Yarrow Ecovillage Permaculture Design Certificate
Gather together with a group of environmentally conscious and creative people to learn and grow with plants and animals while exploring gardens, farms and forests across the lower mainland. Together we will learn about how nature designs itself and how we can become sustainable designers ourselves. We will learn how to map and design our land and our lives, plan for emergencies, grow organic food in all four seasons and work to build a more sustainable future. By designing and consulting with an eye to energy efficiency and long term planning, we can save time, energy and money while living in alignment with our values and helping support other people to do so too.
Course Topics include: Design methods; patterns in nature; soils and composting; water; trees; animals; design for cool, tropical and arid climates; social permaculture; native food and medicine plants of the Coastal First Peoples and much more.
The Permaculture Design Certification program is co-taught by a dynamic male – female teaching team (Delvin and Kym) who are well known in the Permaculture community.
This low cost, 12 month weekend course caters to the busyness of modern life while allowing you to observe changes throughout the seasons. Successful completion of this course (including 90% attendance) offers certificates through the graduate’s choice of the Permaculture Research Institute Australia (www.permaculturenews.org) or the Permaculture Institute USA (www.permaculture.org). 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.
Short Promo Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sM64plGgww
Thanks to Dana Wilson of Gaiacraft for the photos from past Permaculture Design Courses.
Graduating and Jobs
Having a Permaculture Design Certificate from a recognized training institute will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. You will have an edge when applying for jobs, grants or school programs
Dates and Times
Meeting once a season for four seasons. Missed classes can be done at no extra cost with other groups without time limit to complete. Classes run from 11 am – 5:30 pm.
August 22, 23 & 24
October 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th
January 16th, 17th, 18th & 19th
June 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
We don’t require those taking the course to participate in the certification requirements.
Those wanting the certification will complete:
Individual map and design
Questions/ Written work
100% attendance (students can arranged to make up missed classes with the
instructors, at no extra cost)
$100 discount for VPG members
$100 discount for early bird registration
email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
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 Master’s Degree with Bill Mollison and has 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), 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.
Thanks to Simon Haiduk for the photo. https://simonhaiduk.com
The instructors, Delvin and Kym, provide an excellent introduction to the ethics, principles, and techniques of Permaculture. The instruction is more than I could have hoped for. Between the curriculum, and personal experiences of the instructors, the course offers a brilliant education and a profound experience.
– Steven Funk
I quite enjoyed the permaculture design course, I always looked forward to attending every class because there was something different to learn each time. It also nicely tied in well with the Gaia College studies. Having different locations is a brilliant way to immerse ourselves in the natural learning of ecological design. It was never boring! The lessons were engaging and very interactive, I quite miss it!
– Monique Constant
Session 1: Pretro
Course orientation & requirements
Group goals and guidelines
Communication (NVC and conflict resolution)
Learning styles & multiple intelligences
Set a course culture of safety, respect and organization
Create a positive & effective learning environment
Encourage active listening in groups
Value different ways of communicating and have confidence in utilizing tools of conflict resolution
Orient participants to course content
Session 2: Foundations of Permaculture
History of Permaculture
Know the Permaculture ethics and the Transition ethic and how to apply them to conscious decision making
Learn the basis of how the Permaculture movement began, how it has grown, some of its progeny’s and how the lineage links to this course.
Gain a strong understanding of nature’s principles and how they are at the foundation of design decisions and application
Provide awareness of the world’s problems and the current situation
Shift from a place of problems to positive solution based thinking.
Feel confident in defining Permaculture clearly to others
Session 3: Design Methods
Needs, Functions and Outputs
Understand how to do a needs & yields analysis
Gain a base understanding of closed loop systems
Observe a site, document and recognize available resources and design constraints based on analysis.
Identify energies or influences that effect a design site
Be able to create a base map including zones & sector analysis for a site
Know the basic elements included in mapping a site
Session 4: Pattern Literacy
Physical patterns, emergent patterns, fractal patterns
Functions of patterns
Patterns in time
Application of patterns in design
Pattern recognition in nature and technology
Learn the functions of patterns in nature and how to apply that knowledge to effective design
Gain Pattern literacy and understand how to replace dysfunctional patterns with functional ones.
