Your Permaculture design project

This is an important aspect to your permaculture education and certification. Permaculture is a huge and complex subject and can take a plethora of different directions. Your project is like your major in college - you'll mention it whenever you mention your certification. It will help validate you - your work - your projects - validate you as a permaculture designer.


You don't need to do the project if you don't want to become certified. But we highly recommend that you do your best to do a project and make it good. We are planning to have time put aside for individual consultations for developing your projects. Projects can be on any scale - something you are setting up in your own backyard , homestead development, active research on a large scale project, or you can also do a formal business plan as your project. 


Students are encouraged to browse and borrow from the extensive resource library of books and DVDs here at Midsummer Farm. 


​We are offering three opportunities for discounts (only one can be applied):


1) Early Bird Discount - If you register by August 31st, you can take $50 off total price.











2) If you sign up with another person - each person can take $50 off.  Each person signing up as a group must send in his/her payment within 3 days of one another. Please note in the note field who you are signing up with.










or 3) If you were referred to us by a past student! You can can $50 off! The person who referred you will also get a $50 gift certificate to any workshops at our farm or our big plant sales.








Instructors

The main instructor is Barbara Taylor-Laino, accompanied by her husband and co-farmer, Mark, and a strong team of guest teachers. Each of the guest teachers has been chosen for their expertise, as well as their experience and insight working in a variety of permaculture-related fields. 


It is going to be an exceptionally inspirational course – designed to help you move forward toward accomplishing what you want in life.

Besides a ridiculous amount of formal education, Barbara has also been developing and successfully running a USDA certified-organic, 5-acre farm business for over 10 years. The farm was an entity that was created and built purely from sheer determination and has gone through many visions and revisions and continues to evolve. Currently the farm's enterprises are a CSA program, a private plant nursery, wholesale, and educational programs. Barbara is also a published author and freelance writer. For 15 years she juggled working in a corporate environment with developing a farm business. All of these things put her is a position where she can provide a lot of insight into what it takes to create a holistic styled business that ​can promise longevity and successfulness.


Course will Cover

With permaculture, there is a paradigm shift – for permaculturists, sustainability is simply not enough – we want to heal and repair what has gone wrong and create abundance.

In our Permaculture Design Certification Course, we will be actively covering the following topics:

  • Designing -Where are we?, understanding our bio-region and its natural history,  Recognizing patterns in nature – what is a natural eco-system?, culture of a single plant or tree, culture of a forest, mapping, landscape drawing, shadow maps, design charrettes, full understanding of permaculture principles and how to apply them in context…
  • Soil/Tilth Building - 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…
  • Designing and Planning the Large Hardscape - Positioning, micro-climates, berms, keyline planning, house-placement, roads and driveways, landscaping with outdoor  ‘rooms,’ equipment, outbuildings, windbreaks, riparian buffers, filtering borders…
  • Building – Natural building, straw-bales, passive solar heating, greenhouses, cooling  and efficient heating methods, sun positioning…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • Types of Production Structures - Edible landscaping , xeric gardening, multi-layer gardening (forest farming, intercropping, greenhouse growing, vertical spaces, aqua-culture, riparian production, etc.)…
  • 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… 
  • 4-Season GardeningSeason extension, greenhouses types and options, high tunnels, cold frames and low tunnels, shade houses, varieties for alternative season planting, daylight hours and gardening…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • Forest Farming / Agro-Forestry (Farming in a way that mimics natural forests to create the same level of stability) – 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…
  • 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…
  • Intro to Holistic Management - Land restoration, business organization, household scheduling, time management…
  • 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.)…
  • 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…
  • Timing – biodynamic calendar,  rhythms of nature, a new look at the seasons, daylight hours through out the year on the 41st parallel…
  • Urban and Suburban Permaculture – Rooftop gardening, small productive intensive plots, quail, micro-greens…
  • 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…
  • Herbalism - Growing medicine as well as food, herb growing as a business, endangered natives, tender perennial herbs worth growing, herbs as companion plants…
  • 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…
  • Insects – Raising honey bees, 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…
  • 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…
  • Business Building – 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…


As we move through the season, you will clearly recognize how elegantly the Permaculture Design Principles come into play with all of these things. 

In 2017/2018, class days will be held 

on Sundays:


Day 1 - October 1st 2017
Day 2 - October 29th  2017
Day 3 - November 12th 2017
Day 4 - December 10th 2017
Day 5 - January 14th 2018
Day 6 - January 28th 2018
Day 7 - February 11th 2018
day 8 - February 25th 2018
Day 9 - March 4th 2018
Day 10 - March 18th 2018
Day 11 - April 15th 2018
Day 12 - June 10th 2018
Day 13 - June 24th 2018
Day 14 - July 15th 2018
Possible Snow Date - July 29th 2018

*NOTE - we do not have a formal scheduled class

in May, but we will be available optionally on an

individual basis for help with project development.


