Taking Your PDC in Stelle

PDC Courses at Midwest Permaculture
Stelle, IL

  • July 18-25, 2020
  • September 12-19 
  • Both Canceled due to Covid-19. 
    Check back for 2021 Schedule.  We are sorry about this.  Be Well.
The Home of Midwest Permaculture

 Key Links:

About the Internationally Recognized PDC CourseWhat is Taught
How we Deliver this Powerful Training ExperienceRegardless of Where we Teach
What to Expect at our PDC Courses in Stelle, IL
Keep Viewing Below…

Students enjoying a break in the front yard of Midwest Permaculture.

Click Here for a Full Design Description of Midwest Permaculture Home
Includes many pictures, detailed and layered design maps and an hour-long video of Bill and Becky describing the development of Midwest Permaculture and their home.

What you can expect at a PDC course hosted in the small community of Stelle, Illinois — the home of Midwest Permaculture:

A Welcoming Community
A Close-up Look at Many Permaculture Design Features
A Comfortable Classroom
A Great Permaculture Training
Free Camping or a Spare Bedroom Here in Stelle for $150/week
Dedicated Teachers

And More…

Classroom at Midwest Permaculture PDC

  “This training had a relaxed and informal approach
yet we learned so much. 
My husband and I loved it.”
Carolyn – Public School Teacher for 16 years

Students will take several walks through Stelle to learn first-hand how various permaculture design elements are interlaced in an environment.

And Where is Stelle, IL, Located?  (Click Here for Google Map)

Island of Stelle
We are located in Northeast Illinois in the heart of industrial agriculture. Stelle is the green rectangular island in the middle of what are typically empty fields for 8-9 months of the year.
Stelle and CSC 8.7 Acres
A closer look of the aerial view shows our streets, the location of Midwest Permaculture, and circled is the acreage owned and managed by our local non-profit, Center for Sustainable Community. This is the property that we are implementing a permaculture design upon.

 CSC Permaculture Design in Early Stages of Development
All students will get a close look at the permaculture design we are developing for our local non-profit and see it in the early stages of implementation.

Addition Features of Every Training 

Free Camping Within the Community and Close to Heated Showers and Bathrooms
Three Meals per-day made from mostly Organic and Locally Sourced Foods – Vegetarian Options – Vegan too when Requested

 “I really enjoyed the content of the training, the hospitality,
and the sense of community we created.”
Talia – College Graduate and First Year Medical School Student 

The aquaponics system in front of Bill and Becky’s home.
One of the hugelkulture beds in Bill and Becky’s back yard.
Every student learns how to make, calibrate, and use an A-frame for marking contours for swales, ponds, roads and more.
Sight Level
We teach students to use a sight level (dumpy level) as well.

 “Doing the hands-on parts of the training really allowed me to fully understand
the permaculture concepts. “

Gina – (45) College Professor

After learning how to measure, mark and build a swale, we then DO IT…! This one will become a hugelkultured swale.

Video Below Explains what a Hugelkultured Swale is and how it Benefits the Environment

Swale (4)
And when Designed, Measured, Marked and Dug Properly….these Swales Really do Hold Rain Water…!!!
Meet Wayne and Bev Malchow and learn how they built their thermal mass rocket stove, their earth friendly home, a strawbale garage, and more. If the weather is cool enough they’ll fire-up the stove.
Cob Making
Students will make cob too. By learning to make cob one cannot only learn to build a thermal mass rocket stove, but a home and other structures as well. And it’s made will clay, sand, straw and water.
Rocket Stove
We’ll build a model rocket stove and fire it up to help understand the concepts and experience the ‘rocket’ sound first hand.
top-down view of rocket stove
A top-down look into the rocket stove – no smoke – lots of heat – very little wood = a great design. As a student, you will be involved in building it, and firing it.
Milton teaching a grafting workshop.

 “Stelle is a wonderful and welcoming place to hold this training.
Catherine – Mom and Non-profit Business Administrator 

When we have chickens, student are invited to assist with chores and gain some first-hand experience with them.
Stelle Pond
Our Pond – We’ll learn a bit about pond building, pond ecology, aquaculture and the many benefits that ponds possess. This is also where we will be building our chinampas.

Click on Image to Learn More About Chinampas

Image of Chinampas
Learn about Chinampas – said to have been the most agriculturally productive system ever developed by humans (Mexico 1200 A.D.)
Willow grove
Explore the Black Willow Grove
Over the bridge
The Bridge Over our Creek. — Kelly Creek is at the headwaters of the Vermillion river watershed. You’ll learn about this and how to find your own watershed.
Permaculture class in the orchard - Bill Wilson teaching
Bill Holding Class During a Walk in the Orchard

 “I really appreciated the atmosphere that the teachers
and students created together. “

Nancy – Foreign Aid Worker from Africa

Wind Generator in Stelle
The Wind Generator that provides power to the Stelle Water Treatment Plant
Hot air solar panels
Stelle has been called the solar capital of the Midwest because of all of the solar panels in town. But not all are for generating electricity. These hot air solar panels do an excellent job in the winter on this south facing wall.
Students doing design work
Throughout the training students will be involved in individual and group design projects. Doing permaculture design work is learning permaculture design work.

