PDC at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

PDC at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (Extra Day Added to this Training)
A Midwest Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in Rutledge, MO
Learn Permaculture where it is Lived Daily                         Fees and Registration
Sept.16 - Sept.24, 2017                    (Closed-Full)

DR Panoramic

This PDC Course Consists of our Pre-course Studies plus 9-Very-Full Days on Site

Join Us for our 3rd Annual PDC Course at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities and a perfect learning environment for anyone thinking of living as part of community. Dancing Rabbit consist of about 55 folks with plans to grow up to 500.

PDC Course Students at Dancing Rabbit, 2016

Students Thoughts on their PDC Course at Dancing Rabbit:

“I gave the overall rating a 10 [out of 10].  If I could go higher I would, you exceeded my expectation by a huge amount.”

“I expected a university class. I got a humanizing, spiritual, and engaging experience. Much more than I expected.”

“I really enjoyed what Bill brought to this course. His vulnerability, honesty, and integrity carried the course. … This energy also helped encourage the students to connect on a deeper level.”

“This was such a wonderful experience. I can’t imagine a better use of my time and money that I had invested in being here.  I’m leaving inspired, motivated, excited, and personally fulfilled.”

“I loved the interaction with Dancing Rabbit and their hospitality, in allowing us into their homes and lives.  The practical application of the techniques were a bonus – I don’t think it would have been the life-changing experience without DR.”

“You [at Dancing Rabbit] are walking the talk. It is very inspiring and anchors the entire PDC.”

Students heading off to a hands-on workshop during their PDC Course

Here is last year's video on taking a Midwest Permaculture PDC at Dancing Rabbit:

You may be wondering...
 "What is it that I will learn from this Permaculture Design Course?"
Click Below.

About the World Recognized Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
How We Deliver this Amazing Course Material   (Regardless of the location)
Download our Curriculum Outline (.pdf)

The Full PDC Course Curriculum Will Be Covered...with a deeper look into:

Alternative Building and Energy


Water Harvesting and Gardening


Building Authentic Community


For more about Dancing Rabbit see the bottom of the page.

Bill Wilson -- Lead Designer and Teacher for Midwest Permaculture

Bill Wilson -- Lead Designer and Teacher for Midwest Permaculture

A Message from Bill...

Having lived in the small community of Stelle, IL, for over 35 years (pop.100), Becky and I have gained a deep appreciation for what people go through to create authentic community.  Many don't know that Stelle started as an intentional community, similar to Dancing Rabbit, and as with most start-up communities, the realities of working together proved to be much more challenging than most of us had imagined. So our experiment with 'intentional' community lasted only 10 years (1972-1982).  Since then, Stelle has been a simple homeowners association (to manage maintenance, water and sewer) but with a warm community heart.

So, rather than living in an intentional community, Becky and I have chosen to 'live with intention' within the community we found ourselves in.

Over the years, we feel we have learned some important insights regarding what it takes to create a rich experience of community. So, along with the folks at Dancing Rabbit, and you our students,  we will take some extra time at this PDC course to explore the art of creating 'common-unity' or community.

After all, permaculture is essentially about exploring the challenges and benefits that come with creating systems that care for people and planet over the long run. The key to this?  Cooperation. Dancing Rabbit has explored this idea to a depth few have considered.

This is going to be another amazing course and I am very much looking forward to it. I hope to see you there...Bill Wilson

Co-Teacher: Sharon Bagatell of Dancing Rabbit Sharon-Bagatell-186x300
Permaculture Designer and Teacher

Sharon took her Permaculture Teacher's Training with us in 2014 and it is she who is connecting us to Dancing Rabbit.  Being trained and experienced in permaculture she could see it being practiced and implemented all around her at Dancing Rabbit. She felt her community had much to share to the permaculture conversation worldwide so asked us to bring our PDC Course to Dancing Rabbit.  Working together just felt serendipitous to her and to us.