We will meeting one or twice a month for the span of the season - starting in fall, moving through the winter into spring, and ending in early summer.  Content will reflect the time of year. 


Classes will be a mixture of lectures and hands-on outside demos. Class time will be intense - we have lots to cover! Scroll down for an outline of topics. There will be an hour set aside each class day for lunch break; participants are encouraged to take advantage of the like-minded group to socialize and  build community and network. 


To receive your certificate, you must attend 72 hours of class time. We have set up this course to be 14 days of 6 hours each - although we strongly encourage you to attend all 14 days, you can miss two and still receive certification. If weather is inclement, which can happen especially during the winter months, we will reschedule the class.


Class starts at 10 am, breaks for an hour lunch at 12:30 and then resumes until 4 pm.


NEW - TECH OPTIONS FOR OFFSITE - Although we highly encourage everyone to be present in person for these classes, this is a great option should you not be able to make it to the class physically. It won't work for an outdoor class day, but if we are doing a lecture style class, we can use Google Hangouts or Skype to include you...

Class Schedule

HOW WOULD ONE USE A PDC?

Our goal for this course is to empower the participants – providing a windfall of info and experience along with a certificate. 

This course is being designed as a great addition to the resume of someone wanting to change direction and work more sustainably. 


Or a PDC like this can be used as a jumping off point for starting or inspiring a new sustainable business.  

It can also be an intense way to gather up skills and info and make dramatic and sustainable change in a backyard or homestead or small farm. The design skills and practical knowledge can be used to positively and ethically impact your own life or a community or even the world.

The Permaculture Design Principles  

1) Every site - big or small - is an individual and needs to be observed and treated as such. Interactions must be specific and customized to the site.

2) Resources and energy should be recycled or stored within each system. Make use of every chance for catching and storing resources. Don't allow for waste.

3) The elements within your design must interact with one another - this is where diversity comes in - the connections between the elements create a healthy ecosystem. Elements will help one another and save time and effects. 

4) Each element within your design should yield something.

5) And each element should also be useful in multiple ways. Plan for redundancy and back ups.

6) Make diversity a focus - biodiversity, yield-diversity, resource-diversity. Don't plant a crop - plant a guild or community of crops.

7) Work smart not hard.

8) Don't depend solely on fossil fuels for energy; use appropriate tech. Make yourself aware of renewal resources available.

9) Learn from your mistakes and turns problems into solutions. Use issues as learning experiences. Problems provide an opportunity for creativity. Too many options or too much resource can stifle creativity. 

10) Choose and prioritize systems that are small and intensive and as diverse as possible.

11) Optimize the edges - these are always the most exciting places within a design.

12) Work circularly, recognize the multiplicity of connections and interactions, keep the long term succession process in mind. Avoid linear, over-simplified thinking patterns. 

13) Building the ecosystem is just as important as getting a harvest of crops. 

14) Be ready to change gears and be responsive to changes.

We will be applying these Permaculture Design Principles in creating projects that restore and build the environment, support nature, and allow humans to live well and abundantly. 

Comprehensive coverage of The Permaculture Design Principles

Permaculture is about creating human living arrangements that mimic nature. Part of permaculture design is becoming aware of how nature works on all its multi-faceted levels. This can be very complex and yet beautifully simple at the same time. 

To help in your work at applying natural rules and patterns to your projects and designs,  here's a quick summary of some of the Major Permaculture Design Principles. These can be applied for making decisions as well as in designing systems, businesses, farms, gardens, homesteads, etc. Each instructor and user of permaculture has a slightly different variation on these core principles, but they can all be credited back to David Holmgren's work at better focusing and organizing the extreme complexity and depth of effects encountered when designing with nature. 




Who Should take this course?

Participation in a PDC is perfect for anyone who is ready to make a change and is thinking there is something more meaningful to be spending time pursuing.


This PDC will provide knowledge and hands-on experience that can be directly applied to personal homesteading, a farm or other holistically-minded business, community projects, a design business, or as a resource for any career in sustainability.


Midsummer Farm Permaculture Design certification Course

​​2016/2017 Course is now in progress! We're now accepting registrations for our 2017/2018 Course...


We've been actively developing this course literally for years, and we so excited to finally be doing it! Our first year was a success and we are currently running our second course, which started in October 2016!  

We are fully confident that this PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) Course will be an exceedingly strong and useful experience both for people who have taken Permaculture Courses before and for people new to Permaculture.

Midsummer Farm has been an active teaching farm for many years, offering workshops as well as large scale intensive courses on Organic Gardening, Herbalism, Biodynamics, Holistic Health, and Sustainable & Artisanal Living. All these things have seriously prepared us for designing and developing this official Permaculture Design Certificate Course.

We believe in teaching Permaculture on a useful, practical, effective scale. There is a strong focus on homesteading and small farm development. 

Our course is, like our farm, special and different from many other permaculture courses. The Midsummer Permaculture Course will focus on using the permaculture concepts in context and in real-world usages. It is a practical and hands-on course. Along with exploring the major aspects and principles of permaculture, we will be focusing on applying these concepts to the development of small-scale farming and other holistic-styled businesses.

