This past June of 2021, we presented our first in-person PDC in over a year. It was an intimate course of 8 compared to the 24 person online courses we had been administering over the winter and spring. The change of pace was wonderful. We had the joy of hosting this course at Bending Oak Permaculture Farm, and I think the functionally and beautifully designed environment there made the experience even more impactful.
As permaculture teachers, we have landed on this simple clay-model demonstration as an excellent tool for explaining earthworks. We can cover how swales, ponds, key points and key lines all fit together. The appreciative response from our students continually confirms this.
We wanted to make this video available to more than just our own students so we videotaped this session at one of our summer PDC courses and are sharing it here. Continue reading “Permaculture Earthworks – The Clay Model”
Over the last 7-plus years, Becky and I and our Midwest Permaculture team have hosted 49 PDC Courses. Course #49 graduated today (July 13, 2014) and with it our 1000th student earned their PDC Certificate.
As most of you know, Midwest Permaculture was started on a shoestring with the belief that permaculture was an ethical-based design tool that could be applied to most challenges facing us in the 21st century. We felt that this brilliant approach to creating security and abundance on our planet needed to be shared with the larger culture. Continue reading “1000+ PDC Graduates”
This was a great Course
We are Considering Repeating it in 2015
Please Check our Schedule
Training was May 6 – 13, 2014
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute – Hastings, MI
Start 1-pm May 6 — End 3-pm May 13
I am very much looking forward to teaching this upcoming PDC with fellow permaculture designers/farmers, Josh and Brian Shultz. Both are Midwest Permaculture PDC Graduates but had been doing advanced permaculture work long before that.
Starting off however, the training, meals and lodging will be hosted at the beautiful PCC Institute. Be sure to check out these pictures of this wonderful location.
While there, we will learn about the work they are doing on behalf of the environment and how they are teaching ‘care of earth’ to school students and the general public. The people at PCCI are walking the talk every day. We will be in great hands and at a great location for this training.
And when it is time to get out of the classroom and learn by doing and seeing I will be taking everyone over to Josh and Brian’s combined endeavors, Fair Lake Farm and Cedar Creek Permaculture Farm (see picture summary below). They have both done amazing work in various fields and I know that as students, you will be learning a great deal by examining what they have accomplished and are planning to do.
To be clear, since this will be a PDC course I will be teaching the full PDC Curriculum including urban, suburban and residential permaculture applications. We will be looking at how to design for various climates and for unusual circumstances.
Students will also be invited to bring their own design projects for we will set aside an entire evening to do nothing but explore the real-life design challenges of those who have a specific project. Not everyone will or is expected to bring a project but we will all learn by exploring those projects that are brought to the table. This is going to be a fabulous training and I am looking forward to meeting many new permaculture minds and hearts.
Post Update (Oct. 2017)
Sorry – This Course is Now Full
Below is a picture summary from a previous joint training to give you an idea of how full and rich this combined training is.
Blog Post of Previous Combined Course
Pictures and Text by Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture
For a second year we co-delivered with the Cal-Earth teaching staff a combined Superadobe Earth Building and Permaculture Design Certificate Course. At the close of our training we were pleased to host Geoff and Nadia Lawton of PRI-Australia who shared their work in desert environments with us while they were in the USA for a brief visit. This workshop was also opened to the general public seen here at the end of a really great day of learning.
Now that we’ve wrapped up our last course in 2012, it’s time to look forward to our offerings in the coming year. Our first course of 2013 is our Stelle Winter PDC, with a focus on creating productive growing spaces from kitchen gardens to small farms.
We see this as part of an evolving pattern for our Stelle courses, one for every season.
Being in the midst of the winter season, with the short days and cold weather it brings, makes it a different experience than our other courses. At the same time this gives the students an opportunity to meet with farmers that would have less time during the rest of the year, like the folks at Spence Farm or our friends from Fox Hollow Farm.
We think this course is great for food growers, farmers that have downtime in January, students who have the month off, gardeners that want to head into the season with a new outlook, or anyone else who is otherwise occupied the rest of the year.
Also this course will have a few seats with at a discount, available to students and retirees.
Is taking a Permaculture Course Worth It? When I think back on my own experiences of taking a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and look at the knowledge, skills and path that I am now on as a result, I would have to say that taking a permaculture course is absolutely a worthwhile experience. It has propelled me to where I am today and I would highly recommend it to most anyone.
First it’s useful to step back for a moment and look at the larger picture. When we take the systems that are available in the mainstream today for providing for ourselves , we can easily recognize that they are not caring for the planet, people, or the future. In fact, the situation is getting worse. These systems which manifest as the standard strategies for providing for oneself — such as going to college, getting a job, buying a house, driving a car and even shopping for necessary items — are breaking down. The price of college far outpaces inflation and for most isn’t an option without taking on crushing student debt. The economy is shedding jobs, manufacturing has followed cheap labor across the seas, government and business are paring down to the bone, and millions are unemployed and have given up looking for work. The housing market has crashed and threatens to collapse much further with the inventory of empty homes that no one can afford. The price of owning a car is climbing, with gasoline alone tripling in price in the last decade. Long supply chains, easily disrupted, bring us all the things around us, most of it is unnecessary junk or designed to fail in less than two years. The quality and safety of our food is highly doubtful. And the list goes on.
What is needed is not to trash the systems that are still providing for us, but instead to enable each person to establish other systems capable of taking up the slack, ensure that they are ethical, resilient, robust, and that most of all they meet the needs of people without being a detriment to the planet or the future. This is where the Permaculture Design Course comes in.
You can see and read more about this course in an awesome blog post by one of the students in this course: These Light Footsteps – Hands-on Permaculture.
Pictures by Milton Dixon and Bill Wilson – Captions by Bill
“Thank you Bill and Becky for such an incredible, life-altering week.”
Jody T. – Community Organizer
Pictures and Text by Bill Wilson and Milton Dixon
Thank you to our hosts Dr. Kelly Cain and Cynthia Wells-O’Mally of the University of Wisconsin, for hosting us for a second year. The bulk of the training was held on campus. Although we had some university students, most of the people taking this training came from the general public and from 5 different states. We had a fantastic time.