“Thank you Bill and Becky for such an incredible, life-altering week.”
Jody T. – Community Organizer

PDC Graduation Day
Training Ends when Students Receive their PDC Certificate on Graduation Day


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


Details About our Trainings Hosted in Stelle

Start and End Times – And Very Full Days
The on-site portion of our Stelle courses begin on a Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and end the following Saturday at noon.  Even though students will have already completed up to 20-hours of certification studies through the webinar series, there are still 52+ hours of training ahead.  To fit the balance of the curriculum into only 8 days we start each morning 8:15 and run all the way through 9 p.m. There are long breaks for lunch and dinner… but students need to come prepared for a very full week of learning, designing, and fun.

“I thought the longer days would be a challenge for me but with such variety in how the course was delivered I never got stressed or bored.  Everything was so interesting, I didn’t want to miss a single session, even in the evenings.”
Elizabeth M. – Recently Retired Office Admin.

Group and Personal Design projects
For all PDC trainings, students work on various design exercises and projects, individually and in small groups. This is a requirement of certification and important to help anchor the learning experience.

Personal Design Project Invitation: If one of the reasons you as a student might be taking a PDC Course with us is to learn the skills necessary to create a permaculture design for your own home or property, we invite you to bring information about your site to the training.  For example, bring a sketch or map of your property in fairly accurate proportions and/or an aerial view, 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, and what your current dreams or visions for the property might be.  There will be some time over the 8-days where individual/personal projects can be explored.

All meals, snacks, coffee, tea and water will be provided as part of the course tuition and will be served beginning with dinner on the first Saturday evening through lunch a week later.  Meals will be prepared from mostly organic and when possible, locally raised foods will include a vegetarian option.  For other dietary needs or preferences, we most often can accommodate but we do need to know well before the course begins and students may be asked to supply some of their own specialty items.

Free Camping
As part of the price of tuition, free camping space is provided with toilets and showers nearby in heated spaces. Remember, students will only be sleeping in their tents.  The rest of the time will be spent in or out of the classroom or the community dining room so elaborate camping set-ups are not required.

Rooms in Stelle – $150 for the Week
Some of our fellow residents in Stelle are delighted to rent out their private guest rooms for this modest fee for the whole week.  All are a short walking distance from the classroom.  Students can reserve a room when they register for a training directly on our E-Commerce site.  We also have a few private rooms in our Community Center and our Intern House.  Please email Becky  or call 815-216-4124‬,  if you have questions.

What to Pack & Other Details
About 3-4 weeks before a training begins, students receive more information concerning what to expect, arrival details, what to pack, access to maps, etc.

 “Bill, this was unequivocally the best educational experience of my life.
You and Becky made permaculture completely understandable and I am so inspired to implement this work. This training has tied it all
together for me. Thank You.
Amy H. – U of Colorado Grad Student

Students who complete this design course will receive a ‘Certificate of Completion’ from Midwest Permaculture which in the permaculture tradition, allows one 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.

16-Stelle-Feb10 (1)Winter Course Graduates

Questions? ">Email or Call Becky at 815-216-4124‬.

Price:  $1,395 
$1,245 – Early Registration Price 75 days out.

Register – PDC March 7-14, 2020 

Register – PDC July 18-25, 2020

Register – PDC September 12-19, 2020
You can call Becky to register as well at 815-216-4124‬

Upon Registration you’ll be sent links to the Pre-Course Studies
    – 14 Hours of Recorded Webinars (video and audio versions)
    – The 150-Question Study Guide
    – And Links to over 3-dozen Additional Resources
The Text ‘Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture’ will be sent by snail mail. 

Group Registrations – Save $100 per Person
2 or more may register as a group and receive a $100 discount each. We’ve had friends, family members or couples register together and in the weeks before the course, bring in several more friends, everyone saving $100 each.

Student Discount rate: (Registered at a school and taking full credit hours)     $995
Senior Discount rate :    (Over 62 and on fixed income)             $995
We reserve a few slots at each training for students and seniors. Please register early.

Call Becky for more information, to set up a group-payment plan,  or to register (815-216-4124‬)

Low Risk Cancellation and Refund Policy
If a student cancels their registration 30-days before the on-site portion a course begins they receive a full refund less $250.  The student retains full access to all of the webinars, keeps the course handouts and text book, and receives a $195 credit towards any future Midwest Permaculture design certification course, good for up to 3-years.

If a student cancels their registration in the 30-days before the course begins there will be a full refund less $365 and the student still receives a $195 credit towards our design courses in the future.  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 credit towards a future design course.

“Thanks so much!! I was so inspired by the course.  I’ve already integrated permaculture into a community project I’m working on.  After 25 years of landscaping I needed that boost of BLISS!”
Catherine R. – Landscape Architect

Continuing Support Following Graduation
Students who have completed a Midwest Permaculture design course are then invited to become part of our growing network of graduates. We have a separate website where all graduates can connect, share ideas and look for some assistance from each other. Graduates may audit any future PDC 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 graduated from another recognized course (from anywhere in the world) who wish to take a Midwest Permaculture course as a refresher. Please email for details.

Still Have Questions?
You are welcome to email us or call Becky at 815-216-4124‬.