We also like to think about Permaculture as a type or style of Homesteading  - Homesteading in a beautiful way using nature as a guide in achieving sustainability, restoration, and abundance.

Create sustainable abundance - change your life and make a difference - start with a PDC! 



midsummer Farm

Free Info Sessions Coming up! ​

Our 2016/2017 course is currently in progress, but we are starting to book up for our 2017/2018 Course, which will be running on Sundays and will begin on October 1st 2017.

We are really finding running these Permaculture Courses to be inspiring and fulfilling - it is always a great group of people who are working at applying beautiful nature-inspired designs to their backyards, gardens, farms, communities. Sustainable and artisanal homesteads, sustainable businesses, and medicinal herb growing fields are in the works or coming to fruition!  As instructors, it has been a perfect experience! And a great community is being formed and developed! 

We'll be using the new book, Practical Permaculture by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein as our text book! 


Once you register, I will send it out to you so you can get started early if you want! 

We are doing several free and no-obligation Permaculture Course Info Sessions this summer for people who are considering registering for the upcoming Permaculture Design Course and just want a bit more info!


Sunday, June 11th at 11 am, Saturday, August 26th at 11 am, and Sunday, September 10th at 11 am at (to about 12 noon or so) 

You'll receive more info on what to expect from the course, and we'll be able to answer all your questions! 

If you'd like to come by the farm and get a better idea of what it would mean to take a Permaculture Design Course - Please simply RSVP by filling out this form:



We look forward to talking with you! 

Permaculture Design Certification Course Registration

You can also pay by check.

Please fill out form at right and let us know you would like to register and pay by check. That way, we can hold your spot, while you send a check via regular mail. 


Please make check out to:

Midsummer Farm. 


Please send to: 

Midsummer Farm

156 East Ridge Road

Warwick, NY 10990




Two-Payment Option:

You can also pay in two payments of $496 each. First payment is due with registration and the second is due September 15th.

PRICING/payments 


This Full-Scale Season of Learning and Certificate in Permaculture Design is $985.00 per person.


That includes 14 full day classes, an individual session, and various handouts and materials.


It also includes beverages and snacks and an organic lunch each day. 


We have a limited number of seats -so register ASAP! 





Permaculture Design Certification Course Registration
Permaculture Design Certification Course Registration



BUsiness and enterprise Development


The practical nature of our PDC has a secondary focus on business building. We will be spending time during this PDC on business development from a holistic and ethical standpoint. 


We'll be covering: 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…

Many of the practices associated with a solid business also apply to a successful homestead as well. 


This course is geared to act as inspiration and an impetus for a change in lifestyle – moving on to another level in sustainable and artisanal thinking – developing a business – activating a homestead – pursuing more fulfilling projects and prospects... We are striving to make this PDC into a season-long endeavor where students get a real and active experience in food production and in designing for beyond-sustainable living. 


At the end of the course you will have the tools and experience for self-sufficiency and for creating and developing entities that are fully sustainable, restorative, and successful – entities like farms, intentional communities, design businesses, and homesteads.

This PDC is 72 hours in length, and students who complete all 72 hours and a design project will receive an official Permaculture Design Certificate, which they can put on their resume, use for validation when starting a sustainable business, start a designing and consultation business, or put up on their wall inside the household they create using the now classic permaculture design concepts. 

Free Info Sessions Coming up! ​

Our Guest Teachers include Allison Hosford of Two Pond Farm, Mark Laino of Midsummer Farm, Andrew Phillips of the Hancock Permaculture Center, Anastasia Cole Plakias of Brooklyn Grange Farm, Ashley Rossi, spring water connoisseur and advocate, Grai St. Clair Rice of Honeybee Lives, Joe Sellers food-preservation guru, Connor Stedman of AppleSeed Permaculture LLC and The Greenhorns, Ben Tyler of Unadilla Community Farm, and Wendy and Dave Watson-Hallowell of Sustainable West Milford.


More on our Guest Teacher Team...


We are doing several free and no-obligation Permaculture Course Info Sessions this summer for people who are considering registering for the upcoming Permaculture Design Course and just want a bit more info!


Sunday, June 11th at 11 am, Saturday, August 26th at 11 am, and Sunday, September 10th at 11 am at (to about 12 noon or so) 

You'll receive more info on what to expect from the course, and we'll be able to answer all your questions! 

If you'd like to come by the farm and get a better idea of what it would mean to take a Permaculture Design Course - Please simply RSVP by filling out this form:



We look forward to talking with you! 

Interested in participating in our Permaculture Course for 2017-2018 ? 


Let us know!

Permaculture Design Certification Course Registration

Limited Seating! 

Please note - Because we want to provide a individualized experience and our farm spaces are small, we have to limit the number of seats available for this course to 12 participants! 


Please register as soon as possible to insure your spot!