Langara Vancouver Permaculture Design Course

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Langara College : Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Permaculture looks at how nature is designed, and how we can design our own gardens, homes, businesses and relationships in light of nature’s operating system. It gives you the tools to be healthier and happier, save time, energy and money, get connected to your community and live in alignment with your values.

Travel to farms, forests and gardens on a creative learning journey. We will learn how to map and design our homes, communities and lives, planning for disaster and growing more of our own food.

Field trips include visits to Means of Production Garden, Loutet Farm, Strathcona/Cottonwood Gardens, City Farmer, Kits Community Gardens, Brewery Creek Community Garden, Yarrow Ecovillage, UBC Farm and numerous other locations in Greater Vancouver.

This 14 month, weekend program offers accessibility and ease and while allowing you to observe changes throughout the seasons. It is flexible for busy lives and organized modularly. Missed classes can be done at no extra cost with other groups and there is no time limit to complete the certification.

Completion of this course earns you the internationally recognized certificate from the Permaculture Research Institute (Australia), the Permaculture Research Institute (USA) or the Permaculture Association (UK). This certification empowers participants to become professional permaculture designers, consultants and teachers.

Working toward certification is not a requirement. Students may attend the course without completing the material required to attain the certificates. Many take the course and do not seek the certificate or want to do any of the requirements, its a fun way to journey with like minded people in an experiential, outdoor adventure in education.


may 27 Introduction to Design

june 24 Foundational Concepts

august 19 Design Methods

September 2 Pattern Literacy

october 7 Design for Soil

october 21 Design for Trees

november 18 Design for Animals

december 2 Design for Water


january 6 Design for Climate

february 3 Design for Cool Climates

march 10 Design for Tropics

april 7 Design for Drylands

may 5 Social Permaculture

june 2 OS permaculture

july 7 Design Futures

Cost $995

email for details

Photos by Dana Wilson

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  Understand how nature is designed and how we can utilize this understanding in the way we design our lives and landscapes, community and culture

  Creatively apply permaculture design principles

  Create maps with simple tools that incorporate topography, hydrology, soil type and ecosystem information

  Observe, recognize and utilize information provided by the natural world in the design process

  Identify ways to save time, money, energy and resources within the systems in which they interact with

  Apply ecological design principles to create and maintain a productive garden that is low input and high output

  Learn ways to become more involved with community and to cultivate a lifestyle that cares for the earth, people and future generations

  Demonstrate how to prepare for disaster and build resilience in systems

  Evaluate the stability and biological diversity of gardens and ecosystems

  Understand closed-loop nutrient cycles and employ techniques to facilitate rather than break these cycles

  Apply practical skills to building and maintaining a garden with minimal external inputs

  Apply a working understanding of collaboration, sharing and ethics to social and organizational challenges

  Recognize nature’s operating system and apply that understanding to the design of our lives, gardens, farms, neighbourhoods, parks and wild places

Course Content

Through discussions, interactive games, tours, media, design activities, projects, readings and questions students will learn the Permaculture Design Course curriculum which includes;

Unit 1: Pretro

  • Introductions
  • Learning agreements
  • Course overview
  • Assignments and projects

Unit 2: Foundational Concepts

  • Definitions
  • Ethics
  • Nature’s principles
  • Reading the landscape

Unit 3: Design Methodology

  • Zones & Sectors
  • Design Methods

Unit 4: Patterns

  • Patterns in Nature
  • Guilds
  • Pattern Literacy

Unit 5: Soil

  • Basic Soil Science
  • Soil building and feeding
  • Composting
  • Design principles and strategies for soil

Unit 6: Trees and their energy transactions 

  • Trees as a keystone species
  • Tree Facts
  • Design principles and strategies for trees

Unit 7: Animals

  • Integrated pest management
  • Wild and domestic animal care
  • Design principles and strategies for animals

Unit 8: Water, Aquaculture & Earthworks

  • Water Facts
  • Water Conservation
  • Design principles and strategies for water

Unit 9: Climate

  • Climatic Factors
  • Microclimates
  • Biogeography
  • Design principles and strategies for climate and microclimate

Unit 10: Cool Climate

  • Modern and traditional methods
  • Design strategies & techniques for homes, gardens and farms

 Unit 11: Tropics

  • Modern and traditional methods
  • Design strategies & techniques for home, gardens and farms

 Unit 12: Drylands

  • Modern and traditional methods
  • Design strategies & techniques for home, gardens and farms

Unit 13: Social Permaculture

  • Land for the landless
  •  Ethical economics
  • Governance & decision making
  • Ethical business models
  •  Disaster mitigation and preparedness
  • Ethical education
  • Placemaking
  • Super guilds
  • Design project assignment
  • Course Review

Unit 14: Map and Design Presentations and Graduation

  • Map and Design Presentations
  • Graduation Ceremony

Bonus Topics

  • Medicine Making
  • Homesteading
  • Handouts will be provided in class.


Delvin Solkinson is community gardener and plant poet dedicated to bringing creativity to the permaculture movement by creating free open source learning and teaching tools. He has completed a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and done advanced teacher trainings with Rosemary Morrow, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Patricia Michael, Robyn Francis, the Bullock Brothers, Tom Ward, Jude Hobbs, Larry Santoyo, Scott Pittman, Michael Becker, Robin Wheeler, Starhawk, Looby Macnamara, Robina McCurdy and Robin Clayfield. He is an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute (Australia), the Permaculture Association (UK) and a Field Mentor through the Permaculture Institute. Recently he completed a PDC in Portland with Toby Hemenway, one in Greece with Rosemary Morrow and a second Diploma through the Permaculture Institute. Currently he is doing graduate work under the mentorship of Larry Santoyo and Looby Macnamara.

Kym Chi is a dedicated advocate of earth stewardship, people care and regenerative action for future resiliency. Deeply inspired by nature, art and experiential education, her main efforts are as a creative facilitator, artist, gardener, healer and community builder.  To date; Kym has received 3 certificates in Permaculture Design, completed multiple teacher trainings and taken a variety of advanced trainings.  She continues to take courses and is currently completing a Diploma in Education through the Permaculture Institute. Through her stewardship of a deepened connection with the natural environment, Kym wishes to inspire creative self expression that enriches lives, creating healthy and abundant habitats and communities. With a focus on Social Permaculture,  Kym also works for One Straw Society, a non profit focusing on food sovereignty and community resiliency on the Sunshine Coast.



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