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whole-life skills for a radically different future

Permaculture Design Certification Course

June 12-30, 2017

at Earthaven Ecovillage | near Asheville, North Carolina

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The School of Integrated Living and Earthaven Ecovillage are proud to be hosting this a place-based learning journey.

Permaculture Design Certification Course at Earthaven Ecovillage

Permaculture Design Curriculum

The Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course [120 hours] at Earthaven Ecovillage will provide a unique exploration of regenerative, nature-based design, grounded in a 22 year-old, community-scale, Permaculture demonstration site.

This 18-day intensive offers 120 hours of instruction and integrated, hands-on learning experiences, 48 more instruction-hours than the 72-hour standard PDC curriculum, which is typical only 12-14 days. This longer immersion allows more time for hands-on projects, tours, special topics, conversations with instructors, and additional experience in the permaculture design process.

In this PDC you will have the opportunity to deepen your leadership in the communities and endeavors you are part of, so you can find your niche in addressing the complex bio-cultural challenges we are facing at every scale at this time.  Permaculture design principles train us to design any kind of system--land use, business, personal relationships or organizational endeavors--which mimic ecosystem dynamics and generate measurable ecological regeneration while taking care of people and empowering marginalized communities.

Subject matter includes the following:

  • Permaculture History, Ethics and Design Principles
  • Observation Practices and Nature Awareness
  • Ecological Patterns in Design
  • Global and Local Ecological Issues and Human Responses
  • Hands-on Projects with Bioregional Techniques and Species
  • Water in the Landscape: Ponds, Earthworks, and Rainwater Catchment
  • Soil Ecology, Biochar, Climate Resiliency and Disaster Response
  • Agroforestry, Forest Gardening and Diverse Orchards
  • Perennial Agriculture, Polycultures Gardening, Successional Farming and Guilds
  • Mushrooms and Myco-Remediation
  • Wastewater Systems and Composting
  • Integrated Animal Systems and the Landscape
  • Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology
  • Eco Building Design and Natural Building Techniques
  • Ecovillage Systems Design and Urban Permaculture Strategies
  • Eco-Social Design, Cooperatives, Decision Making and Collaboration
  • Money, Financial Systems and Project Budgeting
  • Cooperative and Human-Scale Economics
  • Presentation and Design Mapping
  • Student Design Projects

Who is this course for?

Our Permaculture Design Certification Course is open to people of all ages and stages. PDC graduates include activists, policy-makers, landowners, philanthropists, land-use professionals, government agency staff, village builders, religious leaders, students, and social justice advocates.  The School of Integrated Living (SOIL) encourages applications from women, members of the LGBTQ community, people of color and other diverse populations and perspectives in order to cultivate an environment of equality, authenticity and unity.

Bring your Team. We encourage community leaders interested in spearheading a community permaculture design process to attend with 2-4 other community members. This high-level intensive will strengthen your capacity to lead your community and regional stakeholders through a collaborative process to re-envision local human systems that mimic natural patterns.


This course is led by a very experienced team of instructors that have over 100 years of experience collectively.

Lead Instructors include: Patricia Allison, Zev Friedman, and Courtney Brooke Allen

Guest Instructors include: Chuck Marsh, Chris Farmer, Shawn Swartz, Andy Bosley, and others.



Founded in 1994, Earthaven Ecovillage, is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse western North Carolina, about 50 minutes southeast of Asheville and 30 minutes southeast of Black Mountain. Surrounded by like-minded, ecologically oriented neighbors, Earthaven is home to 80+ residents, including students and visitors, and dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.

Experiencing being in a living community among integrated systems in an up close an personal way is a significant benefit of this design course.

“Earthaven is where the human community is bonding with the Earth in a manner capable of healing the devastation of the past and inspiring a new grandeur for the future. At Earthaven, even for a brief while, we experience what it is to return to ourselves.”

- Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth.


Catered delicious, hearty, organic meals for 18 days (54 meals total) included.

Our cooks will be preparing mostly omnivorous meals with guiding principles of simple, unprocessed, home-grown, and deep nourishment. We aim for high quality food, which means seasonal, local, fresh, wildcrafted, humanely raised, and organic. Most of your food will be sourced from Earthaven’s community farms, gardens, and nearby growers, as well as from local stores. Grains, beans, and nuts are often soaked; vegetables properly prepared – whether  raw, fermented, and cooked; soup stocks are made from the bones of local livestock; fats are high quality animal fats (butter, lard), coconut oil and olive oil; sweeteners are minimally used and carefully chosen (raw sugar, molasses, honey and maple syrup).

This meal plan is gluten free. Vegetarian and vegan meals available upon request. Please inquire as to whether we can accommodate any other dietary needs.

Accommodations and Amenities


Participants will camp in Earthaven campground. Most campground sites are for 2-person tents, some can accommodate larger tents. There are a few RV spots (but without hook ups).  The campground offers clean drinking water, a tarp-covered kitchen with propane burners for cooking and heating water, and an outhouse with composting toilet and hand-washing station. A flush toilet is available in the Council Hall nearby. (Other private or dormitory housing may be available. Inquiries welcome.)

Earthaven Ecovillage is off-grid, meaning not supplied by public electricity or water companies, but derives electricity from solar panels and two small hydropower stations and water from springs and wells. There is minimal Internet access, and no cell phone reception, although landline phones are available for short or emergency phone calls. Living at Earthaven offers a balance between comfort and adventure.


Participants are accepted on a first come, first served basis. We expect to fill. Register by April 14 and save $100.

Tuition is $1,800 ($1,700 until April 14). Includes three delicious, hearty meals per day, camping, field trips, instruction, certification, and all materials. Indoor lodging is available for additional cost; please contact us for more information. Transportation is not included.


How to secure your space:

STEP ONE - Fill out Permaculture Design Course registration form:




STEP TWO - Make your payment. Methods include:

A) Send check or money order payable to:

School of Integrated Living
11 Full Circle Trail
Black Mountain, NC 28711

B) Click the button below to make your payment with a credit card or PayPal account:

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel, you may transfer your place in the program to someone of your choosing (they will need to register online), or you can donate your place to someone to someone who would not be able to participate without financial assistance.

  • If you have paid tuition in full, 50% is refundable until April 21, 2017
  • If you have partially paid tuition with a payment plan, 30% is refundable until April 21, 2017
  • After April 21, 2017 there will be NO tuition refunds.
  • Indoor lodging fees are 100% refundable minus $100 office fee

If SOIL cancels the Permaculture Design Certification Course for any reason whatsoever, 100% of your tuition will be refunded.

Contact Gabriel at connect@schoolofintegratedliving.org with registration related questions.

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