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Permaculture Design Course

Learn the Design Science of Permaculture and Receive Your Certification

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The Permaculture Design Course teaches how we can utilize today’s tools and technology to shape a more sustainable and equitable world for all species. Permaculture is more than just planting a garden. It is a sustainable design approach that is applicable to all human activities.

Permaculture covers all aspects of human life. It is grounded in practical real world design and extends into the complex realm of sustainable social design. It extends further into the invisible design of organizing energy exchange between people and communities. The PDC empowers, informs and trains people to be effective designers and agents of active change in their homes and communities. The PDC endeavors to teach teachers, in order to spread and localize this important information. The permaculture community is unified by the common ethic of earth care, people care and return of surplus.

In this way we actively change the world one garden at a time.

What do you get when you purchase access to the PDC Library?

All these videos will be available to you for life and can be downloaded in HD (720p) at your convenience.


Permaculture Design Course Instructors

Paul Wheatonpaul-headshot.jpg

Paul Wheaton, the bad boy of Permaculture, was proclaimed by Geoff Lawton in 2012 the Duke of Permaculture. He is the creator of two on-line communities. One is about Permaculture, permies.com, and one is about software engineering, CodeRanch.com.

He is a powerful advocate of Sepp Holzer’s techniques, which a recent study showed to have the ability to feed 21 billion people without the use of petroleum or irrigation. He also promotes the use of hugelkultur, which sequesters carbon and eliminates the need for irrigation, and polycultures, which reduces the need for pest control and improves the health of plants. He wrote several articles about lawn care, raising chickens, cast iron, and diatomaceous earth. Paul regularly uploads permaculture videos and permaculture podcasts.


Jack Spirko

In 2008 Jack Spirko founded The Survival Podcast where he coined the term modern survivalism, a philosophy based on 12 tenets that lead to self-sufficiency, self-reliance, independence and personal liberty. From the very beginning he taught that producing your own food and supporting local agriculture were critical to insuring your personal independence. During the countless hours of research that went into the production of his daily podcast he discovered the threat represented by industrial agriculture and GMOs.

Mr. Spirko has now been a student, practitioner and teacher of Permaculture Design and sustainable agriculture for 4 years. In 2011 he founded a new organization AgriTrue, dedicated to restoring “truth in agriculture” and restoring the relationship between those who grow food and those who produce it. AgriTrue is in some ways an alternative to the organic label, a free market solution that ensures care of the earth along with care of people without government interference.

Today Mr. Spirko is actively engaged in spreading the message of permaculture to his audience of more than 80,000+ daily listeners. He has had the good fortune to interview well known permaculturists and sustainable food advocates such as as Geoff Lawton, Ben Falk, Paul Wheaton, Bill Wilson, Robb Wolf and Joel Saliten on his show.

He currently lives in North Texas on a rugged 3 acre piece of land where he is practicing techniques such as swales, hugelkultur, raising small livestock and other permaculture design components.


Tim Barker

Tim has come a long way since his days as a diesel fitter mechanic, and now spends his time between Australia and New Zealand (and sometimes the US) as a semi professional pyromaniac and mad scientist teaching people how to burn stuff and make really cool machines and devices for low carbon living. He currently teaches Appropriate technology for the Koanga institute in New Zealand and Very Edible Gardens (VEG) in Melbourne, to name a few.

He has previously been farm manager for the Permaculture research Institute of Australia, power station operator/mechanic, adventure guide and professional turtle wrestler. His rocket stove and char making powered hot water systems, ovens and cookers reflect his passion for elegant simple and durable combustion technologies. Other projects include gravity powered water pumps, solar thermal cookers and dryers, pedal powered washing machines, cargo bikes, hovercraft, wooden boats and aquaponics, to name a few. When he is not tinkering he can be found on Macleay Island off the coast of Queensland Australia, where he and his family live and are currently in the process of building a rammed earth house (with maybe a little sailing thrown in).

He is particularly well known for his safe and effective rocket hot water heating system.He brings practical, hands on experience with some truly fascinating projects to the table - this from the Koanga institute:

"He has the practical knowledge and skills to construct almost any project with limited resources."


Thomas J. Elpelx-default

Thomas J. Elpel is an author, natural builder, educator, and conservationist. He has authored multiple books: Foraging the Mountain West, Botany in a Day, Shanleya's Quest and numerous others about plant identification, wilderness survival, and sustainable living. He has multiple videos: Building a Slipform Stone House from the Bottom Up, How to Make a Grass Rope, Build Your own Masonry Fireplace - Masonry Heater - Masonry Stove, and many more. Thomas regularly teaches classes on plant identification, primitive skills and natural building. He is founder/director of Green University, LLC in Pony, Montana.


Helen Atthowehelen_atthowe.jpg

Helen has an MS in Horticulture and Agricultural Ecology from Rutgers University; worked at Rutgers in tree fruit IPM; studied natural farming with Masanobu Fukoka; interned at The Land Institute in Kansas; taught a Master Gardener course in Montana for 15 years while she was Missoula County extension agent; owned and operated Biodesign organic vegetable farm in Montana (1993-2010); consulted for a 2000 acre organic vegetable farm (2011); helped run her husband's Woodleaf Farm organic orchard in northern California 2012-2015; worked for Oregon State University Horticulture Department; and is now farming a 211 acre farm in eastern Oregon with her husband, where they have a mixed fruit and hazelnut orchard, small grain and dry bean production, vegetable gardens, high tunnels, and greenhouse.


