Best Permaculture Courses

Find the best online Permaculture Courses for you. The courses are sorted based on popularity and user ratings. We do not allow paid placements in any of our rankings. We also have a separate page listing only the Free Permaculture Courses.

Permaculture Design Course

Learn to apply sustainable and productive land use design strategies to any property or site, anywhere in the world!

Created by Tagari Publications Permaculture Institute - Permaculture Design Specialists

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Students: 6485, Price: $129.99

Students: 6485, Price:  Paid

Why should you study the Permaculture Design Course?

Everyone can benefit from learning about Permaculture and how to apply Permaculture design principles to your life. You can apply these design principles to your garden, community spaces or to the larger environment. This course will allow you to broaden your understanding of Permaculture theory, building your knowledge of all the necessary aspects (like growing food, enriching soils and using waste as a resource) to become fully conversant with Permaculture design. By the end of the course, you will be able to confidently create your first Permaculture design plan.

This course not only provides you with the theory and practical knowledge to create design plans, it allows you to take a step into the world of Bill Mollison, one of the co-founders of Permaculture. Bill's global experience in sharing the principles of Permaculture design, along with his entertaining story telling, will captivate you and challenge you to think critically about how we can all apply the principles of sustainable land use design to our lives and communities.

All students enrolled in the course are invited to join our private Student Group on Facebook. Check your Welcome message to gain access.

Please note: This course does not include an assessment component and therefore there is no formally recognised Permaculture Design Certificate.

What exactly is Permaculture and why is it applicable to everyone?

The concept of Permaculture was first presented by Bill Mollison and his student, David Holmgren, in the mid 1970's. Permaculture is sustainable land use design, based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its’ inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.

Who is the Permaculture Design Course delivered by?

This Permaculture Design Course was first convened in 2005 through collaboration with Tony Walkins and Lisa Mollison, Tagari Publications. Tagari Publications' primary function is to support the work of The Permaculture Institute by publishing educational materials on sustainability, with Lisa Mollison fulfilling the role of Managing Director since 1997. All lectures available in this course are a recording of the live delivery of the course in 2005 and feature presentations by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton.

Throughout your participation in the digital course, you will be supported by Lisa Mollison, who has been teaching Permaculture design principles to students, volunteers and 'Wwoofers' at Tagari Garden Farm (the home of The Permaculture Institute) since 1996. Lisa Mollison is furthering Bill Mollison's vision to spread Permaculture design principles and ethics across the globe by offering the Permaculture Design Course to a wider audience.

Lisa Mollison, Tagari Publications and The Permaculture Institute, is the copyright owner of all course content and resources. Please note, although unintentional, there is a possibility that some content presented in this course may contain references to deceased people, sacred or secret material and terminology or language which some people may find inappropriate or offensive.

About Bill Mollison

Bill Mollison was the Founding Director of the Permaculture Institute, the first and longest running Permaculture institute in existence, and  taught and developed projects from the Arctic through Sub-tropic and Equatorial regions of the planet. There are few countries left in the world where he did not personally plant the seeds of Permaculture. The Peoples of the Pacific, South East Asia, South Africa and seven Amazonian language groups have been inspired by and acted on his teachings, embracing Permaculture as a dynamic tool. He also gave courses in the drylands and developed projects with Native Americans, Indigenous Australians, tribal women of the Deccan, Kalahari, San groups and Pima people of the Sonora. In the USA, Europe and Scandinavia, Bill lectured and helped to develop ecological designs for urban and rural properties, including many city farms and CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture).

Bill Mollison was vitally concerned with the environment for over forty years. His many roles included: scientist, naturalist and university professor. Later, he became a vigorous campaigner against environmental exploitation which led him to develop Permaculture as a positive solution.  Bill devoted his energies towards designing sustainable systems, writing text books and articles on Permaculture, and most importantly, teaching. Permaculture now laps the globe, resulting in thousands of independent associations involved in the areas of sustainable agriculture, reforestation, education and village economics. True to his vision, throughout the world, Permaculture is becoming an everyday part of life.

Sustainable living made simple

Basics of permaculture design

Created by Brian Newhouse - Farmer, Walker, Woodturner

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Students: 4990, Price: $39.99

Students: 4990, Price:  Paid

Sustainable living made simple: Basics of permaculture design provides a general outline to living off the land. This course presents dozens of strategies of projects around the world demonstrating how we can be responsible custodians of earth.

Participants may gain a comprehensive understanding of some of the principles and practices of sustainable living. This course follows a book, The Permaville Handbook: Strategies of Permaculture Design and is based on the certified Permaculture Design Course (PDC).

In this course, you may learn how to:

  • Build with natural materials

  • Filter water

  • Make compost

  • Grow plants

  • Raise fish, insects and animals

  • Quick steps to start a farm

Learn how to live off the land with strategies of permaculture design.

Who is the target audience for this course?

  • This course is for people interested in learning the basics of sustainable living. No experience required.

Does the Permaville Course count as a Permaculture Design Course certificate?

  • This course meets requirements for a certified Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and may help prepare for an in-person workshop.