Besides being a resident of Dancing Rabbit for over 7 years now, Sharon has also volunteered her permaculture talents at a few other locations around the planet. She has spent a good amount of time in Ecuador working on her own permaculture land and project but also volunteered to create a simple step-by-step "how to" manual for rural African farmers to accompany the excellent permaculture trainings already offered by the Kusamala Institute in Malawi, Africa. She also attended the International Permaculture Convergence hosted in Cuba in 2013.

Sharon hosts the Dancing Rabbit portions of our PDC Courses.

Sharon Working in Malawi

Working in Malawi with an African Hoe

One of Sharon's Neighbors

One of Sharon's Neighbors (in Africa, not Dancing Rabbit)

"I learned more than I thought possible. Great experience and life-changing teachers. Thank you."
Nate A. - MI - Non-Profit Administrator & Musician (33)

"I appreciated working on projects, all the information, the videos, the site visits with such variation, all of it. I was never bored."
Lorna P. - Joliet, IL - Retired (63)

"Bill clearly demonstrated how permaculture is more than just gardening. It can also be a moral, ethical, spiritual lifestyle."
Steve K. - Los Angeles - Contractor & Tai Chi Master (40)

Additional Details About the Course

Camping and Meals Included
The price of registration includes camping and all meals. For non campers there is lodging available for rent right at Dancing Rabbit.  You will contact them directly to make those arrangements.  Prices and options are on the Dancing Rabbit webpage for this course  -- Dancing Rabbit Website

Start and End Time
Saturday, Sept.16, at 1:00pm through to Sunday, Sept.24, noon.
Check-in and Registration from 10:30-12:30 in the morning.  Course starts at 1:00 p.m.
We recommend arriving late Friday afternoon or by 10:30 am on Saturday to get yourself settled.  Once the course starts we will be full-on for the entire week.  There will be no meals provided before lunch on Saturday, so be sure to pack a bit of extra food for Friday evening and Saturday morning.  (More details on all this closer to the course.)

7:30  -     Breakfast
8:15  -     Class
12:15 -     Lunch Break
2:00  -     Class
5:00  -     Dinner Break
7:00  -     Class
9:00  -     End

As you can see, these are very full days.  But because we break up the class-time with videos, exercises, discussions and more, students enjoy going into the evenings without feeling fatigued.

"Bill, I was concerned coming in that I would not be able to learn anything by the evening sessions.  Not so.  With the long meal breaks and the way that you and your team kept the material so interesting, I was fully engaged all day. Great job.  I didn't want the week to end."
Rebecca - 48 - Social Worker

Group and Personal Design Projects
For all PDC trainings, students work on several design projects and usually in small groups. These design exercises are a requirement of certification. The projects selected will be determined by the instructors but student's preferences are strongly considered.

Bring Your Own Design Project: If one of the reasons you are taking this training is to learn the skills necessary to create a permaculture design for your own home, business, farm or property, we invite you to bring information about your site to the training. If you have them, bring a sketch of your property in fairly accurate proportions and/or an aerial view photo or map.  We can look this information up online as well.  Also bring a plant list of what is on your property now (does not have to be exhaustive – what are the dominant species – place them on the sketch), note the sunny and shady parts of the property and what direction is south. You should also be as clear as you can be about what your current dreams or visions are for the property. There will be some time in the latter part of the course where these individual projects can be explored.

What to Pack & Other Details
About 4 weeks before the on-site training begins, students will receive more information concerning what to pack, when and where to arrive and other details. No big surprises here. Just the usual stuff.

Students who complete this design course will receive a 'Certificate of Completion' from Midwest Permaculture, which in the permaculture tradition, allows them to use the word 'permaculture' in the promotion of their work or business. Graduates may offer workshops, lectures and design services. Click here for more on certification.

Description of our Full, Permaculture-Design-Certification Courses
If you landed on this page and happened to have missed the full course description, you might still be wondering what is actually covered in a certification course. If so, Click Here.

  What our students have told us...

"This was unequivocally the best educational experience of my life. You made permaculture completely understandable and I am so inspired to implement this work. This training has tied it all together for me. Thank You."
Kate M. - College Student

"Thanks so much for all your work!! I was so inspired by the course. I've already integrated permaculture into a community project I'm working on.
After 25yrs of landscaping, I needed this boost of BLISS!"