Ernie WisnerErnie_Wisner.jpg

Ernie is a botanist, educator, writer, researcher, rocket mass heater innovator, natural builder, and boat aficionado. He served in the merchant marine, Navy, and fisheries, and has tremendous experience with hydraulic and hot water systems. His family's sea time stretches back "since Noah was a babe," all over the 2/3 of our planet from which quitters can't walk home. Ernie is semi-retired due to a disabling injury, but still makes time for the occasional workshop or fascinating prototype project. He co-authored multiple books with his wife, Erica, and he is featured in many videos, documentaries and podcasts. Ernie is a wealth of knowledge; there are not many topics on which he does not have an opinion.


Erica WisnerErica_Wisner.jpg

Erica is a science and art educator, curriculum developer, writer, illustrator, researcher, and rocket mass heater innovator. She loves making things from scratch - anything from blueberry scones to the oven itself. Erica is a skilled educator and project coordinator, with over 20 years of experience building teamwork and leading hands-on learning. Her and Ernie have taught numerous workshops on natural building and rocket mass heaters. Erica has written multiple books on rocket mass heaters, fire making, and survival shelters. She is featured in many videos, documentaries, and podcasts on rocket mass heaters.


Jacqueline FreemanJacqueline_Freeman.jpg

Jacqueline is a biodynamic farmer, author, and natural beekeeper. She is known for her gentle and understanding ways with bees. She appears in the honeybee documentary, Queen of the Sun and was hired by the USDA to work with rural farmers and beekeepers in the Dominican Republic, using historic methods of respectful beekeeping. She lives on a farm in Washington state with her husband, Joseph, where they have orchards, gardens, two big greenhouses, a small forest, rich pastures and plenty of flowering bee forage. Jacqueline also has lots of experience raising livestock: cows, goats, chickens for laying and broilers, turkeys, and horses. She has two websites: SpiritBee.com and friendlyhaven.com.


Zachary Weisszach-weiss-permaculture-design-instructor.jpg

Protégé of legendary Austrian farmer, Sepp Holzer, Zach is the first person to earn Holzer Practitioner Certification outside of the Krameterhof training program. Blending a unique combination of systems thinking, empathy, and awareness, Zach uses an action-oriented process to improve human relationships with earth. Enhancing ecosystems and harvesting natural productivity over time is the ultimate goal - with high initial input, high yield systems that will last until the next ice age.

Zach currently has projects in 11 nations on 4 continents, spanning a wide range of climates, contexts, land-forms and ecosystems. Having experience with a wide range of techniques and systems (from natural building, to greenhouses, to carpentry, to watershed restoration), Zach also graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Ecology. He has two websites elementalecosystems.com and holzerpermaculture.us


Davin Hoytdavin-hoyt-permaculture-design-instructor.jpg

Davin is an architect, artist, and entrepreneur. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture and has 16 years of drafting experience. Davin has established two community gardens in Georgetown, Texas and he is the first to map Wheaton Labs. Davin practices architecture as a one-man firm and will soon be a small restaurant chain partner. He is the future illustrator of Paul's book on "Wofatis".


Byron Joelbyron-joel-permaculture-design-instructor.png

Byron Joel is based in Margaret River, Western Australia, from where he runs Oak Tree Designs, providing environmentally aware Human Settlement Systems design and education. Discovering Permaculture in the early 2000s, Byron devoured all the information he could find and set to work connecting with like minds and putting ideas to practice, taking his first Permaculture Design Course in 2004 and second in 2009.

After taking the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia's 10 week internship in 2010, Byron returned to the positions of both Nursery and WWOOFer Coordinator at Zaytuna Farm. After relocating to New Zealand, he held the position of Nursery Manager at Kotare Farm, home of the Koanga Institute and the Permaculture Research Institute of New Zealand. Armed with the invaluable tool of hands-on field time and a Diploma in Horticulture, Byron’s embryonic affinity with plants has developed and evolved into a broader, impassioned drive to the broad scale regeneration and restoration of not only the planet’s much degraded ecology, but also the human communities that inhabit her. Byron has studied and integrated design and implementation techniques from numerous related systems including Holistic Management, Natural Sequence Farming, Bio-dynamics, Natural Farming, the Regrarian Platform and more…

Byron has worked internationally as both educator and consultant.


Nick Ferguson

Christian, father of 2 boys, husband to the most wonderful woman on planet earth 3rd Generation agricultural consultant Gardener since I was 8 years old. Nick is a PRI Certified Permaculture Designer, and PermaEthos Partner, and a self-declared lifelong student.

Some of his favorite quotes:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”


Your Instructor


Josiah Wallingford
Josiah Wallingford

Class Curriculum


  11 - Dryland Strategies
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  15 - Final Exam and Design Submission
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  16 - Live On-Site PDC at Wheaton Labs - Raw and Unedited
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

This course is not open for enrollment.