Know the functions of and feel confident designing guilds
Recognize that pattern literacy is fundamental in becoming good designers
Session 5: Soil
Soil classification and testing
Have a base understanding of the components of healthy soil and know the value of building soil.
Know different ways to test soil
Recognize different plant indicators and what they tell about soil health.
Understand a multitude of different ways to remediate and build soil.
Apply different composting techniques in appropriate situations.
Identify key plants that bring nutrient to the soil.
Session 6: Trees
Ecological function of trees in relation to earth, water, air and energy
Forest gardens/ food forests
Plant/ tree identification
Design for trees
Understand the ecological functions of trees and recognize them as a keystone species in the ecosystem
Learn the stages of succession and how to intervene at appropriate times to speed up the succession process, creating abundant, thriving systems sooner
Know the layers in a forest garden and different plants for each layer that grow locally
Identify local plants and see the difference in characteristics between different species
Be able to integrate trees adequately and appropriately in design
Sesssion 7: Animals
Design for wild and domestic animals
Integrated pest management
Recognize the intrinsic characteristics, functions and outputs of animals
How to meet the needs of animals on site
Learn techniques for integrating animal systems
Understand effective and healthy ways to handle pests
Know how to safely and ethically live with wildlife
Session 8: Water, Aquaculture & Earthworks
Water strategies & techniques
Waste water treatment
Water harvesting & storage
Understand how global water issues can affect us on a local level.
Learn how to do a water audit.
Recognize multiple ways in which to conserve water.
Feel confident in applying strategies and techniques to capture, store, treat and release water safely and appropriately.
Know how to calculate roof water catchment amounts.
Session 9: Climate
Slope and aspect
12 climatic zones
Understand climate on a global scale and how we may design to moderate climatic factors
Recognize different microclimates and identify how to use them to benefit a system or how to modify them for maximum efficiency
Learn the characteristics of different climates to be able to identify effective climatic techniques
Session 10: Cool Climate
Cool climate characteristics
Cool climate design challenges and strategies
Cool climate design elements and techniques
Be able to identify characteristics of cool climate and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.
Session 11: Tropics
Tropical climate characteristics
Tropical climate design challenges and strategies
Tropical climate design elements and techniques
Be able to identify characteristics of wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.
Session 12: Drylands
Dryland climate characteristics
Dryland climate design challenges and strategies
Dryland climate design elements and techniques
Be able to identify characteristics of drylands and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.
Session 13: Social Permaculture
Client interview & designer checklist
Community building (group processes and asset mapping)
Governance (sociocracy and consensus decision making)
Gain confidence in the consultation and design process for clients.
Be able to map assets and resources and identify community needs.
Understand different models of decision making and how to apply them.
Feel comfortable engaging in community and using tools to provide for healthy group dynamics and efficient process.
Recognize opportunities for land access locally.
Learn ethical and effective business models and legal structures that support local economy
Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.
Session 14: OS Permaculture
Permaculture economics (LET’s, Barter and trade, complimentary currency)
Education (accessibility, open source, alternative education)
Urban renewal strategies and design (place-making, curb cuts, green streets, roof top gardens, boulevard gardening
Able to identify risks and mitigate using Permaculture design tools and techniques
Know the steps in building a resiliency preparedness plan and engaging local community in the process
Know the basis of how the economic system works
Learn a variety of different economic strategies and the value of utilizing multiple currencies and tools for resilience
See access to education as a basic right and understand benefits of open source
Feel confident in utilizing place-making tools, techniques and Permaculture strategies in urban environments
Session 15: Graduation
Next steps (setting up a permaculture practice, further education, community involvement, goal sharing)
Mapping and design presentations
Think about niches in permaculture and practice effective goal setting
Gain experience presenting to groups and receiving feedback
Understand how to help others share their gifts
Optional hands on activities:
Plant & tree identification
Medicinal plants & preparations