Free Info Sessions Coming up! ​

PDC Registration Split Payment Option

Our Guest Teachers include Mike Biltonen, Pomologist and Biodynamic Farmer of Know Your Roots, Allison Hosford of Two Pond Farm, Mark Laino of Midsummer Farm, 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.

Check out our page on our Guest Teacher Team...

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 the below form:

We look forward to talking with you! 

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 February 15th.

Permaculture Design Certification Course Registration


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.

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

The 2021 Course is full! But consider joining us for our 2022 course!

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. 

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! 

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. 

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 October 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.


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. Course Syllabus.

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 2021, class days will be held 

on Saturdays:

1/16/21 - Day 1
1/30/21 - Day 2
2/13/21 - Day 3
2/27/21 - Day 4
3/13/21 - Day 5
3/27/21 - Day 6
4/10/21 - Day 7
4/17/21 - Day 8
6/5/21 - Day 9
6/19/21 - Day 10
7/10/21 - Day 11
7/31/21 - Day 12
8/28/21 - Day 13 
9/25/21 - Day 14
10/9/21 - Possible Make-Up Day

We will be meeting one or twice a month for the span of the season - starting in winter, moving through the spring and summer and ending in early fall.  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  a couple of the classes 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... Note: you CANNOT take the whole course remotely!

Class Schedule


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

We've been actively developing this course literally for years and years, and we so excited to be planning  the sixth year of this course! 

Our PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) Course is 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 topics such as Organic Gardening, Herbalism, Biodynamics, Homesteading, Holistic Health, and Sustainable & Artisanal Living. So many of these things culminate in our Permaculture Design Course. 

We believe in teaching Permaculture on a useful, practical, effective scale. There is a strong focus on homesteading and small farm development. You may want to combine your Permaculture learning experience with Homesteading ... we offer a Homesteading Course as well, which truly compliments the permaculture course, and we offer a discount if you sign up for both! 

Our PDC 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 find that Permaculture is a perfect and simple way to create an energized atmosphere of nature and life bubbling all around you. And that's our main goal -  creating a space that acts as nature does - healing and magical and full of life. 

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 our Permaculture Course!

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

It is a wonderful book that I am sure you'll keep as a reference for years to come.

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

Permaculture Design Certification Course Registration

Interested in participating in our Permaculture Course for 2021-2022? 

Let us know! We'll keep you in the loop with fun and practical permaculture info! 

Free Info Sessions Coming up! ​

It's important to us that this course is exactly what you are looking for - the right fit! Come on by and visit us -

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!

Because of COVID19, we are not doing in person Info Sessions this summer. Sorry! 

Please check back this fall!​

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

We spread out the 14 class days throughout the year, so you can experience the seasonal changes as well as participate in the seasonal tasks that are part of your job as the steward of a naturalized space.

During our class time together, we will be doing lots of hands on activities and personalized discussions... but students will also be taking home a hefty binder of handouts full of top-notch information and directions - all the materials we wished we had in hand before we started this work.


The 2021 Course is full! But consider joining us for our 2022 course!


Our 2021 course will start on January 16th 2021  

and take place over 14 Saturdays.

We are finding that running these Permaculture Courses is incredibly inspiring and fulfilling for us - it is always a great group of people who are working at applying beautiful nature-inspired designs to their backyards, gardens, farms, businesses, schools, and communities.

Sustainable and artisanal homesteads, sustainable businesses, and medicinal herb growing fields are in the works or coming to fruition as a result of this course!  As instructors, it has been a perfect experience! And a great and supportive permaculture community is being formed and developed. Visit our testimonials page for what our past students are saying about this course.

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!

Because of COVID19, we are not doing in person Info Sessions this summer. Sorry! 

Please check back this fall!

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 the below form:

We look forward to talking with you!