Syllabus

Overview

  • What is permaculture

  • Story of permaculture

  • Story of humans

  • The cloud 

  • General goals

  • Principles and Ethics     

Strategies

  • Site analysis

  • Site maps

  • Zones and sectors

  • Climates and microclimates

  • Patterns in nature

  • Urban design

Earth and structures

  • Earthworks

  • Paths and access

Water and soil

  • Water 

  • Soil

  • Compost

  • Microorganisms fungi and worms

Plants and creatures

  • Nursery

  • Garden

  • Trees

  • Fish

  • Insects and animals

Home 

  • Natural building

  • Kitchen

  • Sanitation

  • Appropriate technology

  • Economics

Field

  • Greenhouse

  • Compost tea

  • Hydroponics

  • Field prep

  • Field map and field log

Crops

  • Spring and summer crops

  • Fall and winter crops

  • Seed log

Farm

  • Post-harvest

  • Sales and harvest log

Permaculture Design for Conserving Water

Using ecological design approach known as permaculture and showing how it can be used to create water-wise landscapes.

Created by Toby Hemenway - Permaculture Expert. Author

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Students: 285, Price: $19.99

Students: 285, Price:  Paid

This course introduces the ecological design approach known
as permaculture and shows how it can be used to create water-wise
landscapes in dry climates.

Permaculture combines concepts and principles derived from nature
with research from ecology and sustainability fields to help design
healthy landscapes, homes, and communities that reduce resource use, are
low-maintenance, and are self-renewing. You will learn about specific
techniques that work in a dry climate, and gain a general understanding
of permaculture design and application.

Toby is well-known for his skill at taking technical, scientific
information and making it readily available to everyone, regardless of
science background. In this course, Toby offers 8, very clear
strategies for achieving a water-wise garden. He covers a variety of
techniques to help you carry-out each strategy. In addition, he
introduces the many benefits, besides water conservation, that come with
implementing each water-wise strategy.

By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge necessary to
begin implementing water conservation techniques in your garden. Water
is a precious resource. Toby gives you no excuse not to embrace
water-wise gardening. So dig in and enjoy!

This course was created from Toby’s keynote address at Rethinking Idaho Landscapes, a forum presented by the Idaho Botanical Garden and the University of Idaho on February 22, 2014 in Boise, Idaho.

About Toby Hemenway

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale
Permaculture, which was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011, was
named by the Washington Post as one of the ten best gardening books of
2010, and for the last eight years has been the best-selling
permaculture book in the world. Toby has been an adjunct professor at
Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University,
and has taught over sixty 72-hour permaculture design courses. He has
presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences
such as Bioneers, SolFest, and EcoFarm, and at Duke University, Tufts
University, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and many
other educational venues. His writing has appeared in magazines such as
Natural Home, Whole Earth Review, and American Gardener. He has
contributed book chapters for WorldWatch Institute and to several
publications on ecological design.

After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby
worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first
in academic laboratories including Harvard and the University of
Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech
company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the
direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design
approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable
landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby
and his wife, Kiel, spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site
in southern Oregon. He was the editor of Permaculture Activist, a
journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004.
He moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004, and spent six years developing
urban sustainability resources there. Toby and his wife now live in
Sebastopol, California.

Intro to Permaculture

Exploring the Fundamental Principles, History & Evolution of the Permaculture Movement

Created by Jeffrey Jackson - Permaculturalist

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Students: 162, Price: $49.99

Students: 162, Price:  Paid

Intro to Permaculture is an intricately designed online micro-course series that presents a lean and clear perspective of the Permaculture Movement and Design System. This introductory series traces the outlaying roots back to the central tap and reaches deep into the profound wisdom of Nature. This concise, yet concentrated, perspective of Permaculture cuts straight to the heart, gifting us the opportunity to connect directly to the pure, untainted source. 

Those bold enough to embark on this richly intimate journey inward will find equal parts of challenge and inspiration. At the edge of this balance between tension and potential we will individually sow the seeds of collective change.

Like Permaculture, this Intro to Permaculture Series asks us to take personal responsibility and act within our own capacities. Throughout the series we will be prompted to pause and reflect over course content and discover the diverse ways it connects to our individual lives. Once this connection is made, we can flip the switch and let the currents of action flow!

Community is the keystone that holds the learning process together. Thus, we are all encouraged to share our thoughts, feelings, and reflections with fellow participants and instructors. In this way we can create a more intimate, less sterile, learning environment.

Basics of Permaculture

Discover the main permaculture principles and techniques, plus their applications!

Created by Thomas Clasquin - Permaculture Designer

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Students: 76, Price: $19.99

Students: 76, Price:  Paid

In this course, you will learn the main principles & techniques of permaculture. Through 8 clear topics, you will be shown concrete steps towards the creation of a self-regulating natural system. With both practical advice and insight in the mindset of permaculture design, this Basics of Permaculture course is a great way of starting your permaculture journey.

How to Grow a Medicinal Food Forest

Discover how to create a beautiful, diverse, high-yield, permaculture-style garden that mimics a forest ecosystem.