Catherine R. - Professional Landscape Architect

You Can Begin The Training Now with the Pre-Course Studies 

This permaculture course actually begins with registration. Shortly after students register we send out a welcome email with links to the webinar series which includes:

Course Fee: $1,595
Early Registration: $1,195 before March 1
Seniors and Students - $1,295

round final Click Here to Begin the Registration Process
Continuing Support Following Graduation
Students who have completed a Midwest Permaculture design certification course (PDC) are then invited to become part of our growing network of graduates. There are three ways we work to support our graduates:
  • We have a separate website where all graduates can connect, share ideas and look for some assistance from each other.
  • We host occasional permaculture reunions for our graduates and their families.
  • Graduates may audit any future 72-hour certification courses at half price (provided space is available).

Our objective is to support our students for as long as they need it or want it, and to encourage them to support each other.

Already A Permaculture Design Course Graduate?
We offer a 33% discount to students who have already received their PDC Certification from another recognized teacher (from anywhere in the world) who wish to take one of our courses as a refresher. Please email us for details.

Still Have Questions?
You are welcome to email Becky (becky@midwestpermaculture.com) or call her at 815-256-2215.  You may also voice-message or text us at 815-782-2216.

Pictures from around Dancing Rabbit

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (0)

Sign posted on their community board.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (1)

This is the main walkway.  Two of the common buildings are on the left, the Milkweed Mercantile Inn is on the right.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (1.1)

One of the common buildings from the rear -- A garden shed in the foreground -- Solar panels are everywhere.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (1.2)

The Milkweed Mercantile brings a bit of the outside culture into the community but they do it with a great regard for whole foods, healthy products and energy conservation.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (3)

Inside the Mercantile

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (3.2)

With only 4 autos serving the whole community, the bike shop is an important hub.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (3.8)

The main walkway/path narrows down as it moves further into the community.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (6)

Some of the original homes with established landscapes are located along here.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (6.5)

All homes seem to be made from a combination of cob, strawbales and recycled wood & windows.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (6.7)

The sidewalks are grass paths and some of the homes have earthened roofs so they are barely visible from some perspectives.

Dancing Rabbit 2014 (9)

Tucked into the landscape, the homes are organic, natural and mostly built by the owners.

 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (9.5)Fortunately there are artists in the community. 
How would you like this fellow welcoming you at your front door?
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (12)We never saw a rabbit, but ducks and chickens can be easily found.
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (15)The inside of Sharon's a naturally built home.
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (16)This recently completed earthen floor needs a week or so to dry before walking on.
The south facing windows will allow the sunlight to fall on the large thermal mass floor in the winter,
storing the suns heat for nighttime warming.
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (17)There are no flush toilets at Dancing Rabbit.  There are simple composters (like this)
and fancier models where you almost forget you are not on a regular toilet. "Where's the flush handle?"
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (18)Mushroom cultivation in the shade.
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (19)Multiple chicken coops around the community.
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (21)Away from the trees and houses, Dancing Rabbit owns dozens of additional acres
for future home building and greater food production.
 Dancing Rabbit 2014 (22)A functional greenhouse
Dancing Rabbit 2014 (23)...with some lovely peppers protected from the fall frosts.
Dancing Rabbit 2014 (24)There is even a lovely swimming hole.

There is a lot of wonderful information on the Dancing Rabbit website
so we invite you to spend some time there. Especially recommended is reading the content within their lively blog.  The blog posts alone gives one a deep look into what joys and struggles there are related to creating a community with others in a more conscious and authentic way.  These posts could be considered a college semester in community living just by themselves.

Here are 4 videos however (out of the many) that we think will give you a good feel for Dancing Rabbit.  Attending this PDC is a unique learning opportunity.  It will be an immersion into permaculture where it is at the heart of everyday living.

Ma'ikwe Ludwig was Dancing Rabbit's executive director of their non-profit branch.  She was invited to give a Tedx-Talk in 2013 and we found it to be excellent.
(The Subtext Title to her Talk: “Living A Sustainable Life Doesn’t Suck. Really.”)