewings, butterfly and hummingbird gardening, moon garden designs, dragonflies, mosquito control…

Addressing the Wild Elements – Observation and patterns, make use of the abundant edges, foraging and wild foods, identification and uses, using weeds in your landscape, wild birds and animals, rodents, predators…

Choosing What to Grow/Produce – The importance of growing for calories (fat, protein, sugar), growing for nutrient density, perspective on annual crops, berries and small fruits, ‘alternative’ fruits, perennial vegetables, ‘permaculture’ plants, shade and part-shade gardening…

2/20 SESSION 8

Connor Stedman of AppleSeed Permaculture LLC will join us to talk about Carbon Farming  and Agroforestry

Building a Forest Farm 

Berry Growing 

Native Shrubs

Nitrogen Fixing Trees and plants 

Layers (stacking) of the forest garden, succession, native, food-producing trees, nitrogen-fixing trees, medicinal endangered native herbs, mushroom growing for food/health and environmental support, carbon-retention, trees for heating energy, coppicing, adding ancients (moss, ferns), ephemerals…

midsummer Farm

2/13 SESSION 7

Soil Building and Creating Tilth

Manure management, cover cropping, green manuring, soil layers and elements (fungal, bacterial, etc.), composting, biodynamic preps, compost & herbal teas, tilling/no-till methods,  sub-soiling, root structures and systems, vermiculture, 80% rule…


Community Gardens

Community Building – Intentional Communities, networking groups, eco-villages, commons, sharing of resources, group will also work as a cohesive permaculture community – opportunities for sharing of resources (such as group buying of tree seedlings, etc.)…

6/4 SESSION 12

More Beyond Sustainable or Regenerative Practices –

Biodynamics, encouraging and supporting native plants, forest farming, nitrogen fixing plants and trees, holistic management, bio-intensive agriculture, ally-cropping, edges and borders, riparian buffers, carbon farming or carbon sequestering

Weed Walk 

3/26 SESSION 10

Orchards and Animals

Domestic Fruiting Trees – Orcharding practices, prepping location for fruiting  trees, planting and maintained domestic fruiting trees (fertilizing, companion planting, pruning, disease-management, etc.), biodynamic tree paste…

Animals – Farm animal husbandry, smart manure management, silvo-pasturing, large animals, rabbits, fiber animals, dairy, meat, vedic agriculture (no animal input), pressure-genetics vs, heritage breeds, humane animal business...

Poultry - Chickens for eggs and meat, waterfowl, weeder geese, tick control, growing fat and protein, poultry structures (garden enclosures, chicken-tractors, classic coops, and pasture-ranging), alternative meat and egg poultry, poultry as a business…


Urban and Suburban Permaculture – Small productive intensive plots, quail, micro-greens… Grow Food not Lawns

Anastasia Cole Plakias of Brooklyn Grange will be a Guest Teacher. 
Rooftop Gardening  / Alternative Production 

What is a Living Roof?
Rain Catchment – Rain garden, Rain barrels

Idealism and the Farm or Sustainable Business

Herbalism - Growing medicine as well as food, herb growing as a business, endangered natives, tender perennial herbs worth growing, herbs as companion plants…

Outline of the 2015/2016 Permaculture design Certificate Course Sessions

Please note that PDC Courses tend to evolve as they progress, taking into account student interest and seasonal considerations and opportunities that arise in nature for hands-on experiences. 

So this outline is most likely going to change. It might be considered stagnant if it didn't! 

6/18 SESSION 13

Seed Saving


4-Season Gardening – Season extension, greenhouses types and options, high tunnels, cold frames and low tunnels, shade houses, varieties for alternative season planting, daylight hours and gardening…

Harvesting - Timing and scheduling, food storage, drying and tincturing herbs, canning, fermenting foods (sauerkraut-making), harvesting resources (carbon, water, etc.), curing crops such as winter squash, garlic, onions…


May – Project exploration/development – Personal Sessions