Created by Michael Pilarski - Permaculture

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Students: 58, Price: $44.99

Students: 58, Price:  Paid

Anyone with a patch of land can grow a food forest!  A food forest, or forest garden,  is a gardening technique that mimics a forest ecosystem but substitutes in edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.  A medicinal food forest has the added benefit of producing medicinal botanicals. Fruit and nut trees comprise the upper canopy of the forest while below are berry shrubs, edible perennials, herbs, root crops and annuals. Companion plants are included to attract beneficial insects, build the soil, and provide mulch.  Together they create a sustainable forest garden ecosystem able to produce high yields of food with less maintenance.

In this course Michael Pilarski, permaculture and wildcrafting expert, teaches you how to turn your back yard into a food forest.  Filmed on site in Michael's back yard, this is not a classroom-based course.  Michael teaches the basics of food forest planting while planting his own medicinal food forest on 1/8 of an acre.  Does an 1/8 of an acre sound big to you?  Don't worry!  In this course Michael talks about how to scale what you're learning to your own back yard. 

Forest gardening is an ancient art and science that can teach you sustainable methods for growing your food and medicine.  As Masanobu Fukuoka once said, "The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."  Forest gardening allows you to experience ecology first hand.  It provides you with a rare opportunity to live with nature and learn how to exist a little more sustainably. 

Growing Homemade Organic Food

Permaculture meets Grow-Biointensive

Created by Plant organic food Shimon Krut - Chef Gardner

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Students: 45, Price: $89.99

Students: 45, Price:  Paid

Why should we grow our own garden?

You can go to the supermarket and buy your own produce, but growing your own vegetables is very important, and incredibly satisfying.

Modern Agriculture uses oil. The burning of the oil creates global warming. In order to reduce the amount of global warming, we can grow our own food.

Secondly, A non-organic system means polluting the water system when we use pesticides. These pesticides, go directly into the water system.

Thirdly, Non-organic agriculture encourages chopping down trees, which is not good for the ecosystem in general.

Fourthly, In order to grow food, modern agriculture denudes the land, creating an inhospitable environment for different species of animals and plants.

Today, in our modern world, we do all these things in order to grow food, but we're actually eliminating the fertile ground we are sitting on, which will eventually lead to an ultimate lack of farmable land. Growing our own garden improves the state of the planet we live in in a number of ways:.

The Advantages of Organic Agriculture:

Firstly, Organic agriculture does not use pesticides, so it does not pollute the water system.

Secondly, Organic agriculture does not need to chop down trees. In fact, it tries to grow food complemented by trees, or to grow food on the trees themselves.

Thirdly, Organic agriculture strives to live in harmony with animals and other plants, recognizing and taking advantage of the fact that certain plants and animals depend on one another to survive and thrive.

The goal of organic agriculture is to create a permanent culture, a culture that will stay here forever.

Additional Advantages of Growing an Organic Garden: Improvement of the Individual

Firstly, the garden can be created, worked on, and harvested by the whole family. The garden thus provides teamwork and becomes an educational opportunity for the kids.

Secondly, A garden provides an opportunity to engage in physical work. This relatively easy physical work is very good for prolonging life, and for improving quality of life.

Thirdly, Gardening 10 to 20 minutes daily has been proven to be of great benefit for people of more advanced ages- mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Fourthly, Gardening is related to the concept of Earthing. Earthing means standing barefoot on the ground. This simple action has many psychological benefits. It allows us to become more grounded, more centred, more at peace with our world, and with our place within that world. Earthing has physiological benefits as well, such as allowing us to sleep better, and reducing chronic pain. Additionally, in our modern world we tend to sit a lot, in front of the computer, television, in the car, causing our bodies to accumulate energy, instead of using this energy. Gardening allows us to productively use the energy our body produces.

Fifthly, A home grown garden provides us with the entire 100% vitamin and mineral of its produce. All the nutrition and energy which the plant absorbed is available for us to eat! Produce purchased in the supermarket loses between 50-70% of its vitamins and minerals within 5-7 days of being harvested (by the time it arrives in the supermarket from the farm). There is also very little waste with a home garden. You can leave the produce in the garden until you are ready to prepare your meal! Oh, and the ultimate satisfaction of eating and sharing the foods that you yourself have produced is indescribable!

So now that our eyes are open, let's start making a beautiful garden. Come with me.

In this course, each of these six steps of creating and maintaining a vegetable garden are divided into 2 short lessons:

1. Practical lesson in the garden: In these lessons we will observe the practical application of each stage, including important tips

2. Theoretical lesson: In these lessons we will talk about the importance of the stage and go into further depth on the subject.

What Is Permaculture Design?

Dig Into Permaculture I: Intro to Permaculture Design & Principles

Created by Rachel Economy - Permaculture & Design Thinking Educator

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Students: 7, Price: $24.99

Students: 7, Price:  Paid

Learn the core ethics, history, frameworks, and principles of permaculture design - a method for creating and tending resilient human and ecological systems. Based on patterns found in ecology, coupled with a design method that accounts for human and more-than-human needs, permaculture offers us tools to bring the worlds we need to life, right in the dirt where we are now. Dig into the vibrant, green pattern language of permaculture, demystified, and start adding permaculture frameworks and practices to your life right away!