The PDC Course
At Midwest Permaculture

Then 8-days here in Stelle, IL


What Is Included?

The Classroom in our Community Center

What to Expect from a PDC Course in Stelle?

A Personal Experience

Most of our courses contain 10-20 students. The subject of permaculture attracts an incredible variety of individuals with a meaningful common interest. Sharing meals, space, and conversation lends to creating a rich learning environment and an invaluable sense of community among participants. Our students bring as much to the experience as we do, and share their diverse areas of expertise and knowledge. Most participants leave our courses feeling a bit like family.

Well-rounded meals are served with care for any dietary restrictions

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Get a Lasting Impression from Hands-On Learning

For many people, endless reading and lectures can be difficult to absorb. We fully understand this and have crafted our in-person courses to be peppered with active learning experiences. We take time to tour Stelle, learn how to use helpful equipment, break off into groups for discussion and exercises, and work on tackling site-specific projects like earthworks, harvesting, identifying plants, inoculating mushroom logs, or other engaging activities. In Stelle, where there are so many examples of permaculture in action, you bet we are going outside to see how they look and work first-hand!

Ashlee (student) Built a Professional Looking A-Frame in her off time at the PDC
Digging a Hugelkultured Swale
Wayne Making Cob with Students
Bill Teaching the Rocket Stove Segment
From a blank slate, the community of Stelle grew based on ethics of resilience, cooperation, and the idea that we can become more responsible citizens of earth.

In the Heart of Community

Stelle, Illinois is the long-term residence of Bill and Becky. This small suburb of ~100 residents is an unexpected place to find in the miles of corn and soybean fields that surround it, about an hour and a half south of Chicago. Here is where Bill and Becky found their love for permaculture, land stewardship, and most importantly, the art of building meaningful community. 

The Home of Midwest Permaculture

Bill and Becky have been working on the design of their home in Stelle for the past 15+ years, and take time during every course to tour students through their yard and share the challenges, joys, and learning experiences they’ve gained from “walking the talk” of permaculture design. 

Over time, the home of Midwest Permaculture has been completely transformed from your average suburban parcel into a beautiful, productive, and ecologically friendly oasis that preserves rainwater, supports native pollinators, provides a wide variety of foods, and builds soil in the process. Seeing this property up-close and understanding its design intricacies is a great benefit to taking a PDC in Stelle.

Center for Sustainable Community (CSC) Design

Midwest Permaculture has also been very involved in the land design and implementation process for CSC, Stelle’s local nonprofit that owns the 8.7 acre piece of land adjacent to the community. Here is where we have been experimenting with larger-scale design elements such as ponds, swales, food forests, larger scale gardening and natural building.

CSC’s design is a great example of how a permaculture vision can change over the years as it matures, and what a lot of concepts we cover in the course look like in action. We spend quite a bit of time exploring the land and design process of CSC during the course.

Becky and Bill are 2 of the 6 founding members of CSC and Becky currently serves as the non-profit’s president. 

Various Permaculture Features You'll Experience in Stelle

Thermal Mass Rocket Heaters & their Function in a Home Setting

Soil Building Techniques in our Food Forests using Animals, Chop and Drop Methods, & Foliar Sprays

Composting Toilets & Vermicompost Techniques

The Building Process of our Earth Shelter Cabin, a Structure Made of Natural and/or Recycled Materials

Regardless of the Dates, Here is How the 8-day Portion of the Training Unfolds


Saturday – 1:00pm


Saturday – Noon

Arrival and Registration

From 9:30-12:30 in the morning

Course starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. A light lunch will be offered around noon.

Once the course starts we will be full-on for the entire week so arrive on the early side, get setup  and relax a bit before this permaculture adventure begins.   (More details regarding being at the course will be sent to registered students 3-4 weeks before the training dates.)

Daily Schedule

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

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
Plenty of Free Camping Space

Meals & Open Camping Included

The basic registration price includes all your meals beginning with lunch on the first Saturday. Our host prepares meals with many organic and locally sourced foods and always has a vegetarian option. Are you vegan or gluten-free? Just let us know when you register, and we will gladly accommodate your diet. 

Lodging / Camping
We have plenty of camping space on CSC’s land and permaculture project. In addition, campers will have open access to our community center, which has Wifi, two bathrooms, a shower, and coin-op laundry. 

Rent a room in our Community Center
Or, Rent the Earth Shelter Cabin
Inside the Cabin

Group and Personal Design Projects

Students work on several design projects in small groups in all of our PDC trainings. Participating in a final design project is a requirement of certification. 

Want to work on your Own Design Project for your own home, business, farm, or property? If so, we suggest you bring the following information to the course:  

 Our instructors determine the final design project selection, but students’ preferences are strongly considered.

Start training now with the

Foundations of Permaculture Webinar Series

This permaculture course actually begins upon registration when you receive a welcome email with links to our Foundations of Permaculture Webinar Series which includes:

(The text is snail-mailed and should arrive within a week following your registration.)

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.

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:

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.

Price: $1595

$1450 - Early Registration Price 60 days out

There is also a $300 discount available for one’s spouse, partner, friend or other family member. Register directly with Becky for this option.

Already A Permaculture Design Course Graduate?

We offer a 33% discount to students who have already earned their PDC Certification from another recognized teacher (from anywhere in the world) who wish to take one of our courses as a refresher. Please call or email us for details.

Low Risk Cancellation and Refund Policy

Should a student have to cancel their enrollment in the course up to 30-days before the on-site portion of the course begins, there is a full refund less $250. You do however retain access to the Foundations of Permaculture Webinar Series ($195 value), keep the course handouts and text-book, and receive a full $195 credit toward any future Midwest Permaculture design certification course.

If a student cancels within the 30-day period before the course there will be a full refund less $400 and the student still receives a $195 credit toward a future design course. The credit is good for up to three years.

There are no refunds for cancellations or for withdrawals once the course begins. However, in certain circumstances, we may extend partial or full credit towards a future design course.

We would love to have you join us here.

The experience of taking a PDC course in person is almost always deeply impactful. As teachers, we feel it is our job to deliver the best quality training we know how to our students, and we take this responsibility seriously. This subject is too brilliant to share in a ho-hum way. We see the course as a journey into wonderment, satisfaction and endless possibilities.

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