Online Permaculture Design Course

Because full time out of the house job, full garden, chickens, and four kids is not enough I finally did it! I signed up for a permaculture design course accredited by Permaculture Institute of North America. I have always wanted to take a permaculture design course (PDC) but lacked the resources to make it happen. Resources being time, location, and money. I was very excited to find an this online PDC (also sometimes called a permaculture design certificate) through Oregon State University. After hemming and hawing because it still costs a lot of money… and still costs a lot of time, but flexible time… I signed up with Adam’s encouragement. The online nature of the course will allow me to do it on the evenings and weekends when the kids are in bed. FYI- this is not an ad, I haven’t even taken the course yet!

Happy polish and brahma chickens
Why not insert some happy permaculture chickens. Who doesn’t want to see that?!

Oregon State University has a free certificate program as an intro to permaculture I took this spring. From that course I was able to finish a first plan for our Urban Permaculture lot you can see here. I enjoyed the instructor and introduction to permaculture enough that I THINK I’ll get good value from the course. If nothing else finishing a permaculture design course is the first (in a lot of) steps to being certified as a designer or eventual permaculture instructor.

So why am I talking about my course? I rarely document personal stuffs on Craft Thyme, but I thought that a follow along as I go through this ten week course would probably be pretty interesting to those looking at potentially doing a permaculture design course. Especially, if you are looking at an online version. Plus 10 WEEEEEEKKKKSSSSS. I need something to keep me accountable for all the time it is going to take to work through the course material.

Can anyone be sad when looking at a sunflower?
Just a happy sunflower to also brighten your day! This is just one of the many volunteer plants I have growing in my urban permaculture microfarm.

Oregan State’s Online Permaculture Design Course

Let’s start with the course information:

  • Course Dates: 9/24/2018 – 12/7/2018
  • Time Needed: 9 to 10 hours a week. It is recommended you do not take a PDC less than 72 hours worth of instruction and time. So at 90-100 hours this more than meets the minimum.
  • Weeks: 10 Weeks. A lot of permaculture design courses happen in intesive 2-3 week blocks. I am hoping the longer time witll give me more time to digest the topics and practice techniques since I will lose a bit on the personal instruction a face to face might cover.
  • Instructor: Andrew Millison
  • Topics Covered:
    • Observation and analysis of the natural processes of a site
    • Design principles and methods
    • Dynamics of water systems, soils, gardens and trees
    • Urban permaculture
    • Apply an ethically based whole-systems design approach
    • Use concepts, principles, and methods derived from ecosystems, indigenous peoples, and other time-tested practices
    • Learn about regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, appropriate technology, architecture, and international development
  • Textbook (affiliate link): Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth. Oddly enough Adam had purchased this book for me this spring. I took it as a sign ;)

Sounds pretty excellent to me! Plus you are guaranteed to have a completed site plan by the end of the course with lots of one-on-one instructor and peer interaction. The timing is great as I don’t have a large fall garden planted or a lot of plans to build anything major. Summer is winding down and the kids are back in school, which leads to a much tighter routine. So now I just have to wait 3 more weeks to get going!!!! Check back on the 25th and I will update each week as we go with the links below:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10

Follow along as I work through a fully online Permaculture Design Course (PDC) held by Oregon State University.

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